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HOME > Classical Novels > Vanished Arizona33 > CHAPTER XVII. THE COLORADO DESERT
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 Some serpents slid from out the grass That grew in tufts by shattered stone, Then hid below some broken mass Of ruins older than the East, That Time had eaten, as a bone Is eaten by some savage1 beast.  
Great dull-eyed rattlesnakes—they lay All loathsome3, yellow-skinned, and slept Coiled tight as pine knots in the sun, With flat heads through the centre run; Then struck out sharp, then rattling4 crept Flat-bellied down the dusty way.
At the end of a week, we started forth6 for Ehrenberg. Our escort was now sent back to Camp Apache, and the Baileys remained at Fort Whipple, so our outfit7 consisted of one ambulance and one army wagon8. One or two soldiers went along, to help with the teams and the camp.
We travelled two days over a semi-civilized country, and found quite comfortable ranches9 where we spent the nights. The greatest luxury was fresh milk, and we enjoyed that at these ranches in Skull11 Valley. They kept American cows, and supplied Whipple Barracks with milk and butter. We drank, and drank, and drank again, and carried a jugful12 to our bedside. The third day brought us to Cullen's ranch10, at the edge of the desert. Mrs. Cullen was a Mexican woman and had a little boy named Daniel; she cooked us a delicious supper of stewed13 chicken, and fried eggs, and good bread, and then she put our boy to bed in Daniel's crib. I felt so grateful to her; and with a return of physical comfort, I began to think that life, after all, might be worth the living.
Hopefully and cheerfully the next morning we entered the vast Colorado desert. This was verily the desert, more like the desert which our imagination pictures, than the one we had crossed in September from Mojave. It seemed so white, so bare, so endless, and so still; irreclaimable, eternal, like Death itself. The stillness was appalling14. We saw great numbers of lizards15 darting16 about like lightning; they were nearly as white as the sand itself, and sat up on their h............
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