Surname: Outman

The Outman Family goes on Alone

If an American who was not acquainted with the country might be seized by some supernal power and suddenly placed in Southwestern Arizona, he would never suspect that he was within the boundaries of the United States. Its soil, its vegetation, its sierra outlines, its dry, phantasmagoric atmosphere, its animal life, and its inhabitants, are all strange. Towards the Gulf of California the country for many miles is dry, barren, and desert, with no plant life but the cactuses, and even these seem depressed and hopeless, except when an angel’s visit of rain brightens them. A little farther back come ranges of Granite Mountains, still more desert than the plains, for on their sides no vegetation appears, nor any soil to support vegetation. White and glistening, they rear their crests like the skeletons of mountains whose flesh had dropped away. Still farther back more vegetation shows, but it is strange to the average American. There is a broken carpet of grass in many places, brown and dead in appearance. Here and there is a mesquite, a palo verde, or a patch of sage. The Spanish bayonet thrusts out its sharp leaves. The century plant rears its lance like stem and floats its graceful flowers. The prickly pear spreads its flat, jointed limbs in the heated air. Most striking of all, the saguarra, or pitahaya (petahyah), the giant cereus of...

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Olive and Mary Outman Driven North

While Lorenzo was making his weary way along the road, his sisters, Olive and Mary, were being driven across the desert north of the Gila by the Indians. As soon as the work of plunder was completed the savages moved away a short distance, made a fire, and prepared a supper of bean soup and ash baked bread. The girls could not eat. After the meal the Indians diverted themselves by terrifying little Mary. They would threaten and scowl at her until, in an agony of nervous fear, she would run to her sister’s arms, sobbing wildly. Then they would brandish their clubs and frighten her into silence. For an hour they remained at this place, from which the children could see the bows of the wagon, in the moonlight, marking the spot of the massacre. They were oppressed with grief and suspense. The events of the past hour were so horrible that older persons might well have been overwhelmed by them. All their kindred – father, mother, sisters, and brothers – they had seen fall beneath the clubs of their captors. For themselves was absolute uncertainty as to their future fate, with all the apprehensions of torture that their childish knowledge of Indian customs could bring them. Another element of torture was soon to be added – it was bodily suffering. The Indians took from them their hats...

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