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[69] cling unseen about his horse's neck. The charms of an adventurous life drew many riders, not less daring than himself, to Soto's camp. One day they were rioting with senforitas at Los Angeles; another, they were flying for their necks before such hunters as Sheriff Rowland and Sheriff Morse. Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego are the favourite scenes of brigand warfare, as the frontier offers them a ready market and a safe retreat. From Soto to Vasquez, every brigand in California has found his base of operations in Mexico.

Los Angeles county is a mountain region, with a dozen trackless canons, opening into fertile plains. The soil was owned by half-breeds, children of the disbanded soldiers and their stolen squaws; but from the moment when the first British settlers fastened on the land, a fight for the estate began. The first Britons who came to Los Angeles were the AMormon soldiers serving under Colonel Cooko. These troops remained at Los Angeles a year, and were disbanded in the town. Some of these Mormons settled in the place; others rode up into the hills; and many more squatted on the plains. A reign of order and prosperity set in. The Red

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