" Here the expedition narrowly escaped disaster. " No exaggeration
bespeaks Chase here, for the serious nature of the ' expedition '
was certainly in peril. Another outcome may have left us with
no ' Coast Trails ' or ' Desert Trails. ' But for our good fortune,
as well as Chase's and Chino's, Chase surmounts this very real
life-threatening encounter with nature. Let not modern sensibilities
discount this situation. This was circa 1914, at a California
coast where a day or more may have passed before seeing
another person, let alone ' aid. '
Chase recounts the incident, one believes, as he went through it,
controlled, but on the fringe of ' losing it. ' He had no time to panic.
No time could be lost in his mental and physical efforts to save himself
and his companion. His considering shooting Chino where he lay
seemingly beyond help, is a Chase at ends. He even thought that
he himself would, ' cease to be. ' He talks of afterward making
" a rare supper to celebrate the adventure, " so relieved he was
of surviving. And as was his penchant he found solace in his
companion's well being, " and the manifold voices of the sea. "
I was vastly relieved to find that the blood was coming from his mouth and nostrils. He had broken some small blood-vessel in his first struggles. I took off the saddle and led him carefully over to a grassy spot, where I washed out his mouth and then gave him a thorough rubbing-down; and within half an hour I had the satisfaction of seeing my staunch companion of so many days and nights feeding with equanimity and even enthusiasm.
The incident was sufficiently dangerous to give me a lesson in caution, as well as cause for hearty thankfulness. There was not the slightest hint of treachery in the appearance of the sand, but thereafter I went warily in all doubtful places. I ransacked my rescued saddle-bags and made a rare supper to celebrate the adventure. As the bags were strongly made, and waterproofed, the contents had not been much damaged. Then I ran up my sleeping-tent, in view of the fog which I could see advancing from the sea. I chose a place on a little shelf of dry sand, sheltered by the angle of the cañon wall, and apparently above high-water mark by a safe though narrow margin. Then in the dusk I gathered a pile of driftwood and made a royal fire, by which I sat until long after dark, listening with more than usual enjoyment to the tinkle of Chino's bell and the manifold voices of the sea. "