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[53] footing on the soil, which in a few years more will be his own.

The third plan is for three or four squatters, strong in thews and sinews, handy with bowie knives and rifles, to form a league or club (a White league, an Anglo-Saxon club), of which the members swear to stand by each other, shoulder to shoulder, rifle to rifle, in their march to fortune. Having sworn their oaths, they drive their herds afield, not caring on whose land they stray, if grass and water suit them. Throwing up a fence and cabin, they challenge any one who chooses to dispute their claim. The owner has a choice of evils. He may try to drive them oft by either force or law. If force is used, blood will be shed ; his blood or that of others ; and the native, though alert and reckless, has a wholesome dread of English guns. If he appeals to law, his title must be proved, and hardly any Mexican deed will bear the scrutiny of an American judge. The owner yields, and his submission to one act of violence brings a swarm of squatters on his land. In one of the big ranches lives a young Scotch settler, the story of whose life, as told me by himself, might stand for that of many a neighbour.

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