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[50] live in such a desert as Salinas Valley, except a wretch who wanted to herd cattle and shoot widgeon?

All the drovers and herdsmen who then strayed into Salinas Valley were of Bedouin type, half-naked savages, tawny of skin and black of eye, with curly beards and golden earrings; nomads as wild and reckless as the bulls they chased and slew. Pitching their cabins in the hills, or dropping to the river beds, according to the time of year, these herdsmen lead a lonely and nomadic life; faring from day to day, feeding from hand to mouth, much as their cattle fared and fed. The country being unfenced, they were free to wander at their will. Untouched by human arts, these herdsmen had no pleasures, save in dancing the fandango, gambling for their last dollar, drinking away their senses, and ripping at each other's sides. If they had any other passion, it was the love of roaming as they pleased, driving their herds afield, unchecked by any fence, unscared by any gun. Such fellows seemed to Sherwood far from pleasant neighbours, and by no means likely settlers in a town.

Yet Major Bucknall meant to try his luck-

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