Chapter XLIV.


We Meet Leading Brethren in Arizona--Arrival Home--Incorrect

Reports Concerning Me--My Horse "Tex"--Meeting With President Young--He Accepts our Labors

WE FOUND the road from the Gila to Camp Apache to be most of the way about the roughest any of us had ever seen. It was all we could possibly do to get over some of the rough places, but finally made the trip without break or accident.

The country in and around Camp Apache is quite picturesque. Grass, timber, small streams and springs were quite plentiful from here to Cooley's ranch, and the country is pleasant to travel through.

At Cooley's we were hospitably entertained and given much useful information. From him we learned the condition of the new settlements being made on the Little Colorado, under the leadership of Lot Smith and Brothers Allen, Lake and Ballinger. We now felt somewhat satisfied with our trip, realizing that we had been the most successful prospectors into the land of Arizona, our reports having been received and acted upon.

The greater portion of the settlements in Arizona, New Mexico and Old Mexico are on lands explored by our party on this trip. From Cooley's ranch we followed down the country to Stinson's farm, now Snowflake.

Mr. Stinson had also visited the Mormon camps and spoke highly of their labors. It was now June. As we neared the settlements we felt a feeling of joy at the thought of meeting friends from home.

On arriving at Allen's Camp we met Prest. Wells, apostles E. Snow and B. Young with several others, just from the settlements of Utah. Here we learned of the death of Bishop Roundy by drowning. I was glad to meet the brethren. Brothers Stewart, Pratt and Ivins had expressed a desire to return home. I had intended to go with my son Wiley to where we supposed Brothers Smith and Tenney were still laboring, but here learned that they had gone home.

Prest. Wells advised me to go home. I told him I hated to return just then, saying that I did not feel as though I had filled my mission. He addressed me a little sharply, speaking as though he did not believe me and telling me I had better go in with his company. Whether Brother Wells believed me or not I was willing to stay if left to follow my own feelings, but I did as he advised.

On the way I noticed the disposition to treat me rather coolly, many times being snubbed when offering some information about our trip. I could not understand this very well at the time.

On arriving at Lot Smith's Camp I met my daughter, Mary, and her husband, J. Jordan. They had been called to assist in settling this country. My son, Wiley, remained a short time with them, then came on to Fairview, our home. The trip in from the Little Colorado was not very pleasant to me; the mode of travel was so different from what I had been accustomed to that I was continually out of humor. My mode of traveling was and still is to watch and take care of my stock, and give it all the advantages possible. I have always been able to go over country successfully with a common outfit, while I have heard of others, much better fitted up, failing.

We had made a trip of near four thousand miles and were now returning with the same animals we started with, some of them in better condition than when we left. Instead of getting credit for this, I learned, afterwards, that reports had been circulated to the fact that I was tyrannical and unjust, and these statements, doubtless, had their influence upon my friends. Nothing was sent to me on the road about these reports, but I could see that something was "out of joint" from the treatment I received, which could not be particularly defined, but just such as would indicate indifference to me. Finally, it became so disagreeable that I concluded to travel alone; so I came on the last two days without a bite to eat, rather than be subject to the annoyances in the company with which I was then traveling. I got in thirty-six hours ahead of the rest.

The last day crossing the Buckskin Mountain, I got quite hungry and thirsty. I had about a quart of corn that I intended to eat, but saved and fed it to my faithful little horse, "Tex," that had carried his rider, my son Wiley, already some three thousand five hundred miles.

"Tex" was in good condition and I had taken him to ride in from Little Colorado home. I would not do justice unless I mentioned this horse for he was the most reliable animal I ever knew. I gave him all the corn. I had a three pint canteen of water, when I was taking a drink "Tex" came up and licked the canteen and looked at me as though he wanted a taste. I set my hat on the ground, sinking the crown so as to form a dish then poured a little water in, then the horse would sup it up. I gave him the last drop although I was then dry and had a big half day's ride yet to make before getting to Johnston's settlement.

After baiting I saddled up, arriving at Navajo Wells about one hour by sun. There was some squaws watering their horses. I got them to give "Tex" a little water, but it was to filthy for me to drink. There I again baited half an hour then got on my horse telling him how hungry and thirsty I was and that I had given him all the advantage and now it was but fair for him to take me in twelve miles in a hurry. This he did in fine style scarcely breaking the gallop all the way.

I met President Young at Kanab. He was glad to see me and hear the report from Mexico. Brother Young was a true friend to me and understood my disposition. He never allowed anyone to speak against me; he knew my faults, also some of my virtues. One that he always appreciated was my stubbornness; when I started on a trip, I had always stuck to it. I said nothing to him about my annoyances.

Brother Brigham expressed himself well satisfied with the results of our trip; said it was an opening for a greater work. I reported all the brethren good and faithful, doing honor to those we represented. I never knew until coming to Salt Lake that there was any dissatisfaction. I knew we had differed in our opinions sometimes about standing guard, but as I always took my turn and sometimes more, I never dreamed of anyone holding ill-feelings for being required to stand guard.

I think that these reports, and what grew out of them, have affected that mission and do to this day. Time will bring all things right. Many strange things are permitted that we cannot see any use in at the time, that afterwards turn to be a blessing.

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