The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976 Page: 63
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Notes and Documents
the serpent, carrying my arms about me. I had not gone far before I per-
ceived than [sic] Juan, with his sword drawn, and a pistol about him, was
following as cautiously by way of rearguard & support. I went as far as
the roughness of the ground would permit with safety, and heard another
signal of the gentry in a ravin [sic] a little farther out. They however
showed no disposition to attack-I soon returned from my sally, and we
rested undisturbed the remainder of the night. From circumstances we
afterward learned, we concluded they mistook us for another company,
then travelling in the neighborhood, with some loads of money. It is very
rare that a caravan with merchandise is attacked, goods not being so con-
venient to carry off as specie. It is also rare that Americans are attacked on
the road, as they always go well armed; and the rovers have a terrible
idea of their prowess. Still, the frequency of murders of some kind or other
is evident from the memorials of them to be seen on the road. It is custo-
mary, where a murder has been committed, to put up a wooden cross,
inscribed with a civil request that the passer-by will say a bit of a prayer
or two for the soul of the defunct. These crosses often stand so ominously
thick that had I complied with all the petitions thereon inscribed, I must
in some places have been praying half the time.* Some time ago our
Rahway"l negro, [Am]brosio Tucker, commonly called Black Duke, went
to the interior with the wagon, accompanied by one of the seven or eight
clerks of the concern, who, though a Mexican, is less devout than most
of his countrymen. The two liberals committed unholy depradations, and
threw down many of the crosses, with a zeal against popery that would
have been highly edifying to Davy Deans & Habakkah Mucklewrath.s
It was by no means edifying to the people of the country, in so much that
in Monterey they talked of having the black and white reprobate, mules,
wagon, and all, subjected to the ban of the church and cursed with bell,
book and candle.
Within about thirty miles of Monterey is the town of Cadareita, where,
*The number of those crosses in certain localities is liable to create a wrong im-
pression of local danger, which has recently left its mark. In some cases the group
of signals has perhaps been accruing for some generations, & may go back to the
period of early Indian wars. They may refer to casualties which occurred some
distance from the road; & I am not certain that they always refer to death by
17Rahway, New Jersey.
8Douce Davie Deans was a main character in Walter Scott's The Heart of Midlo-
thian. Habakkuck Mucklewrath was "a fanatical preacher in Scott's Old Mortality."
The Oxford Companion to English Literature, compiled and edited by Paul Harvey
(3rd ed.; Oxford, 1946), 213, 542.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 79, July 1975 - April, 1976, periodical, 1975/1976; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101203/m1/81/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.