Chapter XVIII. Monterey
A SEVERE illness in the summer, probably the result of my passage over the isthmus and change of climate some months before, had quite prostrated me; but having made an appointment at Monterey for the 30th of July, I determined to endeavor to fulfill it. I hoped that the change of air and a short sea voyage would, before Sunday came, fit me for my duties.
On the previous Thursday afternoon at four o'clock I left San Francisco, with Mrs. Kip, in the steamer Sea Bird. We had about thirty passengers on board. We passed through the Golden Gate, which just six months before I had entered for the first time with such a feeling of loneliness--a feeling which the kindness of many friends had since so entirely dissipated--and when night closed about us, we were already far out at sea.
When I left my stateroom at seven the next morning, I found from the revolution of the wheels that the steamer was going very slowly. The Captain supposed us to be opposite the Bay of Monterey; yet being unable to see any headlands, we were feeling our way into the harbor. Above us was the bright blue sky, lighted up with the clear sunshine; but all around was a thick fog which completely obscured the land and prevented us from seeing our position. And so we slowly went forward, till about nine o'clock; when the heat of the sun seemed to melt away the mist, and we found ourselves, where we should have been, at the entrance of the harbor. Point Lobos was on our right; the placid bay, without a single Bail, was before us; and there, in that beautiful basin, was the old town of Monterey. In a few moments the steamer's gun was heard echoing from the neighboring hills, waking unusual sounds in that quiet scene; and we came to anchor within a few hundred yards of the sandy beach, on which the tide was gently rippling.
Monterey is a straggling Spanish town, built without any regard to order, at the head of the bay. Back of it, on three sides, the ground rises into hills, the slopes of which are richly wooded with old oak trees. Under the Mexican rule it was the capital of California and the residence of the principal families, who were attracted hither, partly by its delicious climate and partly by its being the headquarters of the gayeties of the province. Under the American government it retained, for a short time, its importance. Here in 1850 was held the first convention, which adopted the State Constitution and took measures for obtaining admission into the Union. Delegates thronged to it from all parts of California. It was held under the authority of Gen. Riley, the Military Governor, and for a time Gen. Sutter, the pioneer of California, presided over its deliberations. The staring wooden taverns which were run up at this period are still standing, some of them now closed and unoccupied. The capital wag then removed to San Jose, and this destroyed the political importance of Monterey. For a time it was the headquarters of the army; but these too were removed--to Benicia and San Francisco--withdrawing, in the officers and their families, much of the agreeable American society for which the town had been distinguished. Most of the influential California families moved away, out of disgust for the intruders who had taken the power from their hand. Some went to their ranches, stretching over leagues of country, where they could still practice sovereignty; and some returned to Mexico.
Monterey is now as quiet a place as Zimmerman himself could have desired in which to realize his dreams of solitude. Business has departed, except the little trade necessary for the daily wants of its population. You see no one in the streets, but a few Spaniards and Indians, who seem to have, as is really the case, nothing to do. There are scarcely any vehicles; and all is quiet until some Californian dashes along at the usual head-long speed. The houses, scattered without much regard to order, are mostly of adobe, with tiled roofs, one story high. The centre is generally occupied by a large hall, to which other apartments are in subordination, as it is used for dancing, the great amusement of these people. The dining and sleeping rooms open out of it, but are mere appurtenances. In a population of over a thousand, there are not two hundred Americans. The Spanish language is of course generally spoken.
No sooner had we dropped anchor than a shore boat came off for passengers and landed us on the rocks at the edge of the basin. I had come to Monterey, principally at the request of Mrs. Boston's family, one of the American families longest in the place, the members of which took a great interest in the Church. One of them met us as we landed, and in their hospitable home we spent the next week. Their house was just below the town, overlooking the bay; and from the windows of my room a scene spread out on which I was never tired of gazing. There I spent the greater part of the nest two days, feeling still too weak to make much exertion, and endeavoring to recruit strength for the services of the approaching Sunday. Before me was the peaceful bay, stretching round in a beautiful semi-circle--no wharves--nothing to interrupt the silvery line of the sand on which the spray broke and glittered. Some distance from shore, imbedded in the sand and almost covered by the water, lay the wrecks of two vessels which long years ago must have grounded there and been dismantled. They alone broke the glassy surface of the basin when no breeze was sweeping over it. Besides these, two or three fishing boats floated lazily near the beach.
Bayard Taylor, in his "Letters from California," dwells much upon the peculiar sound of the surf, as it rolls and breaks upon this shore. I know not whether it was mere imagination, but it has often seemed to me, as I listened to these sounds, that they had a quality all their own. Even when the surface was unbroken, there was a constant swell which lined the borders of the bay, far as the eye could reach, with a brief display of silver foam; and every moment it broke upon the shore with solemn regularity, as if the ceaseless pulsations of the mighty Pacific. This seemed to me more impressive, thus rolling up the bay with a long, dirge-like moan, than the wilder dashings of the waves upon Point Lobos; and doubly so at night, when I have lain awake hour after hour, the silence broken only by these monotonous beatings.
It seemed, too, as if the town was as quiet as the bay. No sound came up from it. The bustle of Yankee energy seemed not yet to have broken in upon its-primitive repose. Except some children playing about, the cattle lazily feeding, or an occasional foot-passenger,--generally a Spanish woman with the rebozo over her head,--we saw no signs of vitality. In its utter want of all life and energy, and in its foreign aspect, it reminded us, more than any other place we have seen on this continent, of some of those quiet towns in the South of Europe, which had not yet been reached by the progress of modern innovation.
The most exciting scene that passed before the window during my stay was the capture of one of the wild California cattle by a Spaniard on horseback who had attempted to drive it forward without success. The animal seemed obstinately bent on going in a direction contrary to his wishes, when, with the utmost rapidity, he threw his long lariat with the slip knot at the end. By some sleight of hand which I could not understand, it struck the fore-leg, and encircled it at once, the horse planted himself firmly on the ground to enable him to sustain the shock; and in an instant the animal was lying helpless on its back. This was repeated several times, and always with the same unerring precision. It is their usual way of capturing cattle on the wide plains or hill-sides. The animals are suffered to run wild until wanted; when the vaguero rides up to the herd, selects the one he wishes, and while the terrified animal is thundering along at full speed, by a whirl of the hand which is hardly perceptible, the lariat strikes his foot, and he is thrown down with a shock that for a few moments disables him. Before he recovers, he is tied, so as to he completely hampered. The horses are sometimes so well trained, (as I have seen in Southern California,) as to stand perfectly still after a bullock has been lassoed and the rider has dismounted to bind him. He seems to watch the motions of the animal, and when he moves, draws back and tightens the lasso tied to his saddle-bow, as if guided by reason. Two of the native Californians will sometimes capture the fierce grizzly bear even, in this way, with lariats round his fore and hind legs drawing him different ways until he can be secured. Beginning with this exercise in childhood, as soon as they can sit a horse, they attain a perfection which would be inconceivable to one who had not witnessed it.
The only walk on which I ventured during these two days, (and this sent me exhausted to bed, before dark,) was to the Fort which is not far from Mrs. Boston's house. It is on high ground overlooking the bay. The breast-work which has been thrown up, surmounted by several large cannon, surrounds the space devoted to barracks, arsenal and parade ground. There was once a large garrison stationed here; but although the United States' flag still floats gaily over it, its glory has departed, and a single officer, (in charge of the military stores remaining in the depot,) and a sergeant, are the only occupants of the barracks.
The climate is perfectly delicious. I was delighted with its balminess the day I landed, and every day of my stay increased my appreciation of it. The temperature seems to be equable, differing but a few degrees throughout the whole year. During this, which is the dry season, no rain ever falls; but early in the morning and in the evening, a fog prevails for a few hours; while through the middle of the day the soft breeze which comes in from the sea tempers the heat so that it is never oppressive. Nowhere else have I breathed an atmosphere so favorable to invalids. In my own case I found its influence beneficial beyond my expectations. The two days which passed before Sunday seemed to have the effect of so far restoring my strength, that when the time came, I felt able to go through the varied duties of the day with as little exhaustion as if they had been preceded by no illness.
The service of our Church had never been held in Monterey. Some years ago, on the first occupancy of the town by the Americans, the Rev. Calvin Colton, Chaplain in the U. S. Navy, a Congregational minister, was stationed here. He was appointed Alcalde, and while here erected a stone building for a Town Hall, which is now called "Colton Hall," and is one of the most substantial public buildings in California. He also published "Three Years in California," a diary of life in Monterey which gives a good picture of the society and life in this country. Subsequently, another Presbyterian minister, Mr. Willy, resided here for a short time as Chaplain to the garrison, but for some years there have been no Protestant services of any kind. The old Romish Church is the only place of public worship. On Saturday we heard the bells ringing violently, and were told it was to notify the inhabitants that the next day was Sunday. Perhaps this is necessary in the perfect tranquillity of Monterey, where they "take no note of time," where nothing disturbs the quiet of the day, but the moaning of the wind through the pine trees and the breaking of the waves upon the beach.
On Sunday morning the sound of these bells came floating over to us in the perfect stillness. The Church is on the opposite side of the town, standing where the ground begins to rise into the hills, and from my window I can see group after group winding their way up-to its doors. For our service we had the Court Room in Colton Hall, the room in which the convention which adopted the first Constitution of this State, held its meetings. The Congregation numbered about sixty, and at the Holy Communion four came forward, some of whom had not for a long time enjoyed this privilege. "Your sermon," said a gentleman to me, after service, "is the first I have heard for four years." In the afternoon the attendance was much larger, as many of the Spanish ladies came in to witness the services, though unacquainted with the language. After the second lesson, I baptized five children; and having given, in place of the sermon, an extemporaneous address explanatory of Confirmation, I conferred that rite on one lady who that morning received the Communion for the first time. In the early part of the week I visited many of the Americans, particularly those who had brought their children for baptism. They all expressed themselves anxious to have the services of the Church; but they are too few in number to take any steps towards this, nor is there any reason to suppose that Monterey will increase or strengthen its American population. In fact, since my visit it has diminished; and the removal of Mrs. Boston's family has taken away the only one of any influence. Twelve miles distant, on Salinas Plains, I am told an agricultural population is settling, but of course it is scattered at the ranches.
As the steamer was not to return from San Diego till Thursday, we had several days to spare, on one of which we drove out to Point Loboa. It is doubtful whether in quiet Monterey we would have been able to procure a vehicle; but an officer of the coast survey whose station is here, kindly placed his horses, wagon, and steward at my service during my stay. The vehicle was capable of carrying an indefinite number, and on a pleasant morning, when there was just fog enough to keep the heat of the sun from being felt, a party was formed to visit Point Lobos. The wagon was filled, while some of the gentlemen went on horseback.
As soon as we left the town, we found ourselves in the old oak woods. Then, there would be a space destitute of trees--then we would drive through the forest by a road on which the grass was growing, while the branches on each side swept against us as we passed. There was every variety of scenery, as we went over hills bare of trees, and through valleys into whose tangled foliage the sun could not penetrate. These woods are filled with game; often grizzlies are met there, but we saw nothing except innumerable squirrels, and a solitary prairie wolf (coyote) which crossed our path. We forded the Carmel River, at this season a shallow stream, but in the rainy season filled to the banks with an impassable flood. During the drive of seven miles, we passed but one house, the owner of which had cleared extensively around him for a farm. At last we approached the seaside, and after driving through woods where there seemed to be no road, we emerged a few hundred yards from the beach, in an open space dotted with scattered trees.
The scenery around is of the wildest character. It seems as if some mighty convulsion had rent the rocks asunder, and thrown them about in the greatest confusion. Huge masses, weighing tons, were placed with the strata at right angles to other masses, as if a giant had tossed them in his sport. Deep fissures and ravines passed through them, up which the waters of the ocean dashed and roared, as the waves swept against their openings. One of these fissures extended two hundred yards, in some places narrow, and then at the extremity opening out a wide chamber into which the water rushed at every swell of the tide, until it broke against the end with a sound like thunder, filling the cavity with spray like the steam of a boiling cauldron.
The rocks here are covered with shells, some very beautiful, and also with the greatest variety of sea-weeds that I have ever seen. Among them is the mucilaginous plant which is so much used by the Chinese for soup. It is here collected in great quantities, and has become an important object of export.
There is, however, another natural production at this place which excites much more attention. Long before we reached the margin of the sea we heard an indistinct roar and bellowing which seemed something different from the booming sound of the waves. It proceeded from the sea lions with which this is a favorite resort. A few hundred yards from the shore is a ledge of rocks, forming an island, on which they crawl up to bask in the sun. There, hundreds of them, of every size, can be seen at once, and their roaring is heard above the sound of the waves. They are huge, unwieldy masses, sometimes eighteen feet in length, appearing like great lizards as they crawl up on the rocks or slide back again into the water. Sometimes, a monster who seemed the patriarch, would raise himself up and bellow, when the whole herd would unite, till it seemed as if the "bulls of Basan" had been let loose. They are sometimes shot from the rocks on the shore, though, as they are so fully covered with a coating of fat, it is rarely that the ball penetrates to a vital part. The inhabitants, when they can capture them, obtain considerable oil from the carcass.
We returned for about four miles by the same road over the Carmel River, and then turned aside to visit the old Mission of Carmel. To find it, however, seemed no easy work; as the road had been so long disused that it was overgrown with grass, and difficult to distinguish from other paths in the woods. We tried several, where the branches almost met from the sides and swept over us as we passed, but they ended in the dense forest and we were obliged with difficulty to turn and regain the main road. We at last found the right one, and after driving for two miles emerged into the cleared fields which surround the old Mission Church. The situation is beautiful (as are always the sites of the old missions), surrounded by the hills, and with a distant view of the ocean. The church still stands unaltered in its front, having on one side of it the range of offices unchanged. On the other side, the huts which once formed the habitations of the Indian converts have entirely disappeared, as have the other outbuildings, and corrals in which the old fathers once herded their thousands of cattle.
We drove into the quadrangle, about four hundred feet square, formed by the deserted offices of the Mission. They are built of adobes and are now rapidly falling to decay. A gentleman who visited the church a few weeks before, found it entirely open, the doors swinging loosely on their hinges, and all the old relics of former worship left as they were years ago. After the Mission was secularized in 1835, there seemed to be no one to take charge of the building and no definite owner for the property. The priests had departed, trusting that a feeling of reverence would prevent any from molesting its contents. This was effectual enough with the old Californians, but probably had no weight with the Americans who wandered that way; so that articles once devoted to sacred uses were carried off, and lately it was found necessary to lock up the building.
At this time it was open, as the Padre from Monterey was here, removing some of the ornaments and furniture to his church. The church itself is lofty, with a Gothic arch, and some parts of the ornamental stone work are carved with considerable skill. It is nearly two hundred feet in length, so that there is something stately in its appearance as you stand at the lower end and look up. The wall of the chancel has been elaborately gilded and painted, but the colors are now fast fading away, from exposure to the air and weather. The whole building is of stone, except the chancel end, which is unfortunately of adobes. The roof over the end where the altar once stood has fallen in, and a few more rainy seasons will finish the dilapidation of the building. At the left hand is a small chapel for the Baptistery, where the large font, carved from a species of yellow stone, with a heavy wooden cover, stood as it did the day the last child received from it the waters of baptism. Next to it is a pretty little chapel which was used for the daily Mass and Vespers. The altar is still there, with a picture of angels over it, some of the heads of which are very well executed. On the altar was the printed Gospel with prayers, framed and glazed. It seemed as though the officiating priest had left it there but yesterday. On the walls were painted the Te Deum, Gloria in Excelsis, and other anthems, with the musical notes, so that the whole congregation might sing them correctly.
In the sacristy--a large room on the other side of the church--we saw the old paintings and images. I turned over the former, but found most of them to be daubs, portraits of saints and martyrs. Among them was one of a Padre landing on the coast, with a violin in his hand. In the background are seen the Indians, whom tradition asserts he attracted by the music of his instrument before beginning his sermon. The images are about four feet high, of wood, well carved, some with gilded mitres on their heads, and one, (whose name I could not learn), representing an African, perfectly black, with woolly head.
A wax figure as large as life, representing the dead Christ, had been left lying in the nave of the church. It was uninjured, except that some of the panes of the glass case which covered it were broken. The Padre had now brought out some Indians to carry it to Monterey to ornament his own church. They were placing poles under it, to carry it as on a bier. On our way home we passed it, and as we approached Monterey we met groups of senoras, who had gone out to receive it. A few hours afterwards, the bells of the Church rang out a loud peal, and we heard there had been quite a service for its reception.
This was the Padre's first visit to the place, and he there fore knew little about it. He was a Mexican, speaking only Spanish. In front of the altar many of the priests had been buried, and he removed the slab from a tomb in the pavement to show us the coffin below in a narrow cell of masonry. Several of the tombs were lately opened by direction of the Archbishop of San Francisco, to find the remains of Padre Junipero Serra, the founder of this church and one of the earliest Missionaries in California. In this, however, they were unsuccessful.
In the tower still hang the three old Spanish bells, one of which is yet perfect, but the other two have been broken and are now useless. Thirty years ago, their sound, as it swept over these hills, called hundreds of Indians to daily prayers.
After leaving the church, we walked over to an extensive pear orchard, planted by the Padres, the fruit of which some Californians were employed in gathering. A small house had been built in the orchard, where lived an American, who, having married a Mexican wife, had settled down here, usurping the grounds of the Mission. As we were looking over the gate, his wife came out and welcomed us in with the grace which seems peculiar to these Spanish women. She was exceedingly handsome, and from her appearance I supposed her to be a young girl. She had, however, been for some years a wife, and was the mother of three children. She conducted us into her house, a single room, with a little partition to conceal the bed, and an earthen floor; but where she presided with a dignity not often seen in aristocratic saloons. It is a trait, however, we have often remarked in the native women.
Our road home led for some way through the deserted clearings of the old fathers, by their ruined corrals, and then through the thick chaparral where the birds alone broke the silence of these solitudes, until we emerged in the groves of old oak trees which overlooked the town. Interspersed among them occasionally, are lofty pines, from which hangs the long gray moss waving mournfully as the sea breeze sweeps by it. Thus all the hills about Monterey are thickly wooded, while among them wind little ravines or canadas, into which the sun's rays seem scarcely able to penetrate. Thick vines stretch up among the trees, while the laurel groves grow rankly and luxuriantly below; so that it seems a twilight around, nor is any light seen, except when you look up, directly over your head, to the calm blue heavens above.
Beneath, Monterey was spread out, covering a gentle slope of land for three quarters of a mile. Two miles below was seen Point Pinos at the southern extremity of the harbor, from which the bay curved round to Ano Nuevo, its northern side, twenty miles distant. Behind, the country rose in ridges to the Toro Mountains, while through the clear air without a cloud, could be seen far off on the northern horizon, the mountains of Santa Cruz and the Sierra de Gavilan, beyond the Salinas plains where the virgin soil is already broken by the enterprise of American immigrants.
The next morning we took another drive, to Point Pinos below the town. The road is through the pine forest, often scarcely to be traced in the open glades, and then through dense chaparral which still furnishes a lurking place for the grizzly bear. The point projects out into the ocean, with irregular masses of sand-stone, which, like those at Point Lobos, seem to be thrown into every fantastic form. Among these the waves dash up, while the foam and swell roll over them, and break upon the shore with a shock which seems to make the earth tremble. In the coves we found the rocks covered with shells; the avelone with its many hues and fine coating of mother-of-pearl, and the star-fish of orange and scarlet; myriads of muscles and snails; and seaweeds of every brilliant color.
A short distance from the shore is a substantial stone lighthouse, which only waits for the lantern to be forwarded from San Francisco, to commence its duties. It is much needed at this place, for although the bay is more than twenty miles wide at the entrance, owing to the fogs at night, vessels frequently go ashore.
Every morning at nine, the sound of the bells is borne to us, across the little plain, from the church which is situated on the rise of the hills beyond, and one morning we walked over to it. It is of stone and a good-sized building, very much resembling the church at the Carmel Mission, but not kept in good repair. For some reason,---perhaps to save trouble--the windows on one side have been entirely closed with adobes. In front of it, on the ground, was lying one of its bells, hopelessly cracked. A group of Indian children were playing about, and as we came up, one of them crawled out of the bell where he had been hiding from his companions. The other two bells were still hanging in the tower. On one side against the walls is a tomb enclosing the remains of one of the priests, but without any inscription.
The interior of the church is like that of most chapels I have seen in this country. There was nothing remarkable except a curious picture of Heaven and Hell, one of those poor paintings so often seen in the Romish churches which attempt to bring down the future state to the most sensual minds. Heaven is represented by a pyramid on which are some melancholy looking beings, who seem to be not at a enjoying themselves, while in Hell are depicted devils tormenting their unhappy victims with pitchforks.
We crossed a little lagoon that flows up from the harbor and walked up for a mile to a beautiful headland which projects out on the opposite side of the bay. I had often looked at it from my window, and been attracted by its picturesque appearance, covered, as it was, with old oaks. We found it as peaceful and quiet as it seemed in the distance; and that most appropriately it had been selected as the Romish burying ground. The low wall which surrounded it had been concealed from us by the trees which threw their shade over every part of it. There were no monuments, generally only wooden head-boards and graves to mark the place where the former inhabitants of the little town were quietly sleeping. Outside the wall, under the shadow of a noble tree whoso branches entirely cover it, is an enclosure surrounding the marble altar-shaped tomb of the wife of Lieut. Sully, U. S. A. She was a member of one of the old California families residing at Monterey and died at the early age of seventeen. A more peaceful spot could not be found. Nothing breaks the stillness but the notes of the birds, or the sound of the "old unchanging ocean."
A delightful degree of good feeling is evinced towards Americans by the highest class of California families residing in Monterey. Some of them are the old landed families who occupied an influential position under the Spanish and Mexican governments. Others are refugees from Lower California. One of them was Governor of Lower California, but espoused the American cause during the war with Mexico, under the supposition that on the return of peace the United States would insist on the cession of that country also. As this was not done, he was obliged to exile himself and take refuge under our flag. Californians have been so abused and cheated by the Americans, that we wonder they can be polite to any. Yet they are most remarkably courteous towards those entitled to their respect. There is a degree of cordiality and warm-heartedness in their manner which I have never found exceeded. The ladies still retain the old Spanish costume, with the rebozo thrown over their heads when they leave the house. They have generally had few advantages of education, yet some, from associating with Americans, have become sensible of their deficiencies and are endeavoring to remedy them. Some of them have married Americans or English who came here many years ago, even before the cession of the country. I was at the home of one Scotch gentleman who had married a California wife and resided in the country for thirty years. The ladies, we were told, generally prefer Americans for husbands. They see the difference in energy and enterprise between them and the old Californians, and in the lower part of the State, when one marries a peculiarly good Californian, the congratulation given her with regard to her intended is,--"He is as good as a Yankee."
We do not wonder at this, for most of the male portion of the Californians do not seem to have the good qualities possessed by the women. They retain much of the old Spanish character, with the evils of the Mexican disposition engrafted on it. They are generally idle and without energy, caring for nothing but horses and doing nothing which cannot be done on horseback. Bull fights, bear fights, and particularly gambling form their amusements. For the last their passion is intense and they will pass entire days and nights at money, as long as they have anything to lose. Neither do they share in the admiration of the other sex for the Americans. They feel that they have been driven by them from their seats of influence, will scarcely ever learn the English language, and generally there is but little association between the young men of the two races.
The size of the California families would astonish our countrymen at the East. I became acquainted with some members of one family in which there were twenty-two children by a same father and mother. In another there were eighteen, while the ordinary number would be more than twelve.
On the last morning of our stay in Monterey, we drove into the country, about five miles, to the ranch of Don Jose. He and his wife accompanied us on horseback. The Donna rode well, as most of the California women do, many of them being even skillful in throwing the lariat. Their style of riding appears awkward to an American, as they sit on the right side of the horse, though this is really the more natural way. The left hand is thus used for holding the reins, while the right arm is free. Our road lay directly through one of the ravines which run up among the hills back of the town, through the unbroken forest, except in one place where the old trees were lying prostrate on the hillside, cut down by some enterprising American who intends to set out a vineyard on that spot. The farther we advanced into the country removed from the influence of the sea breeze, the warmer it became; but there is a freshness about this soft vaporous atmosphere which keeps it from being oppressive.
Don Jose's ranch stretches over several miles. The house is in a hollow among the hills, with some living springs behind it, which are sufficient, in the dry season, to irrigate the gardens. The servants were Indians, among whom we saw a woman ninety-six of age, born before the first coming of the whites or even of the earliest Franciscan Missionaries. Her hair was long and gray, and her face deeply wrinkled, but she seemed to have as much elasticity and strength as most persons at sixty. She can carry--Don Jose told me--a burden of a hundred pounds. These Indians are slaves. Frequently, when in the country, finding young Indians about the house, I have asked the proprietor where he got them, and received for answer,--"I gave five dollars apiece for them"--or, "My friend Mr. P. purchased them of some of the tribe and presented them to me."
On our return we stopped at Don Jose's house in town to lunch, where we were most hospitably entertained. His daughter played some pieces on the piano forte with great taste and skill. As American habits creep in, this instrument is, in many California houses, taking the place of the guitar, whoso music they inherited from their Spanish ancestors.
While we were at dinner on Thursday, we heard a gun--the notice that the Sea Bird had again arrived. During the afternoon she took on board her freight, and at about six o'clock, after saying good-bye to our kind friends, we were rowed over to her. Another hour and we were out of the harbor and in the swell of the ocean, which soon sent most of the passengers to their staterooms. After rather a rough night, we found ourselves, at breakfast time, once more entering the Golden Gate, and by nine o'clock were again alongside the wharf at San Francisco. I had set out to keep this appointment at Monterey with strong misgivings as to the prudence of the attempt, weak as I then was, but, thanks to a kind Providence, I had not only performed the duties I wished to, but returned perfectly restored in health.