The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 301
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Notes and Documents
arrived."' Even before he came here, he was actually convinced about the
honesty of Texans. At the present time he lives on Cibolo Creek, but people
say his enthusiasm for Texas has already cooled off very much.
Wilke I [the elder] and his family have suffered much from sickness.
In general, many people are suffering from fever this year.
New Braunfels, July 20, I849
The present half of a year brought me many a dark hour and many an
unpleasant day, but I always keep my cheerful mood and to this day I am
happy and satisfied. If by chance a sad moment comes, I turn my thoughts
to God and you, and soon I am my old self again, a man who makes his
way through virgin forests, carries his gun, and rides his Oskar. After all,
the greatest things in life are made up of many struggles and few needs.
Many a time I was the happiest man on earth while I sat by a fire in the
middle of the woods with my coffeepot by my side, while the wolves were
howling, the rattlesnakes were rattling, and the alligators bellowing. A
person has a strange sensation under such circumstances. You lose all fear
and walk through brush and meadows in a wild and strange country as
safely as if you were walking through your flower garden at home. And
without being aware of it, a song rings out far through the air. You can-
not deny it; life is something natural. Even when you are suffering from
hunger and thirst, and the sun has to be your only guide, the charm of
life is never lost. Nevertheless, such a life is not every man's dish, and for
many people the charm of novelty soon wears off, and the romantic ele-
ment is soon destroyed. You see yourself forsaken, grow despondent, and
lead a miserable life. You have to be prepared for such a life and you
must have learned to fight cold-bloodedly with the dangers of life on land
and on sea. No matter how great the danger, your chief thought must al-
ways be: there is no danger, only a fight; and in this fight you win out
best of all if you fix your eyes on your enemy determinedly and with pre-
sence of mind. You must not see the danger, but only your enemy, and
watch him, follow him step by step, and act calmly and resolutely. If you
follow all the movements of your adversary, then you will not have time
to be afraid. This sort of presence of mind is learned from gymnastics,
among other things. For this reason never leave it off, since no one knows
before his death in what kind of situations he may get involved.
[Steinert's account of his travels in Texas will be continued in the April 1977
x11See note I.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/345/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.