Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
MINERS, COWBOYS AND INDIANS

THIS was my first long journey. We passed through Ogden, going around Great Salt Lake, as the Luzon cut-off had not then been built. I was on the lookout for Corinne and Promontory, as I knew that these places had at one time been the stamping ground of my father and uncle. Promontory was the station where the golden spike was driven when the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads met from the east and the west. The iron horse, as the Indians called the railroad, had overtaken the covered wagons and ox teams.

For many miles after we left the lake, the lowland was covered with a crust of salt. Then we came to the sage-brush flats of Nevada, which seemed endless. As far as the eye could reach there was nothing but the long stretches of the gray-green shrub. The stations were few and the towns were small. We passed Elko, Battle Mountain and then the Humboldt River came into view on the right. On the morning of the second day I arrived at Winnemucca, went to the hotel, and immediately after dinner took the four-horse stage for Rebel Creek. The stage line extended in those days to Fort McDermitt, an army post. The stage was loaded with freight; I was the only passenger. Inside was a big buffalo coat and a buffalo robe; I thought there would be no chance to get cold. From Winnemucca past the Toll-house was a road through sand hills, which was built of sage-brush laid the width of the wagon track. When tramped down it was for a short time serviceable, but the sands were ever shifting, so that new roads were continually in the process of being built.

We arrived at Kane Springs for supper. It was already dark and getting very cold. When we went to the station, the driver got a drink of whisky. I felt warmer after a cup of hot coffee. After the horses had been changed for a new team, the driver said: "We are ready; let's go!" I piled into the coach. The buffalo robe

-21-

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