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Sunday, March 31, 1776

Sunday, March 31. -- Today dawned fair, and at eight o'clock we set forth on the march. Having traveled about a league to the north-northwest we came to a narrow arm of the estuary which we supposed was the end, but as it prevented our passage because it was so miry we had to go back that far to the real terminus of the arm mentioned, at the mouth of an arroyo which the soldiers from Monte Rey think is the one which they call Arroyo del Coyote . This enabled us to see several villages of heathen near the place where we left the mouth of the arroyo mentioned. We continued our route to the north for about two leagues, when we came to the road which on other occasions they have taken to the river toward which we are going. The road runs close to a small range completely bare of trees, for none are seen except some which grow in the canyons. We followed the first one, which has plenty of trees and has water in abundance until it joins the estuary. From this arroyo we turned to the northwest. Continuing in this direction we crossed four arroyos with little water, and at a quarter to four in the afternoon we halted for the night at the last one, having traveled about seven leagues in a little less than seven hours.

Today in passing we have seen six villages, whose inhabitants, not accustomed to seeing us, fled like wild beasts. Notwithstanding this, about forty heathen have come close to us and I have given them presents. The last one whom we encountered discovered us about forty paces away, and although less than five steps from where he was there was a place where he might have hidden, such was his terror that he lay down in his tracks, or rather I think that he involuntarily fell down through fright. Since he and we were on the same trail, I reached the place where he was lying prone more dead than alive, without any particular movement of lips or limbs. I tried to relieve his fright and to get him to stand up, but for a long time I was unable to succeed, for he had courage enough only to take weakly some glass heads, most of which he let fall. Seeing this, I thought it best to leave the unfortunate fellow alone, and if I had not done so I think he would have died. We attribute this spasm to the fact that up to that moment he had never had even a remote notice of us or of any people other than those of his own kind. The Indians who have been seen from the first arroyo forward are not short haired like those from the mission of San Antonio to the port of San Francisco. These of which we are now speaking wear their hair tied up on the very top of their heads where only a piece of thread is to be seen. -- From Tubac to Arroyo de la Arina , 369 leagues.




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