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poet Andrews, in his immortal work, “ The Cocopa Maid," once profanely sang as follows:
"There was a man whose name was Ames,
His aims were aims of mystery ;
I found the Judge" exceedingly agreeable, urbane and well informed, and obtained from him much valuable information regarding San Diego and its statistics. San Diego contains at present about seven hundred inhabitants, two-thirds of whom are "native and to the manor born,” the remainder, a mixture of American, English, German, Hebrew and Pike County. There are seven stores or shops in the village, where any thing may be obtained from a fine-tooth comb to a horse rake, two public houses, a Catholic church which meets in a private residence, and a Protestant ditto, to which the Rev. Dr. Reynolds, chaplain of the military post six miles distant, communicates religious intelligence every Sunday afternoon.
San Diego is the residence of Don Juan Bandini, whose mansion fronts on one side of the Plaza. He is well known to the early settlers of California as a gentleman of distin guished politeness and hospitality. His wife and daughters are among the most beautiful and accomplished ladies of our State. One of the latter is married to Mr. Stearns, a very wealthy and distinguished resident of Los Angelos, another to Col. Couts, late a Lieutenant in the first regiment of U. $. dragoons, and another to Mr. Charles Johnson, who for a long time was the agent of the P. M. S. S. Company at this place. The whole family is highly connected and universally respected.
Having smoked the pipe of contemplation, and played a game of billiards with a young gentleman who remarked, "he could give me fifty and beat me," which he certainly did, with a celerity that led me to conclude "he couldn't do any thing else,”. I retired for the night, but not to sleep, as I fondly imagined. Fleas ? rather! I say nothing at present; my feelings of indignation against those wretched insects are too deep for utterance. On another occasion, when in a milder mood, I intend to write a letter concerning and condemnatory of them, and publish it. Yes, by Heaven, if I have to pay for it as an advertisement !
The next morning, bright and early, I parted with my young military friend McAuburn, who was about to join his company at the Gila River. “Good bye, Phønix,” says he, “God bless you, old fellow! And look here, if you go to San Francisco, tell her-no, by George! you always make fun of every thing. Good bye.” So he wrung my hand and galloped away, and I stood looking after him till his prancing horse and graceful figure were hid by the projecting hills of the old Presidio. “Blessings go with you my boy!" said I, " for a fine, honest, noble-hearted young chap, you haven't many superiors in the U.S. Army; and happy, in my opinion, is the woman who gets you."
How I went to a Baile, and visited “ New Town," and rode forth to the Mission, and attended a Fiesta, and the extraordinary adventures that befell me there, shall form the subject of a future epistle; at present my time is too much occupied, for lo, I am an editor! Hasn't Ames gone to San Francisco (with this very letter in his pocket), leaving a notice in his last edition, “that during his absence an able literary friend will assume his position as editor of the Herald," and am I not that able literary friend? (Heaven save the mark.) “You'd better believe it.” I've been writing a leader and funny anecdotes all day (which will account for the dryness of this production), and such a “ leader," and such anecdotes. I'll send you the paper next week, and if you don't allow that there's been no such publication, weekly or serial, since the days of the “ Bunkum Flagstaff," I'll craw fish, and take to reading Johnson's Dictionary. Fraternally-ahem!
PERHAPS, you will not object to a few short military yarns which I have hastily twined for your edification. And if the interesting, fair-haired, blue-eyed (or otherwise) son of the reader, now sitting on his knee, on hearing them, should look confidingly into his parent's face, and inquire“Is that true, Papa ?” reply, oh reader, unhesitatingly, “My son, it is."
Many years since, during the height of the Florida war, a company of the Second Infantry made their camp for the night, after a rainy day's march, by the bank of a muddy stream that sluggishly meandered through a dense and unwholesome everglade. Dennis Mulligan, the red-haired Irish servant of the commanding officer, having seen his master's tent comfortably pitched, lit a small fire beneath a huge palmetto, and having cut several slices of fat pork from the daily ration, proceeded to fry that edible for the nightly repast.
In the deep gloom of the evening, silence reigned unbroken but by the crackling of Dennis's small fire and the frizzling of the pork as it crisped and curled in the mighty mess-pan, when suddenly, with a tremendous “whoosh,” the leaves of the palmetto were disturbed and a great barred owl, five feet from tip to tip, settled in the foliage. Dennis was superstitious, most Irishmen are, and startled by the disturbance, he suspended for an instant his culinary operations, and frying-pan in hand, gazed slowly and fearfully about him. Persuading himself that the noise was but the effect of imagination, he again addressed himself to his task, when the owl set up his fearful hoot, which sounded to the horrified ears of Dennis, like, " Who-cooks—for you—all ? Again he suspended operations, again gazed fearfully forth into the night, again persuaded himself that his imagination was at fault, and was about to return to his task, when accidentally glancing upward he beheld the awful countenance and glaring eyes of the owl turned downward upon him, and from that cavernous throat in hollow tones, again issued the question, “ Who-who-cooks—for you—all ? ” “God bless your honor,” said poor Dennis, while the mess-pan shook in his quivering grasp, and the unheeded pork poured forth a molten stream, which, falling upon the flames, caused a burst of illumination that added to the terrors of the scene, “God bless your honor, I cooks for Captain Eaton, but I don't know sir, who cooks for the rest of the gintlemen.” A burst of fiendish laughter followed-from those who had witnessed the in