Theoretically, the combined assets of the partners exceeded liabilities by about $419,000. But unreported was a catastrophic loss of $150,000 in a herd of freight oxen, caught in a howling blizzard at Ruby Valley, Nevada. It had been decided to speculate the cattle on the California market, rather than return them to Leavenworth from Camp Floyd, Utah, to which they had pulled wagons of Army supplies. The loss reduced their margin of assets to $269,000-and their obligations due in December totaled $250,000. Someone had computed that, through the following June, notes and bills payable would breach the staggering sum of $1,000,000.