After having remained about thirty days in the vicinity of Mariposa, employed by the insatiable Jack Three Fingers in the perpetration of a dozen robberies and almost as many murders, the party set out on the march. The bandits crossed the Merced, fording the river at a place where it was not very deep, and continued their journey, sometimes in the middle of forests, at others climbing hills and mountains, until they found a road to lead them in the direction of Tuolumne County.
After traveling for some time, they arrived at a place called Shaw’s Flat. On all sides sounded the picks, shovels and all the instruments which miners use to separate the gold from the earth. A great number of Chinamen had set up their cabins at various points nearby, and united in companies, they worked energetically, realizing reasonable profits from the claims which the Americans had abandoned as too poor for them. Throughout this whole place, animated by assiduous labor, an atmosphere of peace, prosperity and contentment prevailed.
The laborers saw Joaquin and his party, but no one had any idea of suspecting them. There was no apparent reason for doing so. It was very common among drivers, cattle dealers, cowboys, hunters and all classes of travelers, to camp days, and even whole weeks, sometimes at the edge of a spring of crystalline water, others in the shade of a tree in a solitary place. On the other hand, the arms which they carried did not cause the miners the least alarm, because the custom of those days to go fully armed favored Joaquin and his band, until someone should happen to discover what they really were, through some of their misdeeds.
As Joaquin had some money at that time, he decided that he would rest near Shaw’s Flat for some weeks. His intention was, while he took some rest and enjoyed life, to put into circulation some hundreds of dollars in the gambling houses, restaurants and fandango