Joaquin had endured his captivity with the greatest resignation, hardly able to keep from laughing at his ridiculous plight. He admired the Tejon Indians, who were not warriors by nature, because they had sufficient courage to carry out their enterprise with such good success.
After traveling two days, the little band arrived at the entrance of the Tejon Pass, situated several miles from the San Francisco Ranch. There, by chance, appeared one of their friends named Jim Mountain or Mountain Jim. Learning of their adventure, he returned immediately to the ranch and soon fitted them out with the necessary clothing. He also provided three horses. One of these, a black one, very beautiful and well harnessed, was presented to the chieftain, together with a Colt revolver and a dagger. Joaquin, who a few moments before had been a defenseless fugitive, found himself unexpectedly dressed, spurred, well mounted and armed—in short, transformed into a powerful and terrible bandit, thanks to the resources of the association formed and directed by his genius as an organizer.
When all were ready, Joaquin, Felix and Gonzalez mounted horses, each one with his sweetheart, and rushed off at a gallop in the direction of San Gabriel. Cardoza followed them on foot. When they arrived at San Gabriel, it was already late at night. They went to the place where they usually met, and were surprised to find Guerra, Valenzuela and their gangs. These outlaws had returned from Sonora earlier than they had expected, and, not finding the chief in the Arroyo Cantova, they prepared to start out on an expedition of robbery rather than to be idle. Since their return, they had committed numerous depredations in the vicinity of San Gabriel. But they had been pursued by General Dean, who was employing all his forces to capture them.
“That man will have to die,” said Joaquin. “He has made it dan