Joaquin felt uneasy about the luck of Valenzuela, Cardoza, and Jim Mountain. Anxious to know the result of their mission, he started out with his gang toward the general meeting place. The next night the bandits camped above a ravine, and after lighting an enormous bonfire they began to refresh themselves with Nantes sardines and crackers, which they always carried with them. In the middle of the supper, Jack Three Fingers called the attention of his comrades to a ray of light which seemed to come from the depth of the ravine.
“It is probably the glare of a campfire of some Indian vagabonds,” said Joaquin, casting an indifferent glance toward the place where it originated. Soon, addressing himself to Jack Three Fingers, he said smiling, “Since you are the discoverer, Jack, and since it is possible that there may be something better than is commonly found in miners’ cabins, I will ask you to go reconnoitering toward that place.”
“With the greatest pleasure, Captain,” replied the other, and immediately he set out on foot. Wiping his mouth on his shirt sleeve, he added, “I am always ready for this kind of an enterprise.”
“That is good,” said Joaquin, “but finish your supper.”
“Certainly not! I am going at once. There is no danger of the sardines getting cold.” And Jack Three Fingers, after putting a dagger and a revolver in his belt, started out quickly to the place which had been indicated.
“Jack is a valiant companion,” said Felix. “Unfortunately, he is too bloodthirsty.”
“Oh!” answered Guerra, “he is much less so than old Father Jarauta, who was the chieftain of several of us in Mexico.”
“That’s right,” a half dozen of the outlaws exclaimed in chorus.
“That fellow was a regular demon!” continued Guerra. “What a monster! If you had seen him one night when he surprised a company. But we will not speak of that. My heart bleeds and I feel bad when I remember those good times.”