Excerpt from Chapter IV The Life of Kit Carson online book by Edward S. Ellis (1840-1916)

The Bravery of Kit Carson

A week or more later, the trappers again reached the Colorado River. They had traveled at a leisurely pace and once more they went into camp, where they were familiar with the country. Men leading such lives as they, were accustomed to all kinds of surprises, but it may be doubted whether the trappers were more amazed in all their existence than when five hundred Indian warriors made their appearance and with signs of friendship overran the camp before they could be prevented or checked.

The hunters did not know what to make of the proceeding, and looked to Carson for advice. He had already discovered that the situation was one of the gravest danger. Despite the professions of friendship, Kit saw that each warrior had his weapons under his dress, where he hoped they were not noticed by the whites. Still worse, most of the hunters were absent visiting their traps, only Kit and a few of his companions being in camp. The occasion was where it was necessary to decide at once what to do and then to do it without flinching.

Among the red men was one who spoke Spanish and to him Carson addressed himself:

"You must leave the camp at once; if you don't do so without a minute's delay, we shall attack you and each of us is sure to kill one warrior if not more."

These brave words accompanied by such determination of manner were in such contrast to the usual course of the cowardly Mexicans that the Indians were taken all aback. They could not suspect the earnestness of the short, sturdy framed leader, nor could they doubt that though the Indians would be sure to overwhelm the little band, yet they would have to pay dearly for the privilege. It took them but a few minutes to conclude the price was altogether too high and they drew off without making a hostile demonstration against the brave Carson and his men.