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The Pueblo and Bent’s Fort

e approached the gate of the Pueblo. It was a wretched species of fort of most primitive construction, being nothing more than a large square inclosure, surrounded by a wall of mud, miserably cracked and dilapidated. The slender pickets that surmounted it were half broken down, and the gate dangled on its wooden hinges so loosely, that to open or shut it seemed likely to fling it down altogether. Two or three squalid Mexicans, with their broad hats, and their vile faces overgrown with hair, were lounging about the bank of the river in front of it. They disappeared as they saw us approach; and as we rode up to the gate a light active little figure came out to meet us. It was our old friend Richard. He had come from Fort Laramie on a trading expedition to Taos; but finding, when he reached the Pueblo, that the war would prevent his going farther, he was quietly waiting till the conquest of the country should allow him to proceed. He seemed to consider himself bound to do the honors of the place. Shaking us warmly by the hands, he led the way into the area. Here we saw his large Santa Fe wagons standing together. A few squaws and Spanish women, and a few Mexicans, as mean and miserable as the place itself, were lazily sauntering about. Richard conducted us to the state apartment of the Pueblo, a small mud room, very neatly finished, considering the material, and garnished with a crucifix, a looking-glass, a picture of the Virgin, and a rusty horse pistol. There were no chairs,...

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