Bayonets and Mules at Campo

Bayonets and Mules at Campo

by Darrell Brown

Campo Recuerdo circa 72-73:

Working a night shift with Juan Antonio Treto who may have still been a trainee; also Bill Skidmore. We were probably the entire 4-12 shift. Before the Patrol, Bill had several years with the Postal Service and had an old Postal buddy visiting and riding along. We got sensor traffic on the railroad tracks leading to the High Trestle over Hwy 94 east out towards Hi Pass. There was a big cut just before the trestle that we would lay in at letting the group get in between us boxing them in with nowhere to go. That particular night the four of us waited plenty of time and when the group didn’t show up, Juan and I headed south looking for sign where they left the tracks. Soon enough we cut sign of two going off the tracks down the berm and into the brush. We radioed Skid and told him what we had. After a few, Juan and I found two mules laid up in the brush flat on their stomachs; they did not respond to any commands and did not move. With Juan covering I examined the first mule and attempted to roll him over. If a person is prone and tensed that can be difficult. I finally got him rolled over and he tried to stick a long bayonet in me. Well, the old Kel Light went into action and split him from brow to brow. He was in La La Land so easy to cuff. The other mule decided to play nice and he was cuffed without incident. As it turns out, both had partaken of their goods and were pretty much out of it. Each had their own baggies of pink pills, blue pills and dope plus the two backpacks of weed in the bushes nearby. At some point Skid and his buddy arrived to join us. We probably had a mile to walk back to the Scouts so the uninjured mule had to half carry his goofy partner while we PAs hoofed out the backpacks. I cannot recall what medical aid was provided to the one guy other than tying his shirt around his forehead because it was bleeding pretty good and flapping in the breeze.

I guess that will be a night that Skid’s buddy never forgot!

Anyway the bayonet the guy tried to stick me with is a Spanish military bayonet probably for a Mauser. It is inscribed: Artillería Fca de Toledo 1898. We’ve all heard of Toledo Steel right. Juan carved his initials “JAT” on the wooden grip for assault evidence purposes. As I recall the mule was not prosecuted for assault or drug smuggling as he was too messed up. 

I still have that bayonet and it has dug many a dandelion.

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