A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas Page: 96
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HISTORY OF NAVARRO, HENDERSON, ANDERSON,
trip to California. At the start of the
party from Fredericksburg, the men with
the pack horses left the wagons and struck
out ahead, and one evening the Indians
stanlpeded the stock and captured the horse
of Mr. Nash: consequently they had but
one horse between them. While traveling
up the Rio G(rande, between Presidio and
El Paso, he came near losing his life on
account of want of water, it was our subject's
turn to walk and Mr. Nash's to ride,
and he in company with another man, who
had lost his horse, walked along in the rear
of the horseman. That morning the men
had for breakfast a fine lot of rnonntain fish
of which all had eaten heartily, and soon
the want of water began to be felt. Mr.
Fouty and his partner on foot had each a
canteen of water. Our subject drank but
sparingly but the other man quenched his
thirst often: consequently both were soon
left without any, as he demanded a portion
of the water in the canteen of Mr.
Fouty. The trail in the morning had diverged
from the river, but was supposed
by the men to be only a shortcut from one
bend of the Rio Grande to the other. No
uneasiness was felt in the matter until they
had gone too far to turn back, and the
others being mounted soon distanced them.
Soon their thirst became unbearable.
They would go from fifty to one hundred
yards on the trail and then lie down under
a large cactus for a few moments, when the
horror of their situation would so impress
them when they would rise and try to go
on, expecting and hoping every moment
that some chance would send them aid, and
expecting that the Indians would find them
in this unprotected position.
At length they heard a tread on the path
and fixed themselves with their guns ready
to fire upon the first approaching Indian,
when, to their great joy they saw two
loose horses come down the path. The
horses were worn almost to skeletons, and
the two boys undressed to their shoes and
shirts, and piled the clothing on the sharpbacked
horses and turned their faces toward
the way they had come. The horses were
so weak that they could not make more
than a half mile without stopping; but by
proceeding in this way for a few miles they
were overjoyed to meet some men returning
from a hunting expedition after these
same horses,who had gotten loose and had
started for water. These men had but
little of the precious fluid with them, but
spared to each about one-half of a teacup,
and this enabled them to proceed until
night overtook them in a gorge of the
mountain where they could not follow the
trail on account of the darkness. Mr.
Fouty took off his shirt and spread it out
that it might catch enough of the moisture
then falling; but instead of the dew a light
shower fell, and Mr. Fouty greedily drank
of the water he could squeeze from his
shirt! but this was so salt and bitter that
it but added to his burning thirst. By
morning both men were about dead with
thirst; but just in time to save life and
reason, Mr. Nash appeared, having ridden
back on the trail as soon as it was light
enough for him to follow it. He had a
supply of water with him, and after making
the poor lads comfortable he rode to
where they had tied the weak horses which
could not carry them farther, and managed
to lead them to some water and left them
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Lewis Publishing Company. A Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties, Texas, book, 1893; Chicago, Illinois. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46827/m1/98/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Palestine Public Library.