The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962 Page: 493
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Notes and Documents
all men exhibit in their shooting and hunting propensities? It is, I
suppose, another "relic of barbarism," but all the same it is a relief
to find that men can occasionally throw off the mask of social inter-
course and bloom out into full-fledged savages, thirsting for the in-
nocent blood of wild birds and beasts. In the woods and camp life
we drop our conventionalities and exhibit ourselves in true light.
We do not perhaps "see oursels as ithers see us," but others see us
as we are. To learn a man's true character, go into camp with him
for a little while.
Duval West brought in four fine ducks today and Fessenden
caught a couple of nice bass in the creek with artificial bait, rather
a new thing in this country.10
Saturday, Decr. 27. Fessenden, West and myself went into town
this morning. Brackett is a detestable little village, composed for the
most part of Mexican jacals and cheap-john gin shops. There are two
or three rather respectable stores, however, where a man can buy
nearly everything he wants at rousing big prices. The population is
a mixture of greasers, Americans, negroes and dogs. Of the latter
there are curs of all sorts, with a mixture of pure strains, such as
setters and pointers, which have been abandoned by their military
masters from time to time, when suddenly called upon to change
post. These "blue blood" dogs have apparently adapted themselves
to a life of vagrancy and seem to enjoy having no responsibility.
In the interim while waiting for Lieutenant Bullis to return
from San Antonio, members of the party enjoyed several days of
hunting. Seven deer and one turkey were bagged. On New Year's
Eve, 1879, Duval wrote as follows:
I went to a Mexican sheepherder's camp to beg a bucket of water
and found Mr. Greaser as usual polite and hospitable. He very
cheerfully gave me as much as I wanted out of his small stock and
with many "adioses" we parted. O what a life these herders must
lead. Each one has charge of a thousand or two sheep which he ac-
companies at all times. His wages are $12 a month and rations. Week
after week, year in and year out, solitary and alone, with no company
except his sheep, one is appalled at such a life of utter isolation 8e
loBurr Duval was an early exponent of fly-fishing and was considered an authority
on the subject. He was a correspondent for Rod and Stream. Mrs. Pitts wrote of
"He had silver-mounted split-bamboo rods, boxes of materials for making artificial
bait to match what the fish were feeding on at the moment. He made twirling
devices for trolling. My mother, Ella, learned to tie most artistically and was taught
early how to paddle a canoe as my father would cast and to follow orders after a
strike was made." She further said that they "had a house on the San Antonio River
below Brackenridge Park, and the river was full of bass, both large and small-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962, periodical, 1962; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/m1/553/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.