When Joaquin returned to the Arroyo Cantova, decided upon beforehand for a meeting place, he found three or four hundred horses and mules brought by his companions, who were encamped, awaiting new orders. The chieftain dispatched some of them to take the animals to Sonora for better security. At the same time he sent the sum of five thousand dollars to be delivered to one of his secret agents, a resident of that state.
At the end of May he began to be bored. The inactivity was irksome. He began again his excursions along the highways, accompanied always by Gonzalez, Felix, Cardoza and the three women, who, mounted on magnificent horses, formed the handsomest trio of horsemen that any young man would ever imagine.
In the first ten days they met only some poor travelers who were going to the mines on foot. Joaquin’s purse was about empty, so that he resolved to fall upon the first person whom he should meet with the appearance of having any money. At nightfall there appeared a young man named Allen Ruddel, who was conducting a convoy of provisions. Joaquin left his friends behind, made his horse gallop toward Ruddel, and cutting across a field, he confronted him, and asked him to lend him all the money which he carried with him. Deceived perhaps by the youthful face of his questioner, the driver believed that he was accosted by a highwayman who was a novice at the work. He therefore responded to his request with a sneering smile, and urged his horses forward. Joaquin advanced toward him, and drawing his revolver, in a brusque and peremptory tone he ordered him to stop. Ruddel began to tremble and obeyed him.
“Now, friend,” said Joaquin in a very mild voice, “I only desire that you should lend me your money, for although I am a robber, I do not enjoy robbing a poor working man, and I swear to you, by my name of Joaquin, that I will return all that you lend me.”
Ruddel, instead of answering, made a sudden movement to draw