The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 61
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Route of Cabeza de Vaca in Texas.
After many days, some spent on the march, some at the villages,
they arrived at "many houses on the banks of a beautiful river."
The people ate prickly pears and the seeds of pine trees. "In that
country were small pine trees, the cones like little eggs; but the
seed is better than that of Castilla, as its husk is very thin, and
while green is beat and made into balls to be eaten," etc. This
seems clearly to be a description of what is known in West Texas
as the pifion tree. It is often found on high, rocky points west of
the Pecos River, but is found east of that river at only two points
so far as I have been able to ascertain; one on the brakes or heads
of small cafions near the old Pontoon Bridge crossing, the other in
Edwards county on some of the small tributaries of Dry Devil's
River. I am disposed to think the Spaniards must have seen the
pifion in the latter place. Certainly the cactus is not found in any
quantity in the former locality, and there is no "beautiful" river
near, unless the term might be applied to Live Oak Creek.
I have heard it objected to this, that there is no stream in
Edwards county worthy of being called a "beautiful river." In
answer I will call attention to the fact that the use of the term
rio (here translated river) by the Spanish in West Texas, Chihua-
hua, and New Mexico is not the same as the use to which the word
river is put in English. Rio in Spanish has been applied to many
streams of running water in this country, such as Rio Hondo, Rio
Tulerosa, Rio Toyah, and Rio Comanche, which would be dignified
to be called creeks. Of such streams I am told that Edwards
county has several, and to the Spaniards they were "rios." This
county, I am also told, has prickly pear cactus in abundance,
although not to the extent to which it is to be found further
south and east.
After leaving this place they traveled through a country abound-
ing in people and game. "Those having bows were not with us:
they dispersed about the ridge in pursuit of deer, and at dark came
bringing five or six for each of us, besides quail and other game."
West of Edwards county lies a great limestone plateau, extending
to a point eighty or ninety miles west of the Pecos River. It is
cut up by cautions, the main cautions running north and south, and
the lateral cautions coming from a little north of west and a little
north of east. These lateral cautions would afford the natural route
for these travelers, and to one accustomed to that country it would
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/69/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.