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Daniel Buck
mule never know
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:52am

Now, here's something. Normally, when a question is raised or an assumption made I like to go back to the beginning and double-check the basic facts, following the two-fisted mantra, what is it, and what does it mean? I often don't do it for reasons of time, laziness, whatever. It does get tedious to always have to double-check everything from scratch. More fun to riff on the fly.

Chris's original post started with an assumption: "Why would Butch and Sundance use mules as transportation to San Vicente?"

I forgot to double-check that, and off we all went into a discussion -- enlightening nonetheless -- on mules in the Andes, Cassidy & Sundance's experiences with mules in the United States and South America.

Question: did Cassidy and Sundance ride mules from the holdup to A.G. Francis's camp at Tomahuico outside of Tupiza, and from Tomahuico to San Vicente? They stole a "dark brown" Aramayo mule during the holdup and it was recovered in San Vicente.

Francis describes the two men returning to Tomahuico after the holdup as "two horsemen . . . one leading a spare animal." Later he describes the outlaws' mounts simply as animals, and their spare animal as a mule. Francis said he was riding a horse. It's possible that in reference to the two bandits Francis used the word horsemen loosely, mulemen not being a word in common use.

Juan Felix Erazo, who met the outlaws in Cucho early on the morning of 6 November, said that they had arrived "with their two saddled mules, one solid black and the other dark brown." Digging Up (2003) pp. 272-73. Notice how locals are good at describing animals. No mention of a third mule. Perhaps they ditched one of their mules & appropriated the Aramayo mule.

Our friend Remigio Sánchez (of "medios ñatos" fame) reported that the bandits had arrived in San Vicente early evening 6 November, "one on a dark brown mule and the other on a solid black mule." P. 264.

The post-shootout inventory of the bandits' possessions lists only a pair of animals: "two mules (which are said to be the company's)." P. 271.

Anyway, the answer to my above question is yes, they rode mules. Dan

PS A mule joke: If someone says a mule is stubborn it is probable that they have just been outsmarted by one.

  • Re: You are confused today ChrisVince Garcia, Tue Apr 10 5:54am
    Not only that, but you need small mules ideally at the higher elevations. Large ones wear out quick
    • mule never know — Daniel Buck, Tue Apr 10 11:52am
      • Re: mule never knowVince Garcia, Tue Apr 10 4:52pm
        The bottom line is, horses are not the best beasts in the high Andes. One might even argue a llama is better than a mule in some instances because they are fine in the mountains but have a better... more
        • Re: mule never knowChrisV, Tue Apr 10 6:55pm
          Vince most of your comments I respect But if your suggesting a llama being used as a mount after a robbery you've come unhinged. Maybe we should try armadillo riding too.
          • Re: mule never knowVince Garcia, Wed Apr 11 3:14am
            I'm talking about burden beasts in the Andes in general, not by Butch and SD after a robbery. Llamas are native to the place and most acclimated to functioning in the high mountains, and have a good... more
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