Cooper was standing in the front of the corrall watching the Indians.... All at once, he said, "Andy, let me take your gun and I will try and shoot one of those fellows." I gave him my gun, he took aim, but did not fire. In the meantime, the two brothers had taken the brush, and so had old Jack and Mr. Howard, two old men that lived just down the gulch. The last I saw of "Ham' was the dust that his horse made, about a mile up the gulch. He went that way to tell the Chinamen, that were engaged in mining two miles above his house, that the Indians had come. I started to go up the Gulch and told 'Coop' to come with me. He was quite reluctant but pretty soon followed me until we were at the big hole near the spring, over there. We stopped under the tree and watched the red fiends, two or three had said, 'Come back, you fools, what are you afraid of? We won't hurt you.' Cooper said that he would go back. 'Here take your gun Andy, and belt, if they get me they shan't have your gun.' He was bound to go. Nothing that I could say would stop him. I watched until he got to them, and then I started into the bushes. Before getting far in, I tied the pony to a sapling, thinking perhaps to save one horse, if no more.

When I got to the thickest part of the willows, I found Old Mr. Howard, a man sixty-five years old. He says, 'Where is Cooper?' I told him that Cooper had gone back to the Indians. Not long after we heard two shots. "Sporty" the Shepherd dog was with "Coop'. When we left, Mr. Howard said, 'There's one for Coop and one for Sporty.' Poor Coop! That was just at sundown....

We had made our minds to go as soon as possible after the day broke and see if we could find Cooper. We had searched the cabins at "Ham's' and knew that he was not in any of them. That was one of the longest nights that I ever put in in my life. Cooper and I had been friends for years and worked as partners many summers in the placer mines. He was as nice a man as I ever knew.

We waited for day to break and when it did we went once more to "Ham's' and looking in the stable... We found one of the mules dead in there.... We had taken a look from the hill above the spring and could see the Indian camp two or three miles away near the foot of the range. We could see them in motion and did not know what they were doing at first but soon saw that they were getting ready to move. We went down and walked up the road to see if we could find Cooper. We had left Slim the Chinaman on the hill to watch the Indian camp and to call our attention if he should see any of them coming our way. Old man Howard was with me on the hunt for Cooper. We had only gone about one fourth of a mile up the road toward junction when we found him. We had to go up the gulch and get a sluice box in order to make a coffin. This we soon got and leaving Slim to watch we took the body into the sage brush and proceeded to give it as good a burrial as possible.

Andrew Myers
Horse Prairie prospector



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