The frustrated soldiers waited in vain for the rebels to strike but the attack never came. Infuriated, they frantically renewed their hunt and Pomponio withdrew to the safety of the cave at the headwaters of Pomponio Creek, south of San Gregorio.
The crafty Pomponio must have felt secure knowing that the soldiers wearing standard issue uniforms and heavy boots were not prepared for the rugged terrain. This remote part of the Coastside was uncharted–and did not lend itself to an orderly field of battle.
His pursuers would lose their footing, slip and fall as they tried to climb the precarious layers of rock that led up to Pomponio’s hidden lair. In the unlikely event they did reach the cave, Pomponio and his men would be waiting for them, armed with weapons stolen on their raids.
(The Coastside was so isolated that not until 1850 did the famous Johnston brothers from Ohio distinguish themselves by being among the first to navigate wagons over the Coastside’s mountainous barriers. They used an ingenious rope system to gingerly lower their wheeled vehicles down the steep slope.)
But Pomponio’s luck was running out. Perhaps his youthful illusion of immortality led him to become sloppy. It was only a matter of time before his bravado would bring him down.
…To Be Continued….