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May 22nd. - To-day all our arrangements have been changed; the saddler did not keep his promise, and while Malcolm, Bradley, and myself were venting our indignation against him, Don Luis Palo made his appearance. The gold fever had spread to Monterey, and he had determined to be off to the mines at once. He had brought his servant (a converted Indian, named Josť) with him, and extra horses with his baggage; he intended to set to work himself at the diggings, and meant to take everything he required with him. He says the report about Colonel Mason's moving a force off to the mines to take possession of them is all nonsense; that some of the garrison of Monterey have already gone there, is quite true, but they have deserted to dig sold on their own account. Colonel Mason, he says, knows too well that he has no efficient force for such a purpose, and that, even if he had, he would not be able to keep his men together. It appears, also, that the mines occupy several miles of ground, the gold not being confined to one particular spot. On hearing this intelligence we at once determined to follow Don Luis's example, and although there seemed a certain degree of absurdity in four people, all holding some position in society, going off on what might turn out to be only a fool's errand, still the evidence we had before us, of the gold which had actually been found, and the example of the multitudes who were daily hastening to the diggings, determined us to go with the rest. We therefore held a council upon the best method of proceeding, at which every one offered his suggestions.
While we were thus engaged, McPhail, our fellow-passenger from Oregon, made his appearance, having only just then returned from Sonoma. He had heard a great deal about the new gold placer, and he had merely come back for his baggage, intending to start off for the mines forthwith. The result of our deliberations was to this effect. Each man was to furnish himself with one good horse for his own use, and a second horse to carry his personal baggage, as well as a portion of the general outfit; we were each to take a rifle, holster pistols, etc. It was agreed, moreover, that a tent should be bought immediately, if such a thing could be procured, as well as some spades, and mattocks, and a good stout axe, together with a collection of blankets and hides, and a supply of coffee, sugar, whisky, and brandy; knives, forks, and plates, with pots and kettles, and all the requisite cooking utensils for a camp life. The tent is the great difficulty, and fears are entertained that we shall not be able to procure one; but Bradley thinks he might buy one out of the Government stores.
I followed the saddler well up during the day, and was fortunate enough to obtain our saddles, saddle-bags, etc., by four o'clock. On going to his house a couple of hours after about some trifling alteration I wished made, I found it shut up and deserted. On the door was pasted a paper with the following words, "Gone to the diggings."