The brook itself was well enough, but it did not seem to belong there; you could not see it till you were on the edge of it. I have fished a good many streams, and tramped through all sorts of woods, but I never saw such a place as that before, and I never want to again.
The washing the sands of the streams is by far the easiest way of obtaining the gold-dust; but in most places the sands have been so narrowly searched before, that unless the stream takes some new course, the gold is found but in small quantities.
We had this spectacle; a familiar one to many, but to us a novelty. The conductor said that one of those streams which we were looking at, was just starting on a journey westward to the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, through hundreds and even thousands of miles of desert solitudes.
In going through cañons and fording streams it was often so dark that the Governor was obliged to walk ahead to find the way, taking off his coat so that I could see his white shirt and slowly drive after him. Though seemingly calm and cool, I had a great dread of these night adventures, as I was in constant fear of being upset on some hill and rolled into the water.
Of course he sang the way Americans usually sing, and had to do as well as he could in talking to bankers and investors not to look as if he were singing, but there it all was singing inside him, the seven years of digging, the seven years of dull thundering on rocks under the city, and at last the happy steel cars all green and gold, the streams of people all yellow light hissing and pouring through those vast pipes for people beneath the sea!
He peered round closely, then flipped in one of the bugs he had brought along. A shiny yellow fish flared up from the depths of the deep hole and disappeared with the cricket; but it was a bass or a pike, not a trout. Wetzel had said there were a few trout living near the cool springs of these streams. The lad tried again to coax one to the surface.
Certain it is, that their water paths often lead in the most direct route to streams and ponds, of the existence of which they could have known nothing previously. It is certain that many of the lower animals possess either an "instinct," or a much keener sense in these matters than man himself.
The little miners excavate with their forefeet, which are strongly built and furnished with a fringe of stiff bristles; they work with wonderful rapidity, and the sand thrown out beneath their bodies issues in continuous streams. They are solitary wasps, each female working on her own account.
They also grind their corn and wheat, and make bread. In fact, the Pimos realize in their everyday life something of our ideas of Aztec civilization. A town will probably grow up just above the Pimos villages, as there is a rich back country, and the streams afford a valuable water power for running mills.
Spacious plains attend those mighty streams; and, tho' sometimes we find the greatest rivers much confined between approaching hills of solid rock, the valley opens again, and, on the whole, is always corresponding to the current of water which has successively run in all the quarters of this plain.