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Spanish Explorers : Garces - Crossing the Mojave

Politeness of these Poor Indians

p 244
simply responded that they knew no other road. In this rancheria they regaled me with hares, rabbits, and great abundance of acorn porridge, wherewith we relieved the great neediness that we had.

Mar. 19. I went one league south southeast (sic) and arrived at the house of the captain of these ran- cherias. He presented me with a string of about two varas of white sea-shells; and his wife sprinkled me with acorns and tossed the basket, which is a sign among these people of great obeisance. In a little while after that she brought sea-shells in a small gourd, and sprinkled me with them in the way which is done when flowers are thrown. Likewise when the second woman came she expressed her affection by the same ceremonies. I reciprocated these attentions as well as I could (del modo que pude), and marveled to see that among these people so rustic are found demonstrations proper to the most cultivated, and a particular prodigality (magnificencia) in scattering their greatest treasures, which are the shells.

Mar. 20. I went two leagues and a half east and southsoutheast (sic), following up the river. I took an observation near the gap between two small cerros through which the river passes, and found it in 34 18'. In the afternoon I went five leagues south and southeast (sic) " and arrived at a rancheria of about


" Garces continues up river, as he says he does; the words

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Editor's Notes:

Depending on the accuracy of Garces' reading, 34 18' at the Mojave River, locates him south of the confluence of Deep Creek and the Mojave River near where Silverwood Dam is today. East and southeast 5 leagues may place him traveling up Miller Canyon rather than Sawtooth. If he did in fact go up Miller Canyon, then he would possibly have come up to the ridge near Mud Flats and down the canyon east of Waterman Canyon at the top of "E" Street in San Bernardino.

Coues has Garces passing through Holcomb and Bear Valleys. The distance to these valleys and the view Garces speaks of is much further than the 5 leagues Garces describes.


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