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Full text of "Ten years a cowboy"

LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
DAVIS 



TEN YEARS 

A COWBOY. 



* ^w^=^^ 

^'%^ 




BY C. C. POST 

ADDENDA 
BY 

TEX BENDER, THE COWBOY FIDDLER 

THOS. W. JACKSON PUBLISHING COMPANY 

CHICAGO : 
(Successors to Rhodes & McClure Publishing Company) 



LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
DAVIS 



Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1898, by the 

RHODES & MCCLURE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

All Rights Reserved 



CONTENTS. 



1TIE STORY, ROMANCE AND ADVENTURES OF A 1.IFE 
ON THE PLAINS WITH THE VARIED EXPERIENCES 
AS COW-BOY, STOCK-OWNER, RANCHER, &c. &c. 
PAGES 17 to 358 

PAGE 

THE PLAINS. 359 

From the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains 363 

The Trees 365 

The Herbage * 367 

The Buffalo 369 

The Indian ^V amor and his Pony - .371 

The Insects , 374 

The Mirage 375 

Water v .... 377 

The Wichita Mountains 378 

The Indian 380 

CATTLE. 385 

The Gains in Cattle Ranching 386 

How to start in the Cattle Business 387 

The Stock Country . '. , 389 

The Cattle Ranches 389 

Settlers' Rights 390 

The Dashing Cow-Boy 391 

Cattle on the Ranges 392 

Cattle in Winter 393 

Advantages of Cattle over Horse-Raising 394 

TheRourid-Up 395 

Movricks 395 

Cutting-Out 398 

The Cow-Ponies 397 

Branding Calves 399 

Branding Cattle ..403 

On the Trail... 406 



CONTENTS. PAGE 

Night Watching ...408 

Shipping by Bail 410 

The Journey to Chicago 412 

Queens of the Ranch 415 

California as a Cattle Raising State 417 

California Laws 419 

Water Rights v 420 

Profits on Cattle-Raising in Texas, as the Business was 

formerly Conducted 422 

Profits on Cattle Raising as at present Conducted 424 

Advice to the Cowboys - 427 

SHEEP. 429 

Sheep Driving 429 

Spanish Merinos 430 

Certificate for Taxes 431 

The Outfit.. 431 

Taking Horses through the Mountains 433 

Hiring Drivers 434 

Sheep Shearing 437 

On the Road 437 

Scab ...,.439 

Dipping 439 

Sheep Driving from California to Sonora 443 

Tolls 446 

Crossing the Sierras 448 

The Bedding Ground 450 

The San Antonio 451 

Driving Sheep in Nevada 453 

Jb'oodiu Camp 453 

The Cook's Duties 454 

Clothing 455 

Bathing 457 

Beds 458 

Temperature. 459 

Sleeping in Camp ,460 

Shepherd Dogs 462 

Prairie Dogs 465 

Driving Sheep in Idaho 466 

The Laramie Plains , . .467 

NearSaltLake 468 

How to make money in Utah , 469 



TEN YEARS A COW BOY. 



CHAPTER I. 

A LITTLE OLD TOWN ON THE WABASH. 

A few years ago when even in the middle Western 
States land was to be had for the taking, a bit of a town 
pre-empted a site on the banks of the Wabash river, in 
the State of Indiana, and proceeded to establish itself 
and settle down to business, squatter fashion. 

I say squatter fashion because it took on the air of not 
being very certain of its claim to permanent ownership, 
and so not eager to make improvements beyond such as 
were necessary to its immediate wants. 

This feeling about permanency of title may have 
been owing to the fact that the Wabash was a river of 
unsteady habits, and liable to get on a rampage at 

(17) 



1 8 THE LITTLE OLD TOWN ON THE WABASH. 

periods more or less frequent and unexpected, de' 
pending somewhat upon the state of the weather and 
other causes. This, you understand, was before the 
government had established a bureau at the national 
capital with orders to regulate the weather, and so 
render such conduct on the part of the Wabash and 
other streams of similar habits entirely without 
excuse. 

But, whatever the reason may have been, the 
town always had the appearance of having no per 
manency of title to the site it had fixed upon. The 
streets if you choose to call them streets were 
wide enough, and they would have been beautiful 
plots of green if it had not been that they were 
white instead, white with mayweed, except where 
the hogs rooted holes in the earth for purposes of 
their own; for the town did not keep its hogs shut 
up. So great was the people's sense of personal lib 
erty in this village of wide spaces, that there were 
none among the inhabitants who had ever suggested 
an abridgment to the unlimited freedom of the hogs. 
On the contrary, they were permitted to wander about 
at their own sweet will, and they put in their time 
about equally in hunting for such food as was to be 
found in the river bottom, and in maintaining their 
rights as free and independent citizens, by rooting up 
the streets, and such apologies for gardens as the people 



KITTLE OLD TOWN ON THE WABASH. 19 

/elt incumbent on themselves to attempt making, for 
the town was not more thorough in its manner of 
fencing in its gardens and yards than in anything else. 
A fence of "palms," thin strips of timber split from 
some straight grained ash or oak tree, and pointed at 
the end, was occasionally erected about a bit of ground, 
being nailed on perpendicularly, pointed end upward, 
and an attempt at the cultivation of what was called a 
"truck patch" made. But as nails were scarce and 
high, and the town did not know exactly how long it 
was going to stay there, these palings were seldom 
securely fastened, and appeared as if put there for the 
purpose of affording the hogs amusement for their 
leisure hours in rooting them off, more than for any 
real protection to the vegetables planted within the in- 
closures. 

There were several dogs, also, and children, con 
nected with the town. I do not think I ever quite 
understood what the town considered to be the rights 
or duties of the children, or whether they were supposed 
to have any, but those of the dogs were plainly to be 
perceived by any one at all observant of such things. 
Their duties were to assist the hogs out of the truck 
patch whenever they wandered in and were unable, in 
the excitement of the moment, to find their own way 
out at the hole by which they entered; this, and to 
stand in front of the houses and welcome any chance 



2O A DIFFERENCE IN DUTIES. 

stranger who sought an interview with the town tor any 
purposes. I think they also assisted at th& obsequies 
of such game as the inhabitants secured from time to 
time from out the surrounding woods or adjoining 
prairie. And as for their rights, why they were the 
same as those of the other citizens, which appeared to 
consist principally in sitting around discussing the proba 
bility of another rise in the Wabash, and occasionally 
going out to a cornfield on the outskirts and spending a 
half day or so in cutting down weeds and chasing 
squirrel and chipmunk depredators on the aforesaid 
cereal. 

There was one other difference between the apparent 
duties of the men and the dogs which I ought to 
mention ; the dogs did not fish and the men did. The 
men appeared to think it a duty to fish, and would 
frequently sit a half day at a time upon a log in the 
sun, holding a pole with a line attached when it was 
too hot to hoe corn or weed the truck patch ; some 
thing the dogs never did. On such occasions the dogs 
usually lay in the shade and caught fleas, which was 
perhaps their fair share of the labor. I think neither 
could boast greatly over the other of the success at 
tending their efforts ; the men and boys certainly caught 
a great many fish, but then the dogs also secured a great 
many fleas. 

I never knew for certain why the town remained 



THE FERRY. 31 

there. May be, after all, it had a clear title to the site 
on which it stood. It was not a very big town ; a dozen 
or score of houses, most of them of logs, some of rough 
boards, some a mixture of the two, one part being of 
logs, with a crazy little lean-to of boards at the back, 
some whitewashed, but more with the color which 
nature and the elements had given them. 

Looking back at it now I more than half believe that 
what made the town stay there was the ferry. 

This might seem to have furnished good reason why 
it should not stay there, since it could evidently have 
gotten away by means of the ferry if it wanted to. But 
I do not think it wanted to. 

May be it would have done so if it had thought of it, 
but if so it was evident that the thought had never come 
to it; the town was not greatly given to thinking, but I 
do not really believe the reason for its staying was that 
it never occurred to it that it could go by way of the 
ferry if it wanted to. Possibly it expected the Wabash 
to rise high enough some time to take it away and so 
save it the trouble of going; I can not say positively as 
to that. I am inclined to think it stayed because it liked 
to stay. 

And why not ? 

In the first place, it was a good location for such a 
town. 

There was the river with plenty of fish to be had for 



32 AND THE FERRY BOAT* 

the taking; the woods upon its banks abound* A with 
game, and was also a capital range for hogs In the 
prairie, a bit back from the river, the prairie, chickens 
raised their young and waxed fat. There were sand 
banks for the children to play upon; there was the 
periodical rise in the river, not to speak of passing flat> 
boats and an occasional steamer to furnish topics for 
discussion. And then there was the ferry the ferry, 
which gave the dignity and importance to the town and 
a reputation throughout the country for miles on both 
sides of the river. Yes, I think it was the ferry which 
kept the town contented and happy and prevented any 
disposition on its part to wander away. 

The ferry boat was not unlike other ferries the 
boat part of it, I mean. It consisted of what was 
known in those days as a "flatboat;" a low, flat boat 
constructed of strong timbers heavily planked over, and 
slightly turned up at either end, like the front end of 
the implement known among farmers as a stoneboat, 
and used by them to draw stone off their fields. It 
swung from shore to shore by the force of the current. 
There was a line of canoes, perhaps a dozen in number, 
(the one farthest away only being fastened to a stake 
driven securely into the earth at the bottom of the 
river, midway between banks and some twenty rods 
above the ferry. To this canoe was attached, by 
means of long ropes and at equal distances from each 



MISTER M'KINLRY. as 

other, other canoes, the last of which was in turn at 
tached by a rope to the ferry or flatboat, which in 
size was perhaps ten or fifteen feet wide by twenty 
long. Now when the ferry boat was pushed out from 
either bank, the force of the current would tend to carry 
it down stream in a straight line, but being held from 
above by the long line of canoes and their attachments, 
it could only swing in a circle. The water, pressing 
both against the side of the larger boat and of the 
canoes attached to it, propelled it to the middle of the 
stream with considerable velocity, sufficient, when the 
water was high, to compel it to make the other quarter 
of the circle and bring up at a point on the other shore 
exactly opposite from where it started, when it would be 
made secure by a chain thrown over a strong post set in 
the ground. Then a plank would be pushed out, upon 
which passengers and teams could walk dry shod to the 
land. 

If the river was low, and the current failed to 
bring the boat quite to shore, as it sometimes did 
fail of doing, the person in charge was ready, standing 
in the stern of the boat, to push it ashore with a long 
pole. 

Now this ferry belonged to a person by the name 
of McKinley. Mister McKinley he was called; and 
he was the only citizen of the town who was ever 
honored by having this prefix attached to his name; 



24 MISTER M'KINLEY. 

which fact argues that Mr. McKinley was a man of im 
portance and influence in the community, as indeed t\9 
was. 

For, was he not the owner of the ferry from which 
the town received its dignity, and upon which it de 
pended for its fame ? Had he not held communication 
with the dignitaries of the State itself and been granted 
authority legal authority to run the ferry, as afore 
said ? And did he not have proof of the fact in the 
shape of a paper, printed in three or four sizes of type, 
signed by the secretary of State, tied with a red ribbon 
and sealed with the great seals of the States both of 
Illinois and of Indiana, declaring that ' 'having confidence 
in the patriotism and integrity of Mr. William H. H. 
McKinley, he is hereby granted authority, etc., to run a 
ferry across the Wabash river, etc., etc.; the same 
being a river navigable by boats, etc., etc., and also con 
stituting the boundary line between the two States, as 
aforesaid ?" 

This charter Mr. McKinley had had framed and 
hung up in the rough porch in front of the log cabin in 
which he lived with his family of six, not counting the 
dogs, which would have raised it to a round dozen at 
least. 

This cabin of McKinley's stood near the banks of 
the river, on the Indiana side; the banks on this 



MISTER M'KINLEY. 25 

side being several feet higher than on the other 
side. 

The house was only a few rods from the ferry land 
ing, and any one entering the cabin could hardly fail to 
observe the charter where it hung in its frame by the 
door. 

The children used, when it was first hung there, 
to come about the porch and gaze up at it in open- 
mouthed wonder and silent awe, and go away with 
minds full of imaginings of the many great things 
Mr. McKinley must have done to cause the authorities 
of two States to certify to their confidence in and ad 
miration of him, to be to the trouble, too, of having 
it printed in big letters and little ones, and putting 
the great seals of the States upon it, so that no one 
might so much as dare to doubt that its possessor was 
indeed a great man, having the confidence of all of 
the great men of the country one to whom it was 
proper and right should be given exclusive authority 
to run a ferry boat and charge people for riding 
on it. 

Of course such a man must never be addressed 
too familiarly, hence the children always, and the men 
generally, addressed him as Mister McKinley. 

Occasionally, some man in whose cranial develop 
ment there was a hollow where his bump of reverence 
should have been, would speak to him as "McKinley," 



26 MISTER M'KINLEY. 

simply, or even as "Mack," but he seldom appeared 
to hear when thus spoken to, and children hearing him 
thus addressed would drop whatever employment 
they were engaged in and look and listen, and seem 
to wonder whether Mister McKinley would feel suf 
ficiently offended to ask the authorities to mete out 
proper punishment to the man who thus failed to 
render the respect due to him in whom the State re 
posed such unbounded confidence and desired to see 
honored. 

Children are quick to catch the spirit of the teach 
ings of their elders, and in proportion as their imagin 
ations are more active and their knowledge of the world 
more limited than those of older persons, so are they 
more intensely affected by the things which they see and 
hear. To the children of this little town upon the 
banks of the Wabash the State represented all earthly 
authority and power and dignity; and knowing nothing 
of its duties or limitations, and nothing of legal forms 
or customs, they regarded any one who had held com 
munication with it, or been given any commission under 
it, as partaking in a very great degree of the grandeur 
which in their minds attached to it, and they looked 
upon such a one as entitled to demand about what 
he chose from other people, in the way of homage at 
least. 

If any shall say that reverence for their fellow- 



MISTER M'KINLBY. 2/ 

men or being greater or more worthy of honor than 
themselves, is not a feeling natural in man, or that 
by nature every man is inclined to regard himself 
as possessing equal rights with every other man, I 
answer, that possibly it may be as you say some 
time when generations have come and gone in which, 
from the cradle to the grave, men shall have been 
taught by society, both by precept and practice, that 
all are at birth "equal before the law but at present 
the belief of past generations in the divine right of 
some to better birth than others shows itself in our 
children, and causes them not only to yield to 
oppression too easily, but to regard with awe and 
reverence any who put forth a claim to superiority of 
birth, or to having been given authority by those en 
titled to exercise it. 

And so these barefooted, straw-hatted (when they 
had any hats at all), and linsey-clad children ac 
knowledged the claim to honor and dignity put for 
ward by the man to whom the State had granted a 
commission to charge for ferrying people across the 
Wabash, as being natural and proper. They may, 
and, I think, did assist in increasing the estimate 
which Mr. McKinley at first felt disposed to put 
upon the honor done him, by the readiness with 
which they acknowledged his claim to be valid and 
proper. 



28 THE BOATMAN OF THE FERRY. 

Be this as it may, Mr. McKinley enjoyed the dignity 
of his position and the honor accredited him of being 
the only man in the community with a prefix to his 
name, and being contented with the honor he left the 
work of running the ferry to any other member of the 
family who chose to attend to it. 

At first most frequently it was his wife who shoulder 
ed this duty in addition to the care of her household. 
Then the oldest of the children began to perform this 
service, and finally and by degrees the sole charge of the 
business was given over to her, or rather appeared to 
settle about and devolve upon her naturally ; probably 
from the fact that no matter what the weather, or the 
state of the water in the river, she was always ready to 
answer the call of any one who desired to be set across, 
and equally skillful and courageous in the management 
of the boat. 

I say "she," for the boatman of the ferry was a 
girl. 

At the time of my introducing her to the reader 
she was nearly thirteen years old, tall, slim, graceful 
in her motions as one of the willows which leans over 
the river and dips its twigs in the clear water just below 
the landing there, and equally as unconscious of the 

fact. 

See her now as, standing upon the stern of the 



THE BOATMAN OF THE FERRY. 29 

ferry, she exerts her strength to push it well up to 
the landing with the flatboat pole. Her feet are bare, 
and feet and ankles are tanned as brown as that dead 
leaf floating with the current there. Her sun bonnet 
has been thrown aside ; her arms are bare and brown 
half way to the shoulder, and a mass of soft brown 
hair that would curl beautifully, if only it had proper- 
attention, hangs about her neck and shoulders. See 
now, as she bends her supple body to the work of 
forcing the boat ashore, how like to the willow she 
is. Yes, that is she. That is Nettie McKinley, or 
"Net," as she is familiarly called, for the reverence 
which attaches to her father as being commissioned 
by two States to run a ferry boat does not descend 
to her who runs it. Familiarity, you know, is the 
road by which dignity vacates the premises. If Mr. 
McKinley was to run the ferry and speak cheerfully 
and laugh and chat with everybody who crossed with 
him as his daughter does great man though he is . 
he would prove the truth of my saying and cease to be 
addressed with more respect than that bestowed upon 
his fellow villagers, and the evidence of his being a 
great man, and wise withal, lies in the fact that he does 
not run the ferry, and does not permit people to address 
him too familiarly. 

And now let me introduce another friend of mine ; 
one whom you must know if you are to go with me to 



30 PHILIP, PHINEAS, PHILANDER. 

the end of this story, from the Wabash to the Rio 
Grande, and maybe back again. Dear reader, I present 
to you the three P's, Phineas Philip Philander Johnson, 
eldest born of Mathilda S. and Abraham T. Johnson, 
aged fourteen. 

I say eldest born, but there is some question about 
that, as also whether he is most Phineas or Philander or 
Philip. 

It all comes about in this way : 

He was one of triplets born to the Johnsons two 
years after the town was located and the same spring 
that the ferry was established. When it became 
"norrated 'round," to use an expression common to the 
residents along the Wabash and in some other localities 
as well ; when it became "norrated 'round" that Mrs. 
Johnson had three babies, all born on the same day 
and all boys, every married woman withia ten miles of 
the ferry struck straight out for the Johnsons' the 
moment they heard of it ; and every one of them 
when they saw the new arrivals declared that they 
''looked as near alike as three peas in a pod ;" and old 
man Johnson, who had a touch of the humorous in 
his composition, finally declared that that was what 
they should be, and straghtway named them Philip, 
Phineas and Philander, but when some one asked 
him which was Philip and which the others, he re 
plied that "he had not decided yet, and it didn't 



OR THE THREE P'S. 31 

make no difference no way, since nobody could tell 
tother from which, but as soon as they got growed up a 
bit he 'lowed to separate 'em out and mark 'em, and 
have the mark recorded same's they do calves and 
pigs." 

But alas and alack ! two of the innocents crossed 
over to the land of eternal sunshine before a short month 
had gone by ; and as no one knew which of the P's it 
was that passed over and which remained, and as people 
said that anyway the one that stayed was properly the 
heir of those who went, it was finally decided that this 
one should have all the names hence Philip Phineas 
Philander Johnson, or more commonly Phil, or the 
three P's. 

Now if any of my readers are inclined to metaphysics 
and the study of the occult, I suggest to them that here 
is a field for thought. 

What, probably or possibly, is the effect upon the 
two P's who passed over before being distinguished 
in the minds of their parents from the one who re 
mained, and what will be the effect upon him of 
thus receiving the appellation by which his brothers are 
entitled to be known ? Will the confusion of things 
and names and persons here affect the karma I believe 
that the term which our young friend to whom I have 
just introduced you will be able or compelled to create 



32 THE WORLD'S HEROES. 

for himself ? And will the aura of those who passed 
over be in any way affected by the acts of 
him who remains, and who not only bears the names 
to which they are entitled, but is indistinguishably and 
permanently mixed up with them in the minds of the 
parents and the community in which the latter is still 
living ? 

You will note that Phil is not greatly different 
from other boys of his age and surroundings. 
I may as well tell you here, so that you may not suf 
fer any disappointment later on, that now that he 
is a man he is not greatly different from other men. 
This is just a plain narrative of the lives of plain 
everyday people possessed of plain everday virtues 
and weaknesses ; and that there has been anything 
worth recording in their lives is due rather to the 
circumstances by which at times they have been sur- 
rountfed than to any extraordinarily heroic qualities 
possessed by them. There are thousands equally 
heroic by nature of whom the world never heard, for 
the reason that heroism is so common a virtue among 
the people. 

That which is not of the common only is made 
matter of history. 

The everyday life of the common people of this 
and most other countries is filled with acts of heroism ; 



THE WORLD'S HEROES. 33 

heroic forbearance under multiplied wrongs ; heroic 
self-denial, growing out of love for country and 
family and friends. I do not write this narrative be 
cause there was or is anything worthy of chronicling 
in the people of " whom I write, but rather because 
of the events by which they were surrounded and 
in which they played their part by reason of being 
there. 

Phil Johnson, now, is, as you see, a common enough 
looking boy, in blue jean overalls and hickory shirt. 
His straw hat has lost half its brim, but so have the 
hats of half the boys of his age throughout the town, 
and the other half will be gone in another week. 
What would you expect of hats that serve the purpose 
of footballs nearly as 'much as of head gear among 
a crowd of growing young savages, such as most 
boys are ? 

If you do not believe Phil is growing, look at his 
pants half-way up to his knees, now, exposing the calf 
of a well-turned leg, and preparing to show still more of 
it before the first frost. 

Yes, his face is freckled and tanned with the sun, 
and his hair has been given a lick and a promise to 
day probably for several days ; possibly the promise 
without the lick ; but if the lick, then it was given 
with a coarse comb that was lacking half its teeth, 



34 A GENTLE REMINDER. 

and the promise was of a more thorough combing 
some other time, and will probably be kept next 
Sunday, when his mother compels him to put on a 
clean shirt and overalls and slick himself up generally, 
preparatory to going to "meetin';" for I would not 
have you think the town wholly without gospel 
privileges. On the contrary, services are held with 
considerable regularity every third Sunday in the 
open air if the weather permits, and if not, 
in the house the only one, by the way, builded 
wholly of boards of which the town can boast 
in which, during the winter months, the district school 
is kept. 

One thing I wish to remind my reader of, lest he or 
she may have forgotten. 

We forget so many things as we get along up in 
years. 

I would not be a bit surprised, now, if you, dear 
reader, would deny that you were ever in love with a 
freckled, sun-browned girl with bare feet and a calico 
frock, but everybody knows you have been. 

Why, I'll wager a box of the best Havanas that I can 
go with you back to the old neighborhood where you 
were raised and get proof enough to convict you in a 
justice's court of having been in love with a dozen such 
in your boyhood days. 



A GENTLE REMINDER. 35 

And you, dear madame, to my positive knowledge 
you were in love a half dozen times at least, 
or thought you were, before you got out of short 
dresses. 

Some of your sweethearts were fair skinned, tow- 
headed little men in nankeen waists that buttoned onto 
their panto, and some of them wore roundabouts and 
some wore coats and tucked their pants into their boot 
legs so as to show their red tops ; lords and knights, 
worthy to rank with the greatest and noblest of 
earth. Oh, you can not deceive me. I have the wis 
dom which comes of years and experience, and I know 
all about it. 

Now, if you want to recall old memories and see 
yourself as you were before the cares and burdens of life 
existed for you, just you watch what's left of the P's for 
a little while. 

There, didn't I tell you ? 

He has left the crowd of youngsters with whom 
he was playing and is off in the direction of the 
ferry. 

He has heard a halloo which he knows comes from 
some one on the other side of the river wanting to be 
ferried across, and is off like a shot to help Nettie with 
the boat. No, no, don't stop him. Let him go ; there 
is nothing in nature more innocent than the loves of 



36 DON'T. 

children, of boys for girls and girls for boys. For 
pity's sake do not do anything to make them ashamed 
of their love. A knowledge of what sin is and its 
possibilities comes soon enough ; let them be innoceni 
while they may. 



o 




"WHERE IS YOTTB BROTHER?" 



CHAPTER II. 

STARTING OUT TO MAKE A MILLION. 

As Phil came over the bank Nettie was just in the 
act of pushing the boat off shore, having already loosened 
the chain with which it was fastened, and thrown it upon 
the boat. She had purposely delayed a little in doing 
this, making pretenses that the chain would not un 
fasten, but the moment she heard the sound of running 
feet on the bank above, the difficulty vanished and she 
began to push off. 

Phil gave a shove at the prow and sprang on board, 
going at once to the tiller for the purpose of so turning 
the rude craft as to get the best use of the current in 
forcing it across. Evidently he was well acquainted 
with the handling of it. The truth is, he seldom spent 
much time any where else than on or about the ferry 
unless on compulsion from his parents. Ever since 
Nettie began to manage the boat Phil had been her 
assistant as often as hs could escape from the tasks 
assigned him at home. 

(37) 



38 PHIL AND NETTIE. 

"'Spect he's down to the ferry," was always the 
reply of any member of the Johnson family when any 
other member inquired where Phil was. 

As for the children of his own age belonging to 
other families, they never inquired of his own people 
of his whereabouts ; if he was not in sight on the 
premises, neither cutting wood in front of the door, 
weeding the truck patch or picking up chips, they knew 
at once that he had been sent off on an errand, in 
which case it was no use to ask for him, or he was at 
the ferry ; and it was there that they went to make their 
inquiries. 

' 'Phil's got to chop wood this afternoon ;" ''Phil's 
got to hoe the onions;" ''Phil's father made him go 
hunt the hogs down in the bottom ; they're goin' to get 
'em home and finish fattin' 'em." All these among 
other reasons Nettie herself had been heard to give 
in answer to questions as to where Phil was ; which 
simply goes to show the existence of a pretty good 
understanding between them, and that Phil was in the 
habit of reporting to her any pressing engagements 
made for him by his parents in advance of his meeting 
them. 

In fact the intimacy between Phil and Nettie had 
been of so long standing that no one had observed 
ixs beginning, or appeared to notice its existence any 
more than if they had been brother and sister. To the 



PHIL AND NETTIE. 39 

children themselves it appeared as it certainly was 
the most natural thing in the world. Nettie's first 
memory of the ferry, which was her first memory of any 
thing, was of playing with other children about it, and 
Phil's memory went no further back. 

When Nettie first began to manage the ferry boat 
Phil was by to encourage her in her ambition, and when 
the boat made its first trip with her in charge Phil went 
along to assist. 

That was years ago now, and Phil had always been 
her chief assistant since. Not that he was the only one 
she had, for every child in the village was more or less 
at the ferry, and not one of them had reached the 
mature age of twelve years without having, one time or 
another, stood at the tiller and tried to guide the boat. 
But none of them seemed so greatly to enjoy the fun or 
labor which ever you desire to consider it, or to so 
persistently hang around the boat as Phil. And so it 
was that gradually he came to be looked upon as in 
some way one of the managers of the ferry, having 
rights if not duties there. 

All this, I say, had seemed natural' enough to 
everybody, and to none more so than to Phil and 
Nettie. 

That there could be any reason why they should 
blush to acknowledge the intimacy which existed be 
tween them had never occurred to either, or at 



4O NETTIE GROWS SHY. 

least not until a few days previous to the time of 
which I write, nor did either understand why it was 
so now. 

Only recently a strange feeling had sprung up in 
their hearts ; one which made them shy of each other 
in the presence of older persons. Just why it was so, 
neither could well have told ; and indeed they would 
probably have denied its existence. It began when a 
short time before a couple of gentlemen, one, of whom 
lived in a railroad town ten miles away, bit who oc 
casionally had business which required him to travel the 
road to the ferry and so was known to Nettie by sight, 
and another, a young man she had never seen, had 
crossed together. 

Phil was away at the time, and having as it chanced 
always seen them together when he had crossed hereto 
fore, the gentleman noticed his absence and inquired 
of the girl if her brother was sick that she was tending 
the ferry alone. 

"Who, Phil?" she asked in reply; adding: "He 
ain't my brother. He's Mr. Johnson's boy, and he 
couldn't help run the boat to-day 'cause he has to hoe 
in the truck patch." 

"But isn't he hired to help you tend the ferry ?" 
asked the gentleman. ' 'I supposed you were both Mr. 
McKinley's children." 

"Oh, no," answered Nettie, "Phil isn't hired; he 



AND LEARNS TO BLUSH. 41 

just helps me because he likes to run the boat, and be 
cause because " 

She blushed and stopped. She was going to say 
"because we like each other," but something, perhaps it 
was the amused smile playing around the mouth of her 
questioner, caused an embarrassed feeling before un 
known to her. 

The gentleman finished the sentence for her by 
adding : 

"Because he is your sweetheart, eh!" And for the 
first time in her life she blushed. Just why she blushed 
she could not have told. Indeed, I suppose she did 
not know she was blushing, but she knew that her face 
felt suddenly uncomfortably warm, and she turned 
away and pretended to be busy with the tiller, and 
never once again looked at either gentleman, neither 
replied to their smilingly pronounced "good byes" as 
they left the boat. And when, after completing his stint 
for the afternoon, Phil joined her at the ferry as usual, 
she greeted him less boisterously than was her custom, 
and when any one was by appeared shy of him, and as 
if she wished to avoid being seen sitting or standing by 
his side. Phil felt this shyness rather than saw it with 
his natural eyes, and instinctively tried to keep closer 
to her than ever, which only seemed to make her the 
more anxious to keep away from him. When he went 
home and to bed that night he had for the first time in 



4 PHIL HAS A NEW SENSATION. 

his life a feeling that there was something wrong with 
the universe some way, as if the world was out of kelter 
and needed fixing, though just how or why he could 
not say. 

But the next day when he went again to the ferry 
the feeling had all passed away and the world had re 
sumed its natural brightness. Nettie, too, appeared 
to have forgotten, if she had ever had anything to 
remember, for she hailed him with accustomed famil 
iarity, and they spent a pleasant half day together, 
though once or twice when grown people were around 
there was something about Nettie quite indefinable to 
Phil, yet which caused a slight return of the feeling of 
the night before. 

But the feeling, whatever it was, passed in a mo 
ment. When he went to his dinner and his afternoon 
stint of weeding in the truck patch he was light 
hearted as a boy could be and did an unusually good 
job of weeding ; and the next day when he had chop 
ped and split enough wood for his mother to bake with 
and was again at liberty, and hearing the halloo of some 
one wanting to cross the river, he darted away as we 
have seen, with heart as light as his heels. 

As we have seen, too, Nettie was waiting and hoping 
for his coming ; even pretending to those who wished 
to be brought across that she was having trouble in 



PHIL HAS A NEW SENSATION. 43 

unfastening the boat, in order to give Phil tima to get 
there before she cast off. 

Had she been straining her eyes in an effort to 
recognize the parties waiting to come over as intently 
as she was straining her ears to catch the sound of 
Phil's approaching steps, she would have seen that the 
travelers were the same gentlemen who had crossed 
over two days before, to one of whom she owed 
the knowledge of her ability to blush ; in which case 
she would probably have hurried to push off before 
Phil's arrival, instead of making an excuse to await his 
coming. 

When Phil had taken the tiller after jumping 
aboard, Nettie went and stood by him, and, all un 
conscious of the strangers watching them, laughed and 
chatted merrily, their eyes meanwhile observing the 
motion of the boat, and Phil moving the tiller this way 
and that almost mechanically, as long practice in a thing 
enables any one to do. 

As they neared the opposite shore Nettie picked 
up the chain, and the moment the boat touched 
sprang ashore, ready to throw it over the post placed 
there for that purpose, when, glancing up, she rec 
ognized the travelers, and was instantly covered 
with confusion. All the old feeling of embarrass 
ment came back to her, and she stood for a brief 
space of time with her hands extended as if in the 



44 A LITTLE TIFF. 

act of letting the ring drop over the stake, but for 
getting to let go of it, while the blood suffused her face 
and neck. 

"So the captain's mate has returned, has he ?" in 
terrogated the elder gentleman, glancing from Nettie to 
Phil and back again ; ami then added, laughingly, < 'The 
brave knight performs the service required of him by the 
powers which be, and instantly flies to the presence 
of his sweetheart ;" at which his companion laughed 
also. 

Neither Phil nor Nettie knew just what he meant 
by his remark, but they did know that in some mild 
way they were being made sport of for being so much 
together, and instantly they became silent. Only once 
during the few moments they were swinging back to 
their starting point did either speak, and then Phil 
asked some simple question in a low tone, which Nettie 
answered in a still lower one, and without looking at 
him ; and when the gentlemen had left the boat and 
ridden up the bank and out of sight, she also went up 
the bank and into her father's cabin, and did not return 
for more than an hour, and not until Phil had gone 
home. 

The next morning, when Mr. Johnson, standing at 
the foot of the ladder which led up into the loft of his 
story-and-a-half log cabin, and looking up at the open 
landing above his head, cabled first, "Phil," and then 



MR. JOHNSON MAKES A DISCOVERY. 45 

"Oh, Phil," two or three times, and getting no answer 
had climbed to his sleeping place with the intention of 
waking him by some niore vigorous measures, he 
found the loft empty. Phil was not there, 

"Blamed if the youngster ain't up and out a'ready," 
he said aloud, as he descended to the lower floor again ; 
' 'wonder what's on hand to make him turn out without 
being called ?" 

' 'Phil's up a'ready," he said to the boy's mother, as 
he passed from the log part into the frame kitchen in 
which she was preparing breakfast. ' 'Where d'ye s'pose 
he is ; ain't gone down to the ferry before breakfast, I 
reckon ?" 

Whether Mrs. Johnson felt a sudden premonition of 
evil, or whether she thought her husband had been mis 
taken in supposing that Phil had arisen, I can not tell, 
but she laid down the knife with which she was turning 
her corn cakes and went into the other room and up the 
ladder, as her husband had done. She was gone some 
minutes, and returned with a scared look upon her face. 
She held in her hand a piece of paper, evidently the 
blank leaf torn from some school book, on which was 
scrawled in a big hand : 

"Tell Nettie I've gone away ; when I've made a 
million of dollars I'll cum back and marry her.' 

"PHIL." 

Two weeks later, a letter addressed in the same 



40 TELL NETTIE. 

schoolboy hand arrived, and was given to Mrs. Johnson. 
It ran as follows : 
"DEAR MOTHER: 

I'm going to go to Kansas to herd cattle for a 
man. We are goin' through with teams. When I get 
a good farm and lots of cattle of my own I'll come back 
after you all. 

Your affectionate son, 

PHIL. 
Post skrip. Tell Nettie." 




IN FRONT OP THE STAMPED*. 



CHAPTER III. 



IN FRONT OF THE STAMPEDE RIDING THE TRAIL. 

Ride ! ride like the devil; ride for your life, man ! 
Stick spur in your pony's flank, and press hard and 
press long; lean low over your saddle bow speak 
quick, sharp words of encouragement and command 
to your beast, and ride for your life ! for behind you, 
like the waves of a mad sea, are ten thousand frightened 
steers, and you are scarce the length of your horse 
ahead of them 1 If your pony stumble if in the dark- 
yiess of night made black by overhanging clouds his 
foot shall strike a prairie dog hole, or if he fail to clear 
at a bound the ruins of some deserted corral, the 
location of which neither horse nor rider knows anything 
of if anything happen by which his speed is checked 
btjt for one short moment the hoofs that are thunder 
ing at your heels shall tramp every semblance of hu 
manity out of your body before you can utter a prayer 
or curse ! 

It was in the spring of 188- that Maxwell's big herd 
. (47) 



4& THE MAXWELL DRIVE. 

started up the trail from the Rio Grande country on the*/ 
long journey through Texas and the Indian Territory 
to Kansas. For months the Maxwells, aided by their 
men, had been rounding up and branding and preparing 
for the trip, and finally all was ready, and the herd was 
started North. Herds starting from as low down as 
Laredo, or anywhere in Southern Texas, must start 
early in the season, as it is an all summer drive if cattle 
are to be brought through in good condition. 

Maxwell had in this drive a good round five thou 
sand longhorns, or Texas steers, mostly three-year-olds. 
The plan was to take them North by easy stages to well 
up in the Indian Territory, winter there, and push 
them into market as early as they could be got into fit 
condition. 

The outfit consisted of ten men, besides a cook. 

Each of the ten men was supplied with several 
Spanish ponies for riding ; for on such drives frequent 
changes of horses are absolutely necessary. The cook 
was furnished with a pair of stout mules, a wagon for 
"chuck" or provisions, consisting principally of beans 
and black coffee, though a steer is always killed when 
needed on such expeditions, particularly when passing 
through strips of country where there are cattle at 
range. 

Cattle men, as a rule to which there are exceptions 
much prefer having men in their employ, when they 



A STORM SBTS IN. 49 

want fresh meat, kill a steer or heifer bearing tome 
brand other than their own, and applaud it as a good 
joke a sort of sharp trick. Human nature is not much 
different on the plains than elsewhere ; neither are 
cattle men or cowboys worse than others ; but those 
who engage in the business as employers or employed 
do so either from a desire to acquire wealth rapidly or 
a love of freedom from the restraints of law, and it is 
natural among such that a disregard for legal rights, 
even a pleasure in disregarding them, should manifest 
itself ; but let the sympathies of this class be appealed 
to let a companion, or even a stranger, be in need, 
and none so ready to extend a helping hand ; and the 
most ready of all is often he who is most prompt on 
occasion to wrong another in the killing of a steer or 
branding a maverick. 

The drive had been on the road but two or three 
days, and was hardly broken in long-horned steers 
that have never been handled except as they were 
caught with a lasso, thrown to the ground and branded 
with a hot iron, never get very well broken in, even to 
driving in a bunch when, just as night approached, a 
-rain storm came up accompanied with wind, and at once 
the herd began to drift , that is, to work slowly ahead 
with the storm. 

The only thing to do when a herd begins drifting, 
and especially if it be a large one, is for the herders to 



5O AND THE HERD BEGINS TO DRIFT. 

keep with it, riding in front and at the sides ; keeping it 
from breaking up into bunches, and so becoming separ 
ated. Cattle do not travel very rapidly in such cases, 
but they keep moving steadily, with heads down, noses 
close to the ground, and any effort to stop them is likely 
to result in the thing most to be dreaded a stampede, 
and a division of the drove into bunches, whereby it is 
likely to become mixed with other herds. 

When the storm came up, the men, a few at a time, 
went back to the cook's wagon and secured such proven 
der as they could for themselves, caught and mounted 
fresh ponies and resumed their places in the line which 
they had formed about the drifting herd, endeavoring 
by the singing of songs and by keeping even pace with 
the cattle as they drifted to keep them from becoming 
uneasy, and so hold them together. 

And now, reader, if you have ever hankered after the 
free and easy life of a cowboy, this is a good time to 
think the matter over and arrive at a decision. 

Fancy yourself one of Maxwell's hands on this drive 
and the night in question. You have been in the saddle 
all day and have changed horses twice ; the night is 
black, but you have been out on dark nights, and on 
rainy nights and on horseback before. Very well. Now 
recall, if you can, the darkest night in which you were 
ever out. Imagine the rain falling steadily and every 
now and then rustled and rattled about by a gust of 



ALONE IN THE DARKNESS. 5 1 

wind, yourself astride of a Spanish pony, who would 
feel insulted if he thought you considered him thoroughly 
broke, even to the saddle, and by you. We are on a 
prairie miles, yes hundreds of miles, in extent over 
which neither of us has ever ridden, and we are two 
of but a handful of men in charge of some thousands of 
half wild steers drifting with the storm. 

We separate here ; you turn your pony's head with 
the storm and ride slowly in advance of the drifting 
herd. I continue on out of your sight and hearing, and 
then do as you have done, turn my pony's head with the 
wind, and drift. 

You are alone now ; you see nothing, unless per 
chance a flash of lightning discloses for an instant a sea 
of horns, of long slim horns above a mass of black 
moving beasts liable at any moment to become frantic 
with fear and rush at you and over you, trampling you 
down and mangling you beyond possibility of recognition. 

Hour after hour the storm beats down and the cattle 
drift. You were soaked through and through hours ago. 
For hours you have not so much as seen the pony's 
head upon which you ride ; you do not know which way 
or where you are going, or how going, only that you are 
drifting with the storm and the herd. You hear the 
tramp of feet, the rattle of horns knocking against each 
other, and occasionally the voice of another herder 
singing, or rather yelling, for the double purpose of 



$* THE STEERS STAMPEDE. 

keeping the steers as quiet as may be and of letting hit 
companions know about where he is. 

You attempt to lift up an answering voice, but the 
wind comes with a gust, snatches your sombrero from 
your head and whirls it away in the darkness. If there 
was only the least bit of light it would look like a great 
dusky bat sailing through the air, but it is too dark to 
see anything ; and besides, the same gust of wind that 
robbed you of your sombrero drove the words you were 
trying to speak back into your mouth and down your 
throat, choking you and forcing you to turn aside your 
head to catch breath again as you ride to-night with 
Maxwell's drive of Texas steers. 

And just as you turn your head, and before you can 
catch your breath, the steers stampede. Your hat 
carried by the wind and skimming over their backs has 
done it. You feel the first mighty impulse, the first 
frightened thrill of that compacted mass ; the ground 
trembles, and for an instant, with the wind in your 
throat, you are confused and imagine yourself in a storm 
at sea. Only the agility of your pony saves you from 
instant death, for you are in the lead and the herd that 
is coming down upon you is as blind with fear as are you 
with the darkness. 

Only ten minutes since the stampede began and it 
seems an hour ; you are a mile, miles from where you 
started and still alive but not put of danger. A Texas 



IN FRONT OF THE STAMPEDE. 53 

ateer is almost as fleet of foot and long of wind as a cow 
pony, and you had but a few yards the start, having 
kept close up to them that your presence might quiet 
them. You are gaining on them, however, and they 
may slacken their, pace any moment now. 

But no, they have taken fresh fright and are rushing 
on faster than ever. And what's that ? Great God ! 
they are closing in on the sides. In the darkness the 
edges of the drive have moved faster than the center and 
you are flanked upon both sides, and in their fright now 
they are closing in instead of scattering. 

Something touches your stirrup as you ride ; you 
feel the presence of something beside you, keeping even 
pace with you ; you think it a steer and that the herd 
has quite closed in on you ; but no, it is another rider 
and another pony. In the race we who separated in 
front of the drive hours ago are driven together by the 
pressure of the herd upon our right and our left. We 
are still behind the leaders upon both flanks. We do 
not see this, we feel that it is so ; there is something 
in the air, in the trembling of the ground, in the efforts 
of the animals we ride to put forth increased speed that 
tells it to us. 

But how dark it is. We lean forward upon our 
saddle bows; we strain our eyes; we drive our rowels 
afresh into the flanks of our steeds, we fly through the 
darkness. 



54 IN FRONT OF THE STAMPEDE. 

There comes a flash of lightning, not vivid, but 
enough to show us the ground in front and the herd 
closing in upon us. There is but a little space on either 
side not rilled by the black mass of moving bodies and 
horns. 

The light has vanished now and we can feel the 
darkness around and about us ; and now we feel the 
touch of warm bodies against our legs ; the herd has 
closed in upon us ; we are a part of the mass of surging 
brutes, surrounded, doomed. 

Only for an instant. Another flash of lightning and 
an opening appears ; we lack but a length of being in 
the lead, our ponies see it, understand it, put forth new 
strength and clear the press. We are saved. No, one 
falls, his pony's foot caught in a prairie dog hole, and 
the mass surges over him. To-morrow search will be 
made and a mass of blood and mangled flesh will be 
found and given such burial as is possible, but for that 
he who rides has no time to think. He is out of the 
mass and again in the lead and a good ten miles from 
the point where the stampede began, and the surging 
mass of bodies and horns behind is beginning to recover 
from its fright, to check its speed. He is saved. 

But how do you like to ride the drive ? Has the 
wild free life of the cowboy the same charm for 
you it had before you rode this night with Maxwell's 
herd ? 



RIDING THE DRIVE. 55 

When the morning came after the stampede and the 
ride from which one never returned, the drive was found 
to have been kept well together, considering the distance 
and the character of the night. It had divided into two 
parts, but luckily both had taken the same general 
direction and had come to a halt when the storm ceased 
near daybreak, not more than two or three miles apart, 
so that the difficulty of gathering them together was not 
great. But it was noon before all the herders had 
opportunity to get anything to eat or to change their 
tired ponies for fresh ones. 

Among the last to show up at camp was one of the 
men who was in front of the drive when the stampede 
began. What remained of the other had been buried 
two hours before and a rude mark placed over the hastily 
dug grave. 

"That was a close call you had last night, Phil," 
remarked one of the men. "I thought you and Bob 
had both gone on the long drive. I knew you and he 
were in front, and was afraid the brutes had pushed 
ahead at the sides so as to flank you. I was half way 
back on the side to which the wind was blowing and 
could hear you while you couldn't hear me, but I kept 
calling to the boys in front of me to keep singing or 
calling so we could each know where we all were and 
keep the steers as much together as possible. When 
the cattle started I thought of you and Bob, for I wasn't 



56 TOO ROCKY FOR COMFORT. 

in any special danger myself, not more than common 
at such times ; and when that flash of lightning came 
I saw you both, just for a second; must have been on 
~ bit of a rise just then, so I could see the whole mass 
of brutes and you and Bob bein' closed in on, but 
only a few lengths behind the foremost of the drive. I 
hoped then you'd both come through, but I reckon 
Bob's pony must have stumbled. Well, everybody's 
got to ride that trail sometime, but I'd rather die some 
other way than be trampled to death by a lot of longhorn 
steers." 

"I, too," returned the other. "I don't believe I'm 
a coward, but there are things about this business that 
are a little bit too rocky for comfort. I've more than 
half a mind to say that this will be my last drive. 
Soon's we round up in Kansas guess I'll settle up with 
the company and take what's coming to me and start in 
for myself somewhere." 

"Coin' back to the States?" 

"No ; at least not yet. I must make a stake first ; 
a little one, anyway. I was only a boy when I left 
home ran away, you know and I promised not to 
go back until I was worth a million. Then I dropped 
down a peg or two, and fixed the line at a big ranch 
and lots ot cattle ; and I must at least have a little ranch 
and a few cattle, or I'd be ashamed to show myself in 
the old neighborhood." 



THE THREE P'S AGAIN. 57 

"Well, you came mighty nigh being saved that 
trouble. I calculate you were only one jump ahead of 
death last night, and not much time to spare to make 
it in. But what's the use of whinin' ? Better eat our 
chuck while we can get it." And the two turned to the 
lay-out provided by the cook, and proceeded to satisfy 
their appetites. 

And this is Phil Johnson, the man who so narrowly 
escaped death last night, and is now sitting on a bit ol 
limestone rock, drinking black coffee from a tin cup and 
eating grub from a chuck wagon ; the boy you used to 
know when he lived in that little town on the Wabash, 
and 'tended ferry with Nettie McKinley when not 
engaged in weeding the truck patch, bringing in wood 
for his mother, or hunting hogs or cattle in the river 
bottoms. He has not got the million dollars yet, you 
see, not even the ranch and big lot of cattle, but he has 
been to Kansas, as he said in his letter to his mother 
that he was going to do, and from Kansas has drifted 
to the Lone Star State, where we now find him drifting 
back again, a rider for Maxwell, one of the largest cattle 
men of the West. 

Yes, he has grown. He is a man now. Let me see 
it was five, six, eight years ago that he ran away from 
home because his little sweetheart left him one day 
without saying good-bye, and hid away in her father's 
cabin. How time flies. Eight and fourteen that makes 



$8 ABOUT THAT MILLION DOLLARS. 

twenty-two. Phil is a year past his majority now, and 
Nettie herself is past twenty. 

The accidental reference of Phil's companion to 
the States called up memories which haunted Phil 
all that day "and the next and the next. He could 
not forget the old home ; oh no, ho had never for 
gotten it, nor the ferry, nor Nettie , neither his pur 
pose of going back some day and surprising them all 
by the amount of wealth he would display ; but the 
desire to return had never been so strong upon him 
as now. 

Perhaps it was because of his narrow escape from 
death in the stampede, though, as for that, he had been 
near death often before in those eight years. 

Ever since he left home or, at least, ever since 
arriving in Kansas with the emigrant he fell in with 
a few days after leaving he had lived upon the 
frontier ; most of the time as a herder of cattle. 
Twice he had formed one of a little company that 
had followed a party of cattle thieves across the Rio 
Grande into old Mexico, and retaken the stolen 
beeves after a smart skirmish, in which men had 
bitten the dust upon both sides ; and once, when 
with a herd in New Mexico, he had had a brush with 
the Comanches, and came near getting his scalp 
lifted. And all this time he had kept in mind his 



ACROSS THE BORDER. 59 

promise of some time going back to the old neighbor 
hood and Nettie. 

He had not, however, made much headway toward 
the million or even the ranch and cattle. He had 
lived in the main the life of other cowboys, which 
means getting anywhere from fifteen to fifty dollars 
a month and spending it whenever opportunity offers. 
What could one expect of such a boy and such com 
panions ? 

Yet Phil had not been drunken or wild, as many 
are ; he had simply spent freely when he had anything 
to spend and a chance to spend it. Nothing is so hard 
to resist as the temptation to spend when among those 
who are in the habit of spending freely ; and nowhere 
in the world, or among any class of met', is one more 
meanly thought of for niggardliness than among cow 
boys. 

Phil's outfit was always of the best. His saddle cost 
fifty dollars. His spurs were of silver ; his pistols finely 
mounted ; his blankets were made in old Mexico, and 
were thick and heavy and fine, and he dressed in the 
best of cowboy style. He generally owned a pony or 
two besides, but ponies are cheap from fifteen to fifty 
dollars a month's wages. And this was the extent of 
Phil's savings to date ; this the start he had made upon 
his million. 

But now, as he rode day after day, or stood his 



60 THE COST OF AN OUTFIT. 

lonely guard at night, his thoughts turned more seriously 
to the past and also to the future. For the first time 
he realized fully that the years were passing, and that 
if ever he was to make good in any considerable degree 
his boyish boast of securing a competence and returning 
to the village of his birth, it was time he set about it. 
He had not really intended for earnest what he had 
said to his companion the morning after the stampede 
about this drive with Maxwell being his last. That 
was said without consideration, or at least without any 
very great consideration, but it proved in the end 
to be a prophecy. The more he thought of the words 
he had spoken, the more he determined to make them 
good, and he resolved to leave his employer the mo 
ment he could do so with a few hundred dollars 
ahead, and to begin in earnest the work of making a 
home for himself and and, yes, Nettie ; that is, if she 
had not forgotten him if she had not married some 
one else. 

He wondered if she had forgotten, if she had mar 
ried. Sometimes he fancied she had and tried to pic 
ture her living in the little old town on the banks of 
the Wabash as the wife of one of his former play 
mates. At first this idea rather amused him ; he had 
been gone long enough and had seen enough of the 
world to have a realizing sense of what a quiet, out of 
the way place it was. Not even a flatboat floating 



PHIL CALLS UP OLD MEMORIES, 6 1 

down with the current any more, to break the monot 
ony of life in the little town. True, there had not 
been many such when he was a boy, but he could re 
member a few ; could even remember seeing an oc 
casional little steam vessel working its way to the 
small city forty miles up the stream. But all that 
was over now ; no steamers, no flatboats even ; the 
railroads had caused all that to cease being profitable, 
and at the same time by building up larger towns at 
short distances away, had left this little town with 
out a thing to furnish excitement or even to stimulate 
conversation. Thinking of it he could not help wonder 
ing if the inhabitants were still talking of the last 
flatboat which floated down the river four years before 
he left and got snagged and sunk a half mile below the 
ferry. 

Ah, yes, the ferry. He had gone with Nettie and 
a lot of other children to see the boat where she 
lay. Joe Bronson was among them he remembered. 
He wondered if Joe lived there still, and if he hadn't 
been making up to Nettie during these years of his own 
absence. 

Then he began to be jealous of his probable rival. 
The thought which had but a moment ago provoked 
but a mild species of curiosity, a wanting to know, 
had, now, that it took different shape and a person 
ality, excited an uneasy feeling which reminded 



62 AND GROWS JEALOUS OF AN IMAGINARY RIVAL. 

of the time he noticed Nettie's shyness, and he 
felt half tempted to quit the drive at once and break 
for home then and there. But he remembered his 
boast of coming back rich and he felt ashamed to 
return empty handed. Then came thoughts of his 
mother and all her kindness and self sacrifice. He 
remembered how she had worked and economized 
in order that the family might be kept together and 
comfortable. He did not realize it at the time, but 
he understood it all now, and he compared her labors 
with his own and her spending with his, since he 
started out for himself, and he felt ashamed and humili 
ated. Hard as he saw his own life as a cowboy to have 
been, he felt that her life had been incomparably 
harder ; for it was a life of ceaseless toil, of duties never 
ended and without a thing to break the monotony from 
year end to year end. 

"No wonder the folks used to talk of that flatboat 
getting snagged four years after it occurred," he mut 
tered. ' 'Why, hang it all, that's the only thing that ever 
did occur so far as I can remember ; there wasn't any 
thing else they could talk about." 

"And how mother used to scrimp and save every 
penny and go without things herself for us chil 
dren ;" so his mind ran on. "I believe the twenty- 
five cent pieces we used to get to spend at Christ 
inas and the fourth of July cost her more self-denial 



THE OTHER TWO P'S. 63 

than it would me to have sent home a thousand dol 
lars." 

"And father, too, he must be getting old now ; how 
jolly he used to be with us youngsters. Think of his 
naming us triplets Philip, Philander and Phineas. He 
must have thought it a huge joke, and so it was. Wonder 
now what became of the other two the two that 
died ? Reckon they ain't cowboys ? Reckon they 
wouldn't have run away as I did just as I was 
getting big enough to pay for my keep, and never let 
'em know where they were all this time ? Hang me 
if I ain't a worse brute than one of them longhorn 
steers." 

You see he was getting tender hearted if not sen 
timental, thinking of the past and all it had been and 
might have been. 

Such thoughts come to us all at times, I think ; 
thoughts of the goodness and sweetness of our mothers 
of the sacrifices which they have made for us of their 
love for us and sorrow endured because of us ; and it is 
well that such thoughts do come. They seem to break 
up the crust of selfishness which forms about one's heart 
in contact with the world, and make room for kindly 
feelings toward all mankind. 

The result of Phil's thoughts was to change to a 
fixed purpose the impulse which came to him that 
morning to save his earnings, and as soon as he could, 



64 PHIL 

with credit to himself, return to his old home and do 
what was possible to compensate his parents for his 
long absence. And he clenched his good resolution on 
the spot by sending from the first town he reached a 
long letter to his father, telling them of his wandering, 
of his present whereabouts and firm purpose to begin 
' laying up a stake, " and ended by sending with it every 
dollar of money he had at the time. 




MB. BROWN, OF Nsw YORK. 



CHAPTER IV. 

IN WHICH MR. BROWN, OF NEW YORK, IS INTRODUCED 
TO THE WILD WEST. AFTERWARD HE BUYS SOME 
STEERS. 

The long, warm months of summer passed slowly 
away, with the herd moving steadily nothward, and 
September saw them still on the road. But early in 
October the drive reached the vicinity of Caldwell, Kan 
sas, and were bedded for the last time by the men who 
had brought them through from the Rio Grande, for 
here they were taken in hand by partners of Maxwell, 
who shipped them East by rail. 

Phil had expected a letter from home to reach him 
here, but none awaited him. He had settled with his 
employer, receiving his season's pay in a lump, having 
religiously refrained from drawing any on the long 
drive ; being determined to have at least a nest egg 
with which to start out on his own hook when the drive 
should end. 

(6$) 



66 MR. BROWN, A "TENDERFOOT.* 

He drew wages for seven months, amounting to 
over three hundred dollars, more money than he 
had ever possessed at any one time, and had he re 
ceived a letter from home, as he fondly expected, I 
am not sure he would not have weakened in his purpose 
of not going home until he had made his fortune. Even 
as it was he felt strangely inclined to go. Then 
his pride arose, and he began to feel himself deeply 
wronged. 

They had forgotten him, he said, or had never for 
given him for running away. 

As if a mother could ever forget her child. 

He had not said anything in his letter about Nettie. 

At first he had thought he would, then concluded 
not to, thinking his mother would probably mention 
her in the letter she would write to him, and so he 
would learn whether she was married or not, without 
having asked. Not getting any letter discouraged him, 
and after giving up the idea of going home he felt 
tempted to go on a lark, and blow in every dollar of 
his earnings, and return to his old life again. But 
better thoughts intervened, and, after lying around for 
a few days, he entered into partnership with a ' 'tender 
foot, " as a man unacquainted with frontier life is 
called. 

This stranger, whose name was Samuel Brown, 
put in four thousand dollars against Phil's outfit. 



PHIL BECOMES A CAPITALIST. 6? 

valued at three hundred, and his ready cash, three 
hundred more, each to receive equally of all profit ; 
Phil's superior knowledge and experience being con 
sidered an equivalent to Mr. Brown's extra quantity of 
capital. 

Thus elevated to the character of a capitalist, 
Phil's ambition took a fresh lease of life, and his 
self respect went up several degrees ; nothing now 
could have tempted him to blow his money in at a 
gambling hell. 

Brown, his partner, although an Eastern man, and 
unacquainted with the business, was evidently a man of 
pluck and endurance. 

He had been bred in the city, but having a natural 
love for a life of freedom, and hearing of the fortunes 
being made in the cattle business, had turned his little 
capital into money and gone West for the purpose of 
investing it. Happening to meet Phil he took a fancy 
to him ; and learning from the Maxwells that he was 
trusty and experienced, struck up a partnership with 
him, and, ten days after arriving in Caldwell, Phil and 
Brown started back along the trail the former had just 
passed over, on their way to buy a drove of cattle for 
themselves. 

Nothing of special interest occurred on their way 
down ; that is, nothing of interest to the reader. Every 
thing was interesting to Phil's partner, Mr. Brown, 



68 MR. BROWN AND THE BUCKING PONY. 

from the start. Even the pony he purchased to carry 
him on the trip proved a subject of absorbing interest 
for a time. 

The pony also appeared deeply interested in Mr. 
Brown. 

Evidently he recognized him as a "tenderfoot" at 
sight, and the moment Mr. Brown swung himself into 
the saddle the pony proceeded to introduce him to the 
ways of the country which he was invading. 

First he reached around and took Mr. Brown by 
the leg, as if feeling for his muscle, in an endeavor to 
ascertain the probabilities of his being able to walk 
to Texas in case a necessity for doing so should 
arise. 

Apparently satisfied on this point, and being in 
vited by Mr. Brown to proceed, he proceeded ; that 
is, he proceeded to place all four of his feet close to 
gether, put his nose with his feet, and jump into 
the air. 

Brown went up with him but forgot to come down 
when he did. Instead of coming down with the 
pony he kept on going up, and when he did come 
down he landed on his head not the pony's head, but 

i 

his own. 

He lay doubled up in a heap for a second or two, 
and then got upon his feet and put out his hand 
and spread his fingers wide apart and beat the air 



THE BUCKING PONY AND MR. BROWN. 69 

faintly, as if feeling around for something, he did 
not seem to know just what. Then he came to, 
and straightened himself up and looked at the pony 
with blood in his eye ; there was blood on his nose 
also, but that is not worth mentioning. Then the 
pony turned his head to one side and looked at him, 
brought his feet back to their first position and shook 
himself as if he had said: "Well, my young tender 
foot, what do you think of the Wild West by this 
time ?" 

Then Brown made for him, and got him by the 
bridle, and crowded him up against the corral, and 
spoke to him in language which encouraged a bystander 
to remark that "Brown would make a success as a cow 
boy yet." 

Then Brown argued with the pony some more, and 
finally succeeded, with the help of two other men, in 
getting mounted again ; upon which the pony proceeded 
as before to bring his feet together under the center of 
his body, put his nose to the ground and spring about 
eight feet into the air. 

This time Brown was expecting something of the 
kind and was prepared for it. He rose with the pony 
and also came down with him, doing both in 'good 
style; but as the pony struck the ground stiff-legged and 
as this was what Mr. Brown was not expecting, he 
immediately rose again, and when he came down this 



7O OFF IN GOOD STYLE. 

time it was on the ground on the spot where the pony 
had stood a second before. Recognizing the fact that 
Mr. Brown had gone up into the air again, and his 
experience with tenderfeet not enabling him to determine 
whether or not he intended coming down, and, if so, 
whether he had any particular spot selected on which 
to alight, he considerately moved forward a few yards 
and went to nibbling grass until wanted. 

Again Brown arose from the ground and made for 
the pony, but so far from being able to m , unt him was 
he that Phil had first to catch him wittf hi; lasso, after 
which, with some help, Brown again jTuitec* n > "pre 
pared to stay with him," he said; but the pony, who 
had done nothing for a month, evidently felt that simply 
pitching Brown off was not sufficient exercise, and so 
instead of bucking he started off at a run, whereat 
Brown straightened up in the saddle and having the 
bridle to hold on to succeeded in keeping his seat. Phil 
followed after at the same rattling pace and the two 
passed out of the town in what Brown felt to be pretty 
good style. In fact I think he considered this part of 
the performance quite creditable, as that night, sitting 
about their first camp, he remarked to Phil that he 
wished he could have had taken a photograph of them 
selves as they came out of town, to send back to his 
folks. 

This, however, did not prevent a feeling of un- 



THE PRICE OF YEARLING STEERS. ?I 

certainty regarding his ability to stay with the pony in 
case he began bucking again, and when they saddled up 
the next morning, Phil, observing with what suspicion 
Brown eyed the pony, and knowing from experience 
just how lame and pre his partner must be with this 
first day's riding, had compassion on him and offered 
to exchange mounts until his pony was thoroughly 
broke in, a proposition which Brown acceded to with 
some apparent reluctance but much inward satisfac 
tion. 

In time Brown became a fearless and fairly good 
rider ; but I doubt if the remembrance of his introduction 
to the ways of the "Wild West," or at least that portion 
of it represented by bucking ponies, affords him any 
especial pleasure even yet. 

Arriving in Texas the two men bought four hundred 
head of yearling steers, paying eight dollars apiece for 
them, and proposed to push out into New Mexico, where 
Phil felt certain of being able to find a range suitable to 
their wants. 

They accordingly bought a wagon for the trans 
portation of provisions, ammunition, and the few tools 
they should need to build a permanent camp with. 
They bought a pair of mules and harness, and hired a 
cheap hand to act as cook and to drive the team on the 
journey. They also bought a number of ponies, about 
half of them being three-year-old mares, so that they 



7* TWO WAYS OF AVOIDING WAR. 

might be making a start toward raising their own cow 
ponies while their herd of steers was growing. 

Of course they had to go well armed. 

While there is really far less lawlessness and dis 
regard for human life among the cattle men and cowboys 
along our frontiers than the blood and thunder stories 
told of them would lead people to suppose, there are yet 
a sufficient number of reckless characters among them to 
make it wise to go armed. 

There are two ways of avoiding the probabilities of 
war ; the first one is for no one to carry any of the 
weapons of war ; the other is for everybody to carry 
them. The former is undoubtedly the best way provided 
all agree to it, but as everybody can not be induced 
to do so, a proper regard for one's own interest in life 
and long-horned steers and Spanish ponies is best ex 
hibited in the purchase and wearing of a brace of 
revolvers, to which if two or three are intending to 
strike off by themselves with a small herd it is well to 
add a good repeating rifle. 

I have noticed that the Indians especially have a 
profound respect for a repeating rifle. Such as do not 
understand its workings regard it as a device of the 
Evil Spirit to assist in driving the red man from his 
native plains, while such as do understand it have a 
realizing sense of the danger involved in stealing cattle 



THROUGH WESTERN TEXAS. 7fc 

or ponies from those in possession of so formidable a 
weapon. 

Having completed the purchase of their herd and 
laid in a good supply of provisions, the two men set out 
for their destination^ which point was, however, a little 
indefinite, even in Phil's mind. 

He felt confident that he should find plenty of feed 
on the route he had marked out for them to take, and 
therefore was not uneasy about the matter, as they 
could move leisurely and settle down whenever a good 
bit of unoccupied range with plenty of water presented 
itself ; and for this purpose they had reserved a few 
hundred dollars to be used, if need be, in buying out 
some one who had enough of this kind of life and was 
anxious to go back to civilization. 

Accordingly they struck across country until they 
reached the Pecos river, which stream they followed up 
for a time and finally crossed, in order to secure the 
better pasturage skirting the foothills of the Guadaloupe 
range of mountains, thus avoiding the staked plains 
with their scarcity of water for which they are only 
too well known, as many a hapless ranger and cattle 
man can testify crossed the Big Bonita river, and 
finally pitched camp on a little stream which enters the 
Pecos river fifty or seventy-five miles above the Bonita, 
and not far from opposite old Fort Stanton, which 
is on the other side of the Guadaloupe range. 



74 INTO NEW MEXICO. 

They were more fortunate in this than they had 
hoped, as they found the range unoccupied and un 
appropriated, and they at once took steps to enter it, 
at the government price of a dollar and a quarter an 
acre. That is, they entered three hundred and twenty 
acres lying along the head waters of the creek, thus 
securing control of the water privilege, which meant 
virtual control of the whole range adjoining for as many 
miles as would suffice to pasture what cattle could be 
watered at the stream. 

True, this is hardly what the spirit of our institu 
tions is supposed to intend or sustain, but such is the 
letter of the law, and such its application throughout 
the West generally. Nor is this all, nor the wont of it ; 
in many places the continued sole occupancy of great 
tracts by large cattle owners and syndicates of owners 
has led them to presume to a permanent and absolute 
ownership of the whole tract, and in many cases they 
have erected barbed wire fences hundreds of miles in 
length, inclosing hundreds of thousands even millions 
of acres, and are prepared to defend their claims in the 
courts. That they should deem it possible to do so suc 
cessfully will doubtless appear ridiculous to the reader 
until he stops to consider the fact that the control of so 
much land and of the capital necessary to stock it, 
thereby making it profitable to rnclose it, is quite 



PREPARING TO BECOME CATTLE KINGS. JT$ 

sufficient to make and unmake courts in most countries, 
and may well prove to be so here. 

This was something, however, upon which neither 
Phil Johnson nor Sam Brown felt compelled, or even 
greatly inclined, to moralize. 

They had come for the purpose of finding a range 
for their steers, and they sought for and secured it in 
accordance with the letter of the law and the custom of 
the country. They intended laying the foundation of a 
business that should grow into something big by and by. 
They meant to herd their yearlings here two years and 
then put them on the market, and use the proceeds of 
the sale to buy another and larger lot, and so continue 
until they had a big herd and could afford to hire men 
to care for them, while they took things easy "a la 
cattle king." 

This was the expression Brown used one night as 
they sat chatting about the camp fire, while the steers 
lay quietly resting in front of them. 

Phil did not understand exactly what "a la cattle 
king" meant, but he was too sharp to "give himself 
away" in the current slang of the time and quietly 
listened for some other expression which should throw 
light on it. 

Having fixed on a location for their permanent camp, 
the next thing to do was to erect a log house, which was 



76 TAKING SOLID COMFORT. 

no very difficult job, as scattering timber lined the creek 
bank. 

A rough stockade, sufficient to hold the steers at 
night and thus save the trouble and exposure of night 
watching, was a work of more difficulty, but was finally 
accomplished being built partly of timber and partly 
of rock gathered along the creek bank, and where the 
underlying ledge cropped out upon little ridges here and 
there over the prairie. 

And then the ' 'pards" settled down to what they were 
inclined to regard as solid comfort. 

As there were no other herds, or at least no large 
ones, very near them, they had little fear of the cattle 
getting mixed up with others and so taken off their own 
range ; and with a stockade to which they could be 
driven at night, whenever it appeared desirable, the 
labor of herding them was very little and left plenty of 
time for hunting. 

They therefore discharged the hand who had acted 
as cook and teamster, turned the mules out to graze 
with the ponies and did the cooking by turns between 
them. 

Their principal fear now was of Indians. 

The chief range of the Apaches was to the south and 
on the other side of the mountains ; but they were known 
to be in the habit of making excursions far north of the 
spot where Phil and Brown had located, and the sight 



THE APACHE INDIANS. 77 

of a bunch of young cattle is a temptation not always, 
if ever, resisted, provided the danger of appropriating 
them is not too great. 

However, the partners decided not to let this fact 
worry them or cause them to enjoy in any less degree 
the situation, which to Phil, after his years of harder 
services, seemed to be an exceedingly soft thing ; while 
Brown, for the very opposite reason, he having no 
previous experience, was charmed with the variety of 
his surroundings and the freedom of the life he was 
leading. 

Deer and antelope abounded ; herds of buffalo were 
by no means unfrequent, and jack rabbits were every 
where, so that there was lack neither of sport nor of 
meat in variety for the daily fare ; and with the ad 
dition of corn meal, with which to make bread, coffee 
and bacon for a change and seasoning, the partners 
lived like kings and enjoyed life to the utmost. 

Among other incidents of their daily life was one in 
which Sam again figured, in connection with that bucking 
pony. 

Riding slowly along near the quietly feeding herd 
one fine morning, a mule-eared rabbit suddenly sprung 
up from behind a sage bush almost at the pony's feet, 
and started off with that peculiar lope for which he is 
noted, when Sam took it into his head to have a little 
sport racing him ; accordingly he gave the pony a dig 



/8 BROWN AND THE MULE-EARED RABBIT. 

with his spurs and away they went. The race had 
continued for a mile or so when the rabbit darted be 
hind, or rather into, a clump of sage brush growing on 
the edge of a bit of a ravine which headed but a few 
yards or rods away, but which at the place where the 
sage brush grew was possibly six feet across and three 
or four feet deep, the water having washed out the 
earth from what was evidently a seam in the limestone 
rock, leaving nearly perpendicular and very solid 
walls. 

Now, Sam had never chanced to cross the ravine at 
this particular spot, or if he had done so he had forgotten 
the locality, and when the rabbit darted into the clump 
of sage brush and squatted, Sam thought him still mak 
ing time on the other side and so came ahead full tilt ; 
but just as he reached the bushes where the rabbit sat, 
and was expecting his pony to clear them at a bound 
the pony concluded that there was no use of his going 
any further until the rabbit started on again, and stop 
ped ; but his rider, who was standing up in his stirrups 
endeavoring to get sight of the game, continued going 
right along and landed on his stomach on the other side 
of the ravine. Now, the rabbit, which had squatted in 
the brush, decided to start on again just at this time 
also. Possibly it was a glimpse of Sam as he came 
sailing over that induced him to start just as he did. 
Be that as it may, he did start and just in taoe to land 



FORGIVENESS. 79 

upon the opposite side at exactly the same instant that 
Sam landed, but unfortunately for the rabbit, as fortun 
ately for Sam, the rabbit was under, and while serving 
to break the other's fall had the life crushed out of him 
by the performance. It is probably the only instance 
of a man being thrown from a bucking pony upon the 
game he was chasing, and the result of the accident 
helped Sam to forgive the source of it, 



CHAPTER V. 

A COTILLION AT THE CAMP, DURING WHICH THE MUSIC 
SUDDENLY CHANGES. 

What with the care of their herd, the pleasures of 
the chase and an occasional visit to or from the owners 
of other herds, the time passed swiftly enough, and the 
yearlings which they had bought in Texas at eight dol 
lars a head were become two-year-olds, and having had 
good range and good water were worth nearly twice 
what they cost, and the partners were beginning to count 
the months before they should commence their long 
drive to some point East where they could sell to ad 
vantage or ship to Chicago by rail. 

They could sell their cattle on the spot that they 
knew very well and quite probably, too, for as good 
a figure as they could get in Kansas or Chicago, 
making allowance for cost and possible or probable 
loss on the drive, for two or three thousand head 

(80) 




DBFBNDING THS RANCH. 



SELLING AND SHIPPING STEERS. 8 1 

can be driven a long distance almost as cheaply as 
four hundred where pasturage costs nothing ; and 
there were plenty of buyers for a fine bunch, such 
as they had. It would be difficult indeed for a man 
with a likely bunch of steers to get into so remote 
and inaccessible a nook of country that no one wish 
ing to buy them should find him out, and these 
friends of ours had not sought to do such a thing <as 
that. 

There were other ranches within distances easily 
covered by a pony in the space of a few hours, in either 
of three directions, and all these, of course, knew 
of the Brown-Johnson ranch and of their likely bunch 
of cattle, so that if it had been understood that they 
wanted to sell either cattle or ranch, they would easily 
have found a buyer. 

But the partners had about decided not only to 
drive but to ship their cattle. Brown especially urged 
this every time they talked together on the subject. He 
wanted to make the trip East and see the folks once 
more, he said; then he would come back and they 
would start in afresh, and stay two more years without 
going out, by which time they would be pretty well 
fixed. 

Phil did not know which he wanted to do ; of 
course he was anxious to sell to advantage, and at 



82 PHIL WRITES HOME AGAIN. 

times he felt favorably inclined to his partner's prop 
osition to take the cattle clear through themselves, 
when the time came. These were the times when 
the desire to know what had become of the old 
place and Nettie were strongest with him. At such mo 
ments he felt that he must go back to the litte old 
town on the Wabash, and see for himself what was the 
cause of his getting no answer to his letters I say 
letters, for he had written a second letter home soon 
after locating their ranch, and had ridden forty miles to 
mail it. 

In it he had expressed his regrets for the manner 
of his leaving, and still deeper regrets for having re 
mained so long silent after leaving, and had asked, 
humbly enough, that he be made acquainted with the 
condition of things in the family and the neighborhood, 
making special mention of Nettie. But, though he had 
twice ridden the same road which he took to mail his 
letter, and had twice sent by others, he received no 
reply nor in any way obtained the slightest information 
from home. Hence his changeful feeling about a trip 
which would bring him so near the old familiar 
spot that no possible reason could exist for his not visit 
ing it. 

At times, as I have said, he determined to go ; at 
other times he was equally decided in his feelings that 
he had nothing to go for, inasmuch as his family and 



CAMP OUT OF COFFEE. 83 

friends ignored his effort to establish communication 
with them, and appeared willing to forget that he had 
an existence. 

Before any necessity for a final settlement of his 
mind on this point arose, it was settled for him in a way 
he had not taken into his calculations. 

He was alone with the herd one day, Brown having 
ridden over to one of the neighboring camps to borrow 
some coffee, of which they had run short, and every 
thing being quiet and the steers feeding in a bunch, he 
concluded to gallop back to the cabin, about three 
miles away, and get himself some dinner. 

His doing so quite probably saved his life. He had 
gone only about a half mile, when glancing back over 
his shoulder, he discovered the whole herd flying in 
wild confusion across the range in the direction of the 
mountains, followed and urged on by about fifty 
Apache Indians mounted on ponies. They were on one 
of their periodical raids, and the Brown-Johnson ranch 
being among those nearest to the mountains, where 
alone they could expect to escape the pursuit that was 
sure to follow, had been selected by them as one to be 
stampeded. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as the case may be, 
they had struck the ranch on the day when Phil was 
alone in charge of the herd, and, keeping on the 



84 ATTACKED BY INDIANS. 

opposite side of a ridge of some prominence, had ap 
proached within a short distance of the cattle unseen, 
and were about in the act of making a dash over the 
ridge and upon the herd and Phil, when he suddenly 
took it into his head to ride back to camp for his 
dinner. Had he remained it is not at all impossible 
that a bullet would have found its way to his heart 
before he could have sheltered himself behind any 
thing or gotten out of range of their rifles. As it 
was, his first impulse was to turn back and give 
battle single handed to the whole pack of them, but 
in this he was given no option, for, even as he hesi 
tated whether to follow his inclination and sell his life, 
if need be, as dearly as possible, or obey the dictates 
of his judgment and endeavor to escape and notify 
the neighboring ranchers, a dozen or more of the 
Indians turned their ponies' heads and made a dash 
straight for him. 

Phil knew well enough it would not do to permit 
himself to be surrounded there on the open prairie, for 
while with his long-reaching Winchester he could keep 
a large number at bay when approaching him in front, 
yet, if he became surrounded they would crawl upon 
him from all sides, concealed by bunches of high grass 
and sage brush that were scattered about, and before 
he knew of their exact location some of them would 



THINGS LOOK SERIOUS. 85 

get in tb*"ir work, and his days of cow punching would 
be over. 

Besides this, his experience told him that if he ex 
pected to get back more than a scattering steer or two 
of the cattle they were stampeding, the thing to do was 
to raise a crowd from the neighboring camps and make 
pursuit as quickly as possible. Accordingly he turned 
his pony about, and putting spurs to his flank dashed 
away at the top of his speed, still in the direction of his 
camp, beyond which, at a distance of fifteen miles, lay 
the camp nearest his own. 

But before he had covered half the distance between 
himself and his cabin, it became evident that the race 
was to be a close one. The Indians were well mounted, 
and, encouraged by the knowledge that their intended 
victim could not turn in his saddle and fire at them with 
any great precision of aim, came riding down upon him 
whooping and yelling like so many fiends let loose from 
pandemonium. 

They were within long rifle shot when the race be 
gan, owing to Phil's momentary indecision, and if they 
were to gain on him, even by so much as a few rods, he 
stood a chance of being hit by the volley which he knew 
would be fired the moment they believed the chance of 
killing him worth the trying it. Things began to look 
serious ; it was bad enough to lose the steers it would 
be worse to lose his scalp. He glanced back over his 



86 A RACE FOR LIFE. 

shoulder. They were gaining on him, sure as fate. 
Three or four of their best mounted had perceptibly 
lessened the distance between him and them already, 
and the camp was yet a long mile away. Once there he 
could make a stand and hold them at bay he did not 
doubt that ; one good man behind entrenchments 
and with a Winchester rifle and plenty of ammuni 
tion, could hold twice that number of Indians at bay 
for almost any length of time but could he reach 
there ? 

He struck with his spurs anew and mercilessly ; he 
raked his pony's sides with the cruel steel, but the poor 
brute was already putting forth his best efforts, and 
could add nothing to his speed. 

Again Phil turned his head and glanced back, and as 
he did so he heard the sharp crack of a rifle, and a 
bullet whizzed past him. They were already within 
range and a half mile still lay between him and the 
cabin ; a half mile, and a dozen savages raining bullets 
about himself and pony ; for now that the ball was 
opened every one of them appeared anxious to furnish 
music for the cotillion, and all began firing. 

But none of the bullets touched either the rider or 
his pony, and now that the reds had emptied their rifles 
Phil felt that his chances had improved greatly. 

What he had feared was that they would reserve 
their fire until they were so close that he would have 



AN APACHE BULLET. / 

short time to take shelter, even if he reached the cabin 
or the stockade ; but now, unless they could reload, he 
knew they would slacken their pace the moment it be 
came evident that he was going to reach shelter ahead 
of them, and thus seek to avoid a return shot at too 
close quarters. 

"Just let me reach shelter and I'll furnish some of 
the music for this fandango myself," muttered Phil as 
the bullets whistled past his ears. "You devils have 
had your time and played your tune next comes my 
time to play, and if I don't make some of you dance the 
dance of death I'm mightily mistaken !" 

But Phil was wrong in his calculation when he 
thought the savages had emptied their weapons in that 
one discharge. Several of them were possessed of re 
peating rifles equal to that which Phil himself carried 
rifles captured in a raid they had made some months 
previous on the settlers upon the other side of the 
mountains and the first volley was followed by another 
and another and another, until bullets appeared as thick 
about him and his pony as bees about a hive at swarm 
ing time ; and just as he neared the cabin and began to 
congratulate himself upon his escape, there came a 
stinging sensation in his side, and at the same time he 
felt his pony sinking to the ground beneath him. In an 
instant he had withdrawn his feet from the stirrups and 
sprung from the saddle. 



88 THE MUSIC CHANGES. 

He feared that he would fall to the ground when he 
lit feared that he had been seriously wounded, but in 
stead he found himself firm on his legs, and his legs 
making double quick time for the shanty now only a few 
yards away. 

The savages greeted the fall of the pony with re 
newed yells and came straight on, firing again, but 
ineffectually, and were within pistol range of the cabin 
around the corner of which Phil was darting, when 
"crack," "crack," rang out the report of two rifles with 
in, and two of the Indians, throwing up their arms 
wildly, fell. 

"Crack," "crack," "crack," "crack," came the shots 
from the cabin in swift succession, and "crack," crack," 
went Phil's Winchester from the corner, and two more 
reds swayed back and forth and then fell forward, as 
their ponies swerved sharply to the right or left in the 
wake of their companions, whose riders were now urging 
them to as great speed in their efforts to get away from 
the cabin as a moment before they had urged them to 
ward it. 

"Told you the music was going to change," yelled 
Phil as he lowered his Winchester, after seeing that 
the last of the Indians was out of range. "This is a 
quickstep of another kind, you see ; sorry you can't stop 
and enjoy it." 



MIGHTILY OBLIGED, 8p 

" Are you hurt, Phil?" 

< 'Where are you hurt, Phil ?" came in the same 
breath and from two different voices, and the next in 
stant Sam Brown and a man by the name of Peters, 
a cowboy from the ranch which Brown had started to 
ride over to in the morning, rushed out of the cabin 
and up to him. 

"I reckon I ain't seriously scalded yet," answered 
Phil, "but I'm mightily obliged to you fellows for 
being here just at this time ; I only wish you had come 
a little earlier. I doubt if them devils of Apaches 
would have raided us if there had been three instead 
of one. But I'll not complain, though I think I've 
got a scratch that will help me to remember this 
little scrimmage. Here, boys, you've done me one 
good turn, now do me another ; help me to ascertain 
the extent of the damage done by that Apache's 
bullet." 

On examination the wound proved to be no more 
than a scratch, and of no serious consequence. The 
ball had been fired from a line a few feet to the right 
of directly behind him and had passed under his arm 
as he leaned forward in his saddle and cut a furrow 
half its own thickness and three inches long, in the 
flesh over his heart, and then buried itself in the 
neck of his pony, who nevertheless recovered from the 



9O THE FALLEN SAVAGES. 

wound given him and is still in service, or at least fit 
for it. 

As soon as the extent of Phil's hurt had been as 
certained, a hasty consultation was held and a course of 
action decided on. 

First a cautious examination into the condition of 
the fallen savages was made, and three of them found 
to be dead enough. The fourth was severely wounded 
but not dead, neither likely to die immediately ; 
hence came the question of how to dispose of him, 
and as neither of the men could get his own consent 
to dispatch him, it was decided to carry him to the 
cabin, bind up. his wounds the best that could be 
done under the circumstances, place food and water 
where he could reach it and leave him to take his 
chances and live or die as the fates should determine, 
while an effort was being made to retake the stampeded 
steers. > 

As the three men stood over the wounded Indian 
discussing place for his disposal he watched them with 
immovable features and without uttering so much as a 
groan. They thought him too badly wounded to be 
capable of any effort, either offensive or defensive ; and 
he evidently thought them discussing the manner in 
which they would put an end to him. Either that, or 
his hatred of them was superior to his fear of death, for 



A HUMANE ACT. 91 

as they stooped to pick him up he suddenly made a 
vicious lunge at one of them with his knife. His arm 
was weak, however, and the knife was knocked from 
his hand by Peters without any one being injured, and 
without so much as a word of comment he was carried 
though I fear not too gently into the cabin and 
laid on one of the bunks. He was shot through the 
body just above the hips, and his chances did not 
appear worth any great amount of money for live stock, 
so the men decided ; but such as they were he was to be 
permitted to keep them all. A bandage was therefore 
put about his body over the wound, and food placed 
within reach, as also all the vessels in the house which 
would hold water, so that the savage might not only 
have drink but to dampen the cloths over his wounds, 
and then the three men mounted their ponies and rode 
away ; Phil on the animal which had brought Peters to 
the ranch, Brown riding his own pony, the two strik 
ing out on the trail of the stampeded herd, while Peters 
took Phil's wounded pony and made back as rapidly 
as possible under the circumstances to his own camp, 
where he could get a fresh mount and from where mes 
sengers would be sent in hot haste to all the surround 
ing camps, putting them on their guard and raising a 
crowd from among them to follow on and aid, if pos 
sible, in re-taking the stolen cattle, and in punishing" the 
thieves. 



92 THE REGULAR ARMY AND THE ARMY OF COWBOYS. 

Once, when relating to a number of gentlemen the 
incident of the wounded savage, one of the number 
expressed to the writer his surprise at the feelings of 
common humanity displayed by Brown and Peters and 
Johnson in the matter. I wish, therefore, to say here, 
that while on general principles a cowboy hates an 
Indian, and accepts, and may often be heard repeating, 
the old saw 

' 'Live India'n bad Indian, 
Dead Indian good Indian," 

it does not follow therefore, that the cowboy is a brute 
devoid of all feelings of pity or humanity, or that he 
takes pleasure in or can even be induced by anger or 
by the blood and thunder stories of writers who have 
never been within a thousand miles of danger from a 
redskin, to do so contemptible or cowardly a thing as 
in cold blood to kill a wounded enemy, even though 
he be an Apache Indian and engaged in stampeding 
stock. There may be some such men in the regular 
army. I have heard it so said ; I do not know if it is 
true or not, but there are none such among the cowboys 
of Texas and the Territories, at least I hope not and I 
believe not. 

The regular army and the army of cowboys are 
differently made up. Men may enter the former who 
are too lazy or too cowardly to earn a living at any 
other calling, and once in they have to stay ; but 



A GOOD INDIAN. 93 

cowards and lazy people never engage in the business of 
punching steers on the great plains, or if by chance 
such a one starts in, it is safe to say he throws up the 
job within forty-eight hours. The man who sticks is 
neither lazy nor cowardly, and though the life they 
lead makes them coarse and sometimes, nay, generally, 
cruelly indifferent to the suffering of animals, they yet 
are not so hardened that any need express surprise at 
an act of common humanity done by them to a wounded 
savage. 

Neither have I introduced this incident or this 
particular Apache to the readers of this narrative for 
the purpose of having a grateful Indian upon whom I 
may depend for help in getting my hero out of the 
hands of the tribe just as their braves hold a council and 
decide to burn him at the stake, after the fashion set by 
the blood and thunder novelists. I have no hero and 
no heroine ; I do but tell of things that have been, and 
he who writes of incidents as they actually transpire and 
of men as they are has no need of such aids in the 
making of an interesting book ; and I may as well state 
now as later, that when Phil and Sam returned to the 
cabin, after their absence in trailing the stampeded 
cattle, the wounded Indian was dead ; upon the disv every ' 
of which fact they set fire to the cabin and cremated the 
body in the best style possible under the circumstances. 
Doing it, not because they had any prejudices aga'mt 



94 A GOOD INDIAN. 

the ordinary method of burial, but because they pre 
ferred building a new cabin, when they should need it, 
to the work of removing the remains of the deail 
i savage. 




'I'D BH CONTENTED TO LIB AMONG THB ROCKS A WHOLE WEEK SHOCXIWO. t 19 
TH3 TAKQKTS WKK& APACHSS." 



CHAPTER VI. 

SUCCESSFUL STRATAGEM SAM TELLS HOW HE AND 
PETERS CHANCED TO BE AT THE SHANTY. 

As Phil and his partner galloped along on the trail of 
the stampeded herd, keeping a sharp lookout, not only 
for Indians but for any cattle that might have broken 
away from their captors, they had little opportunity and 
not much disposition to talk. In such situations men 
think little and talk less of the business immediately in 
hand, and when there is no need of their talking of that 
they talk not at all. When one knows that behind each 
rock or bush that he sees may lurk a foe in wait to put 
a bullet through his heart, one uses his eyes rather than 
his tongue. 

Sam and Phil had no fear of an open attack or of an 
attack by great numbers. 

The main body of Indians were undoubtedly with 
the stampeded herd, rushing them along toward the 

<93> 



96 ON THB TRAIL OF THE STOLEN STEERS. 

mountains, but they could well spare a few of their 
number to scout along in the rear and endeavor to check 
pursuit, or if the pursuers were too numerous for that, 
to notify their companions and enable them to take ad 
vantage of the knowledge in making their escape, and 
the possibility that at any moment they might be fired 
on from cover necessitated the utmost caution consistent 
with the making of reasonable progress. 

They therefore rode in almost absolute silence ; now, 
with eyes sweeping the prairie on every side for straggling 
steers ; now, scanning closely every bush or stone or 
bunch of tall grass capable of giving ambush to a lurk 
ing foe. 

Neither did they follow the trail too closely, but 
turned to the right or left around each little elevation 
behind which their enemies might be awaiting them, 
for, as Sam laconically expressed it, their cattle were 
not worth exchanging their scalps for, and if he could 
not have both he proposed to let them keep the steers 
while he kept his scalp ; a sentiment not difficult to 
understand or appreciate. 

They, however, saw no Indians and no straggling 
steers until the afternoon had worn well away, and they 
were entering the foot hills which led up to the mountains, 
when, coming up over a ridge, the first of a series of 
ridges or long, low hills, they saw, away in the distance, 
the herd of stolen cattle, followed and half surrounded 



A BOLD MOVE. 97 

by the Indians, who were urging them forward as rapidly 
as their now tired condition would permit. 

And now the partners determined upon a bold move. 
They knew or, at least, they thought they knew that 
as the Indians approached the mountains they would 
split the herd into three or four branches, and, dividing 
their own forces, take different routes to their fastnesses, 
thus confusing their pursuers, or, at least, compelling 
them to divide their forces also, and so make almost 
certain their ability to escape with at least a portion of 
their plunder. Thus, if the pursuit grew hot on one 
trail, the savages could abandon that portion of the herd, 
and having divided the pursuing force, cross, by trails 
known to them, to some other point and join their com 
panions, and either aid them in overpowering the party 
in pursuit of them, or hold it at bay while the others 
escaped with their portion of the drove. 

Anticipating this attempt to split the herd, Sam and 
Phil resolved to make a bold dash at the right moment 
and endeavor to cut off a portion of the cattle, and so 
save it if possible. 

To do this it was essential that they approach very 
near without being seen by the Indians, and be ready to 
take advantage of the opportune moment when the 
Indians would be most intently occupied, and in some 
confusion from their own efforts to divide the herd. 

Accordingly they made a detour of several miles to 



98 SUCCESSFUL STRATAGEM. 

the right, following such a course as best served to con 
ceal them from the Indians, and in the dusk of early 
evening came upon them from the side instead of in the 
rear, and just as, by riding in among the herd and 
shouting and yelling, the savages had succeeded in 
breaking it up in bunches and sent the steers flying in a 
dozen different directions. Fortune favored the partners 
still further, for the largest bunch about one fourth of 
the herd broke in their direction, followed by a half 
dozen of the savages only, the others being engaged in 
efforts to unite the smaller bunches and start them in 
the different directions they were desired to take. 

Weapons in hand, the two men sat upon their ponies 
in the shadow of a bunch of chaparral, and watched the 
steers rush by ; held their breath and let pass the un 
suspecting savages ; fingered the locks of their Winches 
ters, and waited until all were well over the ridge, and 
for the time out of sight of their companions, and then 
put spurs to their ponies and followed after. 

If the Indians saw, they mistook them, in the 
gathering darkness, for members of their own band, and 
not until the sharp crack of rifles sounded the knell of 
two of their number did they realize that an attack upon 
them was being made ; and then, not understanding the 
source of the attack, and not knowing how small was 
the attacking party, they fled precipitately and rejoined 
their now excited and demoralized companions, leaving 



RECAPTURED STEERS. 99 

Sam and Phil to push on after the flying cattle and 
gradually turn them in the direction of home, without so 
much as a return shot. 

Until midnight the twa jlen kept the now almost 
exhausted steers moving, and then allowed them to lie 
down and rest, while they kept watch. 

Rifles in hand and holding the ponies by the bridles, 
they stood guard until the morning, but nothing of a 
suspicious character occurred. 

When daylight came they made a short scout, to 
satisfy themselves that no Indians were in the immediate 
vicinity. 

Convinced upon this point, they permitted their 
ponies to feed upon the grass, while they themselves 
ate a breakfast of jerked beef, and then started their 
little herd of jaded steers once more toward the old 
range. 

It was not their intention, however, to follow them 
tar. 

Knowing that if left alone they would not wander so 
far but that they could be readily found, and that in all 
probability they would strike straight back for their old 
range, and believing the Indians were too badly beaten 
and too much afraid of meeting with further punishment 
to return, they proposed leaving this bunch of recaptured 
steers, and making back to join the crowd that, gathered 



100 REINFORCEMENTS, 

from neighboring camps, they knew well was hot on the 
trail of the retreating savages ere this. 

Accordingly they turned back along the way they had 
just come, and about noon struck the trail of the day 
before in the vicinity of the scrimmage of the previous 
evening, and were gratified and encouraged by evidences 
clear to the eye of a plainsman that a party of at least a 
score of cowboys, following the route of the retreating 
Indians, had passed the spot at an early hour of the. 
morning. 

At the point where the herd had been divided and 
at which they had made their successful effort to re 
capture a portion of it, they made a careful examination 
and decided that the Indians had divided into three 
bands and each taking a portion of the cattle had struck 
into the mountains by different routes and that their 
friends, the cowboys, had also divided and were in 
pursuit. 

Judging from such indications as met their eyes they 
decided the number of their friends to be twenty, and 
that about an equal number, that is six or seven, had 
followed each of the trails made by the savages ; and as 
they could not determine which would be most likely to 
be nearest, or most stand in need of their assistance, 
they concluded to follow the middle trail, thinking it 
probable that the other two trails would lead into this 
one after a time, and if not that they stood as good a 



BROWN GROWS BLOODTHIRSTY IOI 

chance of making themselves useful on this as on either 
of the others. 

"I wish we may get the whole band corraled some 
where," remarked Sam as they rode along at a swinging 
gallop. 

There was little danger to be feared in the rear of 
the party which had gone on in advance, and the two 
rode at as rapid a pace as they felt their ponies could 
stand, and without taking extra precaution, such as 
avoiding what appeared to be good places for ambush, 
or going out of the way to reconnoiter the trail from 
each eminence which they came to, as they would have 
done if in advance of the other party of whites. Riding 
so they felt confident of overtaking their friends by 
nightfall, if not before, and hoped to get up in time to 
take a hand in any fighting which might take place. 

' 'Wish we may corral the whole mendacious lot of 
'em," repeated Sam a little later on. "I'd be content 
to lie around among the rocks on some of these mountain 
sides and practice target shooting for a whole week if 
only the targets were Apache Indians." 

' 'It appears to me, " laughed Phil in return, "that 
for a fellow who less than two years ago was a tenderfoot 
taking his first lesson in riding a bucking pony you are 
grown mighty bloodthirsty." 

Sam looked at Jiis partner in a way which Phil did 
not fail to understand, and then answered: 



IO2 AND THEN BECOMES SENTIMENTAL. 

' 'You and the rest of the fellows have had lots of 
fun over that little accident, and I know it was funny, 
though I couldn't well be expected to see the humorous 
side of it myself. Well, you are welcome to joke about 
it as much as you like ; I can afford to let you do it." 

' ' You're mighty right you can, old fellow," and Phil, 
who was in the lead a few paces, held his pony up and 
reaching back grasped Sam's hand and wrung it hard 
and long. 

' The boys never did take you for a softy exactly ; 
you know that, but they have to have their joke, and 
you were the last to pitch camp among us. Some time 
the time may come when I can show you how much I 
am obliged to you and Peters for happening to be at the 
shanty just the moment you were, and if it does come 
I'll try and make my feelings plain to be understood." 

"Oh that's all right, pard, that's all right," an 
swered Sam, wringing his hand in return. "I didn't 
mind it much, but I'm glad that I didn't flinch when the 
time came to prove what stuff I was made of ; it will 
make the loss of the steers come easier you see. But I 
shouldn't have been there only going over to borrow 
some coffee of Peters I met Peters coming over to borrow 
some coffee of us, and being as neither of us had any we 
decided to ride back to our camp for dinner and then go 
over to Simmons' ranch on the other fork and get some 
there ; and just as we came over the little divide on the 



LUCKY PETERS' CAMP BEING OUT OF COFFBB. 103 

other side of the creek we saw the reds coming down 
towards the cabin yelling and shooting like mad. We 
couldn't see you because of the corral, but we knew 
mighty well what it all meant, and you bet we made our 
ponies stretch themselves. 

' 'We kept in line with that clump of cotton woods 
until we reached the corral and then we were hid by the 
shanty itself, and I reckon the reds were a little surprised 
at our being there." 

"Sam," said Phil, "you're a trump." 

The two rode on in silence for a few moments, a 
silence that was broken by Phil. 

"I'm mighty glad Peters' camp was out of coffee," 
he said. 



CHAPTER VII. 

FOLLOWING THE TRAIL WATCHING FOR AN OPPORTU 
NITY TO ATTACK THE INDIAN CAMP. 

The farther the trail was followed the rougher and 
more precipitous it became, and the slower the progress 
made, though they still rode principally at a gallop. 
There was no difficulty in following the trail, as now 
that they were well into the mountains there was but 
one way that a bunch of steers could be driven with any 
speed, and that was up some ravine, or along some bit 
of table land hedged in by cliffs too steep and rugged to 
make clambering over them a feasible thing ; or if they 
came to a little valley across which the trail led, the 
lay of the country made clear to practiced eyes, such as 
Phil's were, the point at which the trail must leave it 
again, and thus enabled them to ride forward without 
paying much attention to the signs left by those whom 
they followed. 

They knew that the Indians would have traveled all 
(104) 




FOLLOWING THE TRAIL. 



EVIDENCES OF A SKIRMISH. 10$ 

night that in fact they would stop only when it be 
came impossible to keep the steers from lying down 
from exhaustion and they did not expect to overtake 
either them or the other pursuing party much, if any, 
before night. 

About noon they halted for the purpose of giving 
their ponies a rest and a bite of grass, and each in turn 
threw himself upon the ground and slept a few moments. 
Neither had slept a wink the night before, and the hard 
riding and loss of sleep was now beginning to tell on 
them, and would have done so sooner but for their 
excitement and their anxiety to get on as fast as possible. 

Pushing on again after an hour's rest they came, at 
about three o'clock, to a spot which exhibited indica 
tions of a halt on the part of the party which preceded 
them, and closer examination convinced them both that 
here a little brush between their friends and the Indians, 
or probably a few of the Indian scouts, had taken 
place. 

They found where, in a ravine, the pursuing party had 
evidently left their ponies in charge of one of their 
number while the rest either reconnoitered on foot or 
made an attempt to crawl unperceived upon a hidden 
foe ; and in another place saw some dried blood, but 
whether the blood came from a man or a steer they 
would not determine. 

Convinced, however, that nothing decisive had taken 



IO6 THE TRAIL BECOMES HOT. 

place, they moved forward with greater caution, the way 
growing rougher and rougher, as they anticipated it 
would be. 

The general direction of the trail was south. The 
savages were evidently 'making either for some fastness 
which they regarded as inaccessible to their pursuers, or 
tvere intending to keep on and, crossing the mountains, 
pome out fifty or a hundred miles below Fort Stanton, 
and make for old Mexico, where they would be compara 
tively safe from pursuit. 

Without stopping to make lengthy investigations the 
two men were able to tell where, here and there, a steer 
had made an attempt to leave the herd and been driven 
back by the watchful savages, and once they found the 
spot where a steer had been killed and dressed, evidently 
for the purpose of providing the captors with food and, 
in consequence, strength for other raids. 

As the afternoon passed, too, they began to see 
evidences that they were gaining on those in advance, 
and near sundown they caught sight of a half dozen men 
riding around a mountain a mile or more in advance, 
and knew them to be their friends. 

Halting their own ponies, they watched the little 
party in advance of them until convinced from the 
exceeding caution with which they were evidently moving 
that they believed themselves in the immediate vicinity of 
the Indians, and then hurried forward with all the speed 



TRYING TO CONNECT WITH THEIR FRIENDS. 1 07 

consistent with their desire to keep out of the sight of 
any spies which the Indians might have out. 

If possible they wished to join their friends before 
night set in, and so ascertain what plans, if any, had 
been decided on f of the attack, and also to be there to 
take a hand in it if an attack was made. 

They realized, too, that if they failed to overtake 
and make themselves known to their friends while it was 
still light, there was danger of each party mistaking the 
other for Indians, and accordingly they pushed forward 
with all the speed consistent with caution. 

But darkness comes on quickly in the mountains 
after the sun goes down, and their efforts to connect 
with their friends before night came upon them were 
unavailing. 

When they could no longer see to ride with safety 
they dismounted at the edge of a thick patch of chaparral, 
and leading their tired ponies into it tied them securely 
in such a way that they could lie down if they chose, 
and prepared to proceed on foot and endeavor to join 
their friends. 

Before starting they again ate heartily of dried beef, 
as even in times of danger and excitement your frontiers 
man never neglects his stomach if he can help it, and 
especially is he careful not to leave his base of supplies, 
even if that base is only a small package tied to his 
saddle, without having eaten, if hungry ; for when he 



IO8 NEARING THE INDIAN CAMP. 

does so he knows not whether he will be able to return 
to it, or, if so, how long it may be first ; and it is a poor 
generalship to start on an expedition with an empty 
stomach. 

When necessity compels, a cowboy may go without 
his food, but it is never a thing of his own choice. 

After eating, the two men crept cautiously from the 
bunch of chaparral and began making their way for 
ward. 

The night was not dark, the moon being in its second 
quarter and the stars shining brightly. 

They would have preferred that the night had been 
less bright, as with the moon shining they were much 
more likely to be discovered by the guards they knew 
the Indians would keep out, and they wished to avoid 
being seen at least until they could ascertain just how 
things were and get into communication with their 
friends. 

That the Indians were in camp within a mile of them, 
and that their friends were in hiding somewhere in the 
vicinity, they felt confident, and they had little doubt 
that an opportunity for giving the Indians battle would 
be found or made before the sun rose again. 

Keeping close together, they worked their way from 
point to point now crawling on hands and knees to 
some point of elevation from which they hoped to be 
able to discover some indication of either friend or foe ; 



WHERE ARE "THE BOYS"? 

now crouching within the shadow of a rock or bush, and 
peering around for sight or sign ; again walking rapidly 
but with guarded footsteps in the deepest shade cast by 
an overhanging crag ; always with hands on their weap 
ons and ready for whatever might come ; they at last 
reached a point which overlooked a little valley perhaps 
a quarter of a mile wide, hemmed in by the mountains 
on three sides. 

Looking down into this bit of an oasis they could see 
animals, some feeding and some lying down, or what 
appeared to be such ; in the imperfect light and at the 
distance from which they were it was not very easy to 
distinguish between a bunch of weeds and a steer or 
pony, unless by seeing it move. 

For some moments they lay flat on the ground, 
watching the valley below, and then Phil whispered : 

"That's them." 

"Where do you s'pose the boys are?" asked Sam 
after a moment of further looking. 

"Don't know ; not far off, though." 

Again they remained silent, watching for anything 
which might occur to indicate what course they had best 
pursue. 

"You fellows think yourselves mighty sharp, don't 
you, now ? Reckon you were just planning to go down 
and take that there camp of reds without any ceremony!' 
came a voice, in a guarded tone though loud enough t< 



110 PETERS HAS HIS LITTLE JOKE 

be heard distinctly by them ; and, glancing up, both 
men saw a head protruding from around a sage bush not 
more than ten feet away. 

For a space of time sufficiently long to be noticeable 
neither said a word or moved more than a muscle. 
Then Phil replied, in the same cautious tone : 

' 'I reckon you have the joke on us, Peters, and I 
suppose the only way to keep you from telling it to the 
boys and so get them to deviling us about it, is to put a 
bullet through you, and pretend we took you for a red. 

What d'ye say ?" 

i 
Peters snickered. 

' 'Wouldn't do it, if I was you ; you need me to help 
you get those steers of yours back. " 

" Where's the rest of the boys ?" This from Brown. 

"'Round to the right there, 'bout eighty rods. See 
that big rock that sticks out on the other side of the 
canyon ? They are on this side of the canyon just, 
opposite that." 

Neither of the three men had yet moved from their 
positions since Peters had surprised them by his un 
expected speech, but now he began to let himself cau 
tiously down, and in a moment was at their side. 

"He, he!" he snickered. "You fellows are fine 
Indian trailers let a man come onto you in this 



AND ENJOYS IT HUGELY. Ill 

They could feel that he was shaking with laughter, 
but neither of them made any reply. 

4 'Well, we had better be getting back to the boys," 
Peters said again. 

''All right ; strike out and we'll follow." 

Neither of the partners was deceived by Peters' 
manner or words into supposing that there was no need 
of caution, nor did they feel annoyed by the joke he 
appeared to think he had played upon them. 

Brown, being an Eastern man up to two years be 
fore, had never met Peters until he and Johnson had 
pitched camp and located their present range, but 
Phil and Peters had trailed Indians together three years 
before, and had herded together for more than a year, 
and were well acquainted and quite fond of each 
other. 

Peters was a much older man than either Brown or 
Johnson, and had led a rough life as hunter and cow 
boy, but had, so he declared, been able to keep jolly 
a.11 the same. He knew less of Brown than of Johnson, 
)ut the coolness and nerve displayed by him in the 
fight at the ranch had given him a high opinion of his 
courage and coolness, the very qualities which he knew 
Phil to possess in the highest degree ; and it was be 
cause of this belief or knowledge that he had dared to 
venture on his little joke. 

He had been delegated by the little band of six mn r 



112 SAM AND PHIL JOIN THEIR COMPANIONS. 

of whom he was the most experienced in Indian fighting, 
to scout about a little and learn just what the outlook 
for a successful attack on the camp was ; and it was 
while doing so that he had chanced to catch a glimpse 
of Sam and Phil as they crawled carefully around a 
hummock where for an instant they were not in the 
shadow. Recognizing them at once, he had remained 
concealed behind^ the bush toward which they were 
making and within a few feet of which they took up 
their new post of observation. 

It was when he saw them do this that the spirit of 
fun took possession of and prompted him to make his 
presence known in the manner stated. 

Crawling on their bellies until out of danger of being 
seen from the Indian camp, the three men slowly raised 
to their feet and cautiously made their way from shadow 
to shadow and from point to point, until they reached 
the place where the others were waiting. 

As was natural, this little company were greatly 
rejoiced at the addition to their numbers of Brown and 
Johnson. 

Peters explained to them what he had discovered on 
the scout which he had made. 

The Indians, he told them, were camped in the valley 
below, and were resting both the cattle and their ponies, 
and that besides guards on watch about the cattle, their 
scouts were posted at points which he indicated outside 



THE INDIANS IN CAMP. II J 

the valley, where they would be best able to detect the 
approach of -an attacking party. 

The question of what course to pursue under the 
circumstances was now discussed. 

To return without making an attempt to recover the 
cattle and punish the thieves was not to be thought 
of, but at the same time the risk of making a night 
attack was very great, owing to the position of the 
Indian camp, and to the fact that the Indians were 
well aware of the presence of their pursuers in the 
neighborhood, their scouts having discovered and ex 
changed shots with them early in the day at the point 
where Phil and Sam had noticed the blood drops as 
already noted. 

The blood in question was supposed to have come 
from a pony wounded by a shot from one of the party 
of whites, and not from a person, as none were be 
lieved to be hit. 

It was finally decided not to risk a night attack, 
but instead to follow on after the Indians and watch 
for a chance to get back the cattle without running 
too great a risk of losing their lives in the operation, 
and to wait until that chance appeared, no matter 
whether they followed them one day or six. 

That the chance would corne all believed, and all 
were agreed to wait for it. 

The little company of men now divided themselves 



114 A COMMOTION IN CAMP. 

into two watches of four each, one half to watch while 
the other slept. 

As Phil and Brown had no rest the night before, 
they were given the opportunity with two other men 
to go to sleep at once, and proceeded to stretch them 
selves out upon the ground without comment or delay, 
when a commotion of some kind in the Indian camp 
below was heard, and at once all thought of sleep van 
ished and every man listened and peered with all 
his might in an effort to ascertain the meaning 
of it. 

Phil and Peters left the others and crawled away 
in the darkness. Those who remained lay perfectly 
still, but with every faculty alert and ready for attack 
or defense. 

The commotion in the camp below continued for 
half an hour and then everything became quiet again, 
and in another hour Phil and Peters returned and re 
ported that the band which they had been following all 
day had been joined by another band with other cattle ; 
but whether the last comers were a portion of those 
who had raided the Brown-Johnson ranch or not, they 
could not tell. They thought not, however, and were 
of the opinion that the raid had been more general than 
was at first supposed, and that these last comers were 
a band who had been on a raid further up, and that this 
was in all probability the meeting point for all engaged 



ALL QUIBT AGAIN. 

in the raid, and that they might expect other bands to 
come in at any time. 

Again Phil and three of the others threw themselves 
upon the ground and in a few moments were fast asleep. 
The rest kept watch and guard. Two only of the four 
sleepers were awakened after a couple of hours and took 
the place of two who had stood guard until that time. 
Knowing how greatly exhausted Phil and his partner 
must be, they were allowed to sleep undisturbed until 
events in the early morning light began to occur in the 
camp below, which required the consideration of every 
member of the little band of cowboys hidden in the 
chaparral on the mountain side. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

THE CLOUD BURST, AND THE FIGHT IN THE INDIAN 

CAMP. 

The matters transpiring in the Indian camp and 
which were of such interest to the little party concealed 
in the chaparral above were neither more nor less than 
the arrival of first one and then another band of Indians 
with live stock. 

First came about one hundred head of the Brown- 
Johnson herd driven by a dozen or fifteen Indians, and 
before the yells with which their coming was greeted 
had ceased there appeared at the lower end of the little 
valley still another and larger band with a larger bunch of 
cattle. These last were evidently stolen from a ranch 
in the mountains close by, and had not been driven so 
far or so hard as the others, as they were still apparently 
a good deal of trouble to manage and made frequent 
dashes for liberty. 




Anton Scenrr. 



BROWN'S WISH LIKELY TO BE GRATIFIED. 117 

There must have been at least three hundred steers 
in this bunch, and not less than fifty Indians in the band 
which brought them in. 

The whole number of Indians already assembled 
were considerably more than a hundred, and it was 
probable that more might be expected at any moment. 
So far this was entirely satisfactory to the watchers 
from the chaparral. Nothing would have pleased them 
so well as to get the whole Apache tribe corraled in 
that little valley and wipe them all out at once. It 
Was beginning to look as if Brown's wish that he might 
be furnished Apaches for target practice for the next 
week was to be gratified. 

Of course the little party knew that behind every 
bunch of stolen stock would follow, sooner or later, a 
rescue party, and if the Indians were only foolish enough 
to remain where they were it would not be twenty-four 
hours before they would be surrounded by a sufficient 
force of cowboys to make the recapture of the cattle 
if not the destruction of the entire band of savages a 
certain thing. 

The little party of whites therefore watched with 
interest quite as intense as that of the savages, and were 
nearly as ready to greet with cheers the arrival of any 
number of additional bands. 

No others came, however, and very soon it was 
apparent that those already there were getting ready to 



1 1 8 WHAT IS TO BE DONE ? 

move on, as they could be seen catching their ponies 
and galloping about gathering ^.11 the cattle into one 
bunch preparatory to taking them out of the valley. 

Phil and Sam especially regretted this. 

They would like to have seen all their steers that 
were in the hands of the Indians in one bunch so that 
they could the better judge of the chances for getting 
them back. However, they could do nothing in the mat 
ter, could not even make an immediate attempt at re 
taking those in sight and almost under their noses ; for 
it would be folly for eight men to attack one hundred 
and fifty savages almost as well armed as themselves. 

The result that would follow such a course would be 
that a part of the savages would engage them while the 
rest made off with the stock ; and that when they were 
safely off with the cattle the others would slip away one 
at a time and rejoin them, without perhaps the loss of a 
man or a steer, leaving the whites in ignorance of 
whether an Indian was hidden behind each bush and 
rock in front of them or not. 

Evidently the thing to do under the circumstances 
was to scout around and try and make connections with 
any other companies of whites which might be following 
on the trail of the marauders, and when the force so 
gathered together became sufficiently large attack openly 
or make a dash and endeavor to recapture the cattle and 
escape with them. 



A SKIRMISH WITH APACHE SCOUTS. 1/9 

Accordingly the little party remained in their con 
cealment until the Indians had begun to move out of 
the valley with their stolen stock and then prepared to 
follow. 

Emerging from the sheltering chaparral, they were 
about to remount their ponies when they were greeted 
with a shower of bullets fired at long range and perceived 
at once that their presence was known to the Indians 
and that they were in for a running fight ; that is, that 
a part of the Indians would ambush them at every 
opportunity and endeavor to delay and hold them in 
check while the others continued their flight with the 
cattle. 

This was by no means a pleasant predicament, but 
there was no way of getting out of it and they must do 
the best they could. Returning the ponies to the 
chaparral and leaving two of their number to guard 
them, the others crawled out of the bush upon their 
hands and knees and by different ways and began feeling 
for the savages. 

By one device and another such as raising a hat on a 
ramrod and thrusting some portion of their clothing into 
view from around a rock, they succeeded in drawing the 
fire first of one and then another of the enemies, thus 
learning their exact hiding places, and occasionally get 
ting in a return shot, though without being able to note 
the effect. 



I2O THE MUSIC A WINCHESTER MAKES. 

But this kind of fighting was by no means pleasing 
to the little party of cowboys, who were really quite as 
much interested in recapturing the stock as in punishing 
the thieves, and it chafed them greatly to be thus 
held at bay by a few reds while the stock was being 
driven beyond their reach, and they were meditating a 
dash for the purpose of dislodging the Indians, when 
the sound of other shots was heard, to which came an 
swering shots from what appeared to be a half mile away, 
and to the left of where they were lying. 

' 'That's the Wilson crowd, I reckon." 

It was Peters who spoke, and by "the Wilson crowd'' 
he meant another of the little parties which had followed 
a portion of Phil's and Sam's herd when the party had 
divided at the foot of the range and followed different 
divisions of the band that had stolen the sleek, tooth- 
tempting steers. 

"I supposed they were somewhere in the vicinity," 
returned Phil. "Have been listening to hear the music 
of their Winchesters for an hour. I reckon we can 
crawl forward a little. These fellows in front have got 
onto the fact of their coming and have begun to light 
out." 

While speaking, Phil had left the shelter of the rock 
behind which he was hiding and was making for another 
one some rods in advance when, with startling sudden 
ness, ' 'crack" came the report of a rifle and "zip" went a 



PETERS ATTEMPTS A PUN. 121 

bullet close to his ear, causing him to drop instantly, 
and proceed to crawl instead of running to shelter. 

''That Apache'll put your light out ef you ain't more 
keerful," snickered Peters ; though whether he laughed 
at his own attempted pun or at the rapidity with which 
Phil changed his tactics one could not have told. Prob 
ably it was both, though he may not have known that 
he had been guilty of punning, in which case the reader 
will doubtless forgive him his offense. 

Although Phil had come near paying with his life 
for his hardiness in taking too much for granted, yet the 
little company one by one followed his example, fully 
convinced that the Indians in front of them had retreated, 
or would do so speedily, to avoid being caught between 
two fires ; and this surmise was soon proven correct. 

No more shots came; and it was soon evident that the 
one who had fired at Phil was the last savage to retreat, 
and probably got in this shot just as he was on the point 
of doing so. 

Neither were any other shots heard from the left, 
but a cautiously conducted scout in that direction dis 
covered Wilson's crowd of six cowboys concealed be 
hind as many different boulders, watching intently for 
the sight of an Indian along the line of retreat taken by 
the band. 

None appeared, however ; even those left behind had 
slipped away and were following on after their com- 



122 KEEPING THE TRAIL. 

panions, and watching to prevent any company of possible 
pursuers from getting in between themselves and those 
in charge of the stolen cattle. 

Communication was soon established between the 
two bodies of whites, and as soon as it was ascertained 
that the Indians had fled they came together, and after 
a few minutes' consultation returned for their ponies, 
which had been left behind when the skirmish with the 
Indians began, and together rode on after the retreating 
band. 

All day they pursued, and every few hours they were 
greeted with the sound of rifle shots and whistling of 
bullets, though it was but seldom that one came very 
close to any of the party. 

These Indian scouts were too much afraid of a close 
fight to even attempt an actual ambuscade, and contented 
themselves with firing occasional shots from long range 
more, apparently, for the purpose 01 hindering the 
pursuing party by compelling them to proceed with 
caution than from any expectation of doing them injury. 
On this point the pursuers were the better content to 
submit to the harrowing delay from the expectations 
which they entertained of being joined by others from 
the vicinity of the ranches that had been raided in the 
valley above, as also by those of their own party which 
had branched off in pursuit of one of the parties into 
which the band had split up on entering the mountains. 



A CHANGE IN TACTICS. 12$ 

As night approached there arose the necessity of 
guarding against an attack in the darkness. The In 
dians having kept close watch of their movements during 
the day, might be inclined to make a night attack on 
them, thus turning the tables completely, and if success 
ful, relieve themselves of further pursuit. 

Taking this view of the situation, it was decided best 
not to follow too closely the retreating savages, and 
about the middle of the afternoon the party went into 
camp upon a bit of a plateau, which offered fair crop 
ping for the ponies and at the same time afforded no 
very good opportunity for an enemy to approach them 
unperceived. 

Here they waited until the afternoon was well spent, 
but were not joined by any other party of pursuers, and 
were forced to the conclusion that either none were to 
follow, or, if following, that they were long in getting 
started, and might not arrive in time to join in an im 
mediate attack on the Indians. After much consultation 
it was decided, on the advice of Phil and Peters, to 
change the tactics. 

Accordingly, a half hour before sundown, the whole 
party remounted and started back over the trail they 
had just come, as if having given up the pursuit. As 
soon as it became dark, however, twelve of the fourteen 
men dismounted, and taking with them only their arms 
and a blanket apiece, leit th other two to make their way 



124 A NIGHT'S TRAMP ACROSS COUNTRY. 

back to the settlement with the ponies, while the twelve 
struck off into the mountains and traveled all night on 
foot, in an effort to get in front of the entire band of 
Indians and be prepared to take advantage of such 
circumstances and conditions as might arise. 

None of the party knew anything of the country they 
were traveling over further than its general trend, and 
something of the location of the different passes over 
the highest mountains, and the settlements on either 
side of the range, but this was sufficient to indicate to 
them the route which the Indians would be compelled 
to follow, and they felt confident of their ability to out- 
travel them and get to the front before they should have 
Advanced far on the following day. 

The lay of the country, not less than the desire to 
avoid being observed by any of the scouts which the 
Indians would certainly have out on all sides, compelled 
a wide detour, and a long, hard scramble over ravines 
and mountains, but all were used to hardship, and all 
stood the night's tramp without breaking down, though 
no one among them all but was badly stove up and 
greatly wearied when morning came. 

With daylight the men halted, and after putting two 
of their number on guard, the rest lay down and slept. 
They were confident of being in advance of the Indians, 
and believed that all they could now do was to watch 
that they did not pass them unobserved. Therefore, 



THE INDIANS STILL HOLD TO THE CATTLE. 12$ 

while two watched the rest slept, and about ten o'clock 
the vigil of the watchers was rewarded by sight of an 
Indian scout, evidently in advance of the main body and 
about a half mile away. 

A little later ^a small body of Indians, mounted on 
ponies, passed the same point, and behind them a 
quarter of a mile or so came the stolen cattle, ac 
companied by the main body of the savages. They were 
moving with caution, but with some leisure as compared 
to the day before, which caused the cowboys, who were 
watching them, to hope their scouts had reported that 
the pursuit had been abandoned. 

After resting, the little company of cowboys again 
took up the trail. 

Keeping outside of the limits which the Indian scouts 
would be likely to prescribe for themselves, in watching 
for possible or probable pursuers, they kept on at a pace 
which they believed would bring them up even with or a 
little ahead of the Indians by nightfall. 

Their plan now was to keep as near the main body 
of Indians as possible and at the first opportunity make 
a night attack and endeavor to get off with a portion of, 
or if possible all, the ponies and cattle now in possession 
of the savages. 

When night had fairly shut down Peters and Johnson 
went again upon a scout and found the Indians in camp 
in a deep gorge, inaccessible except from one point, and 



126 ON THE SCOUT. 

that strongly guarded. They therefore returned to their 
companions and reported that it would be unwise to at 
tempt anything that night, and that they had better 
move on in advance of he Indians again und wait the 
coming of another night. 

It was already past midnight and the party at once 
moved forward, traveling until noon the next day, hav 
ing stopped only once and then only for an hour, to 
cook and eat a meal from the carcass of a deer whbh 
one of the party had shot This was the first fire that 
had been built by ^ny f the party since the pursuit began, 
and only the necessity ol choosing between doing so and 
eating raw meat inauced h m to build it now, though 
there was no &r a*; danger t Le feared therefrom, as 
they were careful nol to permit a column of smoke to 
rise from it. 

Having roasted meat enough to last th:m the day 
Out, they pushed ahead, and when the gain stopped it 
was at a point wher* thev feL hat an atte: ipt to recover 
the stolen cattle must b made if it wa to be made at 
all, and they had no intention of abandoning the pursuit 
without making one. 

The spot in question was a point where three gulches 
or canyons converged, leaving a small strip of compara 
tively level ground in the center and between them, and 
through which flowed a stream of water that during 
heavy rain storms and for a few days or hours only, 



DECIDING TO ATTACK. I2/ 

must have been very large, as it caught the flow from 
the sides of three eminences, either of which would send 
down a considerable body of water at such times. 

This stream was now dried to a tiny rivulet, fed by 
a spring somewhere farther up in the mountains, but it 
was sufficient to supply water for the herd which the 
Indians were driving, while upon the ground, back a 
little on either side, was as good a growth of grass as 
was likely to be found at this elevation, and the neces 
sity of allowing both the ponies and the stolen cattle an 
opportunity of getting a bite of feed would almost com 
pel the camping of the whole herd at this point for at 
least a portion of the night. 

After examining this bit of ground and the canyons 
converging to it as carefully as possible, without leaving 
too many signs of having been there, the little party of 
white men retired a distance up the mountain and con 
cealed themselves to await the coming of the night and 
the Indians. 

The two came together. It was the last of the sun's 
golden arrows, shot down the gorge from behind the 
mountain top, which showed to the men in hiding the head 
of the drove coming out into the open space from the 
lower side ; and before the last steer followed by a 
straggling line of ponies, each bearing his Indian master 
had quenched his thirst at the little stream and begun 
to feed upon the grass on its banks, it was too dark to 



128 DECIDING TO ATTACK. 

make it at all probable that the signs left by the white 
men would be observed by the enemy. 

The Indians appeared to be less fearful of attack 
than on the night previous, and had probably come 
to the conclusion that their pursuers had dropped off 
and abandoned the chase. More than one attempt 
of cattle men and settlers to follow the Apaches to 
their fortresses and recover their property had been 
abandoned, and this favor doubtless gave the rascals 
faith to believe that the present case would not 
prove an exception to their past experience, and had 
helped to make them a trifle less watchful than they would 
have been. 

They were not without caution, however, for they 
built no fires, but contented themselves with eating raw 
steak from a steer which they had killed just before 
going into camp. The only preparation give it, to make 
it more fitting food, was to press the blood out of it be 
tween two flat stones. 

They also put out guards, both within the level 
ground and upon the heights above, and at the mouths 
of each of the three canyons, so that the chances of 
surprising them or getting off with the herd, or any 
portion of it, were made extremely difficult, if not im 
possible. 

All this the white men learned partly from observing 
the movements of the Indians, and in part, perhaps, by 



PLANNING THE ATTACK. f > Q 

intuition or something approaching it. At any rate, they 
felt that every precaution against surprise had been taken 
by their enemies, and yet they were determined to make 
an attempt that night to surprise them and get back the 
cattle, Brown declaring that it was just a little more 
than a man could stand to see his cattle rounded up 
every night by a pack of thieves, and he was for 
making the attempt to get them back and take his 
chances on what might come of it. 

Phil felt about the same way. This raid, if it 
resulted in the loss of so many of their cattle, knocked 
the life out of the plans he was building again with 
regard to that million of dollars, and he was ready to 
run any risk rather than let the cattle go. 

Accordingly when the night was about half gone, 
the men left their hiding place, moving with more 
caution than they had done at any time since the chase 
began. 

Making their way down the canyon, to within a 
short distance of its mouth, the little company divided 
into two parts, one of which, under the command of 
Brown, was to remain where it was for the present, 
while the other part, under the guide of Phil and 
Peters, was to get by the guard in some way, steal in 
among the ponies feeding below, cut their hopples and 
stampede as many of them as possible. This as a first 



130 CAREFUL NOW. 

step ; further action to depend upon the success or failure 
of this attempt. 

Brown and his companions were to act at such time 
and in such manner as would best aid the stampeding 
party when the trouble should begin. 

Phil and Peters led their party carefully down the 
canyon and then left them, and together crawled away 
in the thick darkness. I say ''thick darkness" for it is 
always thick darkness in a canyon in the night, unless 
the moon is shining squarely into it, and these men had 
been careful to select for their hiding that one of the 
three canyons leading into the open space into which 
the moon would penetrate the least at midnight ; hence 
it would have been but little darker if there had been 
no moon at all. 

The two men were gone a full half hour, and their 
companions, to whom it seemed much longer, were 
becoming uneasy, when suddenly there came a clap of 
thunder whose echoes, chasing each other from peak 
to peak, gave the impression of a field battery having 
been discharged. This was followed by other peals 
less sharp, but no less distinct, all giving indication of 
an approaching storm. 

Immediately evidence of a commotion in the camp 
at the mouth of the canyon was distinguishable. It 
was apparent that the Indians were up and moving to 
get out of the way of the torrent, which would soon 



A COMMOTION IN THE INDIAN CAMP. 13 1 

begin to pour through the open space from the three 
separate gulches. 

An instant later Peters returned to the little 
group of waiting men and whispered to them to fol 
low him. At the mouth of the canyon Phil joined 
them. 

Had the lightning illumined their surroundings again 
at that moment it might have disclosed to their eyes the 
dead form of an Indian guard lying almost at their feet ; 
but it did not and they passed hurriedly on in the wake 
of their leaders. 

Already the rain was beginning to fall. 

Guided by the commotion now plainly to be heard 
in front of them they hurried forward. 

The Indians well understood the necessity of getting 
out of there and upon higher ground before the water 
came rushing down upon them, and they were 
whooping and yelling at the cattle, which were them 
selves becoming frightened and endeavoring to stam 
pede. 

The savages had secured a portion of the ponies, 
and in the intense darkness it was difficult for either the 
whites or the Indians themselves to find the others. In 
their search for them the little party of white men were 
repeatedly aware of the presence of Indians within a 
few feet of them, and once Peters brushed against one 



132 THE COMMOTION INCREASES, 

of their number, who in the darkness must have mis 
taken him for one of the band, for he gave utterance to 
something in his native tongue, of which Peters under 
stood only enough to know that it was not a warwhoop, 
and that therefore the presence of whites in the camp 
had not been discovered. 

But he had short space of time in which to con 
gratulate himself on this fact. 

First came a flash of lightning that lit up the 
mountains and made every bush and rock upon their 
rugged sides stand out as clear and sharp as if reflected 
in a glass ; which showed every nook and cranny of the 
mighty canyon leading up and up toward the clouds and 
the mountain tops ; which disclosed alike to whites and 
Indians the presence and position of their foes, and 
caused each to stand for a second dazed in the glare of 
light and the surprise of finding himself face to face with 
a mortal enemy. 

Then darkness black, intense. Then the whole 
heavens rolled together with one mighty thunder peal, 
and breaking through this the war cry of two hundred 
savage throats, the beating of hoofs, the bellow of 
stampeding cattle, the snorting of frightened horses ; 
and mingling with it and making itself felt rather than 
heard, the rush and roar of angry waters as the floods, 
released by the cloud burst upon the mountain tops, 
came seething and boiling down the canyons on either 



A CLOUD BURST -FIGHTING IN THE DARKNESS. I3J 

hand ; and through ajl the sharp crack of rifle shots fired 
thick and fast and at random by whites and Indians 
alike in the midst of darkness so dense one might almost 
feel it, and rain falling in sheets. 



CHAPTER IX. 



A CHANGE IN THE PROGRAM FOLLOWING AN ANCIENT 
AND HONORABLE CUSTOM, SAM BROWN WEDS. 

A blind break in the darkness for safety, a wild 
scramble up steep and almost perpendicular mountain 
sides, mad bellowings of frightened steers, the snortings 
of stampeding horses, Indians trampled upon by hundreds 
of crazed brutes that a moment later are themselves 
swept away by the torrent of water silence. 

When a sense of that awful fate that awaited them 
if they were not speedily out of that burst upon their 
consciousness, the half dozen white men in the Indian 
camp made for the nearest mountain side with all possi 
ble speed. 

It was Phil who gave the word to go, but there was 
little need of giving it, as a sense of their peril flashed 
upon all at the same instant. 

"34) 



IS THAT YOU, PETERS? 135 

Luckily the men were near a point where the ledges 
were less steep than at some other places, and all suc 
ceeded in reaching a position of safety, though not all 
in getting so far up as to be able to move farther. 

Phil and Peters found themselves lying on a ledge of 
rock above which the mountain appeared to rise in a 
perpendicular wall, and from which the boiling, foam 
ing, seething torrent, now rushing along with a deafen 
ing roar beneath them, made it impossible to escape. 

They could not see each other and for a time neither 
knew who the other was, or whether it was not an Indian 
instead of a white man ; but as their eyes became some 
what accustomed to the darkness, or more probably, as 
the clouds partially dispersed, their vision began to re 
turn to them a little, and Phil finally spoke but in a low 
tone and with his hand upon his revolver. 

1 'Is that you, Peters ?" 

"I reckon so, Phil, though I'm not quite certain ; I 
may be an Indian, for I mistook you for one." 

Nothing further was said for some time, as the roar 
of the waters made hearing difficult, and, besides that, 
an Indian might be within ten feet of them for all they 
could tell, and if so they knew the frightfulness of their 
situation would not prevent him from taking their lives, 
if it was in his power to do so. 

They lay thus, flat on their bellies, for what seemed 
to them to be hours, listening to the roar of the floods, 



136 SEARCHING FOR THEIR COMPANIONS. 

which gradually grew leas and less and finally became so 
faint that they held a whispered conversation and decided 
to try and find a more comfortable position. 

Rain had ceased some time before in fact, none had 
fallen for more than thirty minutes. 

They had been in the edge of the cloud which had 
burst a couple of miles farther up the mountain and 
thus exhausted, at one downpour, the ability of the 
heavens to supply moisture in drops. 

They had not really been confined to the ledge of 
rock for more than an hour, for the volume of water, 
great as it was, could not have been that long in pouring 
through. 

After descending a few feet, which they did by 
holding on to some brush and cautiously feeling their 
way, they worked along a little to the left, and finding 
the ledge less steep clambered up again, until they 
were two or three hundred feet above the bed of the 
canyon, and then crouched down and waited for day 
light. 

When daylight came they continued to ascend, but 
with caution, and after a time they began to search for 
their companions still with great watchfulness for fear 
of skulking Indians. 

After a few minutes' search they found one and 
another and finally all the four men who were with 
them in the Indian camp, when the cloud burst, and 



SEARCHING FOR THEIR COMPANIONS. 

together they began working around toward the canyon, 
where they had left their companions the night be 
fore. 

To reach this point they were compelled to cross the 
other two canyons, which they did with difficulty, and 
after going up the first one some distance to where the 
flow of water was less, for the flood had not yet all 
poured down, but only the larger portion of it, the ground 
having received and temporarily sucked in a large part, 
which it was now yielding up again to be carried down 
the canyon, through the bed of the little creek, and 
finally into the Pecos river by way of some of its tributa 
ries, and so on to the gulf. 

After crossing the two canyons they entered the 
third and followed it down to the point where they had 
parted from their friends the night before, but found no 
traces of them. 

They therefore continued on and out through the 
mouth and into the open space on which the Indian 
camp had stood, and were rejoiced at seeing their 
friends cautiously skirting along on the opposite side, at 
a point not far from where they had themselves scaled 
the ledge in the storm and darkness but a few hours 
before. 

Not considering it safe to halloo, they remained 
under cover of the rocks and watched until one of 
the others chanced to look in their direction, and 



ALL UNITED AGAIN. 

then signaled him by a wave of the hand ; and soon 
the little party was united again and congratulating 
each other on their miraculous escape from an awful 
death. 

It appeared that the cloud burst had occurred at a 
distance of perhaps a couple of miles up the mountains, 
at which point the canyons diverged a considerable 
distance from each other. The cloud had burst over 
the canyon to the left of the one in which Brown and 
his party lay concealed, and awaiting the signal by 
which they should know whether or not the others had 
succeeded in stampeding the ponies belonging to the 
Indians, 

He and those who were with him had followed on 
down, near to the mouth of the canyon, as agreed 
that they should do, and when the firing began mads 
an attempt to rush forward to the assistance of their 
companions, but were met by a wall of water coming 
through the other gorge and retreated in haste to the 
mountain side in time to see a portion of the ponies, 
part of them with riders and others without, and followed 
by a bunch of a hundred steers or so, rush by and up 
the steeps. Some of the cattle fell back, but others 
made the ascent and were doubtless wandering about in 
the mountains. 

An examination of the country on both sides of tho 



THE CASUALTIES. 139 

main canyon was now made but not a live Indian could 
be found. 

A mile or more down the canyon the dead bodies of 
a score or more steers, drowned in the flood, were piled 
up against a ledge of rocks where the waters had left 
them, and mingled with these were the bodies of several 
ponies and three of the savages. 

At several points evidences that numbers of cattle 
and ponies had clambered up the steep banks and 
escaped were discovered, and after consultation it was 
decided to put in a day in scouting about in search 
of any cattle or ponies that had remained in the vi 
cinity. 

No further fear of Indians was felt by any of the 
party ; or but very little. 

Such as had escaped had undoubtedly fled to their 
Urongholds and villages and would not return unless in 
Search of missing comrades. 

Indians are naturally superstitious, and although 
acquainted with the nature and devastating power of 
cloud bursts, they were yet likely to find in the awful- 
ness of the storm, coupled as it was with an attack 
from enemies which they did not expect, some reason 
for believing the spot to be the abode of the spirit of evil, 
and to give it as wide a berth as possible in the 
future. 



140 ROUNDING UP THE HERD AGAIN. 

Two days were spent by the cowboys in searching 
for cattle and ponies in the vicinity. 

Of the former they secured nearly 200 head and 
of the latter a good mount apiece and two or three 
extra. 

Of the cattle only between sixty and seventy bore 
the brand of Brown and Johnson, but even this number 
was better than none, and the party made its way 
back by the trail it had come ; and two weeks from the 
day of the raid on the ranch, Phil and his partner 
rounded up their herd and counted 187 head, instead of 
a few less than 400, which had walked out of the corral 
on the morning on which the raid had been made. 

They had learned meantime that the men who had 
followed the third part of the band when it divided in 
the foot-hills, and each division took different routes, 
had been unsuccessful in their efforts to recapture any 
portion of the steers. 

The Indians whom they followed had taken a trail 
that led into an almost inaccessible part of the mountains, 
and being joined by another and larger body of Indians, 
had been able to hold their pursuers in check and eventu 
ally to escape with their booty. 

It was believed that they drove the steers as far as 
they could and then slaughtered the whole lot, and 
taking such portion as they could pack upon their ponies, 
left the rest to the wolves and made for their permanent 



PROFIT AND LOSS. 1 41 

camps, to which place few white men have ever been 
able to follow. 

Naturally enough, both Brown and Johnson felt their 
loss quite severely. It was the knocking down in a 
very rude manner oi all the fine castles which they had 
built in the air, and in which they had seen themselves 
living as cattle kings. 

In fact, it was the putting them back at the place 
from which they had started two years before, causing 
all their time and labor to count for nothing. 

However, there was no use crying over spilled milk. 
What was done could not be helped, and must therefore 
be put up with, and might as well be done cheerfully as 
complainingly. 

Their herd was now too small to make it profitable 
to drive through of itself, and they therefore sold it 
what was left of it to a buyer on the spot ; 18/ head at 
$25 per head, $4,675; just $75 more than the capital 
they started with. 

They had in addition, however, their little band of 
ponies and their claim to the ranch, which were worth 
another thousand at least. 

Before the raid took place the ranch alone would 
have sold for several times this sum, as good chances for 
grass and water were becoming extremely scarce and 
difficult to obtain ; but since the raid nobody wanted 
badly to buy or herd where the risks of having the 



142 BROWN GOES EAST ON A VISIT 

stock stolen were so great ; hence, the ranch declined in 
value as greatly as their herd had declined in number. 

After selling they must of course buy again, but be 
fore doing so Brown declared that he would pay a visit 
to his folks in the East ; so, after making arrangements 
with Peters to care for the little band of ponies and 
hold the ranch until they returned, the partners set out 
for Kansas. 

They arrived at Caldwell after a journey without in 
cidents worth relating. Here Phil was to remain until 
Brown returned from the East, which he promised should 
be within thirty days. 

Instead, however, of his old partner back at the end 
of thirty days Phil received the following letter : 

"NEW YORK, N. Y., Feb. 16, 188 . 
DEAR PHIL : 

I know you will feel like taking my scalp when you 
read this, but I can't help it. I only hope you will not 
think I meditated treating you in this way when we 
parted, for I honestly and truly had no such intentions. 

The truth is, old Pard, I am married and am not 
going back West. Can't do it, you know. You will 
remember that I owned up to you once, one awfully 
lonely afternoon out there on the plains, that it was not 
so much a love for freedom that made me go West, as 
it was the inability to get just the party I wanted to own 
me and boss me around. In other words, I had 



AND WRITES BACK THAT HE IS MARRIED. 143 

quarreled with my girl and didn't care to stay around 
and see her married to a dude, such as the fellow was 
that I thought she was going to marry. 

Well, all this time, that is, the time I put in with 
you whacking steers, riding bucking ponies, running 
down jack rabbits and fighting Indians, I couldn't quite 
get rid of a desire to know whether she really did marry 
that dude or not. 

Well, when I got back here and met her on the 
street, the very first person that I did meet, and I knew 
she was glad to see me in spite of my being tanned al 
most as black as an Apache, I couldn't help being glad 
I had not lost my scalp on that raid. 

Honestly, Phil, I couldn't help doing as I did. 

I am awfully sorry for you, old boy, for I know you 
will be disappointed and lonesome, and that it may inter 
fere with your plans very much for me not to return. 

But you see I can't leave my wife, and I can't take 
her out there to be scalped or eaten, so what can I do ? 
You are welcome to my share in the ranch and also to 
the ponies, and I hope you won't have a-ny trouble in 
finding another partner with money enough to buy a big 
bunch of yearlings. 

Write and let me know what you will do and how 
you are feeling. I know you will be disappointed, but I 
hope you won't feel hard at me, for really, Phil, I couldn't 
help it. 

Your old friend and partner, SAM BROWN." 



144 WHICH CAUSES PHIL TO CONSIDER. 

Of course Phil felt disappointed. 

Not to mention the pecuniary advantage which a 
partner with more capital than he himself had was to 
him, he had become attached to Brown during the two 
years which they had spent together, and regretted more 
than anything else the loss of his companionship. 

He did not doubt that he could find another man to 
take his place, and quite probably one with more capital 
than Brown possessed, but some way he could not feel 
like doing so. The ranch without Brown appeared to 
his mental vision immeasurably lonely and far from 
human companionship. 

He began to feel that he did not wish to return to 
it. He thought of Brown and the happy life he would 
lead in the future surrounded by friends, husband of the 
woman he loved, a quiet, happy home away from all 
danger and hardships. Such was the picture he kept 
imagining to himself whenever thoughts of his late part 
ner came into his mind until presently the desire to have 
such a home began to grow in his own heart and to take 
form and shape, and he determined not to return to the 
ranch but to build him a home nearer civilization and in 
the midst of people of his own kind. 

Caldwell was in those days the headquarters of the 
Oklahoma Boomers, as they were called, of whom Capt. 
Paine was the acknowledged head and leader up to the 
time of his death, some years ago, and it is probable 



PHIL MEETS WITH A BOOMER. 145 

that it was meeting with a member of the colony and 
hearing him discuss the plans of the "boomers" for 
building up a community and a state out of this beauti 
ful strip of country that induced Phil to decide not to 
return to New Mexico, but instead to go to Oklahoma 
with the colonists and build him a home there, and 
cease forever his wanderings and his rough life. 

He had enough to make a start with ; would have 
a full thousand dollars after selling the partnership ranch 
and band of ponies, even after sending Brown his Share, 
which he would do, not wishing to be under obligations 
in pecuniary matters even to him. With this sum to 
start with and a homestead claim on one of the little 
streams in the beautiful Oklahoma country he could 
surely make a home to his mind, after which, perhaps 

Just what he would do after the home was made he 
did not say even to himself, but thoughts of the quiet, 
happy life Brown was leading kept coming and going 
in his mind, and mingled with them were visions of the 
old ferry on the Wabash, and of the old folks, and of 
Nettie. 

He even got so far along as to wonder, if he were to 
go back as Brown had done, whether or not the same 
thing that had happened to Brown would happen to 
him. He could not quite decide, but probably not, he 
told himself. Luck didn't seem to run to him, anyway. 
Probably Nettie had married long before this, and every- 



146 AND DECIDES TO GO TO OKLAHOMA. 

body had forgotten him. But if he ever did decide to 
make another attempt to find how things were back 
there it would be by going in person and not by writing; 
he was fixed in his mind on that point at least. 

Meantime he would go to Oklahoma and get him 16o 
acres of land and make him a home. After that well, 
after that he would see. 




IN THE EMIGRANT TRAIN. 



CHAPTER X. 

OKLAHOMA. 

As described in the several bills for its organiza* 
tion into a Territory now (June, 1886,) before Con 
gress, Oklahoma comprises all that country "bounded 
on the west by the State of Texas and the Territory of 
New Mexico, on the north by the State of Colorado and 
the State of Kansas, on the east by the State of Missouri 
and the State of Kansas, and on the south by the State 
of Texas." 

Oklahoma proper, however, or what has come to 
be popularly known as such, is comprised in a strip of 
land containing 1,887, i oo acres, lying directly south of 
the eastern portion of what is called the Cherokee land 
strip, itself a body of 6,000,000 acres, just south of and 
adjoining the western half of the State of Kansas. 
Oklahoma is thus very nearly in the exact center of the 
Indian Territory. 



148 A BOOMER'S OUTFIT. 

Oklahoma formerly belonged to the Seminole In 
dians but was ceded to the United States government 
by that tribe under treaty of March 1$, 1866, and was 
surveyed and section lin'es established by authority of 
the United States in 1873. 

Its proximity to the Indian reservations about it, 
which were, as they still are to a considerable extent, 
the harboring places of outlaws from all portions of the 
country and all colors and nationalities, including 
Negroes and Mexicans, made it a location not desirable 
as a place in which to build a home and raise a family, 
unless it should be in company with a considerable 
number of other home builders ; and it was in order to 
meet this necessity for neighbors and companions that 
it was proposed and finally decided to organize a colony 
for settlement in that beautiful country. 

Having decided to join such a colony, Phil had first 
to provide himself an outfit. 

A span of mules, a wagon, a plow and a few other 
agricultural implements, an ax and a hammer, a 
few earthen dishes and a tin bucket and cup these 
comprise an outfit which is considered all-sumcient 
for the homesteader who is content to be the pioneer 
in a new country ; and these Phil provided himself 
with. 

He also retained the pony which he had ridden 
through from New Mexico, and of course laid in a good 



PETERS RAISES A STAKE. 149 

supply of ammunition, for until a crop could be raised 
the colonists would be compelled to rely for food very 
largely upon wild game, with which the country they 
were going to was reported to abound. 

Immediately upon deciding not to return to New 
Mexico, Phil wrote to Peters asking him to sell the ranch 
and ponies which he and Brown had placed in his 
charge, or if he wished to do so to keep them himself, 
and pay for them at such time as he could, provided it 
was not too far in the future. 

To this letter Peters replied, inclosing pay for the 
whole outfit at the very low cash price which Phil had 
fixed upon it, and saying that he had gone partners 
with another man, a stranger to Phil, and they were 
going to occupy the ranch and take their chances with 
the Indians. 

This greatly pleased Phil, for he was anxious to 
have the matter finally settled, and he was also glad 
that Peters had raised a stake and got a start in 
life, even if it was one in which the risks were pretty 
large, for now that he was out of it himself, he felt 
that the herding of cattle for wages, and with no inter 
est in the business beyond that of a hired hand, was 
not a calling calculated to bring out the best there is 
in one, and in proportion as he had a firm friendship 
for Peters, did he rejoice over his brightened prospects ; 
and he wrote a warm letter of congratulation in reply, 



I5O IN THE EMIGRANT TRAIN. 

also telling his old friend about his own plans and 
prospects. 

Then when all was ready, the little band of colonists 
took up their line of march toward the promised 
land. 

There were about forty men in the company, some 
without families, but more with ; all able-bodied and 
eager to reach the location selected in advance, and 
begin the work of home building, than which no 
man ever found sweeter employment for hand or 
brain. 

A long string of covered wagons, each drawn by a 
pair of horses or mules, and in which were stored what 
ever of household goods the owner and his family pos 
sessed ; a few cows driven in advance or following in 
the rear ; from one to a half dozen faces of men and 
women and children peering out from under each white 
wagon cover ; a dozen men and boys astride ponies ; as 
many dogs trotting along contentedly by the side of as 
many wagons, or breaking away together in a mad chase 
after a jack rabbit, and all barking in chorus as they go 
this is a scene familiar to all who have been upon the 
frontier, and such a one was presented by the colonists 
of whom Phil Johnson was one, on the morning of their 
departure for Oklahoma. 

Only they who toil with their hands and who feel 
the fetters which the law, or that which is declared 



IN THE EMIGRANT TRAIN. 

to be the law, places upon them in the acquisition of 
wealth and consequently upon their liberty of thought 
and action, can understand the glorious sense of free 
dom, of ability to conceive and execute which comes 
to those who, haying once felt the fetters, stand freed 
upon the borders of a new, and to them undiscovered 
country. 

To such, and at such times, there comes a sense 
of their own worth, of their own power and of a new 
courage which is sweeter than anything society or the 
world can give. It is a feeling which comes to men's 
hearts straight from the heart of God and lifts them up 
into a measure of the manhood which in its perfectness 
is worthy of being said to be in His image who is the 
Creator and Father of all. 

Oh, the grandeur of liberty ! Oh, the sweetness of 
being at peace ! AT PEACE ! 

Peace with nature and with men ; the peace which 
comes of the forgetting of jealousies, both great and 
small ; of ambitions which the soul cries out upon as 
unworthy of the man ; of hatreds born of greed and 
envy. 

The peace which comes of faith in one's fellott Han, 
itself born of renewed faith in one's own self, of one's 
own hatred of the bad, and love for and allegianfc* to 
that which is pure and good. 

And oh ! for a knowledge of the power which enab-^s 



1 52 PHIL WOULD BUILD A HOME. 

us to dare and to do, to be brave and strong and 
good ; which comes with a sense of freedom from the 
fetters which men in their selfishness and unwisdom 
throw about and over each other and themselves, when 
ever they do touch each other's elbows,. 

Phil was too much accustomed to this sense of free 
dom to feel any new inspiration when the little cavalcade 
left the town behind and swung out into the unbroken 
world beyond. Not having felt the fetters, he could not 
feel their falling away from him ; but he sensed the 
beauty of the morning, the brightness of the sun, the 
softness of the air, the quietness and goodness of nature 
which lay around and about him. 

He had, too, what he had never had before, a feel 
ing that his wanderings were over, and that in front of 
him lay the materials from which, by his own labor, he 
was to build a home. 

And a home meant 

Well, dear reader, what would not home mean to 
one whose heart held the memory of a fair young girl's 
face, a face not seen for years, but none the less fair 
for this reason, since not seeing it with the physical 
sense the mental eye had been left free to outline it as 
it chose. 

So Phil would build a home. 

As for the others, they were such men as are ever 
attracted to the frontier ; such as have laid the founda- 



BV FATE OR CIRCUMSTANCES. 53 

tions for whatever of liberty the people boast, whatever 
of wealth they have won, while civilization and the race 
have been crossing the continent. 

They were men blown, by fate or circumstances, 
from far and near ; men in whose hearts the love of 
home and liberty had been about equally implanted 
and nourished ; men, perchance, who imagined that 
the bands which society and law placed upon their 
efforts to set metes and bounds to the approach of 
poverty had something of the feel of the slave chain ; 
men who had been in debt, and to whom debt meant 
the curtailment of liberty in thought and action, and 
consequently degradation ; men but why ask me of 
these men ? Shall not their own acts speak for them, 
and am not 1 their chronicler ? Self-appointed, it is 
true, but none the less truthful to their thought as ex 
pressed in deeds. 

Whatever they had felt themselves to be in the 
past, now they were free. Free to grow and expand 
to the full stature of the men they meant to be ; free to 
build homes where no labor of theirs but should bear 
fruit for their own eating theirs and those they 
loved. 

Was ever brighter future in the distance seen by 
men ? 

And the children ? 



154 HAPPY, BAREFOOTED CHILDREN 

Bless me, how excited and happy the children in 
those covered wagons were ; for were they not to see 
new scenes, to visit undiscovered countries, to ride 
for days and days through an ever-varying landscape, 
to sleep in tents and eat in the open air, to be free to 
fish in the streams, to catch rabbits and trap squirrels 
and prairie chickens and may be larger game, if they 
could ? 

And whenever did a child doubt its ability to do 
anything it wished to do and never had tried to do ? 
Were they not to be free and happy and busily idle all 
the day long ? 

If you wish to know how happy were the children 
of those colonists on that morning when this journey 
began, just propose to your own children such a journey 
in your own and their mother's company ; being first 
careful to talk for weeks and months of the beauty of 
the country to which you are going, and of the pleasures 
of such a trip, and from their faces and childish words 
and acts you can judge of the happiness of those other 
children, whose faces peer from the wagons just starting 
upon their journey on that sunny morning of which I 
write. 

And the women ? 

Why, the women had their husbands and children ; 
what more has anybody thought necessary to woman's 



AND SUN-BONNETED WOMEN. 1 55 

perfect happiness than that she have her husband and 
children ? 

You do but disclose your ignorance, my dear sir, of 
what the world, the old moss-covered, time-defying 
world, has decided Is woman's sphere. My dear madam, 
you do but disclose your treason to old and time-honored 
theories, who question so of woman^ Is it not enough, 
I say, that she had her husband and children ? Knowing 
so much, what right have you to ask more or to say : "Is 
she happy?" "Is she filled with sweet content?" "Is 
she lifted up with great thoughts of great deeds deeds 
the thought of which causes her soul to expand and 
reach upward ?" 

They had their husbands and children ; what more 
would you have them have, or what have they ever 
had or left behind that you should ask of these women, 
who, going upon a hard, long journey, into a new 
country, to live lives of toil, have their husbands and 
children still with them ? Is the world then wrong, and 
has woman longings, sometimes, for wider fields and 
greater things than she has yet been permitted to 
know ? 

Sun-bonneted women, who were the wives of these 
men, and the mothers of these children of whom I 
write, had all that any of their sisters anywhere have 
to make them happy, and they were happy as any ; 
happier than most ; for added to love of husband and 



156 THE HALT AT NOON. 

child was the knowledge of the necessity of their own 
existence and labors to the comfort and happiness of 
those they loved. 

It was a happy, joyous company, and the sun shone 
bright and the air was soft and the grass green as 
they drove away, and merry voices shouted one to 
another from out the wagons voices of women and 
voices of children, while men grown suddenly self- 
reliant, strode by their side, or sitting in the front- 
end of the wagon, spoke cheerily to their teams as 
they urged them forward along the trail over the broad 
prairies. 

At noon they halted for a short hour while their 
horses fed upon the crisp buffalo grass, and they them 
selves ate cold lunches of bread and meat out of their 
provision boxes ; then on again until the sun is low in 
the west, when they went into camp on the banks of a 
clear little stream which meandered through the prairie, 
and upon whose banks were growing scattered pecan 
and cottonwood trees, over which in places wild grape 
vines ran riot, and in whose branches birds sang and 
flitted back and forth, and told their tales of love to one 
another. 

The stream was too small to contain fish of much 
size, but large minnows with sparkling silvery sides 
darted to and fro in the clear water ; a sight which 
brought shouts from the throats of a score of children 



SUPPER 157 

who came clambering down from the wagons, and skip 
ping over the grass and swarmed upon the creek banks, 
making as many antics and "shines" as a troop of young 
monkeys. 

Instantly a chorus of callb rang out, much after this 
fashion : "O ma ! I want my fishing hook." "O pa ! 
Get me my fish pole right away, quick, 'cause here's 
fish lots of 'em 'n I want to catch some for supper." 

What glorious music this was to the patriarchs of 
this modern Exodus ! 

Then one boy fell in the creek, which was perhaps 
two feet deep, and all the others set up a howl, the girls 
for fear he was drowned, and the boys because they 
feared he had frightened all the fish away. 

And when he climbed out and declared that "The 
water was just right to go swimmin' in," half of them 
forgot their desire to fish and went scampering away 
down stream in search of a good place in which to un 
dress and bathe, and only such as were called back and 
sent for wood to cook the supper were less than 
gloriously happy. Even these were so full of spirits a 
little hard work could not dampen their ardor except for 
a few minutes. 

Indeed the rarity of getting wood for an outdoor fire 
was enough to make them happy of itself. 

And so the women and the elder children gathered 
fuel and cooked supper, while the men unharnessed 



158 AND PIPES. 

the horses, and having washed their sweaty shoulders 
in the creek staked them out to grass, and then all fell 
to for a meal which an epicure might well envy, 
provided the epicure had ridden all day in an emi 
grant wagon or walked by the side of one carrying 
his gun on the shoulder for the pleasure of a chance 
shot now and then at a prairie chicken or a mule-eared 
rabbit. 

And then the stories told about the camp fire when 
pipes are lit, and a feeling of perfect peace and rest- 
fulness has taken possession of body and soul ; stories 
of other days and other men (perchance their fathers) 
and their frontier lives ; lives that closed but yesterday, 
yet were spent upon frontiers a thousand miles to the 
east, where now stand cities, and where the hum 
and bustle of commerce and trade, the whistle of the 
steam engine and the rattle of the loom, have driven 
the deer and the bear from the forests and transformed 
the forests themselves into fields of corn and barley and 
clover. ' 

It may be that memories of their own old homes, 
the homes they have left and the friends they have loved, 
call up thoughts that are half sad and mournful, pro 
ducing momentary regret that they have ventured upon 
this journey in search of new homes. 

There is that in the flickering blaze of a camp fire 
by night, and in the blue columns of smoke rising up 



THE CAMP FIRE. 

from burning brands as they fall away from the main 
body of the fire, the smoke that curls upward and is 
twisted and blown about by the faintest breath of air, 
that tends to excite almost any feeling which he who 
sits and watches it wills. 

A veritable fairy is the fire, and a veritable wand in 
its hand is the blue smoke curling upward, and to see 
pictures either gay or somber, he who sits within the 
magic circle has but to wish, and lo, he shall seem to 
see that which he wishes for. 

But mostly these men, these colonists bound for the 
promised land, talk of the country to which they are 
going. 

Their leader, a man well worthy to lead such 
seekers for such homes, was called upon to tell again 
how broad were its prairies, how deep and clear its 
streams, how here the land lay like the waves of the sea 
when the wind, just touching it with its breath, compels 
it to lift and fall gently like the sweet breasts of women; 
and how in other places it was broken and rough, plowed 
deep in gulleys, and ledges of rock were thrust up 
through the soil and huge boulders lay scattered about as 
if the giants of other days had once held high carnival 
there, and vied with each other in giving tests of their 
strength before admiring audiences of the gods. 

He told them, too, of the abundance of the game ; 



I6O THE PROMISED LAND. 

how deer and antelope fed upon the prairies and 
mated in the woodland ; how wild turkeys stalked 
about beneath the shadows cast by the tall trees upon 
the river banks, and nested in the high grass at their 
roots ; how, turn your footsteps which way you would, 
flocks of prairie chickens rose and went sailing away 
across the open country ; how the grapevine clambered 
over the trees along the margins of the creeks, and 
the pecan and the walnut trees dropped their rich 
nuts in profusion upon the ground beneath, and the 
red and black haw and the persimmon trees stood in 
clusters. 

And then these men, these home seekers, these 
men in rude costumes and faces all unshaven ; these 
men of strong limbs and vivid imaginations, rose from 
off the ground where they had set listening, and stretched 
out their arms as if to clasp the future which they felt 
to be so great, and talked earnestly of the mighty state 
which they should found, and the homes they should 
build in this land of liberty, this promised land of corn 
and wine. 

Wearied, at last, with the long day's drive, first 
one and then another began to slip away to his wagon 
and his blankets, noticing which the watch was called 
by the leader, and two men arose and went, rifle in 
hand, through and around the camp, and so con 
tinued watching, that nothing went wrong among the 



PLANNING TO BUILD STATES. l6S 

tethered animals, or about the smoldering camp fire, 
until two hours had passed, when they awoke two of 
their companions to take their places, and they lay down 
to rest. 

Phil had no part in the watch that night, but he 
was long in rinding sleep. This hearing men talk 
of homes and states to be builded had given him new 
thoughts, and awakened nobler ambitions than he had 
known before ; had opened to him a new life a life 
wherein he saw men as something better and higher 
than he had ever thought of them before ; saw them 
aspiring to the great and mighty things ; to be the 
forerunners of a great and wondrous civilization that 
should follow fast upon their heels, and add new 
honor and power to the nation, new dignity to the race 
of men. 

To him these men seemed nobler and more grandly 
made than any men he had ever known before. He 
did not understand how men's grander impulses always 
bring to the surface their better selves ; that the build 
ing, by honest toil, of homes dedicated to the domestic 
virtues, within a state dedicated to true liberty, is 
so high a mission that its light illuminates men's 
souls and makes them great, just to talk and plan of 
such. 

Yet, so it is, and Phil was himself all unconsciously 
a living proof of it that moment ; for he felt lifted up 



1 62 PLANNING TO BUILD NEW STATES. 

and made larger every way by the thoughts which came 
to him in consequence, as he lay awake and thinking 
that first night out with the little colony of which he 
was a member. 




THE WITNESS. 



CHAPTER XL 

IN WHICH THE SUN ENDEAVORS TO GET THERE IN 
ADVANCE OF THE BOOMERS. 

Have you ever noticed, dear reader, that the sun 
gets up awful early in prairie countries ? Well, he does, 
and he goes to bed late, too, which makes his early 
rising all the more inexcusable. 

I suppose that a scientist a scientist is one who 
knows everything that is not worth knowing and nothing 
that anybody else cares about a scientist would tell 
you that the sun sets just as early in a prairie country, 
and gets up just as late as in a mountainous one ; but 
then, too, a scientist will tell you some of 'em will 
that the sun does not set at all ; which proves how little 
dependence there is to be put in a scientist. 

Everybody who has ever worked in the harvest field 
on a big prairie can tell you that the sun gets up at least 
an hour earlier, and goes out of sight, and I suppose to 



I 64 BREAKFAST. 

bed, at least an hour later than he does when one works 
in a harvest field up in the valleys ; and all the scientists 
in this, or any other country, can't make us believe any 
thing else. 

The sun got up early next morning, as he always 
does in a prairie country, but not early enough to catch 
all the emigrants, encamped on the creek bank, be 
tween blankets. 

''There comes the sun," called one of them to an* 
other, whose head just then appeared at the front of 
his covered wagon. 

"Well, let him come; I'm up," was the response, 
as the speaker crawled out over the end-board on to 
the wagon-tongue and then to the ground. 

Then came others, from out wagons and from be 
neath them, and from under blankets stretched beneath 
the trees men came forth and shook themselves, and 
went to the creek's edge and washed the dust of sleep 
from their eyelids, and went and found their animals and 
staked them to fresh spots of grass. 

And women, through the partially open canvas 
wagon covers, could be seen slipping their own or 
the children's frocks on, and at minute later descend 
ing to the ground to begin preparations for break 
fast. 

And presently the smell of coffee began to pene 
trate the camp and to float out upon the still air, until 



BREAKFAST. 1 6$ 

it reached the men as they worked with their horses or 
gathered in little groups, talking of the distance to the 
next water, or the time it would take them to reach 
their destination, and it brought them back to their 
several camp fires and families. 

And then the odor of frying ham or bacon mingled 
with the smell of coffee boiling ; and these men and 
women and, children gathered about a rough box set 
upon the ground and ate of the hearty food and drank 
of the fragrant coffee, to which such as would added 
new milk freshly drawn from the cows belonging to this 
or that one of the colonists, and which was passed about 
with free hands to those who wished for it. 

Then came the packing by the women of the few 
utensils used in cooking, while the men hitched the 
animals to the wagons. 

A quick glance around to see that nothing of value 
was being left, and then a succession of sounds and 
sentences, snap of whip, "Get up," "Pull out, boys," 
"Keep to the left around the bend of the creek there," 
"Be careful with your guns, you youngsters," the creak 
ing of wagons and the emigrants are again upon their 
way, and the first night and morning of their journey 
have come and gone. 

The first day and the second are the same, and 
those which follow are like unto them save as the 
succession of rolling and broken prairie, and wood and 



166 ON THE MOVE. 

streams give variety to the scenery, and as with better 
acquaintance little friendships spring up between the 
women, resulting in visits from one to the other as the 
wagons move on and on along the trail made by herds 
of cattle, or by the men who carry the government 
mail. 

Catching fish in the stream by which they camped, 
occasional dashes on horseback in pursuit of deer, 
sometimes, though not often, successful, frequent shoot 
ing into flocks of prairie chickens, killing so many that 
the whole camp ate of them, slipping away and fol 
lowing the banks of some wooded stream in a still hunt 
for turkeys or deer, until a hard ride to catch up, or if 
no horse is used, a long walk after the sun is down, ar>4 
darkness covers the prairie with its mantle these helped 
to form diversions and break the monotony of what 
might at other times have been a wearisome journey, 
and served to keep up the keen enjoyment with which 
all entered upon it. 

And when finally, after two weeks of such travel and 
such life, the spot selected for the settlement was reached, 
though all were glad to be able to begin the building of 
homes, yet few there were who did not look back over 
the short journey with a half sigh at its hours and days 
of freedom from oppressive cares, and at thought of the 
labor to be performed ere homes could arise in which 



LOCATING THE SETTLEMENT. 

they might sit them down to rest and comfort without 
fear of want. 

The location selected for the colony was a beauti 
ful country lying along one of the forks of the Canadian 
river ; the rich land, abundance of timber suited for 
building purposes and fuel, together with the climate, 
which is nowhere excelled for healthfulness or comfort, 
making it appear a paradise to these people, as indeed 
it well might be, or might be made to be. 

Having decided upon a location, the next thing to be 
done was to ascertain the sectional lines, in order that 
each homesteader might select a quarter section for his 
own, as each head of a family is entitled under the law 
to do, from any unoccupied lands belonging to the 
government. 

Accordingly a surveyor's chain and tripod belonging 
to one of the party, who had done a little surveying as 
assistant to a more experienced hand, were brought forth, 
and Phil and two or three others shouldered their guns 
and started out with them to find a corner post or mark 
of some kind which would locate a corner and give them 
a start. 

After much wandering about and examination of 
trees and rocks, and tramping through the high grass, 
the party returned to dinner with a huge load of prairie 
chickens shot on the wing, but no more knowledge of 



108 T. 12, R. 3 W., S. 28. 

the location of section lines than they had when they 
started. 

After dinner they set out again, but at the sug 
gestion of some of the older heads left their guns at the 
camp. 

Again a weary tramp, and the scanning of every 
thing which they fancied could by any possibility be a 
* 'witness," but still without success, until just as they 
were upon the point of retracing their footsteps again 
and abandoning the search for the day Phil stumbled 
against the stump of an old cottonwood tree, the body 
of which had fallen, and together with the stump was 
almost hidden in the tall grass. A moment later his 
companions heard his cheerful ' 'halloo." 

"Here she is, boys ; I've found her." 

They came hurrying toward him. 

' 'This tree was standing when the survey was made, 
and here is where they blazed her; and here, see, 
there's the numbers, T. I2,R. 3 W. , S. 28, plain as can 
be, though I'll be hanged if I know what it means 
exactly." 

"That means town 12, range 3 west, section 28." 

It was the surveyor who contributed this explanation. 

"We are all right now" he continued; "we will 
come back here in the morning, and with this for a base, 
run out the quarters in this section and as many more 
as the boys want ; no trouble to find the other corners, 



THE WITNESS. 169 

|t>u know. Even if we should miss them a few feet we 
t-an't miss them so far but that we can find them easy 
fiough." 

' 'Kind of darned queer that this here stump should 
have happened td~ stand exactly on the corner of a section, 
dint it now ?" queried another. 

The surveyor smiled and scratched his head. 

4 'The fact is," he said, "that this is not the exact 
corner ; they simply made this the witness. That is, 
they marked it to show that there is a corner not far 
from here, and that the tree was nearer to it than any 
other prominent object ; though for that matter they 
would have marked three trees if they had stood any 
where near and on different sides of the corner ; in which 
^ase the corner would be found somewhere in the circle 
<nade by the three 'witnesses." 1 

"Thunder! I thought you said we could comeback 
here in the morning, and starting from this stump find 
any other corner we wanted to ; and now it seems we 
aint found the corner at all." 

1 'Oh, well, we can easily find it I reckon ; it can't be 
far away now." 

Search was at once begun, but again without result, 
and the party returned to camp to report progress, and 
get something to eat ; particularly the latter. 

The next day search was resumed, and after wal 
lowing down the grass over a piece of ground nearly 



I/O RUNNING THE QUARTER LINES. 

an acre in extent, a small stone with nearly square 
sides and about a foot long, bearing the marks of 
having been chipped into shape by use of an ax or 
hammer, was found set in the ground and protruding 
only a few inches above the sod, and the men knew 
that this time they had the exact corner and could be 
gin the work of running quarter lines with this for a 
base. 

The remainder of the day and the next day and the 
next were spent in running lines and fixing corner posts ; 
and then every head of a family proceeded to locate his 
quarter section. 

Some selected theirs in the open lands lying nearest 
the river banks, regarding such as the richest and hence 
the most valuable land. 

Others chose the second bottom, as being less liable 
to possible overflow, or because they liked better the 
lay of the land to the south or the west, or for some 
one of the many reasons which cause men to differ in 
their judgment of what is desirable in a farm, but 
all striving to get some portion both of timber and 
prairie. 

All were satisfied and delighted with the situation 
and prospects, and each began such improvements as 
are required by law to be made in evidence of the 
honesty of purpose on the part of the settler of occupy- 



PHIL ARRANGES FOR HIS BOARD 

ing the land in person, and for the purpose of making 
it his or her permanent home. 

For this purpose, as well as for their own conven 
ience in living, a house of some kind must be erected, 
and to this task ~ the colonists set themselves with 
right good will. That was their object in coming, and 
now that they were come, they were eager to begin the 
work. 

' 'Changing work," that is, two or more parties 
forming a little company, and all working together first 
for one and then for another, enabled them to do their 
work easily and pleasantly. 

The houses were of logs cut from the timber grow 
ing along the river bank, and hauled to the spot by 
the doubling up of teams, after having swung the larger 
end of the log by a chain under the hind axle of the 
wagon. 

Phil worked with a man by the name of Jones, 
with whom and his wife he had messed ever since the 
journey began ; having made arrangements with them to 
cook for him, in return for such service as he could 
render in the loan of his team or pony ; Jones being 
poor and not well fixed so far as teams and implements 
were concerned. 

Phil was to furnish his own provisions under their 
first agreement, but not finding this a convenient way 
of doing things, they fixed it up differently ; Jones 



172 WITH MRS. AND MR. JONES. 

buying Phil's stock of provisions and paying him in 
board at so much a week. 

For a time and until they got their houses up every 
body lived in their wagons or in tents, with which a 
number of the colonists had provided themselves, and of 
course cooked their meals out of doors. 

As for Phil, he was too used to camp life to wish 
for any better bed than the ground, unless it rained, 
and even then he could have stood it under his gum 
blanket without much complaining if there had been 
no shelter at hand. As it was, he slept on the ground 
when the ground was dry and in his wagon when it 
was not. 

He could easily have cooked his own "grub," for 
that matter, and at first intended to do so, but hav 
ing made the acquaintance of the Joneses, who were 
very nice people, he decided to accept their offer to 
eat with them, made without a desire to receive pay 
therefor, and to aid them in return as stated, thus 
making it a favor to them equally as much as to him 
self. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Jones were past middle life 
and without children, and Mrs. Jones was such a 
motherly woman, and together with her husband took 
so kindly an interest in Phil, that he grew confidential 
and told her of his having run away from home and of 
his life ever since. He wanted very much to tell her 



A DESERTED VILLAGE. 173 

about Nettie, and ask her advice about ever going back 
to try and find out all about her, but he could not quite 
get up his courage to do so. 

A site for the town, which everybody expected 
would grow into u city in a few years, was marked 
off on the high ground just back of the river, and 
here most of the colonists made their camps and 
cooked and ate and slept, what time they were getting 
their houses up, and indeed many of them were in no 
hurry to get their houses up, preferring to live in the 
wagons for a time until they could first break a bit of 
ground, and get something planted and growing upon 
which to live, without having to depend too entirely 
upon game and fish. 

So a month, two months, passed by and many were 
still camping out, and still a dozen covered wagons stood 
in the * 'village" whose owners had not yet completed 
their houses. 

But gradually one by one the wagons were drawn 
away to the different claims by their owners, until 
none remained, and the first town laid out in Okla 
homa had become, for the time at least, a ' 'deserted 
village." 

But if the village was deserted the country about it 
was not. 

Standing on the little eminence selected for the 
town site, one might see upon every quarter sec- 



174 THE HOME BUILDERS. 

tion for two or three miles on each side, bits of plowed 
land black streaks upon a sea of green. These 
were the beginnings of fields which the colonists in 
tended should grow into broad fields of grain in another 
year. 

Some of these were already showing long thin rows 
of green peeping through the black earth, the evidence 
of springing corn which would ripen into golden ears 
yet this first season, and furnish food both to man and 
beast through the coming year. 

In gardens about each cabin vegetables and vines 
were growing, having been planted and cared for in most 
instances by the hands of the women and children, while 
the husbands and fathers were busy turning broader 
acres for broader fields of grain. 

Phil planted no garden of his own, but he aided 
Jones in breaking up and planting one about the latter's 
cabin, and afterward helped keep it clean ; but for him 
self he had no use for one since he boarded with these 
friends of his. 

With the exception of helping Mr. Jones, he devoted 
himself wholly to turning long straight lines of black' 
across one entire end of his quarter section, and took a 
mighty interest in seeing this strip grow from day to day 
and week to week. 

It was work which he was not used to this hold 
ing the handles of a plow ; something he had never 



THE HOME BUILDERS. 175 

done since he was a boy, and then only a little while 
at a time to satisfy his boyish ambition to do a man's 
work. 

At first it seemed hard and slow work, tramping 
back and forth, turning one furrow at a time across a 
whole quarter-section. Used as he was to hard life, 
this work tired him. It made his legs ache and grow 
weary. 

He compared it in his own mind to going up the 
trail with a herd of long-horn steers, and he felt in 
clined to give the preference to the herding. There 
was a bit of excitement there, or at least one did not 
know what moment there might be, but there was no 
probability of getting excited just following a pair of 
mules back and forth from day to day haftging on to the 
handles of a plow. 

But then he was building a home. 

Every furrow turned was a step in the direction in 
which lay the happiness he had begun to thirst for. 

As furrow was added to furrow, and the black strip 
running across the east end of his claim widened, he be 
gan to take an interest in widening it still more. Every 
furrow turned was so much toward the home he was 
beginning to long for. 

Each week he could see the long ribbon of black 
widen. At first a line which one could hardly follow 
with the eye across the claim, then a narrow trail, then 



176 SOME LONG BLACK FURROWS. 

a road, then a broad band of black reaching from side 
to side across the quarter-section lay ready to receive 
the seed. 

And then came the seeding, the grain having been 
brought with them in wagons from Kansas. 

The belts of black crossing the prairies on every 
claim would have been broader in most cases had the 
supply of seed been greater ; but, as it was, enough was 
sown to make certain of a sufficient crop to sustain the 
colonists and supply an abundance of seed for another 
year. 

One thing the colonists saw plainly enough ; as soon 
as their grain came up they would be compelled to 
guard it against being ravished by cattle, of which there 
were large herds in the vicinity. 

Occasionally the cowboys herding the cattle came 
to the settlement and chatted for a time with such 
of the colonists as they met or chose to visit at their 
houses. 

Among the cabins in front of which their ponies 
were most frequently to be seen lariated were, naturally 
enough, those in which resided young women of marriage 
able ages ; for your cowboy is not unlike other men, and 
the quickest, if not the only, way in which to convert 
him from his attachment to his wild life is to introduce 
him to a number of prepossessing girls, and allow him 



FRIENDLY COWBOYS. 177 

to visit them at their homes, where he can get a glimpse, 
however small, of the comforts of domestic life. 

Another cabin where cowboys were frequently seen 
was that of the Joneses. 

Phil having retained sufficient interest in the old 
life to make him a pleasant companion to those who 
still followed it, friendly visits and an occasional meal 
eaten in company, either at the Jones cabin or at the 
camp of the herders, were natural and pleasant to all 
concerned. 

Several times some of the cowboys hinted some 
thing to Phil to the effect that the settlement was not 
looked upon with friendly eyes by the owners of the 
large herds of cattle, but to this Phil gave very little 
thought or attention. 

He understood easily enough how men with large 
herds would not be greatly pleased to see others coming 
in and appropriating any of the range they were ac 
customed to herd over, be it ever so little, but then htf 
could not help that. 

This was government land, and as such any citizen 
had a right to make a home upon it, and eventually 
to receive a deed to 16o acres which he should have 
improved. 

He intended buying a few cattle himself as soon 
as he got his claim fairly opened. He had $700 yet 
on deposit in a bank back in Kansas, which he meant to * 



1/8 WHAT CAN THAT BE? 

invest in that way, and let them be growing into a 
fortune while he continued to work his claim. It would 
only take a few years "just two or three," he told him 
self to put him in good shape with a good farm and a 
nice bunch of cattle. 

And so everybody worked and planned and hoped. 

On Sundays and occasionally during week days, they 
met in a tent belonging to the leader of the colony, or 
in front of it, to hold religious exercises, or talk over 
their plans and prospects for the future. 

They were as enthusiastic as ever over the situation. 

The country was all they had pictured it ; the cli 
mate delightful, the soil rich, and they, the pioneers, 
the men and women who, when the country became 
thickly settled as it very speedily would be, now that 
a settlement was started would be pointed out by 
everybody and honored as the first to come ; in fact, the 
founders of a new State, one of the greatest in the 
Union. 

One day, as a number of them sat thus, in and 
around "headquarters," as it was called, a long line of 
something was it cattle or men ? was noticed in the 
distance. 

"Reckon it's a fresh herd goin' up the trail," said 
one, and no further attention was paid to it for a mo 
ment. Herds going up the trail were no new sight to 



"THAT'S NO DRIVE." 179 

any person in that camp, and therefore did not provoke 
any special interest or comment. 

"That's no drive," spoke up another, a few moments 
later. 

"Look there, Cap ! Hang me if I don't believe 
that's a company of regulars. Wonder, now, if there's 
goin' to be trouble with the Indians. If there is, we 
ought to be keepin' the women and children pretty 
close, and ourselves well armed, so 's to not let 'em get 
in on us unawares." 

As it continued to approach, the fact that it was a 
company of mounted soldiers riding in ranks became 
apparent to all, and as they were evidently coming 
toward "headquarters," all were agape with curiosity to 
know the cause of their visit, and if there was really 
any danger to be apprehended from the Indians. 

At last the soldiers arrived in front of the hut and 
halted. 

"Where is the person in command of this party?" 
asked the officer at the head of the troops. 

"Wall, now," responded one ot the settlers who hap 
pened to stand nearest the officer, and was eyeing the 
company of regulars with considerable interest and 
attention. "Wall, now, thar aint exactly anybody in 
command here leastwise, nobody entitled to boss any 
body but that there man over there is our leader what 



l8O ARRESTED FOR TREASON. 

piloted us in here and is kind of a president or gineral 
manager like." 

At this instant the ' 'general manager" stepped to the 
front. 

"Did you wish to see me ?" he asked. 

"Yes," returned the lieutenant, "and not only you, 
but all the members of your company. I have orders to 
arrest you for treason and conspiracy against the gov 
ernment, and to remove your families from out the ter 
ritory. " 

Then, turning to his men : 

"You, Sergeant and Corporal, take each twenty-five 
men and go and bring in the other members of the com 
pany, together with their families. I will remain here 
with the rest of the troops and guard these prisoners."" 




ARRESTED. 



CHAPTER XII. 

TAKEN TO PRISON. 

' Arrested for treason? How? What? I don't 
understand !" 

'Colony broken up !" 

* 'Officer must be drunk !" 

"Will they take us to prison?" 

"What does it all mean, anyhow?" 

"Must be trying to scare us for a joke !" 

Such were the exclamations of one and another as 
they heard the order for the arrest ' 'for treason and con 
spiracy" of every member of the colony. 

But there was no joke about it. 

It was a sober fact, as they very soon learned. 

Those present at headquarters were not permitted to 
return to their homes and families, but were kept under 
close guard and threatened with being shot down if they 
made any attempt at escape. 

The squads of soldiers sent out by the lieutenant 



I$2 DRIVEN LIKE SHEEP TO MARKET. 

in command proceeded to the different claims, arrested 
such of the men as were not already under arrest, 
and peremptorily ordered them to hitch their teams to 
their wagons, and at the point of the bayonet com 
pelled them to load up their household goods and drive 
to headquarters. 

The women and children were either hustled in with 
the household goods, or were driven like so many sheep 
behind the wagons. 

The cries and screams of the children and the tears 
and pleadings of the women were alike unheeded, while 
the curses and threats of the men were answered with 
orders to "dry up" or take what would follow noncom- 
pliance. 

Phil was at work on his claim when the troops halted 
in front of the headquarters. 

His claim was nearly a mile away, and he could see 
little of what was going on and had no idea of anything 
serious happening. But, chancing to glance that way, 
he saw there was a commotion of some kind. Recog 
nizing the presence of a body of horsemen, he supposed 
it to be a company of cattlemen and cowboys on a hunt 
for horse thieves or estray cattle, and so gave it no fur 
ther attention until he saw a squad of cavalry coming 
toward him. 

"I wonder what 's up now?" he queried mentally, 
"Cowboys and Indians been having some trouble, 1 sup- 



PHIL DOES AS PUTNAM DID. 183 

pose. Wonder if they think any of the settlers were 
mixed up in it any way. 5 ' 

He saw them halt in front of the Jones cabin and 
converse a moment apparently among themselves, and 
then a portion of them dismounted, while the others 
rode on in the direction of where Mr. Jones was at work 
plowing, not very far to the right of where Phil himself 
was at work. 

A moment later he heard screams issuing from the 
cabin, and saw Jones drop his lines and run toward the 
house, and instantly he began stripping the harness from 
his own animals. 

Springing upon the back of one of them, he dashed 
away across the plowed ground in the direction of the 
Jones caur!n, leaving the other animal loose and running 
wild. 

Phil n3.d v as yet, no clear idea of what was happen 
ing, but hearing the screams and seeing Mr. Jones on the 
run, he knew, of course, that something was wrong, and 
was hastening to the assistance of his friends. He had 
a confused idea that the soldiers must be drunk, and 
might be committing he knew not what kind of an out 
rage upon the family. But these misgivings only accele 
rated his speed to the rescue, 

Coming on at full speed, he rapidly neared the little 
cabin, and was within a few rods of it before the soldiers 
had noticed his approach, Then they leveled their 



1 84 "HALT AND SURRENDER P 

weapons at the undaunted but astonished " boomer," 
and gave the order : 

" Halt and surrender !" 

He did not halt, however, but rode on and up to the 
cabin at a gallop. Springing from his animal, he was 
instantly seized by as many soldiers as could lay hands 
upon him. 

Phil's first impulse was to resist, and indeed he had 
already nerved himself for a struggle, when, seeing both 
Mrs. and Mr. Jones standing together just within the 
cabin door apparently unharmed, he refrained from 
struggling. 

"What is the meaning of this outrage?" he fiercely 
demanded. * ' What are you doing here ? I will report 
you to your superior officers and have you all court- 
martialed," 

Phil thought the soldiers were drunk and engaged in 
plundering, and he was wildly indignant. 

But they laughed at his threats, and began pitching 
the household goods out of the cabin. 

For a moment or two Phil looked on, with fast-rising 
anger, at what he regarded as wanton destruction of his 
own and his friends' property. 

Mrs. Jones stood with her face buried upon her hus 
band's shoulder, weeping, only raising her head as, every 
few seconds, some piece of household furniture came 



AN EXPLANATION ASKED. 1 8$ 

tumbling out of the cabin, propelled by the hands of the 
men in uniform within. 

At last Phil turned to the Sergeant, who appeared to 
be in command, and asked, as calmly as he could, for an 
explanation of this strange affair. 

"It means," replied the Sergeant, "that we have 
orders to arrest every member of the colony and to take 
them out of Oklahoma. That 's all I know about it, and 
that 's all I can tell you." 

* ' But what for ? What have we done ? I do not 
understand it," persisted Phil. 

The Sergeant retorted, none too good-naturedly : "I 
tell you I know nothing more about it than I have just 
told you. If you want to know any more, ask some one 
who is better informed." 

And with that Phil was forced, for the time, to con 
tent himself. 

He was ordered to catch his other mule, and then to 
go to the field for his harness, which he did, being 
accompanied by two of the soldiers, who told him that 
he might take his plow if he liked. But this Phil chose 
not to do, and left it standing in the furrow. He could 
not believe the affair was anything else than a monstrous 
blunder on the part of somebody, but he had not the 
faintest idea of the identity of the blunderer. 

When he had returned to the cabin with his mules 
and harness Phil was ordered to hitch to his wagon, that 



1 86 A SCENE WORTHY A MASTER ARTIST. 

stood nearby, and then was sent, together with Mr. and 
Mrs. Jones and their wagon, into which had been tossed 
their household goods, under guard to the headquarters. 

Arriving there, they found that already many others 
of the settlers had been run in, together with their fami 
lies and household treasures, and that more were arriving 
constantly. 

When all were assembled there was a scene worthy 
the brush of a master artist. 

From some of the wagons the canvas covers had been 
removed, while upon others they remained as they were 
when the colony arrived at the settlement, and into these 
had been piled household goods of every description 
owned by the settlers. Cook stoves, beds and bedding, 
chairs, boxes and trunks any thing and every thing- 
thrown in as they came to hand, without regard to order, 
economy of space or possible damage to the goods. 

Seated upon these piles of goods, or standing about 
the wagons in groups, were the women and children 
the former crying and talking in one breath, and all to 
gether ; the children clinging to their mothers' skirts and 
asking to know what it all meant ; the women asking the 
same question of one another, and each of all. 

Silent and sullen, some of the men stood with hard- 
clenched fists, and eyes which h&d a dangerous light in 
them, while others were moving about among comrades, 
lettering denunciations of what they termed an unparal- 



WHO 'S A TRAITOR ? 1 87 

leled outrage by the army of the United States on peace 
ful citizens, and demanding that they be at once set at 
liberty. 

Finally the leader of the colonists obtained permis 
sion from the officer in command of the soldiers to talk 
to the settlers. Mounting a wagon and calling them 
about him, he explained, as well as he could, the situa 
tion. 

" You have all been arrested for trespass," he said, 
"and in addition charges of treason and conspiracy are 
made against myself and a few others. This much I have 
learned from the officer here in command of the troops." 

" Who 's a traitor?" 

' ' Who 's trespassing ?" 

4t I sp2r.t four long years helping to put down trea 
son against the government." 

' ' What right has the regular army to arrest peaceful 
citizens, anyway, I'd like to know ?" 

Such were the expressions that came in reply from 
one and another of , the excited and angry men, as with 
upturned faces they pushed and crowded close about the 
wagcn from which their leader was striving to address 
them. 

' ' No one has committed any trespass in settling here, 
and no one, 1 am sure, is guilty of treason or conspiracy 
against the government. On the contrary, many among 
as gave some of the best years of our lives to upholding 



1 88 SOMEBODY HAS BLUNDERED. 

the old flag and putting down rebellion, and it is an out 
rage almost beyond endurance that we be accused of 
treason against the government we fought so long and 
so hard to maintain. It is an outrage, too, that we are 
being driven from our homes ; but I can not think it i? 
other than the result of a blunder, and that it will nof 
be made right in time. 

" From what I can learn from the officer here, it ha? 
been represented to the government at Washington thaf 
we are upon land belonging to the Indians therefore, 
trespassers. If such were really the case, it would be 
the duty of the government to protect the Indians in 
their rights ; but such, we know, is not the case, and 
hence we can only conclude that somebody has made a 
most grievous blunder. 

" That this somebody ought to be held responsible 
for the blunder is true, of course, and no doubt he will 
be ; but the fact that we know them to be mistaken in 
supposing us to be trespassers will not excuse these 
officers and soldiers from obeying their orders, which are 
to convey us all out of the Territory. We must, there 
fore, submit quietly to the orders of the government, 
trusting and believing that when the truth comes to be 
made known at Washington we shall be exonerated from 
all blame, and reparation for our trouble and losses 
made to us. 

1 ' I urge, therefore, that each of you bear this hard- 



THE MEN ARE PACIFIED. 189 

ship as courageously and uncomplainingly as possible, 
and that you be not down-hearted. Every thing can, 
perhaps, be explained and set right as soon as we reach 
Fort Reno, whither, I am told, we are to be conveyed. 
If not, then we will appeal direct to the government at 
Washington. " 

He further told them that the officers would permit 
them to unload and repack their goods in their wagons, 
so as to prevent unnecessary breakage or serious dam 
age of any kind, and enable them to make such arrange 
ments as were possible for the comfort of the women 
and children on the journey, and closed his remarks by 
expressing the hope that thirty days hence would see 
them all back again working upon their claims. 

A cheer went up when he said this. And, thus paci 
fied and encouraged, they became, in a measure, recon 
ciled, and began at once the work of repacking their 
wagons and making such arrangements for the comfort 
of their families as the circumstances would admit. 

There were still to be heard mutterings of anger and 
threats of revenge to be taken upon the author of their 
woes, whoever he might prove to be, when they should 
have discovered who he was ; but the deportees no longer 
felt any particular resentment toward the soldiers, whom 
they regarded as being but tools in the hands of others, 
compelled by military law to obey orders without asking 
any question as to the right or wrong involved in the 



190 A JOHNNY REB. 

matter. After having gotten their goods in proper shape 
for hauling and eaten a meal prepared on the spot by the 
women with such facilities as they could muster, they 
even began to feel cheerful and to crack jokes about the 
wiatter. 

''Here, you Johnny Reb !" called oiie to another 
an old army comrade. "You climb down out of that 
wagon and let that chuck be, Bin' as you 're a rebel 
and a prisoner, we will have to put you on short rations, 
I reckon." 

"Glad you did n't mention the matter earlier," the 
other replied. "I've just got away with a pound of 
jerked venison and three big potatoes, so I can stand 
short rations for a spell till next meal, any way." 

How the sweet potatoes even 

Started from the ground 
As we went marching through Georgia." 

Thus sang one evidently in memory of old army 
times. Then a half-dozen struck in on the chorus : 

M Hurrah 1 Hurrah ! We bring the jubilee. 

Hurrah I Hurrah for the flag that makes you free ! 
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea 
As we went marching through Georgia." 

4 H 11 of a jubilee we Ve got," called out one more 
'surly than the rest, yet himself beginning to feel the mel 
lowing influences about him. 

"Wonder how the Cap'n will look with f rope about 



BANKED ON HIS BEAUTY. 

his neck, any way. Be kind of a surprise to the old 
man to be hanged for treason, I reckon." This was 
ventured by a man between bites, as he stood with a 
piece of corn bread in one hand and some cold meat in 
the other. And then others chimed in : 

"'Spect they '11 turn Cap loose with four rods start, 
and then run him down and lasso him." 

' ' Bet he leads 'em a good long race if they do. The 
Cap 's mighty lively on his pins." 

' ' You fellows better be sayin' prayers for your own 
selves. You 're just as likely to be called on to furnish 
the entertainment at a foot race or a hanging bee as the 
Cap is.'' 

* And how about yourself ?" 

''Oh, they '11 let me off on account of my good 
looks. They would n't hang the best-looking man in the 
Territory, no way it could be fixed so I am perfectly 
safe, you see." 

This last, from the champion homely man in the col 
ony, was regarded as a good joke by everybody, and all 
laughed heartily. This raised the spirits of even the 
surliest several degrees, and a feeling of comparative 
cheerfulness took possession of the little company. 

The cavalcade had now formed in line, and the ' ' ex 
traordinary march was begun." 

The Lieutenant led the way with a portion of the 
troops, while the rear was brought up by the others of 



TAIL OKLAHOMA! 

his company of deporters, under the command oi an 
orderly. 

The colonists were not permitted to carry their arms, 
which were all stacked into one of the wagons and then 
guarded by two of the regulars, who tied their horses 
behind the wagon, while they themselves rode inside 
with the property in their charge. 

Thus guarded, the company proceeded on its way in 
the direction of Fort Reno, and at dusk camped upon 
the open prairie and spent the night in their wagons or 
upon the ground, guarded by sentries regularly stationed 
about the camp, and as regularly changed every two 
hours. 

Fort Reno lay west and a little north of the settle 
ment and just within the edge of the Cheyenne and 
Arapahoe Reservation, and a weary-dreary way the un 
happy colonists found it. Especially did the women and 
children suffer, as they were allowed few privileges, and 
rode hour after hour all the days through, cramped up 
in their seats in the wagons, by the side of which the 
men were sometimes allowed to march, while their 
wives or some of the older children drove, but from 
which they were not allowed to stray, for any purpose 
whatever, beyond the reach of the carbines of the ever 
watchful guards. 

Arrived at Fort Reno, they were turned over by the 
Lieutenant who had been in command of the company 



CONSIGNED TO PRISON. 193 

which arrested them to the authorities at the fort, the 
commandant of which proceeded to question the leading 
men among them as to their purpose in settling within 
the borders of Oklahoma. 

They, each and all, replied that their purpose was to 
make for themselves homes upon land belonging to the 
government of the United States, in accordance with 
the law giving to each head of a family who would settle 
upon and improve it 16o acres of land. They were told 
in reply that the land in question that is, Oklahoma 
belonged to the Indians, and had been leased by them 
to certain men for grazing purposes, and that, while the 
government had no interest in the lessors, it was bound 
to protect the Indians in their rights, and that it was for 
this purpose that the settlers had been sought out and 
placed under arrest. 

Replying for them, their leader denied that the land 
in dispute belonged to the Indians, and offered to show 
that it was the property of the United States under a 
treaty which had been made in 1866, but he was not 
permitted to do so. 

He then demanded an immediate trial for himself 
and his companions; but this, too, was denied them. 
Capt. Paine and four others of whom Phil Johnson was 
one were confined in cells connected with the barracks, 
while the rest of the men, together with the women and 
children, were held under guard outside. 



194 THE LEADER'S QUERY. 

The five men were kept thus confined for five days, 
and were then released. They and those who had been 
kept under guard outside were ordered to hitch their 
teams to their wagons. When this was done, the women 
and children were told to "climb in," and the whole 
company, still under guard, moved off in the direction of 
the Kansas State line. 

Another weary jaunt of nearly four days, and then 
they were halted on Kansas soil, drawn up in line and 
told that they were at liberty, but that they must not 
return to Oklahoma on pain of more severe treatment 
the next time, if they did so. 



"What shall we do, men?" 

The leader of the Oklahoma colonists was the que 
rist, and his words were addressed to the members of 
the colony as they stood where the regulars had left them 
gazing first at the retreating troops and then up at the 
faces of their wives and children, peering from beneath 
their wagon covers with looks of mingled hope and 
anxiety. 

"What shall we do, men ?" 

For some seconds there was no response, and then a 



PHIL'S READY ANSWER. 195 

voice from down near the end of the line called out with 
a ringing clearness : 

" Move we strike straight back for Oklahoma and our 
claims." 

Phil Johnson had spoken. Instantly came back the 
response from the other end of the line : 

"I second the motion." 

An enthusiast sang out : 

' * That 's the way to talk it ! I 'm with you every 
vime. Hip, hip ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! Hurrah ! Phil 
Johnson 's all right !" 

This was taken up by others, and for several minutes 
the prairie rang with the cheers of the men, with which 
were mingled the shriller voices of the more courageous 
of the women and the piping tones of several brave 
children. 

But, with the sober second thought came a sense of 
what they had lost, and how illy they were prepared to 
make the return journey at once ana without recruiting 
their stock of provisions. 

What little store they had on hand when the army 
swooped down upon them had been eaten or destroyed 
since that time. If they returned now without providing 
themselves with more, it would be necessary for them to 
depend entirely upon game for subsistence, not only dur 
ing the journey, but for an indefinite period after they 
reached their claims. Their growing crops would most 



STOPPING TO THINK. 

likely be found trampled down and destroyed by the 
herds of the big cattle men. 

All things considered as they were, the advisability of 
delay was at least debatable. 

Finally they decided to go into camp on the spot and 
talk the matter over after supper. 




THE COUNCIL. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



GATHERED ABOUT THE COUNCIL FIRE TO PLAN FOR THE 
FUTURE AN UNEXPECTED MEETING. 

After supper the men gathered around the camp fire 
of their leader, prepared to discuss the situation and 
decide upon their future course. 

Some sat on the ground and some on chunks of wood; 
some made seats of their feed boxes; two or three leaned 
against the nearest wagon, while still others threw them 
selves at full length upon the ground. Nearly all lit 
pipes and smoked as they talked or listened to what the 
others had to say. 

And as they talked one grew angry at the wrong done 
them, and raised his voice in wrathful denunciation of 
all who were in any way responsible for the outrage per 
petrated upon them. 

Then the women came and formed a circle back of 
the men and watched and listened. And the children 

(197) 



198 ABOUT THE COUNCIL FIRE. 

came and clung to their mothers' skirts and listened and 
watched also. 

The camp fire flared with the night breeze. Back 
and forth it waved red one moment and the next took 
on a bluish tint. Long, pointed tongues of flame leapt 
up and lapped out, as if in search of something to feed 
upon, and, finding only the darkness, bit at it and sank 
down again. 

Some one drew forth a brand and tossed it farther 
into the flame, causing a shower of sparks to rise; these 
snapped and crackled and darted hither and yon for an 
instant, and then went out. 

A wolf away out on the prairie sent forth a dismal 
howl, and another wolf answered from the opposite side 
of the camp. 

Then one man" arose and passed out through the 
/ circle, and went to see if any of the tethered animals had 
become tangled in their ropes. Finding none such, he 
returned and resumed his former place. 

Meanwhile the women and children kept their posi 
tions at the back of the circle, and the men talked and 
planned. 

But these were not men of many words and slow to 
reach a conclusion. A little thought, a little exchange 
of opinion, and their course was decided upon. They 
would halt for a few days where^they were. There were 
water and feed at hand, and they would camp at that 



APPEAL TO THE PRESIDENT. 199 

spot. Leaving their families with proper protection, a 
portion would go to the nearest settlement and procure 
needed supplies, while their leader, with one or two 
others, should make an effort to place the whole matter 
the fact of their right to make homes upon the spot 
which they had selected, and the wrong and indignity 
which had been done them before the proper authority, 
so that they might not be again disturbed; and then they 
would return and begin anew the work of improving 
their claims. 

Accordingly, the next morning certain of the wagons 
were unloaded of household goods, and the owners put 
their teams to them and started out for the purpose of 
purchasing supplies. The leader, with Phil Johnson and 
one other, mounted and rode away to perform the mis 
sion assigned them. 

The next day, about noon, the three appeared before 
the judge of a court in one of the border counties, and 
wrote out and made oath to the facts in the case as they 
believed thorn to exist. 

First calling attention to the fact that the law per 
mitted, and was supposed to encourage, the settlement 
of unoccupied government lands for the purposes of cul 
tivation and occupai cy, they cited the treaty under 
which Oklahoma ha^ been ceded by the Indians to the 
government of the Tnited States, and followed this with 
a detailed account c f the manner in which they had been 



2OO "WHERE FROM, STRANGERS?" 

evicted from the claims which they were occupying in 
good faith under the law. 

Having made this statement in duplicate, they next 
attached their signatures and made oath to the truth of 
the facts therein set forth, and mailed one copy of it to 
the President of the United States and the other to the 
Secretary of the Interior, at Washington. 

This done, they remounted their horses and started 
upon their return journey. 

Late in the afternoon, while riding at their usual gait 
a long, swinging gallop or lope they overtook and 
were passing a number of emigrant wagons, when from 
one of the wagons there came an inquiry regarding the 
distance to be traveled before reaching water and good 
:amping ground. Reining in their horses, they gave full 
answer to the question. Other questions naturally fol 
lowed, and finally one of the emigrants was asked : 

"What part of the country might you come from, 
strangers ?" 

"Indiana." 

"What part of Indiana?" queried Phil, who until 
now had taken no part in the conversation. 

"From down on the Wabash south half of the 
State." 

Phil spurred his nag and reined him close up to the 
emigrant's wagon. Leaning eagerly forward, he peered 
into the face of the man who was driving. He was an 



THE M'KINLBYS. *oi 

oldish man and covered with the dust of a long drive, 
yet Phil knew him now, and wondered that he did not 
know him the instant he saw him. 

There was just the faintest suspicion of a tremor in 
Phil's voice when spoke again. He said : 

''Mr. McKinley, I reckon you don't recognize me. 
I am Phil Johnson, and my folks used to live neighbors 
to you years ago, when I was a boy. " 

Mr. McKinley for he it was, and no mistake for an 
instant looked at him without speaking. Then, turning 
half-way around in his seat, he called to some one back 
in the wagon : 

" Here, Net ! And you, Marm ! Here 's Phil John 
son him they used to call the three P's. Reckon you 
remember him, both of ye." 

And then Phil whose heart was making most frantic 
efforts to escape from his body, first by way of his throat, 
and, failing in that, by knocking a hole in his ribs 
heard a rustling within the covered wagon, saw a hand 
thrust out and the flap of the wagon cover raised, and 
heard a voice saying : 

" Is it really you, Philip? Well, who'd a-thought 
of running against you, 'way out here in this wild wil 
derness ?" 

Such was Mrs. McKinley's greeting. 

Phil wished Nettie had been the speaker. He wished 
she would speak now, so he might know how to speak 



201 NEWS FROM THE OLD HOME. 

to her, for suddenly he felt that he did not know how to 
address her unless she first spoke to him. 

But in spite of the awful throbbing of his heart, Phil 
managed to reply to Mrs. McKinley, telling her it was he 
and no other, and also to mumble something about being 
glad to see them. 

And still Nettie had not spoken. 

Through the opening made by the upturned flap, he 
saw a portion of her dress, but that was all. Mrs. Mc 
Kinley filled the opening with her own person pretty 
completely, as she leaned forward and talked to him. 

Mrs. McKinley was a good talker when she wished to 
be. And just now, for some reason, she did wish to be. 

Phil's parents, so she told him, were still living on 
the old place, and were well when she left there some 
three weeks ago last Thursday. 

"They thought you must be dead, Philip not get 
ting any answer to their letter." 

"Did they write?" asked Phil. " Did they get my 
letter ?" 

' ' They got the one you sent from down in Texas 
somewhere the one in which you said you were going 
to Kansas with a drove of cattle for somebody. That 's 
the only letter they ever got. They answered that one 
right off, for they were awful anxious for you to come 
home. And they told you about every thing and every 
body so your mother told me and urged you to come 



"IS THAT NETTIE?" 20$ 

right home as soon as you got their letter. And then 
they waited and waited, but heard nothing from you ; 
then they writ again several times, but they never heard 
any thing more. Ihey thought you might a-been killed 
or something, 'cause they never heard from you again. 
But Nettie she did say she knowed you was n't dead, 
and that you 'd come back some time, shore." 

" Is is that Nettie in there ?" asked Phil, with some 
trepidation, when Mrs. McKinley had paused to take 
breath. 

' * Why, Lor* yes. Nettie, you have n't spoken to 
Philip yet. You have n't forgotten him, have you ? 
Crawl over here and take a look at him ; he 's growed 
powerful." 

And Mrs. McKinley took her daughter by the shoulder 
and drew her forward, where she could both see and be 
seen. She said : 

' How do you do, Mr. Johnson ?" 

To save his soul, Phil could only answer : 

*' I 'm pretty well. How do you do ?" 

He would have given his pony and Phil thought a 
^reat deal of that pony to be able to say something' 
more and to say it better, but he could not. He had been 
thinking what to say to Nettie all the time her mother 
was talking to him, trying to decide whether to be digni 
fied and lift his hat and say, formally, " I am pleased to 
meet you again, Miss McKinley," or to say ' Hello, Net- 



204 PHIL KICKS HIMSELF MENTALLY. 

tie, " and take her hand and squeeze it a little, and thus 
re-establish their familiar relations at once. 

And here he had only said: "I 'm pretty well. 
How do you do ?" 

It seemed so ridiculously idiotic, he told himself a 
minute afterward, that if his pony was only warranted to 
kick on proper occasions, instead of improper ones, he 
would get right down then and there and ask to be duly 
kicked. 

And Nettie said never another word, but after a few 
moments drew back from the opening, and left Phil with 
only the sight of her skirts to console him the same as 
before she had spoken. 

But what Nettie lacked in conversational powers on 
that occasion her mother made up for. The moment 
Nettie withdrew her head from the opening in the wagon 
cover her mother's filled the space, and she resumed her 
narrative, giving him items of news from the old neigh 
borhood mingled with incidents concerning their own 
family, and telling why they had left the old home to 
come " out West." 

"The ferry is still there," she told him, "but mostly 
it is n't used any more, as a bridge has been built across 
the river only a half mile below. 

"That was the reason we came West one of the 
reasons, anyway though Nettie was alwavs iir^png us to 
come. " 



MRS. M'KINLEY EXPLAINS MATTERS. 205 

Here Phil pricked up his ears and listened with all 
his might. 

"You see, Nettie has n't run the ferry for ever so 
long. She was up to Terre Haute to school three win 
ters ; taught in the old school house in the summers to 
get money to pay board and schooling with. 

''But she did n't like teaching there, where every 
one knew her. The children were harder to manage, 
seemed like, 'cause they all knew her so well, and so she 
wanted to come West and teach. But Mr. McKinley 
would n't move till it got so the ferry did n't pay us any 
more, because of the bridge. Then we decided that we 
would come. 

4 * We 're going to pre-empt some land somewheres, 
and as soon as we get settled like we 're going to try and 
get a school as nearby as we can for her to teach. The 
other girls can do the work, you see. They are now in 
Mr. Sommers' wagon, on ahead there. The boys are in 
some of the others' wagons, too. 

"But you have n't told us any thing about yourself 
yet where you 're living and what you 're up to. Driv 
ing cattle yet ?" 

Phil told her that he had been in New Mexico for 
two years, and since that he had been in Oklahoma, 
where he had a " claim," and that he was about to return 
there. 

He also told her that he had failed to get his dear 



2O6 PHIL GROWS ANXIOUS. 

mother's letter, and had not known what to think at not 
hearing rrom home ; that he feared his parents were 
either dead or had moved away, and that had he known 
they were living and anxious to have him go home he 
would have done so. 

He was desirous of talking more about Oklahoma. 
He wanted to suggest that Mr. McKinley's family join 
the colony and go there too, but he some way could not. 
He thrilled through and through at thoughts of having 
Nettie near him again ; of being able to re-establish the 
old familiar relations, and of what that might lead to 
later on. 

But the meeting had been so sudden and unexpected, 
and Nettie had seemed so cool and formal, that he could 
say nothing except in reply to questions from Nettie's 
mother. 

He kept trying hard to think of something to say to 
Nettie, but he could not or, rather, he could not mus 
ter the courage to voice his thoughts. His failure to say 
any thing better than "I 'm pretty well ; how do you 
do ?" when she spoke to him first, discouraged him from 
making another attempt. 

" She must think me a fool, or else the most bashful 
man alive," was his mental comment. "Confound it 
all ! If she had only called me Phil, now, /nstead of 
'Mr. Johnson !' It was calling me 'Mr. Johnson* that 
took me o# my feet it was so confoundedly formal/' 



MR. M'KINLEY HAS AN IDEA. 207 

While Mrs. McKinley was thus entertaining Phil her 
husband was talking with Phil's companions, who, with- 
out exactly knowing it, were doing all that could be done 
to induce Mr. McKinley to regard Oklahoma and the 
spot selected by the colonists as the most desirable plac< 
in the world for him to locate in. 

Nettie's father listened attentively to the description 
* given of the extent and fertility of the prairies, the 
abundance of timber and the salubrity of the climate. 
He evinced considerable interest in the statements made 
with regard to the abundance of game, but it was at the 
mention of fish that he became thoroughly alive alive 
all over. 

Fish meant a river ; abundance cf fish must mean a 
pretty large river, and a large river meant 



1 ' Going to lay out a town there ?" queried the ex- 
ferryman. 

" Yes. Town already laid out. All we lack now is 
the people." 



208 HEADED RIGHT. 

' ' Going to be a pretty good-sized town, I s'pose ? 
Lots of travel back and forth across the river ?" 

* * Not a doubt of it. Just as soon as it becomes 
known that there is an abundance of government land 
there people will rush in by the thousand, and the coun 
try will settle up rapidly. " 

4 ' Be a pretty good place for a ferry, won't it ?" 

Phil failed to catch the reply, but a few minutes * 
later, when the wagons halted for the night, Mr. McKin- 
ley was overheard saying to his wife : 

"Marthy, I believe Oklahoma is just the place we 
were looking for." 

This was music to Phil's ears. He said to himself : 
"The leader is headed right." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

PHIL FEASTS HIS EYES THE M*KINLEYS CONCLUDE TO 
LOCATE IN OKLAHOMA. 

Phil and his companions went into camp that night 
with the emigrants from Indiana. 

To have induced Phil to do otherwise would have 
required greater persuasive powers than his companions 
possessed, even had they cared to exercise such powers, 
which they did not ; though before overtaking the travel 
ers they had intended to go five miles farther before 
camping. They had delayed a little in chatting with the 
emigrants, and it was now fairly late, and here were 
water and fuel and all things needful for their purposes; 
besides which there was a prospect of inducing these 
people to join their colony, which of itself furnished in 
ducement for the other two to remain in communication 
with the emigrants. 

As for Phil ? Well, if asked to go on, the odds would 



2IO NETTIE. 

have been a thousand to one that he would have declared 
his pony was lame, sore-backed and generally done for 
in fact, could not travel a mile farther. 

Maybe a suspicion that Phil would prove obstinate in 
the matter helped to move his companions to decide it 
would be best to go into camp with the emigrant party. 
*This is not known. Be this as it may, they swung them 
selves from their saddles the moment the wagons came 
to a halt, and prepared to stake their horses out and to 
care for them. 

Phil's pony seemed to realize that his master was in 
a hurry to get him taken care of that night, for the mo 
ment Phil's foot was out of the stirrup the pony made 
an effort to remove his own saddle by dropping on the 
ground and rolling. And when he was compelled to get 
up and allow it to be taken off in the usual way, the ani 
mal refused to be rubbed down in a manner so emphatic 
that Phil accepted it as evidence that he ought not to 
fool away any time on that kind of a job. Accordingly, 
he tethered him out without rubbing him down, and then 
hurried around to where the McKinleys were preparing 
supper. 

Nettie was stooping over a fire just started when he 
approached, but arose on hearing his coming footsteps. 

Then it was that Phil noticed how tall and graceful 
she had grown to be. He had not seen her fully before 
not even her face, which had been half concealed by 



BEAUTY AND GRACB. 211 

the wagon cover but now he saw both face and form 
fully by the light of the camp fire, and he felt that even 
his imagination had utterly failed to do full justice to her 
beauty. 

And Nettie McKrnley was beautiful. She possessed 
the beauty of youth and innocence yes, and intelli 
gence. 

To her natural strength of mind, inherited from her 
mother, she had added education. Her education was 
not extensive and broad, it is true, but was such as the 
schools of an ambitious and thriving little city, anxious 
to keep pace with the world in educational as well as 
other matters, could furnish. 

From her father she had inherited the dignity which 
at times sat upon him as an ill-fitting garment, but which 
rested on her with a naturalness that added to her face 
and form an expression of womanliness and goodness 
which might well have charmed another than a frontiers 
man like Phil, who had known little of women and less 
of women possessed of grace both oi body and mind. 

True, Nettie exhibited little of either grace or dignity 
in her first meeting with her girlhood's sweetheart, after 
their long separation ; but the fact must be borne in 
mind that an emigrant wagon, where one is compelled 
for lack of room to sit in a position that is more or less 
cramped, is not the most favorable place for the exhibi 
tion of grace and dignity. ^Besides, the meeting was so 



aid JUST THE TWO. 

entirely unexpected, and Phil was as Mrs. McKinley 
expressed it "growed powerful," and in his cowboy 
costume, to which he still clung, with a Winchester rifle 
lying across his lap, looked so much like the brigands of 
whom she had read and so little like the boy in patched 
clothes and straw hat who used to help her run the ferry 
that there is small wonder if she failed of making as 
good an appearance as under other circumstances she 
might have done. 

But now she was upon the ground, where graceful 
dignity was possible, and she had recovered from her first 
surprised start at the meeting. When, on rising from her 
stooping position in front of the little camp fire, she saw 
Phil approaching she was the personification of grace 
and dignity. With much cordizJity she said : 

'* I am glad you and your friends are to camp with us, 
Mr. Johnson. We want ve^y much to hear about your 
adventures since you left the old neighborhood ; and we 
can, I am sure, tell you much that will interest you about 
your father's family and others whom you used to know. " 

Phil would have given worlds to feel that he could 
answer with equal dignity and self-poise, but his life and 
vocation had not been such as to givo b:m confidence in 
the presence of such a woman az he felt Nettie to be ; 
and, besides, there kejf,t corning up thoughts of that last 
trip which they h> I m&de .together on the ferry boat the 
afternoon before /** &ifcU in which he ran away from 



THE ICB BROKEti. SI 3 

home, to begin & life of perilous wandering, hd he could 
not feel at ease because of it, 

Yet Phil Johnson was naturally self-confident and 
manly ; and now he gathered his mental forces and an 
swered, with some stiffness of manner, that he could not 
think of going on without first learning all they could tell 
him of every one he had ever known back there. 

The ice thus broken, they fell into a conversation 
which soon put them on as familiar a footing as could be 
under the circumstances. 

Mrs. McKinley soon joined them, and with her came 
the younger members of the family boys and girls, most 
of whom were but toddlers when Phil and Nettie were 
quite well-grown children. But now these were big boys 
and girls almost men and women. 

After all the rest came Mr. McKinley, who shook 
hands with Phil, now that shaking hands was not such a 
difficult matter as when one was in the saddle and the 
other was sitting on the spring seat of an emigrant 
wagon. 

There was a good bit of cordiality in his manner, not 
withstanding the sense of dignity which he felt belonged 
to the man who was commissioned by two States to run 
a ferry had not all left him with his leaving the inter 
state business. 

When all preparations for such a meal as they could 
get under the circumstances were about completed, Mis. 



214 TALK OF OKLAHOMA. 

McKinley suggested to her husband, who had beerft too 
busily engaged talking to think of it, that he find Phil's 
companions and invite them to supper a suggestion to 
which he responded with alacrity, although Phil assured 
them that it was not necessary, as they had provided 
themselves with food before leaving town, and had it 
safely store away at the backs of their saddles. 

Nevertheless, Mr. McKinley hunted them up, but he 
found them already eating with some of the other emi 
grants, and so he returned to his own camp fire without 
them. 

After supper Phil's companions sought him out, and 
they were introduced by name to Mr. McKinley and his 
family. 

Then others of the emigrants gathered around, and 
they asked questions about Oklahoma, about the trouble 
which the colonists had with the military authorities and 
about other portions of the country with which their new 
acquaintances were familiar through all of which Phil 
waited and watched for an opportunity to speak with 
Nettie out of hearing of the others, though knowing all 
the time that if such a chance were tc occur he would be 
no more capable of saying acy but the most common 
place things than he was of flying. He was not even 
quite sure that he would be able to say any thing, but 
none the less he wished that they might be alon^/ if only 
for a minute. 



PHIL GROWS MISERABLY HAPPY. 215 

To be alone with Nettie would, he felt, bring her, in 
some way, close to him; give him a kind of possessor- 
ship, as it were; a possessorship such as he had when as 
boy and girl they ran the ferry boat together and were 
recognized by everybody in the little village as being 
partners in everything and as having a perfect right to 
be together. 

But no opportunity of speaking with Nettie apart 
from others occurred, nor indeed of addressing her at all 
except as he included her with others of the family in 
some questions relating to those he had known or events 
which had occurred in the vicinity of his old home. 

Occasionally Nettie answered, being best able to do 
so from her better knowledge of those earlier compan 
ions of whom he wished to know, and that was all. And 
when the little crowd began to disperse, and when Phil 
finally felt compelled to say good-night, he knew that he 
had received no sign to tell him whether Nettie remem 
bered him as he wished to be remembered. 

But he was miserably happy never had been so 
much so in his life. He rolled himself up in his blank 
ets by the side of his comrades, but if he slept or not is 
only known to the sentinel stars that "kept their watch 
in the sky." 

Only this much is known: After tossing restlessly 
for an indefinite period, Phil thought of his pony, which 
had refused to be rubbed down when unsaddled, and he 



216 PONDERING. 

got up and went to him and curried him, when he stood 
with his legs spread out and his nose almost touching the 
ground asleep. 

The sleeping pony awoke with a little snort when his 
master spoke his name, and then quietly submitted to 
having his sweat-dried coat rubbed clean with a handful 
of grass and a smooth stick, which Phil managed to find 
by feeling around on the ground in the darkness. 

After rubbing down his pony Phil returned to his 
sleeping comrades. But instead of lying down on his 
blankets, as they lay, he gathered them up and went and 
spread them at the roots of a tree a little way off, where 
he lay down again and there remained until morning. 

So soon as he saw that the family was astir the next 
morning Phil took his stock of provisions over to the 
McKinley wagon. He had not forgotten that in the 
other days he had always a friend in Mrs. McKinley, and 
he was shrewd enough to guess that she was still his 
friend. 

Phil had now had a little time to think matters over, 
and he felt that, having been received kindly, he would 
have only himself to blame if he did not drop at once, 
into the old-time relationship with the family. 

In this reckoning of the family he did not include 
Nettie, however. If he won Nettie for his wife he must 
first prove himself worthy of her. He felt sure of that. 
Even if she remembered him as he hoped she did, he 



SPARRING FOR AN OPENING. 

knew now that she would not acknowledge her love until 
he had proven to her that he was capable of some higher 
calling than that of trailing Indians or herding long-horn 
steers. 

What Philip sighed for now was an opportunity to 
prove to her that, though unlearned in books, he was yet 
the equal of most other men in ability and in moral and 
physical courage. He meant to make himself the equal 
of the best. He could do so with her to help him so 
he told himself ; and he meant to learn what she would 
prefer him to be what her standard of manhood was, 
and to make that his standard. 

Not that he had not strong convictions of what was 
just and right, as between man and man, for he had. It 
had been said of him more than once, and by men who 
knew him intimately, that there was no squarer man on 
the range than Phil Johnson. 

But of many things he was ignorant just how very 
ignorant he did not know, but he meant to find out. He 
meant to learn by watching Nettie, if possible for him to 
be near her, and to be in all things what she would have 
him be. 

And, now that he had come to himself, he knew that 
the way to begin was to accept to the fullest the friendly 
interest shown him by the family and do as nearly as pos 
sible as he would have done when a boy helping Nettie 



218 AGAIN EN RAPPORT. 

row the ferry, and that was to go to a meal with them as 
if one of their own family, if so it happened that he was 
necessarily present at meal time. 

It was, therefore, the result of well-digested thought 
that brought him to the McKinley wagon with his pack 
of provisions and tin cup for coffee that morning. 

"Mrs. McKinley," he said, " I supposed you would 
expect me to breakfast, so here I am. I Ve brought 
along my own stock of provisions, so if you happen to 
be short I '11 not rob the family. I expect you remem 
ber something about my appetite, and probably noticed 
last night that it has grown no less since I ate at your 
table when I was a boy. " 

That Mrs. McKinley was pleased with his frankness 
and desire to resume his old relations with the family 
even modest Phil thought he could see. At any rate, she 
treated him exactly as she used to do with a kind of 
motherly solicitude which made it very easy for him to 
feel at ease, and so appear to the best advantage. 

And Phil was as good-looking and as manly-looking 
a fellow as one meets in a day's travel. Standing 5 feet 
IO in his boots, well formed and muscular, with a good 
head set firmly upon his shoulders, mustache of brown 
inclining to red, with brown hair and blue eyes, Phil ap 
proached the ideal man. It is doubtful if Nettie had 
ever seen a more manly form than the sun-burnt and 
sombrero-topped young fellow who came and took the 



MORE ABOUT OKLAHOMA. 

bucket of water out of her hand as she was coming up 
the creek bank; and there must have been something in 
her face which showed that she was conscious of this 
fact, for Phil suddenly felt himself to be more of a man 
than ever before and more worthy to be her husband. 

Together they walked back to the wagon, chatting 
easily and freely, both of the past and the present. At 
breakfast Phil managed to secure a seat upon the same 
log with Nettie, and close by her side. And Phil was 
not conscious of what they had for breakfast, and can 
not tell to this day. 

The talk while eating was principally of Oklahoma 
and the advisability of the McKinley family joining the 
colonists. 

Phil told them, as nearly as he could, the facts about 
the country and the prospects for its early settlement. 
He knew enough of the ways of the owners of large 
herds of cattle, and of the necessity of their keeping 
control of great tracts of land for herding purposes, to 
understand something of the danger which the colonists 
were in from that quarter, but he could not conceive it 
possible that, when the facts were known to the authori 
ties at Washington, ary one would be allowed to inter 
fere with those citizens who were seeking to make homes 
npon the public lands, and he therefore felt safe so far as 
fear of further trouble with the military forces of the 
government was concerned, 



230 PLANNING TO KEEP NEASt 

Naturally, he was intensely anxious to have McKin- 
ley's family join the colonists, for only in this way could 
he hope to keep Nettie by him. 

True, he would have given up his claim and selected 
another in the vicinity of any spot where the McKinleys 
might have chosen to pre-empt, in Kansas or one of the 
territories, but to do so would be to indirectly declare his 
hope with regard to Nettie, and to do it in a way which 
he felt would hardly be manly under the circumstances. 

Such a move would be too clear a declaration of his 
desire to be in her society not to be accompanied with a 
direct offer of marriage, and he felt that the time to do 
that had not come. Therefore, he must either persuade 
them to go to Oklahoma or submit to being separated 
from Nettie almost as soon as he had found her, and de 
pend for success in winning her upon correspondence by 
letter. 

He was sure she would not refuse him permission to 
write to her, but he was not accustomed to writing, and 
he doubted his ability to show to advantage in a corre 
spondence such as that would be. Yet, above all other 
things, he disliked to be separated from her, now that 
they had met again. 

Nettie took but little part in the discussion of the 
proposition to go to Oklahoma. Beyond asking Phil if 
he thought the country would settle up rapidly, so that 
good schools would follow, she said nothing. 



MR. M'KINLEY'S VISION. 

Her father once asked her squarely whether she was 
in favor of the family going or not, but her mother very 
dextrously parried the question for her, and she was not 
obliged to answer it. 

In the end it was decided to go. Mr. McKinley was 
in favor of it, because he believed that as soon as a ter 
ritorial government was formed he could procure a char 
ter for running a ferry boat across the river ; the boys 
favored it, because there was plenty of game and the 
trip promised excitement ; and Mrs. McKinley favored it 
because well, if the truth must be known, because she 
thought her eldest daughter's happiness would be made 
secure by it, without injuring in any way the prospects 
of the younger children. 

Mothers, be it known, are acquainted with the ways 
and the hearts of girls, and quick to understand and 
sympathize with them in their heart troubles and joys. 
If Nettie loved Phil, had loved him and clung to his 
memory all these years, it is reasonably certain that her 
mother knew it. 

Mrs. McKinley was wise in her unlearned way, and 
was a good judge of character. She knew Phil when a 
boy, and she knew his parents and from whom they were 
descended. She had confidence in Phil in his integrity 
of character and in his ability to make his way in life- 
Therefore, she was not inclined to do that which would 
needlessly separate the young people, now that they had 



222 MOTHERS' WISDOM. 

been brought together again, until they had full oppor 
tunity to know whether the feeling of their childhood 
remained to them in their manhood and womanhood. 
For thoroughly sound good sense and womanly wisdom, 
give me the mother whose life has not been all it might 
have been of ease and comfort ; give me the mothers of 
the Wabash and other agricultural districts. 

To say that Phil was rejoiced at the decision arrived 
at by the McKinleys would be a waste of both time and 
words. 

He wanted to look at Nettie and see how she received 
the decision of her parents when it was finally made 
known, but he could not muster sufficient courage for a 
moment, and when he did look at her she had turned 
away, and appeared to be mighty busy at that particular 
moment. 

He felt pretty certain, however, that she was not 
sorry, and so he was content. 

Before they broke camp that morning, Phil wrote a 
long and loving letter home, in which he told of his joy 
ful meeting with the McKinleys, of his failure to get the 
letters addressed to him, and promised faithfully that as 
soon as he got his claim fairly in shape he would pay a 
visit to the old place "down home." He promised, fur 
ther, to spend several weeks at least with those so dear 
to him. 

Mrs. McKinley also wrote to Phil's mother. Just 



TWO FAMILIES ADDED. 38| 

what she wrote in that letter only two persons were sup 
posed ever to know. But it is safe to say nothing was 
written that would make Mrs. Johnson feel ashamed of 
her son. 



Only two families from the half dozen who composed 
company of emigrants with whom Phil and his 
friends camped that night decided to go to Oklahoma, 
and of them one was Mr. McKinley's. The others con 
tinued their journey westward, and settled near Garfield, 
in Pawi:ee county, Kansas. Beyond this mention their 
fate bears no relation to this narrative. 

After giving directions as to the route to follow in 
order to reach the camp of the colonists, Phil and his 
companions hit them and galloped on ahead. 

Gladly woia\ Phi! have remained behind and piloted 



TH COMMISSIONERS RETURN. 

them through, except that there was really no need of it 
and he felt that it would be wisest not to run any risk of 
seeming to force his company upon the family. 

The three horsemen arrived at the camp of the colo 
nists a little afternoon of the same day, and the wagons 
bringing the new accessions to their numbers reached 
there just at sundown. 

So Phil had the pleasure of seeing Nettie again be- 
fove ht, stapt that night 



CHAPTER XV. 

BACK TO THE CANADIAN HAVING BUILT A NEW HOUSE, 
PHIL CONCLUDES TO DEDICATE IT. 

The journey back to the settlement on the Canadian 
was made without incident, so far as the company at 
large was concerned. 

To Phil and Nettie every day, and almost every hour, 
was rilled with incidents the incidents of their hourly 
meetings and partings, of his riding by the side of her 
father's wagon as they journeyed along, of a spoken 
word, a glance, a simple flower which he stooped from 
his saddle to pluck and hand to her. 

And then the evenings spent about the camp fires, in 
which memories of the trifling incidents that made up 
the days and years of their childhood were recalled and 
lived over again in all their sweetness. All these were 
mere passing incidents of a flitting evening, unnoticed 



226 FRONTIER CRAFT. 

and uncared for by others, but to these two young peo 
ple they were things to be thought over and dwelt upon 
after they had retired for the night and before the morn 
ing risings. 

Phil professed still to board with Mr. and Mrs. Jones. 
But his real status as a boarder with the Joneses was 
about like this : Having reinstated himself with the 
McKinley family on something like the old down-home 
basis, he did as he had been wont to do when a boy. He 
ate with them about as often as a-nywhere else. 

The two McKinley boys were now approaching man 
hood, and one of them was beginning to watch with im 
patience for the appearance of down upon his upper lip. 
Both these boys at once ' 'took to" Phil, as the saying is, 
being caught by his evident knowledge of frontier life 
and by his splendid accomplishments as a horseman and 
rifle shot. 

As much as possible they put themselves in his com 
pany, and to them he gave lessons in frontier craft the 
"signs" of the different kinds of game with which the 
country abounded and the best method of securing it. 

His rifle was always at their service, and also his 
pony, and many were the attempts made by one or the 
other of them to bag a deer or antelope, droves of which 
were often seen, as the line of wagons, one following the 
other, moved away across the prairie. And, unskilled 
as they were, they were not always without reward for 



HOME AGAIN. 227 

their efforts. At least, their success was sufficient to 
sustain their interest and excitement in the sport. Of 
course, when the boys failed to keep good the supply of 
game, Phil and others succeeded, so that fresh meat in 
variety was always abundant in the train. 

Phil was now happily miserable happy in the belief 
that he was regarded with favor by his sweetheart, and 
miserable because he could not be in her presence more 
than about half of their waking moments. But he man 
aged some way to continue to exist, and even to avoid 
being called crazy by anybody in the company, though 
just how he did it he could not have told. Certainly he 
said and did some things which only a crazy man or one 
madly in love would have perpetrated. 



* * * 



A cheer broke from the lips of the colonists when 
first they neared, once more, the spot from which they 
had been so ruthlessly driven the spot whereon they 
had begun to make themselves homes. 

It was at the close of a day long and warm, and they 



WEN AND HOW. 

were grown weary of the journey and eager to get back 

and be at rest and at work lipon their claims. 

This forced journey had not been to them like the 
one by which they had first come to this spot. 

Then they were filled with joyous anticipations of the 
future, with which were mingled feelings of love for, and 
pride in, their country as the possessor of such unbound 
ed resources and so glorious a Constitution a Constitu 
tion which guaranteed to every citizen, no matter how 
humble, a right to life and liberty and a home upon the 
soil, provided only that he was willing to fashion that 
home with his own hands. There was a sense of secur 
ity, a mantle of peace, resting upon them then a feel 
ing that peace instead of war and love in place of hatred 
constituted the normal condition of men, and that with 
in that condition of peace and good will they could em 
brace all races of men. 

Such is ever the feeling produced by conditions in 
which hope of a good time to come is founded upon the 
belief that justice is enthroned and rules over all, and 
that labor will receive its perfect reward. 

But now ? 

Now they were returning to homes from which they 
had been driven by the very power which they revered 
more than all other earthly powers by the government 
of which they had been so proud ; in spite of the Con* 
stitution in which they had placed such implicit trust. 



ANXIOUS HOURS. 399 

True, they did not believe the wrong to have been 
an intentional one on the part of the government. It 
was a blunder, doubtless ; it had arisen out of a misun 
derstanding of what and who they were, and of the 
exact locality in which they had located their claims. 

But, nevertheless, the annoying and costly wrong had 
been done them, and the instrument by which it had 
been accomplished was a company of government troops 
which had been stationed on the frontier professedly for 
the protection of just such as they the protection of 
citizens seeking to make homes for themselves and build 
up great States on the unoccupied lands of the smiling 
West. 

This fact hurt, in spite of themselves. 

The knowledge of the source of their wrongs took 
from them the feeling of absolute security, and left in its 
place the smart of injustice, which, however much they 
compelled themselves to make excuses for it, still rankled 
in their hearts and made the sun seem a little less bright, 
their hopes for the future a little less gay, their confi 
dence in themselves a little less perfect. 

The colonists were anxious, too, to know how much 
damage, if any, had been done to their crops, planted 
and up before they were dragged away; to know whether 
their rude cabins had been destroyed or not. 

These lovers of peace and domesticity longed to be 
in possession, full and complete, of their homes and 



"HOME, SWEET HOME," 

their claims, and to continue the work which they had 
begun with such enthusiasm only a few short months be 
fore; and they greeted with a cheer the first sight of the 
belt of timber fringing the river, beyond which their 
cabins lay, and, touching up their now somewhat jaded 
animals, they pushed forward with a more lively step. 

And then some one some woman began singing 
"Home, Sweet Home." 

Clear and low the music and the words floated out 
upon the evening air, and mingled with the scent of the* 
flowers and the grass, upon which the dew was begin 
ning to fall and the harvest moon to shed its soft rays 
as, like a ball of silver, it arose above the horizon. 

Oh, how thrilling and ennobling is the music of a 
woman's voice, whose notes express the yearnings of a 
pure heart ! 

Thus ran the old song the great American home 
song: 

"'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam. 

Be it ever so humble, there 's no place like home. 
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, 

Which, seek thro' the world, is not met with elsewhere." 

A child's voice, piping and clear, like the notes of a 
robin, joined that of the woman in the middle of the 
stanza, and when the chorus was reached other voices of 
both men and women joined in, and added to the volume 
of the music and sent it flying across the prairie to be 



BLACK AND BARE. 231 

broken into echoes against the line of timber upon the 
river bank. 

" Home, home sweet, sweet home ! 
There 's no place like home 1 
There -^no place like home I" 

Uncultivated voices these, did you say ? 

Granted. 

But they were voices strong, clear and sweet ; voices 
rilled with a pathos born of deep feeling and strong emo 
tions ; the voices of men and women who longed for the 
sweets of home as the roe panteth for the clear waters. 

They forded the river with the full light of the moon 
shining down upon them, passed through the strip of 
timber upon its farther bank, where the shadows were 
black, and only here and there a ray of silver found its 
way through thick foliage to the damp ground ; made the 
little rise upon the other side, where the timber gave way 
to the prairie, and emerged upon the site of the town 
which they had laid out with such high hopes when they 
first came, and near to where the cabins of two of their 
number had stood. 

But the cabins were not there ! 

The spot where they had stood was a bit of bare, 
black earth, and that was all. Even the ashes to which 
they had been reduced had been blown away by the 
winds. 

The whole party camped there that night. As one 



f 39 NOT SO. 

end another of the canvas-covered wagons emerged from 
the shadows and moved on and up ir.to the prairie and 
the moonlight they halted, and their drivers got down 
from their seats and unhitched their teams and picketed 
them, with scarcely a word spoken to wife or child or 
comrade. 

None felt it worth while to drive their wearied teams 
farther in any faint hope that their own cabins might 
have been spared, for they knew perfectly well the mo 
tive which had prompted the destruction of the two 
cabins which had stood on the spot near where they now 
were, and that it existed equally for the destruction of 
each and all the rest, and that in all probability all were 
destroyed. Nevertheless, when their animals had been 
cared for, one and another of their number slipped away 
on foot and visited their separate claims, but only to find 
their worst fears proven true. Their homes were gone. 
The earth where their cabins had stood was bare and 
black and desolate. 

But did these men weep and wring their hands, and 
weakly moan over the desolation wrought over cabins 
burned, over crops trampled into the ground by the 
hoofs of thousands of half-wild cattle ? 

Not so ! 

Some angry words, some oaths, some threats of what 
they would do if the perpetrators of these new outrages 
should be incautious enough to fall into their hands 



PHIL'S FIRST CABIN. 333 

and that was all. There was no crying over spilled milk, 
but no more milk was to be spilled. 

They built other cabins as they had builded those 
destroyed by the selfish greed of the cattle kings. The 
ground where the growing corn had been trampled and 
devoured they sowed to wheat. 

The corner stakes which marked the boundary lines 
of their separate claims they re-established where they 
had been removed. They foreswore the pleasures of the 
chase, or hunted only as they had need of procuring 
food, and worked steadily and hard. 

They spoke not over much of the past at first, and 
then less and still less, and then not at'all, but only of 
the future and of the good time coming. 

As for Phil, the loss of his cabin was not a heavy 
affliction, and he was not suffering greatly for the want 
of it. The burning of a dozen or a hundred cabins all 
belonging to him, if he had possessed so many, would 
not have made him unhappy just then. 

His corn was trampled and destroyed, of course. 
This was a much greater loss than his cabin, which had 
not been a very valuable one, and had not cost a very 
great amount of labor. 

Being without a family and boarding with a neigh- 
bor, he had considered it necessary to build only such a 
house as would meet the requirements of the law. A 
few logs put up without much hewing or nice care and 



234 MR M'KINLEY'S LITTLE WEAKNESS, 

roofed over with poles and long grass a house in which, 
in fact, he kept his plow and whatever other implements 
of tillage he had, and allowed Mr. Jones to store his 
also, but in which he slept occasionally, that he might 
comply with the letter of the law, the spirit of which he 
was complying with in breaking the sod, and in whatever 
way he made clear his intentions honestly to make it his 
permanent home this was the kind of a house Phil had 
owned, and such another he could build, if he wished, 
in a week's time, with a little help from some of the 
neighbors in putting the logs in position. 

But Phil did not hurry to rebuild. Instead, he gave 
assistance in rebuilding to Mr. Jones, and to others who 
had families, and were in more immediate need of home 
shelter. 

The McKinleys were strong handed of themselves. 
True, the old gentleman was not over fond of work, as a 
rule, but now he awoke to the spirit of the occasion and 
of those with whom he was associated. With the help 
of his two sons, he soon had a very comfortable double 
cabin erected on the claim which they had fixed upon. 
This claim abutted upon the river at a point where it 
would be easy to establish a ferry, when he should have 
secured a license to do so from the Territorial Legisla- 

j*- 

ture which was to be. 

To erect a ferry without a license, probably, did not 
occur to him as possible, or if it did he did not care to 



MR. M'KINLEY'S RECIPE. 235 

do so. The owning of a ferry without a charter signed 
and sealed in due form with the big seal of the State and 
with a ribbon attached to it would carry no dignity with 
it. It was recognition by the Commonwealth as a per 
son fit to be intrusiTed with the responsibility of the high 
position which Mr. McKinley coveted, and not the work 
or profits of the business. 

Heretofore, at least, Mr. McKinley had worried him 
self very little over the problem of how to make a living 
for the family. That was a duty which he felt belonged 
by right to his wife, and with which he never interfered 
to any great extent. He probably reasoned that, as it 
was the generally accepted theory and one everywhere 
reduced to practice that the wife should cook the food 
for the family, and as in order for her to do this the food 
must first be procured, it followed naturally that whoever 
did the cooking should also procure that which was to be 
cooked. 

Mr. McKinley indorsed and adopted the recipe which 
opens with the admonition : 

" First catch your hare." 

Thus Mr. McKinley's recipe for all manner of cooking 
was : 

"First get something to cook." 

Having furnished this recipe, he felt that his duty, 
so far as it related to providing food and raiment for his 
household, was fully performed. All that yet remained 



2 36 A WOMAN OF SENSE. 

for him to do was to properly sustain the dignity of the 
family, which in his opinion could best be done by secur 
ing recognition from the State in the shape of a charter 
or license of some kind, such appearing in his mind to 
be in the nature of a certificate of character, a formal 
acknowledgment from those in authority that the person 
certified to was one worthy of being held in high esteem 
by them, and hence by all. 

He had insisted on maintaining the ferry across the 
Wabash long after it had ceased to pay for the trouble 
of tending it, and had only consented to leave the town 
when his charter expired and he learned that he could 
not get it renewed because of the fact that a ferry at that 
point was no longer needed by any considerable number 
of people; and now his anxiety for the rapid settlement 
of Oklahoma arose apparently from a desire to see the 
Territory organized and a Legislature elected, which 
would be endowed with authority to grant him a certifi 
cate of respectability or, in other words, a charter to 
establish a ferry across the Canadian River at the point 
where he had located his claim. 

This little weakness of Mr. McKinley did not, how 
ever, interfere to make either himself or family inhos 
pitable or unsociable. Indeed, its members were more 
than ordinarily sociable, both among themselves and with 
others. 

Mrs. McKinley was a woman of much natural ability 



PHIL'S BRIGHT PLOW. 

and good sense, though entirely without education, and 
was quite capable, as a general thing, of both catching 
and cooking her own hare, and she respected, and taught 
her children to respect, this fear which their father had 
of compromising his dignity, and to treat him with a mild 
species of formality quite sufficient to satisfy his idea of 
what was right and proper, and so prevented any rasp^ 
ing of tempers on anybody's part, and made theirs one 
of the pleasantest of families in which to remain, either 
for a short or long period of time. 

Phil soon found that he was not alone in his admira 
tion for the beautiful eldest daughter. Neither was he 
the only one who was a frequent and apparently welcome 
visitor at the spacious and inviting double cabin on the 
river bank. 

Meantime he kept industriously at work on the im 
provement of his claim. 

Phil had found his plow in the furrow where he left 
it when he was arrested by the soldiery, and had again 
hitched to it, and resumed his plowing when he had ren 
dered such assistance in the erection of new cabins as he 
felt was necessary to those who had families. He kept 
this plow bright by constant use until the time for seed 
ing was over. 

Then he began the work of erecting a new house, 
which he meant should be a little better than the most 
of those built near him, 



238 SLIGHTLY JEALOUS. 

He felt under no need of making great haste, for he 
still boarded with Mr. Jones and his wife, and he had not 
reached a formal understanding with Nettie. In truth, 
Phil was a little jealous, at times, of some of the other 
young men of the colony. Generally, however, he was 
hopeful, and even confident ; and, as he had to erect a 
house of some kind in order to keep good his claim under 
the law, he decided that it should be one as nearly wor 
thy of Nettie as could well be, considering the circum 
stances. So he hewed all the logs of which it was to be 
built in such a way that the walls would be smooth both 
inside and out, and notched and laid them up with care. 
Then he carefully chinked and plastered them as best he 
could. 

He also made a wide shed or porch at the rear of the 
house. 

This was done by allowing the third log from the top, 
in the body of the house, to extend over at the back some 
eight or ten feet. Then by putting posts under these at 
the end and a girder across from one to the other, and 
extending the rafters upon that side clear down to the 
girder, it was ready to be roofed over with <( shakes,'* 
rough shingles, split or rived from straight-grained trees 
the same as those with which the main body of the 
house was covered. 

The autumn was far advanced when Phil's house was 
completed. He felt a little proud of it, as it was the 



WANTED A BIRD. 2 39 

best one in the settlement. At least, this was the own 
er's estimate of his handiwork. 

And now if Nettie would consent to become his wife 
his happiness would be complete, and he felt that he 
could not much longer delay asking the question, upon 
her answer to which his future happiness or misery solely 
depended. 

He thought over the matter a great deal thought of 
it all the time, in fact. But, like many another lover, 
he was loath to 

" Put his chances to the touch, 

And win or lose it all." 

Here, again, was procrastination the thief of time. 
Poor Phil ! He waited for some word or look from Net 
tie which should give Him better courage and a basis for 
hope. 

And so, wailing and hoping, the days went by, and a 
week had elapsed since his house was finished. Still he 
had not asked Nettie to share it with him. 

Finally one of the young men with whom he asso 
ciated said to him : 

" I say, Phil ! Why don't you have a dance and a 
party over at your new house ? Dedicate it, you know ? 
Joe Anderson will fiddle for us, and we can have a way- 
up time. Say you '11 do it." 

Phil jumped at the idea, and wondered he had not 
thought of it before. 



240 PHIL GOES TO INVITE NETTIE. 

He would invite everybody which would, of course, 
include Nettie. Maybe, when once she was over there, 
actually within his own house, he could find some way of 
telling her how much he loved her, and how he had built 
the house with the hope that she would share it with 
him. 

He told the friend who had suggested the party that 
it would be all right, and together they fixed upon a time 
for it to come off. Then Phil told him to invite every 
body he saw, and to tell them to invite everybody they 
saw, so that no one in the settlement might be missed. 

This preliminary arranged, Phil set out for McKin- 
ley's cabin to invite Nettie and the rest of the family. 



JOS- 



CHAPTER XVI. 

fi RATHER STRANGE BETROTHAL FOLLOWED BY HASTY 

PREPARATIONS FOR A FIGHT. 

4 * Nettie and the other girls are gone over to a neigh 
bor's," Mrs. McKinley told Phil when he inquired for her 
at her father's cabin. Then he started out to find them 
and escort them home. 

He found them at the house to which their mother 
had directed him, and with them he ate supper there. 
Then they all started to walk home. 

As they walked the younger girls went on before, but 
Phil and Nettie lingered. 

At first their conversation was on the things of which 
they had been talking while at the neighbor's where they 
were visiting. These were some trifles the newest hap 
penings among the families constituting the colony ; the 
contents of a letter some one had received from friends 
in the East ; then of their own friends, and of things 



242 COMING TO THE POINT. 

which had happened when they were children ; of the 
old home in the older times. 

Then Phil told her of how his house was finished and 
ready for occupancy, and of how they were all going to 
have a frolic there some evening soon, and that he want 
ed her to let him come for her and see her home again 
afterward. 

To all this Nettie assented with so sweet a grace that 
Phil grew bold. 

He told her, with much stammering, how he longed 
to make her his wife, to have her love him and share his 
home ; how he always had meant to have returned some 
time to the'old home and to her ; how, not hearing from 
home, he feared to go, lest he had been forgotten or lest 
he find her married to another ; how, since he had met 
her that afternoon in the emigrant train, he had thought 
of nothing else save how to win her and to be worthy of 
her afterward. 

To Phil's impassioned story Nettie made no reply, 
but instead walked by his side with her head turned from 
him, and gazed away off across the prairie and the river, 
as if looking at some distant object. 

Seeing that she turned away from him, Phil thought 
Nettie was indifferent to his suit. This made him des 
perate, and he pleaded the harder. He told her that for 
all his imperfections his lack of education and polish 
he would try to even up with a fuller measure of love ; 



"YES." 243 

told Jier AOW, with every blow struck upon his new house, 
he had sent yp 3. fervent prayer that she might share it 
with him and make it bright and cheery with her pres 
ence. 

But still Nettie walked w*tfi head averted and made 
no answer. 

Phil cast his eyes in the direction she was looking. 
He Sb.w that which caused him to stop in his walk sud 
denly and his cheek to pale, though the tan upon it was 
as thick as the sun and wind could make it. 

Nettie stopped also, and for a few minutes they stood 
side by side, gazing away across the river, where could 
be seen approaching a body of horsemen in uniform, and 
riding at a sharp trot. Then Nettie turned to Phil, and, 
putting her two hands in his, she looked him in the face 
and said : 

' ' Phil, I lo^e you. I have always loved you and be 
lieved in you, and always will ; and I am ready to be 
your wife and share your home. But not you nor any 
of us will have a home tomorrow. " 

And Phil answered not a word, for he knew she spoke 
the truth. He, too, had recognized the approaching 
horsemen as United States cavalry, and he knew they 
could have but one errand there ; that they had come a 
second time to evict the settlers from their homes. And 
he released Nettie's hands without even offering to seal 
their betrothal with a kiss. 



244 OTHER STRANGE THINGS. 

"A strange betrothal," did you say ? 

Well perhaps. 

Strange conditions environed them. 

Those are strange conditions which induce yes, 
compel men whose souls are tall and strong and white 
to leave the settled portions of the country, those loca 
tions where the genius of the race has achieved its 
grandest triumphs over the forces of nature, and where 
wealth is a thing of so little value that it is heaped up in 
stacks and measured by millions, and go out into the 
wilderness, where there is absolutely no wealth, in order 
that they may obtain shelter and food for themselves 
and their families. 

And yet more strange is it when they have done this 
and are peacefully seeking by their own labor, upon 
God's own land, to build homes for themselves and those 
they love, that there should come bands of armed men 
bearing aloft the ensign of the country of which these 
home builders are citizens, and burn their houses and 
drive them from the country. 

Strange, indeed, are these things so strange that 
one scarce can believe them true. But when one knows 
them to be true, there is nothing that can follow which 
can appear strange, or which can not follow naturally. 

The apple blossom without fragrance, the fruit all 
withered upon the boughs, the tree dead and bare in the 
midst of green fields and soft waters even these anoma- 



A TRYING ORDEAL. 245 

lies cease to appear strange when it is known that those 
other things can be, and are. 

Nor is Oklahoma the only spot where the joyfulness 
of young lovers has been stolen from them in the very 
moment of betrothal ; where mothers have given birth 
to infants whose gestation was not yet complete ; where 
men have clasped the hand of Death and have gone with 
him from the sight of those who loved them and whom 
they loved, because of these things which are here nar 
rated. 

There are ruins of coliseums and palaces, of princi 
palities and of states, to be seen in Greece, Italy and 
many other countries ruins which appear strange and 
unaccountable until we remember that there, too, armed 
men drove forth those who, in obedience to the divine 
law, sought to make themselves homes and fortunes by 
the tilling of the soil. 



The thoughts which were now burning themselves 
through Phil's brain as he stood there after letting go his 
sweetheart's proffered hands were plainly written on his 
face, and Nettie read them as from an open book. 

She saw the great veins upon his forehead swell, the 



246 BOR LOVE'S SWEET SAKE. 

fire of determination and hate kindle and flash from his 
eyes, the lips draw together, the hands clinch, and the 
right hand lift as if to draw a weapon from the belt, and 
she was frightened not at what the fast approaching 
soldiers might do, but what Phil might do in defense or 
retaliation. 

Quickly Nettie's small hands crept back into Phil's 
larger ones, and her fingers twined themselves about his, 
as if she would hold him back from the desperate deeds 
on which he seemed to meditate. 

Then he stooped and kissed her upon the lips 
kissed her cheeks and hair, put his arms about her and 
spoke lovingly, albeit solemnly. 

" Nettie," said he, "I know what your fear is, and I 
will do no rash thing. For your sake I will be careful, 
and will hold my life and the lives of our enemies of 
more value than the pleasure of resistance to a mighty 
wrong. It is an awful thing, this feeling that we are be 
ing wronged so deeply without power of resistance ; this 
being compelled to receive insult and injury without giv 
ing a fitting answer. But it must be so. Those soldiers 
come in the name of the law, and we must respect the 
law ; though if it were not for you, I think I don't 
know I I don't understand why we may not be left in 
peace here why the government permits us to be so 
wronged." 

Nettie, sobbing upon his shoulder, begged him to be 



GATHERING FOR DEFENSE. 24? 

patient. She assured him all would come right in the 
end ; and that maybe, after all, the soldiers were not 
come to drive them away. 

But Phil knew better than to think this. He well 
knew there was nothing else to bring them into that 
vicinity in such force, and he felt that the worst might 
be anticipated. 

He guessed that the explanation which he and others 
had sent to Washington had not been properly directed, 
or in some way had not reached its destination, and that 
the military were acting under their previous orders to 
keep the colonists out, and not upon orders which were 
newly received. 

For a few moments yet the lovers stood exchanging 
pledges of continued love and fealty, and might have 
remained thus longer but for the sound of approaching 
horsemen. So, after a parting kiss, they hastened to 
ward Nettie's home. 

A moment later several men on horseback, with rifles 
in their hands and revolvers in their belts, came flying 
across the prairie, headed in the direction of the ford. 

These men were neighbors, members of the colony, 
who had observed the approach of the soldiers and were 
hurrying to meet them. They called to Phil, as they flew 
past, to get his rifle and come on. 

Looking to the right and left, Phil and Nettie could 
see others of the colonists, some afoot and others astride 



248 MEN THREATEN WOMEN WEEP. 

horses or mules from which the harness had been hastily 
stripped, riding and running and gathering on the bank 
of the river. And they, too, hurried as fast as they 
could, even running the last part of the way, and soon 
reached the ford, at which the people men, women and 
children were now gathering. 

Few of the men but had brought their arms v and all 
those who had not were being urged to return to their 
cabins for them. 

Threats that the soldiers should never cross the river 
were heard from some, while others proposed that each 
man return to his own cabin, barricade his door, and 
refuse to be arrested or evicted under any circumstances. 

Some of the women were wringing their hands and 
weeping ; others were following their husbands or sons 
about, pleading with them to do nothing rash. Infants 
were carried in arms, and children crying with excite 
ment clung to their agonized mothers. 

The leader or president of the colony was not pres 
ent, he having, as it chanced, gone out for an afternoon 
hunt across the prairie, from which he had not as yet 
returned ; and when Phil entered the excited group quite 
a number turned to him for counsel and advice, for he 
had come to have influence among them. 

Gathering about him, they asked : ' ' What shall we 
do ? They are coming to arrest us again, and if they do 
the cattlemen will burn our houses as soon as we are out 



AN EXCITED CROWD. 249 

of the way. Our crops will be destroyed and our settle 
ment broken up." 

" Fight 'em that 's my advice !" called out one who 
had just reached the group. 

tl They 're nigger troops, anyway!" shouted one of 
the men. 

This announcement caused fresh tremors to extend 
through the crowd. 

' ' I fought four years to free the niggers, " shouted a 

colonist, " and I '11 be d d if any crowd of niggers is 

going to oust me when I 'm minding my own business 
and disturbing nobody." 

That this sentiment was generally approved was evi 
denced quickly. 

"I 'm with you, old comrade." 

" Your head 's level there." 

"That 's the way to talk it." 

These exclamations came indiscriminately from the 
crowd of excited men and weeping women and children 
gathered upon the river bank, watching the approach of 
the colored troops sent to evict them a second time from 
their homes. 

Phil felt his whole soul respond to this warlike spirit 
of the more reckless of the crowd. 

He had spent so much of his life among those whose 
hands are for ever playing with the butts of their revolv 
ers, had seen so much of force and so little of any thing 



25O PHIL MAKES A SPEECH, 

else, as a governing power, that he hardly knew there 
was any other way of opposing the wrong or protecting 
the right except with fire-arms. 

The slave bred and born in slavery feels but slightly 
the weight of his chain as compared with him whose 
limbs it chafes for the first time, and while in the full 
possession of health and strength and with a knowledge 
of freedom's worth. 

Phil's whole soul cried out in wrathful protest against 
the indignity and wrong now threatening them. His 
hand clinched involuntarily, and the fire of mighty anger 
flashed from his eyes. But before he had given expres 
sion to the thoughts and feelings which were burning for 
utterance a small, soft hand from out the crowd touched 
his. Looking down, he saw Nettie's anxious eyes and 
tear-stained face turned up to his, and at once his anger 
cooled, and instead of urging his companions to prepare 
for fight he pleaded with them to be patient and keep 
cool, and so do nothing rashly. 

At first his voice was hoarse and his words came with 
an effort, but as his anger died out it took a smoother 
tone, and then became soft and flexible, with a strange 
power to sway the excited feelings of his fellow back 
woodsmen. 

Phil felt a mild surprise at this. He was surprised, 
first, that he could speak after this fashion, and then 
that his words should have such power over his compan- 



A NATURAL LEADER. 3$ I 

ions. He had not suspected himself of possessing such 
oratorical ability, and he knew nothing of the power that 
lies in the word, if strongly asserted, to compel obedi 
ence ; and he was, therefore, as much surprised at the 
effect of his speaking as he had time to be. 

Having calmed the excitement in a measure and hav 
ing brought order out of confusion, he was on the point 
of proposing that a committee be selected to ride forward 
and meet the approaching soldiers, when the leader of 
the colony arrived, and to him Phil resigned the author 
ity with which circumstances and his own recognized 
fitness had momentarily invested him. 

This man whom the colonists called their leader was 
.aot one having any autocratic authority over them. He 
was the one who presided at their meetings held for the 
purpose of deciding upon business of interest to the col 
ony, at which each head of a family was entitled to a 
voice and a vote. 

He was their guide and spokesman. He was their 
leader in the sense of one who goes ahead. But he was 
not one who had autocratic power to compel others to 
follow. If they followed, they did so because they were 
pleased to follow, confident that they were being led in 
the way they themselves had decided to go, and not be 
cause they were ordered to do so. 

But this man was a natural leader of men as well. 
He had that quick perception of what is necessary and 



ON COME THE TROOPS. 

best to do on occasion, and also jin air of knowing that 
he knew, which showed itself in every word and move 
ment, and inspired that confidence in others which in 
times of unusual happenings gave him a power that was 
autocratic so long as exercised within limits which per 
mitted those over whom it was exercised to retain their 
self-respect unimpaired. 

This man did not await the appointing of a commit 
tee. He took command as by right, and with one word 
produced quiet. Then he said, in a voice that betrayed 
no trace of excitement or fear : 

"If the rest of you will remain here, Mr. Johnson 
and I will ride forward and see what the troops want. 
We will report to you as soon as we ascertain the situa 
tion." 

To Phil he said : 

"Come with me. If you have no horse here, one of 
the men will lend you his." 

With this Capt. Paine turned away and rode down 
the bank into the river. 

Phil borrowed a horse and joined him before gaining 
the opposite shore, and together their animals clambered 
up the bank and cantered away, side by side, to meet 
the troops, now only a few hundred rods distant. 

When they had approached quite near, the Lieuten 
ant in command of the troops, who were part of a black 
regiment that for some months past had been stationed 



"WE 'VE COME FOR YOU AGAIN." 2J3 

on the frontier, rode forward accompanied by an orderly, 
and both sides saluted with proper courtesy. 

Then, wheeling their horses, the two colonists fell in 
line with the Lieutenant and orderly, and rode back a 
little in advance of the company of regulars, whose nags 
had dropped to a walk. 

The Lieutenant was the first to speak. His manner 
was not lacking in politeness, but his words carried an 
awful meaning. 

" You see that we 've come for you again." 

" I supposed that was your purpose," replied the 
Seader of, the colonists, ' ' as I could not think of any 
other errand you could have down this way. I hoped the 
explanation that we made and forwarded to Washington 
on the other occasion would prove sufficient to save us 
further trouble, but it appears to have failed, in some 
manner." 

* ' Who gave the order for driving us out of the coun 
try ?" asked Phil. 

* ' Orders to me came from my superior officers, " an 
swered the Lieutenant, "and that is all I am supposed 
to know. However, I learned that they originated in 
Washington ; indeed, they could not well originate any 
where else." 

"Do you mean to say," asked Phil, a little excitedly, 
" that the government that is, the President ordered 
that WB be taken out, after the explanation we made 



254 PLYING QUERIES. 

under oath the other time ?" Though not so intended, 
Phil's words nettled the officer. 

4 ' I don't mean to say any thing about it, " replied the 
officer, hotly. " All I care to know is, that I have orders 
from those whom I am bound to obey to take you out of 
here, and that you are going." 

The words and the manner of the officer rasped both 
men, but they managed to contain themselves, although 
Phil was compelled to call up Nettie's words and looks 
before he could choke back the hot retort that sprang to 
his lips. 

His companion, more accustomed to self-command, 
answered without apparent feeling that he regretted that 
such orders had been issued. "Could there be found," 
he asked, * ' some way by which the matter can be held 
in abeyance for a time, so the colonists can be left in 
possession of their homes until communication can be 
held with the President of the United States, who cer 
tainly is laboring under a misapprehension regarding the 
matter, and an effort made to secure the revocaticp c* 
the order ?" 

"I have no orders of that kind," replied the Liey- 
tenant. 

"But could you delay a little? I will send to th* 
nearest telegraph office a man mounted on the swiftes* 
horse in the settlement, or will go myself, and there tele 
graph a full account of the nature of our claims, an<? 



NO RESPITE, 355 

who we are and just where we are located, to the Presi 
dent, and ask him if it is with his approval that we are 
to be evicted. If he says it is, we will leave peaceably ; 
if he says not, and countermands the order, then you 
will be relieved of its execution." 

' ' Can't do it, " answered the Lieutenant. * ' I tell you 
I have my orders to take you and your families every 
body out of here, and to take you to Fort Reno. And 
these orders I must obey, without waiting three or four 
days or weeks, trying to get the President to counter 
mand the order." 



By this time they had reached the ford on thi Cana 
dian River. 

Plunging in, the troops crossed the river, and fame 
up the opposite bank a few rods below where the f 
of colonists stood. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE LEADER AND MR. M'KINLEY MAKE SPEECHES TIED 
TO THEIR WAGONS WITH ROPES. 

After talking still further with the Lieutenant, with 
out receiving any encouragement from him, or promise 
that time would be given, or delay made in the execu 
tion of his orders, the two men returned to their waiting 
companions, and sorrowfully reported the state of affairs 
to them. 

"We are," said their leader, "again arrested, and 
the officer declares he has orders to again take us to Fort 
Reno, beyond which he has no authority, and no knowl 
edge of what is intended. 

' ' My friends, I know with what feelings of grief and 
indignation you learn this. I am myself overwhelmed 
with grief and indignation for you and for myself. Why 
government permits it is something difficult to under- 

(256) 



THE LEADER MAKES A SPEECH. 2$f 

Stand, but doubtless it is because it has not had full and 
complete knowledge upon the subject. It can not be 
possible that it is the settled policy of the administration 
to turn over this whole Territory, containing about all 
there is remaining^pf valuable agricultural land, to a few 
foreign cattle companies and Eastern capitalists ; and it 
must be, therefore, that when the facts are known at 
Washington we will be reinstated in possession of our 
claims, and full reparation made us for all the losses we 
have suffered or may suffer. 

"I have not forgotten that I said this same thing be 
fore, when we were arrested, and I thought we had taken 
the steps necessary to at least prevent our again being 
disturbed. But it seems now that we were not thorough 
enough ; that we should have done more, in some way, 
to make plain the fact that we are not violaters of the 
law, but peaceful citizens, claiming protection from it. 

"If we can not induce the officer in command of 
these troops to delay, then there is but the one thing left 
as. We must again submit to being conveyed out of the 
Territory. 

' ' We make no promise not to return, and we never 
will make such promise. On the contrary, we proclaim 
our unalterable determination to come back, to hold on 
to our claims and to assert our right, and the right of all 
citizens who desire to do so, to come here and take up a 
claim and improve it, and live upon it. 



2$8 WISE COUNSEL HEEDED. 

"I beg of you to be patient. All will yet be well. 
We will yet live to see our wrongs righted, and see our 
Oklahoma one of the finest States in the Union, and 
you who have borne the heat and burden of the contest 
shall be honored and rewarded as you deserve. 

"I shall be glad now if some of you, say a commit 
tee of five, will go to the officer who is in command of 
the troops, and see if it is possible to make a compro 
mise by which ourselves and families may be benefited. 
In doing so, any committee which you appoint will have 
but two things to bear in mind : 

"First That we, having an inalienable legal right 
to the claims which we have pre-empted, need not feel 
ashamed at being arrested, nor at any thing which may 
follow. 

" Second That the officer in command is under or 
ders from his superior, and to violate them may cause 
him to be court-martialed and dismissed the service." 

While Capt. Paine was thus speaking, many of the 
men crowded about him. They listened to his address 
attentively and without interruption, but some there were 
who held back and were evidently little disposed to sub 
mit quietly to being again driven from their claims. 

This contingent would have been better pleased had 
their leader counseled resistance to the death. Even as 
it was, they might have stood out against eviction, but 
for the pleadings of the women, who, for the moment? 



AN OLD LINE DEMOCRAT. 259 

lost sight of every thing else in the fear that their loved 
ones might be killed, and with tears and pleadings held 
them back from the desperate deeds they might other 
wise have done. 

The committee of five suggested by the leader was 
selected, and repaired at once to where the officers were 
awaiting the arrival of their camp equipage, the wagons 
containing which had not yet come up. 

As no one of the others upon the committee felt any 
great confidence in his ability as a spokesman, Mr. 
McKinley, who was one of them, assumed the responsi 
bility of that position. He felt confident that he could 
salute the officer with proper decorum and state lucidly 
their mission. 

Being, like his father before him, an old line Demo 
crat, with a genealogical tree which was fondly believed 
to have first taken root somewhere in the sacred soil of 
Kentucky, he felt with especial keenness the threatened 
indignity of being arrested and evicted by colored troops. 
He felt that, if the committee should be unable to pre 
serve the rights of the colony, he could at least preserve 
its dignity ; and there was a little more than the usual 
amount of stiffness in his manner as he addressed the 
officer, after saluting him. 

With a dignified wave of his hand in the direction of 
the people on the river bank, he said : 

"We have come, Sir, Mr. Officer, as the representa- 



a6o MR. M'KINLEY'S SPEECH. 

tives of those people, Sir. Yes, Sir, their represent* 
tives, Sir authorized, as you may say, to speak for 
them. And we come a-axin' for justice; yes, Sir, for 
justice. 

"We are here, Sir, Mr. Officer, a-claimin' rights as 
citizens as citizens, Sir which has always done their 
duty to their country and been loyal to their flag. Yes, 
Sir. 

"Some of us has been honored by the Common 
wealth in which we have lived in the past ; yes, Sir, been 
honored by the Commonwealth. If you don't believe 
it, just you come down to my cabin, and I '11 show you 
a document sealed with the seal of the great State of 
Indiana and the great State of Illinois, in which is set 
forth the fact yes, Sir, the fact that some of us are 
known to be worthy of the confidence and esteem of of 
of everybody, Sir ; which, I reckon, makes us the ekil 
of a nigger soldier, if not of them as commands 'em. 
And we intend, as soon as the country about here gits 
settled up which will be as soon as it gits narrated 
around that this here is gov'ment land fer to have a 
ferry across the river here. Yes, Sir, a ferry ; and we 
are a-goin' to build a town up there on that there raise 
of ground there ; yes, Sir. We are a-goin' to do things 
up as they ought to be done, and to cause this wilder 
ness to blossom as the hollyhock yes, Sir, as the holly- 
bock. 



WASTED ELOQUENCE. JO 

"Now, Sir, Mr. Officer, do you suppose that we are 
such rantankerous villains as to go and vi'late the law, if 
we did n't know that we had a right to settle here ? No, 
Sir not by a large majority. We are truly loyal citi 
zens, Sir all on us- and we want you to reckonize that 
fact and take your nigger soldiers out of here, Sir yes, 
Sir, out of here and leave us in peace to set under our 
own vine and fig tree." 

Considerably to Mr. McKinley's surprise, this perora 
tion failed to have any particular effect upon the officer, 
except that his face assumed an expression of weariness 
and contempt. 

Nor did any of the other members of the committee 
appear any more able to move him to delay action or to 
retire without accomplishing the purpose for which he 
had been sent. 

He, however, consented to allow the colonists to 
return to their homes for the night, the members of the 
committee being told to consider themselves under arrest 
and to report at the officer's quarters on the following 
morning. 

Such was the report which the committee was forced 
to make. 

The evening was now becoming dark too dark even 
to see each other's face distinctly at a few paces distance 
and the little crowd slowly and with heavy hearts dis 
persed. Some went directly to their homes, but others 



302 TBN DAYS' DELAY. 

lingered by the way and stopped to talk over the situa 
tion with this or that one of their neighbors. Ail took 
with them the feeling that nothing could be done to 
avert the calamity which had befallen them, and many 
began at once to pack their household goods into shape 
for loading into the wagons preparatory to the orders to 
move out, which they expected would be issued early on 
the morrow. 

However, they were not ordered to move the next 
day, nor the next, nor yet the next. 

When the committee of the day previous, together 
with Phil Johnson and Capt. Paine, who had also been 
ordered to report as under arrest, did so, a guard was at 
once placed over them. 

These men were kept thus for ten days, while all the 
remainder of the colonists were allowed to come and go 
as they chose, but always with a the understanding that 
they were to be ordered to move the next day. 

Whether the object had in view was to induce them 
to leave secretly, and so save the trouble of conducting 
them out, is not known. The unexplained delay is a fact 
of history. 

On the morning of the tenth day after the arrival of 
the troops the order to move was actually given, and the 
whole array pulled across the river and headed for Fort 
Reno. 

And now the indignity of bein^g tied with ropes to the 



TIED TO THEIR WAGONS. $63 

hind end of their wagons and compelled to march in the 
dust and dirt, between guards with loaded carbines, was 
inflicted upon all who were recognized as in any degree 
leaders among the colonists, while the women were 
treated, if not witlropen indignity, yet with a lack of the 
courtesy commonly recognized as due them. 

Crowded into the wagons with their household goods 
and compelled to sit all the day through, they and their 
children, without opportunity to move about or stretch 
their weary limbs, sometimes without water to quench 
their thirst, and surrounded by brutal soldiers whose 
color, if it did not prevent them from being good sol 
diers, certainly added nothing toward inspiring confi 
dence in the breasts of these women who were now their 
prisoners such were the conditions and surroundings 
under which they were taken back along the trail which 
they had once before traversed to Fort Reno. 

Phil Johnson was among those tied to the tail end of 
a wagon, and again Nettie's pleading eyes and voice pre 
vented the enactment of a tragedy. 

But the eyes and voice which were so effective in 
preventing her lover from rushing upon death in defense 
of his bodily freedom, or in revenge for the exasperating 
indignity done to him, had no effect upon the officer in 
command to induce him to countermand his order to tie 
the men to the wagons. 

The sagacious Lieutenant had been careful to see 



264 DRIVEN LIKE CATTLE. 

that all those who were to be humiliated had first been 
deprived of their knives and revolvers before the order to 
tie them was given. 

And thus like cattle were they driven away across the 
prairie, along the beautiful table lands and by the clear 
streams, until they reached Fort Reno, where such of 
the men as were supposed to have influence with their 
fellow colonists and would be likely to use it to induce 
them to return to their claims if released were again con 
signed to military prison. 

During the period of their incarceration they were 
compelled to sleep on the floor, without blankets or bed 
ding of any kind, and without being permitted to talk 
with their friends outside or to send letters or telegrams, 
or in any way communicate with the government at 
Washington or with the civil authorities of the State of 
Kansas. 

As for the remainder of the colonists, they were sim 
ply held in camp by guards, and were fed on rations that 
were issued from the commissary department of the army 
at the fort. 

After five days had elapsed, the larger portion of the 
colonists, including the women and children, were again 
put upon the march, and were conducted to the Kansas 
State line and then turned loose, much as on the former 
occasion, and without any formal charge of any kind be 
ing made against them. 



INTO THE RED RIVER. 20$ 

After these had been gotten fairly off, those who had 
been kept in confinement were brought out, mounted on 
their own horses, put in charge of a squad of soldiers 
and conveyed the long journey of nearly 150 miles to the 
Red River, which ^forms the boundary line between the 
Indian Territory and the State of Texas, and driven into 
the river by their guards, who from the bank watched 
them half-way across and then turned and rode away in 
the direction of the fort from which they had come. 

Without crossing to the other side, or so much as 
getting foot on Texas soil, these men turned about, when 
they saw the soldiers retire, and returned to the Territory 
side of the river, where they camped for the night. 

The next morning they took up the trail of tneir 
guards, followed it as long as it lay in nearly a direct line 
with their Oklahoma claims, and then leaving it, they 
branched off to the right, and two days later reached the 
deserted settlement, where they slept one night in the 
McKinley cabin on the bank of the river. 

They had entertained a faint hope that a portion of 
the colonists might have returned there, but it was only 
a faint one, and they were not greatly disappointed at 
finding norie of them had done so, as they knew that, 
even if so disposed, there had probably been scant t^rne 
for them to return from the Kansas State line, whiter 
they guessed them io have been taken. 

Early th next rr*<)/ning the party began their o\m 



266 THE COLONISTS SCATTERING. 

ride to the State line, in search of their lost families and 
friends. 

Just where to look for them they did not know, but, 
believing them to be somewhere in Kansas, they struck 
out for Caldwell, at which place they were enabled to 
learn at what point the troops having them in charge had 
entered the State. 

Again mounting their animals, after a night spent at 
Caldwell, they rode west along the border line between 
the State and Territory a distance of nearly fifty miles, 
and there found those for whom they were searching, or 
a portion of them. 

Not all the colonists brought out by the troops had 
remained together. 

A portion were disheartened. They were out of both 
money and provisions and utterly incapable of making an 
immediate attempt to again enter Oklahoma and take 
possession of their claims, and had moved on up into the 
State in search of temporary employment for themselves 
and their teams, or had started to make their way back 
to the neighborhoods from which they had originally 
emigrated. 

A considerable number, however, had remained to 
gether, and among them were the McKinleys. 

Mr. McKinley and Phil found them in camp, and in 
possession, with others, of an old shed, which they had 
been given the use of by a farmer for whom the McKin- 



NETTIE'S RESOLVE. 267 

ley boys and several others of the company were at work 
shucking corn. 



Not knowing what had become of those left behind 
when they were themselves conveyed north from Fort 
Reno, they had decided to wait where they were until 
they heard from them, or, failing to hear from them 
soon, to take steps toward their liberation. 

Nettie had declared that she would go to Washington 
and present the case to the President or to Congress, or 
to somebody who had authority, if her father and lover 
Were not soon released from prison and permitted to 
rejoin them. 

In this resolve the brave young woman was rather 
encouraged than discouraged by her mother, and it is 
probable that she would have made the attempt had they 
not arrived within a day or two from the date of their 
qppeararce. 



268 TOLERABLY COMFORTABLE. 

As it was, the family had acted upon the knowledge 
that if the two men were released soon they would seek 
for them somewhere not far from the same territorial line 
across which they had been driven, and the young men 
having sought for and found employment, at wages that 
would keep the family from want, they had accepted the 
offer of the use of the shed in which they were, and 
which, with the wagons to sleep in, enabled them to be 
tolerably comfortable for the time being. 




'HERS THBY AJ-L ARZ.' 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



PHIL AND NETTIE REUNITED MR. M'KINLEY ILLUSTRATES 
THE DIGNITY OF LABOR. 

The meeting between Phil and Nettie on the return 
of the former from his enforced trip to the Red River 
was not very different from the meeting of other lovers, 
and the scene may well be intrusted to the imagination 
or to memory. 

Nettie was at work in the shed, occupied in common 
by four or five families to cook and eat under, they sleep 
ing at night in their wagons. 

It was neither more nor less than a shed intended as 
shelter for cattle from the fury of the blizzards which 
occasionally sweep over the prairies in winter, and /with 
out which cattle are apt to drift away, and at times to 
becoms severely frozen. 

This shed stood in a corn field eighty or one hundred 



270 MEETING OF THE LOVERS. 

acres in extent, and was far enough from the road to ren 
der it difficult to see any one that might be approaching 
until he was quite opposite to the people standing in the 
shed. Therefore, the approach of Phil Johnson and his 
party was unobserved until they had entered the corn 
field and, riding through the tall corn, were but a few 
rods distant. 

Then, hearing an unusual rustling among the dried 
corn blades, some member looked out, and at once the 
cry went up : 

"Here they come!" 

"Here 's Phil Johnson !" 

" Here 's our leader!" 

-Here's Mr. McKinley !" 

"Here they all are!" 

Then wives bounded forward, children came running, 
men sprang from their saddles and everybody gathered 
about them. Those who were husbands and fathers 
kissed their wives and took their little ones in their arms 
and hugged them and set them upon their horses or on 
their own shoulders, and all asked questions and all an 
swered at once, and many laughed and some cried, and 
all were for the moment supremely happy. 

In the midst of it all, Phil whispered to Nettie to 
come and help him stake out his pony, and as soon as 
they had put two rows of corn between themselves and 
the others he took he? hand and held it close, and to* 



READER, FILL fHE BLANK. 3/1 

gether they led the pony around on the other side of the 
shed and made him fast. Nettie patted the pony's neck 
and rubbed his nose, and finally kissed him, at which 
Phil made motions signifying that he was as good as the 
pony, and then Nettie 

But what does the reader expect ? Has he not been 
warned that this narrative will not go into the details of 
Phil and Nettie's courtship ? 

When Phil reappeared avxi mingled with the others 
at meal time, he tried to, and possibly did, look as inno 
cent of having kissed anybody as his pony, munching his 
corn stalks around on the other side of the shed, and no 
one should be accused without evidence. 

Neither is it known how Nettie managed to get back 
to her family and the little crowd in and about the front 
of the shed without attracting attention to her coming. 

It is thought, however, that she went, first, to her 
father's wagon and got therefrom some article that may 
or may not have been neeaecl for use in the shed, and 
returned there with it, and with a look of knowing as 
little of any thing having occurred at the back of the 
shed as Phil Johnson or his pony ; and if she had been 
asked about it there is no doubt she would have feigned 
as much ignorance of the matter as either of them. 

That night, after such of the colonists as had found 
work in the neighborhood had returned to their families, 
an informal talk regarding the future was held, and it 



BECOMING SUSPICIOUS. 

was decided not to make an effort to return to Oklahoma 
until the following spring. 

Their claims would not lapse by reason of an absence 
of any thing less than six months, and they could remain 
in Kansas during the winter, working at whatever they 
could find to do to make a living for their families, and 
perchance get a little stock of provisions ahead with 
which to start life again upon their claims when they 
should return to them. 

They had learned that they could get employment 
with their teams upon a new railroad which was being 
built farther up in the State. To that point most of the 
stranded boomers repaired, and among them Phil and 
the McKinleys. 

Before going it was agreed that they should meet at 
Caldwell at a certain time, prepared to again enter Okla 
homa, with as many added colonists as they could induce 
to join them. 

There was no talk of not returning by any one. 

It was only a question of when they could gather to 
gether enough upon which to subsist until a crop could 
be raised. 

They were beginning to be suspicious that their being 
driven out of the country was not wholly the result of a 
mistake; that there were those higher in authority than 
they had first supposed who were interested in prevent 
ing the settlement of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Strip, 



NOT DISHEARTENED. 273 

and in keeping them as herding grounds for cattle, until 
some way could be found or made for making permanent 
in the cattle kings the title to these immense tracts, thus 
laying the foundations for a landed aristocracy in the 
West which would Jraternize with and sustain the stock 
and bond holding aristocracy of the East. 

This suspicion did not have the effect of influencing 
them to abandon their attempts to settle there, and so 
redeem the country from the clutch of the cattle compa 
nies. On the contrary, it aroused them to a feeling that 
they had a solemn duty to perform in connection with 
the matter. 

If, indeed, it were true that the conspirators expected 
to found there an aristocracy based on large land hold 
ings, and if it had progressed so far and had become so 
powerful that it could compel the use of the standing 
army to drive from their homes those who were there by 
full permission of the written law, then it was their duty 
to do and to suffer whatever must be in defense of their 
right to settle upon this land, since they were thus made 
the representatives of all the people, and to them was 
assigned the solemn duty of preserving the rights and the 
liberties of all. 

Neither could it matter to them if the civil courts or 
the heads of the departments, or if their representatives 
in Congress, had been drawn into the conspiracy or been 
packed or suborned into unholy support of the awful 



274 MR - M'KINLEY ENTHUSED. 

wrong which the regular army was being used to perpe 
trate upon them. 

On the contrary, this only made it the more impera 
tively their duty to contend for their claims, since only 
by contending for them could they attract public atten 
tion to the matter and compel an investigation by the 
people into the facts of the case. 

It was resolved, therefore, to return ; and if evicted 
again to again return, and to continue this, and increase 
their numbers, if possible, until their persistency should 
provoke the desired investigation. 

Even Mr. McKinley was aroused and active in his 
efforts to hold the colonists together, and to sustain them 
in their determination to return to their claims in the 
spring. 

Tying him with a rope to the tail end of a wagon, 
and compelling him to march there between two files of 
colored soldiers, had aroused the lion in his nature. He 
was not less dignified than before, but he displayed more 
activity. 

Mr. McKinley had been heard to say: "I '11 see if a 
citizen who has been honored by the people of two great 
States can be deprived of his right to settle on the pub 
lic domain by a mob of nigger soldiers, commanded by 
a dude in a lieutenant's uniform. " 

For two weeks those who had gone into camp at the 
corn fields remained there, employed in shucking corn for 



THE FIRST TIFF. 3/5 

neighborhood farmers, and then the whole company 
moved farther up in the State. Here the men began 
working upon the railroad, getting wages sufficient to 
keep their families and lay by a bit for the coming sea 
son's need. 

The great difficulty was to obtain shelter houses in 
which their families could be kept comfortable and so 
some were obliged to put up cheap shanties and live in 
them. 

Nettie had been fortunate in getting a position as a 
teacher in a country school at fair pay, and consequently 
was not at home, except occasionally for a day. 

This change in the status of affairs was not at all to 
Phil's liking. He desired to be married at once, or at 
least that Nettie should remain at home, where he could 
see her every day. But she reminded him that at the 
time she had promised to share his home she had not 
promised to marry him until he had one. Seeing that he 
looked a little bit hurt, she put her arms about his neck 
and her cheek against his, and so comforted him. After 
this she pointed out how much better it would be for 
them for all that she should teach during the winter, 
and thus add something to the general fund with which 
the family and he should return to Oklahoma in the 
spring to resume the work of making a home, than it 
would be to marry, and be under the necessity of spend 
ing a portion of what Phil still had in building a cheap 



2/6 LOVE'S RUFFLES SMOOTHED. 

and comfortless cabin, or by remaining with her father 
and mother in the dug-out that circumstances had forced 
them to occupy. 

And so Nettie went to her school, ten miles away, 
and Phil hitched his mules to a road scraper and scraped 
dirt for the construction company, or to his wagon and 
hauled it. He continued to board with Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones, who had secured the occupancy of a pretty com 
fortable sod-house, from which a settler of several years 
before had moved into a new frame house recently com 
pleted. 

But as regularly as Sunday came, the Johnson pony 
might have been seen heading in the direction of the 
Bronson settlement, in which locality Nettie taught the 
young idea how to shoot. 

And as no one ever saw him when he returned, and 
he was always promptly on hand with his mule team on 
Monday morning, it is fair to conclude that he lingered 
at Nettie's boarding place until rather a late hour each 
Sunday night. 

Meantime every member of the colony, wherever he 
stopped, was making efforts to induce others to join the 
colonists that were to locate homes in Oklahoma in the 
spring. 

Especially was the leader busy in this direction, and 
also in seeking to make known to the general govern 
ment and to the public at large the true condition of 



AN UP-HILL TASK. 277 

things, and the facts as they existed with relation to the 
title of the lands on which the colonists had laid their 
claims. 

He found, though, that it was far more difficult to do 
this than he had thought. 

The Captain and all those associated with him were 
already branded by the reports of the military authori 
ties at whose hands they had suffered arrest, as well as 
by those interested in preventing the truth from becom 
ing known, as men seeking to deprive a peaceful nation 
of Indians of the rights solemnly guaranteed to them by 
the government of the United States. 

As a result, when he sought the use of the columns 
of the influential and widely circulated newspapers for 
the purpose of relating the facts he was refused, or, if 
granted the use of one, his statements were denied in an 
other column upon authority that appeared to be beyond 
impeachment. 

He appealed to the civil courts for protection from 
the military and for a decision as to his right and also the 
right of those acting with him to settle in Oklahoma un 
der the homestead law, and was refused. 

He appealed to the Secretary of the Interior, and he 
could get no satisfaction. 

He appealed to a United States Senator from Kan 
sas, but got no reply. 

Discouraged with his efforts to thus bring the matter 



378 THE ONLY REMAINING WAY. 

before the public, and convinced that men high up in 
authority were interested in overthrowing the law, and 
that it was through the influence which they wielded in 
government circles that the army was being used to over 
awe himself and his companions, and render non-effect 
ive the law whereby the people had sought to make the 
public lands secure to those who desired to make homes 
upon them, there appeared to him but one way remain 
ing by which they could protect their rights to the claims 
which they had made and call public attention to the 
situation to an extent that would compel the relinquish- 
ment, by the cattle syndicates, of the grip that they had 
upon the country, and so save this beautiful Territory to 
the people. 

This one remaining way was to raise a still larger 
colony, and by persistently returning as often as driven 
out, finally compel the public to take such interest in the 
question as would eventually bring the entire matter be 
fore Congress for settlement, through the introduction of 
a bill providing for the organization of that district under 
territorial law. 

Accordingly, he put forth renewed efforts to induce 
others to join the colony. 

He rode, wrote and talked constantly. 

He got one man interested in a neighborhood and in 
duced him to work upon his neighbors to enlist them. 

He secured the meeting of a half dozen neighbors in 



AN ACTIVE EVANGELIST. 

the house of one of their number for the purpose of hav 
ing a talk about Oklahoma, and in another place he got 
the entire neighborhood interested and rode fifty miles 
on horseback to tell them about Oklahoma. 

Possessed of considerable property when the idea of 
settling in the beautiful country first took possession of 
him, he spent it freely in scattering a knowledge of its 
beauty and fertility among the people as far and as fast 
as it was possible for him to go personally or transmit 
information. 

He reckoned as of no value time, money and his own 
comfort, so he made known the facts about Oklahoma, 
and opened the eyes of the people to efforts being made 
to prevent its settlement by any except the cattle syn 
dicates already there the kings already in possession, 
and using the army to enable them to retain possession, 
of the last and most beautiful of all the free lands of the 
Grand Republic. 

With his own efforts and those of Phil Johnson, Mr. 
McKinley and others all, in fact, that had been of the 
colony before the approach of spring saw a company 
many times larger than the old one assembling upon the 
border of Kansas, preparatory to entrance into Okla 
homa. 

From many States and from long distances the addi 
tions had come. 

Those who had returned the fall before to their old 



28O READY TO TAKE THE RISK. 

homes had told the tale of the advantages which nature 
had showered upon this beautiful spot to make of it the 
fairest of lands and the most desirable of homes for all 
who wanted to make homes upon a virgin soil. 

They had told, too, all the facts regarding the efforts 
being made to shut the people out of the/; heritage, and 
in this way they had aroused the spirit of hatred f op 
pression, the love of liberty, the pride in country and the 
determination that here, at least, in America, shall there 
be fair play. 

By the appointed time there had started westward a 
long line of canvas-covered wagons, that centered upon 
the border of the Indian Territory, and whose owners 
announced themselves ready to take the risk of eviction, 
imprisonment yes, even death in support of the in 
alienable right of the children of the Republic to homes 
upon the public lands. 

For some weeks before the day set for starting they 
began to arrive. 

First came a single wagon, containing the members 
of one small family a man and his wife. Then arrived 
two others and went into camp with the first. Another 
and another followed, and then came a score of wagons, 
when the camp looked like a village of tents and prairie 
schooners. 

Among the later comers were the colonists who had 
been at work for the construction company during the 



NETTIE'S BANK ACCOUNT. 281 

winter. Their apparent dilatoriness was understood by 
the others. 

Understanding the necessity which might arise, they 
were anxious to lay in as large a supply of provisions, 
and that which could buy provisions, as possible, and so 
remained close at work until within four days of the time 
set for leaving the Kansas border, en route for their old 
claims and homes in Oklahoma, and then drove direct 
and without an hour's unnecessary delay to the place of 
rendezvous. 

With this party came the McKinleys and Phil John 
son and the people he boarded with. 

Nettie had finished her school and received her pay. 
At the request of her mother and brothers, she had put 
the greater portion of it in a bank, where it might prove 
helpful later on. 

She would have passed it all over to swell the family 
fund, but they were resolved that she should not, seeing 
that it would not be long before she would have need of 
it in a home of her own. 

Nettie and Phil intended to be married in the fall, 
unless they were again driven out of Oklahoma; and even 
if they were again deported, it was not impossible that 
they would still be married. They did not know for 
sure; the happy event must depend somewhat upon cir 
cumstances. 

For the present they were happy, being where they 



282 MR. M'KINLEY'S FOLLOWERS. 

could be together every day, and with the knowledge 
that they were to be near each other all summer in camp 
and in their Oklahoma homes. 

And so they had gone to the place appointed for the 
meeting of the colony, preparatory to the start for the 
land of their dreams, and along with them had gone a 
dozen other families from among the new friends whom 
they had made during the months they had passed in the 
Sunflower State. 

Some of these new recruits were men who had been 
employed on the same railroad with Phil and the other 
colonists. Some were families who had come West the 
fall before, and had not yet bought homes, or who, hav 
ing small homes, had sold them to join the expedition to 
Oklahoma. 

These last Mr. McKinley claimed as his especial fol 
lowers, he having been the principal factor in inducing 
them to join the colony. 

Owing to the willingness of his family, both sons and 
daughters, to support him in his efforts to maintain the 
dignity which he felt belonged to him, as one who had 
been honored with a commission to run a ferry boat, he 
had not been compelled to work on the railroad, and had 
put in most of the time talking up Oklahoma and the in 
terests of the colony. 

While thus engaged, he gradually came to consider 
himself more and more in the light of the real leader of 



DECIDES ON THE LEGISLATURE. 283 

the company and organizer of the enterprise, and to as 
sume a yet more dignified manner. 

About this time the idea possessed him that it would 
be better and more in accord with the natural fitness of 
things for him to become a member of the Territorial 
Legislature which was to be, when Oklahoma was set 
tled, than to apply for a license to establish a ferry 
across the Canadian River, as he had for several months 
intended. 

In the former event he would be in a better position 
to secure the charter for the ferry in the name of one of 
his sons, and so cause two generations of McKinleys to 
be honored, while in case he applied for it for himself, 
the honors done to the family would die out with his 
passing. 

Not that the old gentleman had any thoughts of his 
dying, except as something too far away to be regarded 
as a matter of any present importance beyond the prep 
aration to meet the Day of Judgment by occasionally, 
like the rest of us, repenting of sin long enough to be 
tolerably certain that we have repented of it, in order 
that we may keep on sinning in a comfortable state of 
mind. 

On the contrary, Mr. McKinley was never one-half 
so active or full of projects in his life, and never before 
got so much or so high a pleasure out of existence as he 
was enjoying. 



284 THE DIGNITY OF LABOR. 

Never before this had he felt himself to be an active 
leader of men or molder of public opinion. Heretofore 
he had waited until his opinion had been asked for, and 
then answered in that dignified tone of exaltation which 
belongs by right to the judge. 

But now he forced his opinions upon people. 

He spoke as one having authority to compel men to 
hear the truth about Oklahoma and the injustice done to 
the colonists by the army, with the sanction of the gov 
ernment at Washington or, at least, without being rep 
rimanded or its action overruled. 

From talking the beauties of Oklahoma and the com 
petence to be speedily won there by labor on the virgin 
soil, he finally got to talking of the honorableness and 
dignity of labor in the abstract, even going so far as to 
shovel sand on the railroad one whole day to prove that 
labor was compatible with dignity of person. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

BACK TO. OKLAHOMA AGAIN LIFE AT THE SETTLEMENT 
A COWBOY IMPARTS STARTLING NEWS. 

But now, just as the colony, thus largely augmented, 
Tas on the point of starting, came tidings of the arrest, 
by a United States Marshal, of their leader, as he was 
on his way to join them from some point farther east, 
where he had been attending to some business for the 
colony. 

This news threw a damper over the spirits of all the 
colonists, and caused a few of the new members to waver 
in their determination to enter Oklahoma, and two fami 
lies actually turned about and sought for homes in other 
and undisputed territory. 

The majority, however, remained firm. They even 
felt that the arrest might bring the whole matter before 
the courts, and result in great good by settling at once 

(285) 



286 IN TROUBLE BUT NOT CAST DOWN. 

and forever the question of their right to pre-empt land 
in Oklahoma, and in the whole country under dispute, 
which was now understood to extend to what is known 
as the Cherokee Strip, containing six million acres, and 
also to the Public Land Strip, a body of land lying north 
of Texas and west of the Indian Territory, and contain 
ing, as roughly estimated, something over three million 
acres. 

With hope to buoy them up, the old colonists they 
who had been among those evicted from their claims on 
two previous occasions were in no way cast down by 
the fact of the arrest. 

They loved their leader as a brother, and regretted 
exceedingly the suffering, both of body and mind, which 
he might be compelled to undergo, but still they felt that 
good was likely to come out of it, and so they could not 
regret the marshal's action, feeling that they should be 
glad instead. 

Upon the question of whether they should await the 
action of the court, and the release of their imprisoned 
leader, or move at once under the leadership of some 
other member, there was some difference of opinion at 
first. 

A number of the more timid ones advised staying, 
while others asked : 

' * How can we wait ? 

" What shall we do in the meantime, if we decide to 



CONFIDENT OF THEIR RIGHT. 287 

wait and have all the points involved settled before we 
move ?" 

" It may be six months or a year," they said, "before 
a decision can be obtained in the courts. Such delays 
have often been, and may be again, and if we consent 
to wait they may keep us waiting indefinitely. 

' * Should we wait, we must either consume the stock 
of provisions that we have on hand, and which ought to 
sustain us until a crop is raised on our claims, or we 
must separate and search for work, in which case we can 
not get together again without trouble, and probably will 
never all get together again." 

And, besides, they knew that the time was already 
at hand when they should be planting, for this season's 
crop, the ground broken the season before, and also be 
preparing new ground for later seeding. 

Evidently, if they separated now, they could not 
enter Oklahoma before fall, and this delay they were not 
willing to submit to. 

They felt that their right to go was perfect abso 
lutely unclouded by the shadow of a doubt which had its 
origin either in the written law or in the spirit of the 
Constitution. 

Firmly imbued with this feeling, they determined to 
start at once, and leave their leader to follow when he 
should have vindicated himself and them in the courts, 
and before the country. 



288 TRIED AND ACQUITTED. 

They knew that if he were where he could give them 
advice he would say: "Go." They believed that in go 
ing, and thus proving their faith in their right to go and 
making more difficult of execution the purpose of their 
enemies to keep the matter from reaching the public ear, 
they would be doing both their leader and themselves a 
service which, perhaps, could not be done so effectively 
in any other manner. 

Therefore, they called a meeting in the camp, and 
formally voted to start without further delay; and some 
body had just made a motion that Phil Johnson act as 
president and leader for the journey back to the settle 
ment on the Canadian River, when, to the surprise and 
joy of everybody, their old leader rode into camp, and 
dismounted in their midst. 

Then went up a cheer which caused all the women 
and children in the camp to clamber down from their 
wagons or rush out of their tents, and come running to 
see what it all meant. 

The chairman of the meeting jumped down from the 
wagon in which, as presiding officer, he was stationed, 
and from which, with a kingbolt for a gavel and a dry 
goods box for a desk, he had been preserving order, and 
rushed to welcome the returned chieftain, about whom 
all were gathering, shaking hands and asking questions 
as to how he managed to get off,. and whether he had had 
his trial vet. 



REGARDED AS SETTLED. 289 

And when he told them that he had been tried before 
the United States District Court at Topeka, the capital 
of the State of Kansas, and declared "not guilty of any 
criminal offense," they threw up their hats and cheered 
and cheered again, shouting themselves hoarse in their 
efforts to express the intensity of their joy. 

For now they could go forward with confidence the 
perfect assurance that they would not be disturbed or 
interfered with by the military authorities. For is not 
the civil above the military in this Republic of ours ? 
And had not this leader, as their representative, just 
been tried by the civil authorities upon a charge of ille 
gally entering and taking possession of land in Okla 
homa, and had he not been declared innocent of any 
criminal offense in so doing ? 

Certainly he had, and that settled it must settle it; 
for such was the law of the land, and such the natural 
justice of the case. 

Such was the course of reasoning followed by the 
colonists, and that night they held a grand jubilee in the 
camp, at which speeches were made and songs were 
sung, and the glories of the Republic, and of the civil 
law, which meted out even-handed justice to rich and 
poor alike, were proclaimed in impassioned language. 
Pride of country and love for the old flag were rekindled 
and made to glow with a brighter flame. 

Then all retired to rest. Each member awoke fresh 



290 TRAIN MASTER PHIL JOHNSON. 

and joyous in the morning, to begin the journey toward 
the Promised Land. 

They broke camp in the cool of the morning with 
song and quip and calls back and forth, and with high 
hopes and bright faces. 

Phil had been made train master, and upon him had 
devolved the duty of seeing that everybody connected 
with the colony was made as comfortable as could be, 
and that the route followed was such as to lead them 
through a portion of the country where water and grass 
were abundant. 

He was also to fix upon the camping ground at night, 
and to give the word of command for breaking camp and 
resuming the journey each morning. 

One of the McKinley boys agreed to drive Phil's 
wagon and mules, thus leaving him free to attend to the 
duties of his position, of which he was proud. 

Nettie was proud of him. 

After his selection for the place at the meeting held 
the night before starting, Nettie slipped away from the 
circle about the camp fire, and when she returned she 
brought with her a red sash which she had made once on 
a time for use at one of her school exhibitions. 

Coming up slyly to Phil, she threw the sash over his 
shoulder, and, blushing and laughing, tied it under his 
arms, telling him it was his insignia of office, and that he 
must wear it worthily as became a brave knight. 



SOME BIG CATTLE RANCHES. 39 1 

She then darted away before Phil, whose happiness 
was showing itself in every lineament of his face despite 
his efforts to look as though that was only an every-day 
occurrence, could find words in which to fitly express his 
thanks. 

Now, in truth, Nettie had some reasons to be proud 
of her lover, who, as he cantered back and forth, getting 
the wagons into line that first morning, and making sure 
that nothing was forgotten or left undone, sat his pony 
like a very centaur, and was a lover in whom any girl 
might well feel a pride. 

Under Phil's direction, the long train of more than 
eighty canvas-covered wagons drew out upon the prairie 
and wound its way along. 

They traveled almost directly south the first day, fol 
lowing the line of the proposed extension of the Atchi- 
son, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, and camped that 
night on the banks of the Osage Creek, a branch of the 
Big Salt, itself a branch of Arkansas River. 

Traveling south again, on the second day at noon 
they crossed the Big Salt by fording, and, still following 
the line of the proposed railroad, late at night of the 
third day out, went into camp at Buffalo Springs, on or 
near the line between the Cherokee Strip and Oklahoma, 
having for the last two and one-half days traveled con 
tinuously across lands held, and generally fenced with 
barbed wire, by these four cattle companies : William- 



292 BY BEAUTIFUL STREAMS. 

son, Blair & Co., Snow & Rannalls, Cobb & Hutton and 
Hewins & Titus. 

Resuming their journey on the morning of the fourth 
day, they passed into Oklahoma through lands held by 
Hewins & Titus and by Williams Brothers, crossed the 
Cimmaron River and, still upon lands held by the Will 
iams Brothers, turned to the southeast along the old 
Chisholm cattle trail, and, a half day's journey farther 
on, entered upon the still larger tract of land held by the 
Wyeth Cattle Company. 

Thus they continued their journey, making twenty to 
twenty-five miles each day, camping at night on the 
banks of some beautiful stream, sleeping the sweet sleep 
which comes of abundant exercise in an atmosphere in 
which there is no malaria, and as a result of high hopes 
and consciences unburdened with any sense of wrong 
doing. 

Traveling by day and resting by night, they came, in 
time, in sight of the river flowing by the spot that was 
to be their future home the spot already memorable to 
a portion of their members, and one doubly dear to them 
because of those memories. 

And these old memories started a cheer at sight of 
the spot a cheer which the newer colonists were quick 
to take up when they understood its meaning and once 
again the echoes came back from the timber growing 
upon the river's banks, and once again all felt that joy 



THRICE BUILT HOMES. 293 

which abides only within the home. It was natural that 
some one should start the song, and again the welkin 
rang with "Home, Sweet Home." 



The same "assistant" surveyor who had run out the 
previously taken claims was called upon to do more of 
the same kind of work, and other claims were laid and 
their boundaries marked off. 

Again new cabins began to rise, not only upon those 
claims where twice before had cabins been built, but new 
ones on new claims. 

The Vandals had again done their work. Not one 
house was found standing. 

There were soon to be seen cabins of logs, of sods 
cut in the shape of bricks and about two feet long and 
laid up as bricks are laid, and others made by digging 
into the side of some little rise in the ground "dug 
outs" as they are called. 

In front or at the side of each cabin might be seen a 



$94 LOOKING TO THE HARVEST. 

severed wagon, or if not the wagon then the cover only, 
&till stretched over its bows of ash or hickory, and serv 
ing now as a depository for implements of one kind and 
another for which there was no room in the cabin. Oc 
casionally the children used them as play houses. 

New patches and ribbons of black earth began again 
|j> appear in the midst of the wide stretches of green, 
the old ones having already been worked over and plant 
ed, making the third time that these older colonists had 
sowed and cultivated without being permitted to reap a 
harvest. 

And so the time passed. 

The men worked at turning the sod and preparing for 
a future harvest of grain, taking only an occasional day 
off for hunting, that there might never be a scarcity of 
meat in the larder. 

The women looked to household affairs and to the 
bright bits of gardens about their dooryards. 

The children fished in the river, hunted for flowers in 
the prairie grass along the borders of the wood, and 
while so occupied grew strong and healthy and as black 
as Indians from the sun and tan. 

By-and-by the corn, which for a time had turned to 
green again the patches and ribbons of black, changed 
them to brown and gold instead. The first harvest of 
the colonists is nearly ready for the gathering. 

It is not a large one, but it is the first fruits which 



AGAIN A SCHOOLMA'AM. 295 

have ripened beneath their care, and they are proud of 
it happy because of it, and because of the promise that 
it contains of other and broader harvests yet to spring 
from the rich soil of this most beautiful valley in this 
fairest of lands, when they shall have had time to turn 
some wider furrows across the prairie's rich soil. 

The McKinleys, like all the rest, have been busy, and 
their claim has some narrow bands of gold and brown, 
and some wider ones of black across it, where the young 
men have been plowing and planting. 

Mr. McKinley's interest in life, as in the prosperity of 
the colony, has increased rather than diminished with 
the passing weeks, and he has been as busy as the very 
busiest though just what he has done is not so clear, 
except that he has helped to imbue the colonists anew 
with faith in the dignity of labor and with lofty aspira 
tions for the future of Oklahoma, and has selected, at 
least in his own mind, the exact site for the new Terri 
torial State House, which the first Legislature, of which 
he will be a member, will order erected. 

Immediately after getting into their own cabins, the 
colonists had erected a school house on the site of the 
city which is to be, and in this Nettie has been following 
her vocation as teacher to the children. 

They made a pretty large school, and a pretty diffi 
cult one to manage well, but Nettie has had experience 
with such, and manages them nicely. 



296 PHIL A STUDENT. 

The younger ones are kept in only just long enough 
to be heard say their ABC lesson or read an a-b ab les 
son and then sent out to play, while their teacher gives 
her attention to the larger scholars, to whom she is a 
companion as well as teacher. 

On Sunday afternoons, and usually on one or two 
evenings during the week, she gives private lessons to a 
young man by the name of Johnson, familiarly called 
Phil, in matters not set forth in the school books. 

Phil has his new house under way again now, and is 
building the same sweet hopes in with the other material 
that he put into the one which he built a year ago, and 
which was destroyed by order of the cattle kings during 
his enforced absence. 

Nettie comes over with him on Sunday afternoons, 
and together they lay their plans for the future, which is 
to begin so soon now just so soon, in fact, as the house 
is finished, and that will be but a little while, only a few 
weeks. 

A printing press has been purchased and brought out 
by the president of the colony, and a little paper devoted 
to the interests of the members and to the settlement of 
the country about them has been started. Weekly edi 
tions of it are struck off and sent here and there and 
everywhere, to friends of the colonists and to any who 
can be induced to take an interest in this new country 
and the development of its resources. 



A FRIENDLY TIP. 2Q? 

The colony, quite plainly, is already assuming the 
airs of an old settlement. 

It has faith in itself and in its future, and it has room 
in which to grow. 

One Saturday afternoon, as the weekly paper, the 
Oklahoma Bee, was being distributed to a group of col 
onists who had come for it, a stranger appeared, dressed 
in the garb of a cowboy. 

He was mounted on a cow pony, as the little Mexi 
can horses used so largely by the cattle men are called. 
He wore the usual complement or revolvers and carried 
the customary Winchester rifle lying across his lap be 
hind the pommel of his saddle. 

Halting in front of the little group gathered about the 
board shanty in which the newspaper was printed, he 
leaned forward in his saddle and looked the crowd over 
leisurely without speaking. 

Naturally all eyes were turned toward him, and one 
or two of the younger men pitched some half joking 
remark in his direction, to which he made no response, 
but continued coolly running his eye from one to another 
with a look of quizzical curiosity. 

At last he said : 

"I was wondering, as I rode along, what kind of stuff 
you fellows are made of. You don't look, now, like a set 
that would show the white feather without first rinding 
out -vhat the other fellows had for exchange." 



INFORMATION OF VALUE. 

For a moment no one answered. Then one asked, 
Angrily: " What do you mean ?" 

"Oh, not much," replied the other, with an air of 
carelessness. 

Then the mysterious visitor glanced away across the 
country, and after a moment added : 

1 ' Got some pretty good claims here, I should say 
Pretty good claims. Nice town site, school house and 
printing office every thing getting fixed up just about 
right. I should think you fellows would kind of hate to 
pull out of here. I should, for a fact." 

" Say, pardner, if you 've got any information that 's 
of value to this crowd, this is just as good an opportu 
nity to dispose of it as you will ever get. Suppose you 
speak right out now, and have it over with at once. " 

It was Phil Johnson who spoke, and as he did so he 
left the place where he was standing in the door of the 
printing office, and came close up to the horseman, who 
eyed him closely, and then said : 

" Your observation is correct, pard. You Ve hit the 
bull's-eye dead center, first pop. 

" Now, what I 've got to say I can say mighty quick. 
So here goes. 

"If you fellows mean to hang on to your claims, 
you Ve got to fight for 'em. 

"Do I make myself understood?" 

" No I Speak out plainly about the matter." 



THE TALE IS TOLD. 299 

"What do you mean, anyhow?" 

"Who 's going to jump our claims ?" 

Everybody spoke at once, and all crowded forward 
and formed a circle about Phil Johnson and the strange 
horseman. 

The stranger had the appearance of enjoying the 
sensation which he was creating. 

He again surveyed the crowd with a look of careless 
indifference which one could not help seeing was par 
tially, if not wholly, assumed. 

The man was doubtless a natural lover of the trag 
ical, and almost unconsciously sought to gratify his love 
of it by the manner in which he imparted the informa 
tion he had to give. 

"Well," he said, still with an air of nonchalance, 
"you fellows can see who I am tell that by the set of 
my clothes. 

" I 'm a cow puncher, and I herd for one of the com 
panies that own cattle and a range not very far from this 
locality. That is, they own the cattle and claim to own 
the range leased it, you know, from some other fellow, 
who leased it from the Indians. 

' ' Well, I accidentally overheard a little conversation 
between a couple of partners cattle kings, they are 
called the other night, and they were remarking that 
your corn fields would make right good picking for their 
steers this winter, after the soldiers had run you fellows 



300 NOT MY CHUCK WAGON. 

out of the country again. Then they chuckled, and ap 
peared to like the arrangement." 

This choice bit of cattle king pleasantry excited gen 
eral indignation, and one of the colonists replied : 

" But they can 't run us out. We have a decision of 
the court in our favor." 

' ' Oh, well ! Just as you fellows think ; this aint my 
chuck wagon, of course," returned the stranger. "But 
maybe you don't know who 's back of this thing as well 
as some other folks. Maybe the military have n't been 
informed of the decision of the court, and maybe it 
would make no difference if they had. Maybe those who 
are back of this thing don't care what the law says, any 
way. 

' 'But if you know more about it than I do, why, 
then I can't see that you need any more information 
from me." 

He straightened himself in his saddle and lifted the 
bridle from the neck of his pony, as if about to ride off, 
but they called to him to " hold on," and urged that he 
tell them all he knew about the matter, and whether he 
was certain that a descent upon them by the troops from 
any of the forts in the Territory was positively decided 
upon. 

They could not believe such a thing possible, and yet 
they were quick to take alarm, being made suspicious by 
previous experiences. 



ORDERS FROM WASHINGTON. 3OI 

But the good-hearted cowboy, although anxious to 
warn them, had told about all he knew. 

He had overheard a conversation from which he had 
gathered that a movement was on foot to again drive the 
colonists out of the country, but when the attempt to do 
so was to be made he had not learned. 

He was of the opinion that the date was near at hand 
it might be any day, or it might not be for a month. 
He could not tell. 

But he was confident of two facts that the troops 
were to be again ordered to remove the settlers out of 
the Territory, and that the orders came straight from 
Washington. 

While an excited talk, which this announcement 
created, was taking place among the colonists. Phil put 
his hand upon the neck of the stranger's pony, and then 
walked a few paces by his side. 

"Pard," he said, "you have done us a good turn, I 
reckon, though I can't say as it 's pleasant news you Ve 
brought. Come, spend the night with me, and rest both 
yourself and pony." 

"Can't do it. Would if I could, but it is better not. 
I told the boss when I left camp that I was just going 
for a little canter after some antelope, and I '11 tell the 
boys when I get back that I had a long chase of it. 

' I reckon the looks of my pony will bear out that 
last statement, if I get in much before midnight." 



302 THE COWBOY'S OPINION. 

* ' It will be a sad thing for the members of the colo 
ny, if what you think is in store for us proves true, " said 
Phil. 

First satisfying himself that no one but Phil would 
hear what he had to say, the cow puncher remarked with 
emphasis : 

" And if you fellows have the sand to make a fight, 
and so bring the question of who owns this country be 
fore the world, it will be a sad day for the cattle compa 
nies. There'll be 'weeping and gnashing of teeth,' 
sure. " 

Putting spurs to his pony, he was soon out of sight 
in the gathering darkness. 



CHAPTER XX. 

I ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE FIGHT MR. M'KINLEY ASSISTS IN 
SAVING THE COUNTRY. 

The rumor that troops were to be again sent to take 
away the settlers spread rapidly, and produced the wild 
est excitement. 

Instead of diminishing, the crowd about the printing 
office constantly augmented, and at midnight was many 
times greater than at sundown. 

A bonfire had been built early in the evening, which, 
flashing out across the prairie, attracted the attention ot 
one and another of the settlers. 

Every one who saw it wondered what it could mean, 
and while wondering grew uneasy in his mind regarding 
it and hastened over to his neighbor's house to ask if he 
knew what its meaning was. Then the two looked, and 
saw the flames leap up and flare out, and a shower of 
sparks arise as some one threw on fresh fuel ; saw the 



304 THE BALE-FIRE'S GLEAM. 

group of men standing by, and wondered yet more what 
it could mean. 

Wondering and speculating, they heard the hallo of 
a third neighbor, calling to them from the road, asking 
if they were going up to see what the bonfire meant. 

They joined him, and all three went together ; and 
so, from every direction, men, singly and in groups of 
three or four and a dozen, began to come in and swell 
the crowd about the fire, and, hearing the rumors, to talk 
loudly of resistance or to keep silent and to finger their 
weapons. 

The bale-fires built by old-time Scottish chiefs to call 
the clans together, the blast by Roderick Dhu on lone 
Benledi's side, were scarce more magical in their effects 
than was this bonfire built upon a little eminence away 
out on the prairies of Oklahoma, albeit there was no 
previous understanding that it should be the signal for 
the rallying of any clan. 

And never did bolder men gather at any bugle blast 
or bale-fire's gleam than gathered there that night and 
discussed the probability of the story told by the cowboy 
being true. 

Some asked what could be done ; others told what 
they would do in case eviction was attempted. 

What they would do ? 

What could they do ? 

" Can we again submit quietly to being driven from 



QUANDARY NO, 3, 30$ 

our claims, insulted, imprisoned, robbed ? Can we lift 
hands against the authority of the government to which 
we owe allegiance ? Against men who wear the uniform 
and carry the flag of our country ?" 

"What can we, do ?" 

" Can we see our families rendered homeless, subject 
to indignities God knows what and make no resist 
ance ? Shall we lift no strong hand to defend them or 
avenge them ?" 

* ' Can we leave this fair land, and with it all our 
bright visions of comfort and happiness, because a syn 
dicate of rich men, many of them aliens to the govern 
ment and enemies of the Republic, want it for herding 
grounds for their cattle ?" 

Such were the questions they asked themselves and 
each other, standing about the bonfire that night in early 
December. This is the conclusion they came to : 

" Rather than be driven off again, we will fight." 

And yet to do so was to array themselves against the 
old flag. 

Could they do that ? 

In their desperation they said they could. 

They said the flag had ceased to represent liberty and 
justice ; that the government no longer protected the 
weak against the strong ; that it was no longer worthy of 
respect and reverence. 

Yet, within their hearts, the echo of their own terri- 



3O6 DECIDE TO FIGHT. 

ble words caused sharp pangs, and their awful meaning 
caused them to hesitate and grow silent 

Could they fight ? 

What would they do ? 

What could they do ? 



It was not until two weeks later that the troops came 
detachment from Fort Reno, headed by Lieutenant 
Knight, acting under orders of his superior officer. 

In regular line of battle the troops advanced, and 
they were met by the colonists armed and ready for the 
contest. 

The latter had decided that they could not submit to 
being again driven from their homes without making 
armed resistance. 

They had the law, justice and the decision of a Dis 
trict Court on their side. So they felt, and they would 
fight. 

Marching his troops up to within short rifle range of 
the colonists, who had thrown up some slight breast 
works in front of the printing office and school house 
and were waiting to receive them, Lieutenant Knight 
sant an orderly with a demand for an immediate surren- 



"TURN 'EM LOOSE." 307 

der. This demand was refused. Surrender could not be 
even thought of. 

"Go tell your master to turn his dogs loose !" 

Such was the answer sent back by the leader of the 
colonists in response to the demand for immediate sur 
render. 

Turning to the colonists, he added : 

"Prepare to defend yourselves." 

This was not just what the Lieutenant expected, and 
it put a new and not entirely pleasant face upon the situ 
ation. 

The commanding officer found his force of less than 
one hundred opposed by at least an equal number of 
determined men, all of them good shots and well armed, 
and protected in some degree by the redoubt which they 
had thrown up. 

An order to his troops to fire would surely be met by 
a volley from the settlers, which might wipe out his little 
company of regulars at the first round, and would surely 
do so before the firing ceased. 

His own life would not be worth a rush, once he gave 
the order to begin the attack. 

Therefore, the Lieutenant concluded that discretion 
is the better part of valor, and he decided upon using 
strategy. He asked for a parley, which was granted. 

The leader, Phil Johnson, Mr. McKinley, Mr. Jones 
and Tom Price went out between the lines and met the 



$o8 THE LIEUTENANT'S STRATEGY. 

Lieutenant, who was accompanied by an escort befitting 
the occasion. 

The pour-parlers held a long consultation. The Lieu 
tenant tried to convince them of the uselessness of their 
offering resistance. The pioneers answered that, since 
nothing else was left them, they were compelled to fight. 
Only by resistance could they bring the question of their 
right to settle in those parts before the country, and so 
arouse a public sentiment which would save the whole 
of Oklahoma, the Cherokee Strip and the Public Land 
Strip to the people, which else would remain for ever in 
the grip of the syndicates and cattle kings. 

After more than an hour spent in this kind o{ argu 
ment, the parties separated and the soldiers went into 
camp on the spot. 

The colonists, not believing an attack would be vent 
ured upon and not intending to begin an attack but only 
to act in defense of their lives and their property, simply 
lounged about, chatting and smoking. But they stayed 
close by their arms and kept a watchful lookout on the 
camp of the soldiers. 

By-and-by the Lieutenant came strolling over to the 
settlers' camp, accompanied by an orderly. A little later 
a. Corporal and three privates strolled over, and after a 
bit a few more soldiers. 

Discipline appeared to be pretty loose, considering 
that they were regulars, but as they left their arms be* 



SCHEMING TO AVOID BLOODSHED. 309 

and nothing was thought of it by the unsuspecting colo 
nists. 

The settlers understood as well as did the Lieutenant 
that only as the very last resort was blood to be shed, or 
such a course pursued as to compel the country to take 
recognition of what was going on. 

No John Brown affair was to be made of this thing 
no martyr blood shed if it was possible to avoid it; but 
a quiet removal of the settlers, the imprisonment of the 
leaders for a time and their discharge without trial after 
their followers had scattered. This would raise no 
storm. This would never be heard of by the country. 
This was the thiMg- intended. 

Well knowing this, the settlers thought nothing very 
strange when the attempt to frighten them into leaving 
having apparently been abandoned the soldiers lounged 
about without arms, and so strolled over to the opposite 
camp, only a few rods away. 

The unarmed soldiers mingled freely in the camp of 
the settlers and chatted with some degree of friendliness, 
for the soldiers had personally no enmity against the 
colonists and the colonists understood that the soldiers 
were but obeying orders. 

At sundown the soldiers were recalled to their camp, 
and the settlers slept upon their arms, after eating such 
food as was brought to them from their several homes or 
as they cooked around their camp fire, 



310 LAYING THE TRAP. 

Both parties put out pickets the regulars only for 
purposes of discipline, for they knew they would not be 
attacked. 

The settlers did not know that the regulars would not 
attack them, though they did not expect it, knowing that 
a more quiet plan would be devised if the commandant 
could arrange it. 

Next day the soldiers and citizens fraternized in the 
camp of the latter, and mingled more freely than on the 
day before. That is to say, there were more soldiers 
in fact, about all the soldiers except the guards, who 
paced back and forth in front of the Lieutenant's tent 
and the commissary wagon. They appeared to have 
come over for a friendly talk and smoke with the back 
woodsmen. 

Lieut. Knight came with them, and after chatting 
pleasantly awhile with the president he proposed that he 
call together eight or ten of the more influential settlers, 
and hold another conference. He said he hoped to con 
vince them of the folly of continued resistance, and so 
end the matter. 

The president replied that he had no objection to the 
Lieutenant talking to as many of the settlers as he chose. 
He was assured, in advance, that nothing which he could 
say would change things. If he got them out of Okla 
homa this time he must do it by force, as they were now 
determined to make a stand for their rights. 



ODD ARMY TACTICS. 311 

However, he called Phil Johnson, Mr. McKinley and 
a dozen other colonists into the printing office, and told 
the Lieutenant to go ahead with his entertainment. 

As those inside talked, those outside gathered about 
the doors and windows of the little frame shanty, and 
listened. 

At first those gathered around seemed to be about 
equally citizens and soldiers, but after a bit there were 
more soldiers and fewer citizens, and gradually these few 
were crowded back until a. cordon of soldiers surrounded 
the building, and a number had entered it. 

Phil Johnson noticed this disposition on the part of 
the soldiers to crowd forward, and he grew suspicious. 
It was not customary for privates in the regular army to 
attend a conference with the officers, even where the 
meeting was in a way informal and in their midst, as was 
this one. 

He felt sure that an attempt was to be made to cap 
ture those in the shanty, thinking that by securing them 
without bloodshed or the use of arms the others would 
capitulate without a fight. 

Nor was he wrong in his conclusions, for suddenly, at 
a signal from the Lieutenant, the soldiers pressed for 
ward and attempted to seize upon the persons of the set 
tlers, two or three reaching for one man. 

The officer expected to secure them almost before his 
intentions were understood. 



$12 A ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE FIGHT. 

But his calculations for the coup were far too opti 
mistic. 

Phil Johnson, at least, was prepared, and at the first 
move indicating treachery his fist went straight out from 
his shoulder, and a man in uniform went sprawling over 
the floor in front of his companions, causing several to 
stumble and fall. 

This prompt action on Phil's part gave his comrades 
time to realize the situation. 

And now began one of the oddest rough-and-tumble 
fights on record a fight with fists between soldiers of 
the regular army, led by a commissioned officer, and a 
body of frontiersmen cooped up in a shanty. 

Nor was the fighting confined to those inside, for the 
settlers outside the printing office heard the sounds of 
the melee and attempted to push their way inside. 

Being resisted by the soldiers about the door and win 
dows, who were acting under orders of a Sergeant and 
two Corporals, blows fell thick and fast, and in a few 
moments a free fight was going on that would have done 
credit to Donnybrook Fair in its palmiest days. 

Inside the shanty, a half-dozen settlers, crowded into 
one corner by twice or thrice their number, were making 
the best fight their cramped condition would permit. 
Blows, the force of which was greatly lessened by the 
nearness of the combatants to each other, but which 
Started noses to bleeding and caused black eyes to sud- 



A BAD MIX-UP. 313 

denl> ippear and bumps to start forth in profusion upon 
heads were being given and taken on both sides. 

At the other end of the shanty the combatants had 
overturned the cases of type. Some had stumbled over 
these c\nd others had been knocked over them, and the 
soldiers and settlers were mixed up in an indistinguisha 
ble mass. 

It was a bad mess of printer's "pi." 

Among those entangled were the Captain, McKinley, 
Jones and the Lieutenant, though to have picked out any 
one of them and separated him from the others would 
have app^ired quite an impossibility, as nothing was to 
be seen except aa indiscriminate pile of legs, arms and 
heads. 

Beginning at the bottom, there appeared, as nearly 
as could be seen, first a couple of cases of type, then a 
man in uniform, then Mr. McKinley and the ink keg, 
then another soldier and more cases of type, then Lieu 
tenant Knight and old man Jones, then more soldiers 
and the leader of the colony with more cases of type and 
more men, both in uniform and without it. 

After this fashion the battle raged, and for a time vic 
tory appeared loath to decide between these unscientific 
combatants. 

Within the shanty the settlers were getting the worst 
of it, so far as could be judged from appearances. As 
they were hemmed in ar^d fighting two or three times 



314 DESPOILERS RETREAT. 

their own numoers, they were at a disadvantage and had 
barely held their own. 

Outside the shanty the citizens were in the majority, 
and they were crowding the soldiers and rolling them in 
the dirt. Here and there, on the outskirts of the crowd, 
might be found two combatants who had gotten a little 
separated from the thickest of the fray and were having 
it out by themselves. 

But, after a bit, the advantage which the settlers had 
became apparent. The soldiers were not used to this 
kind of warfare, and had no particular relish for it. 
They fought simply because they had orders to fight, and 
not because they loved the pastime. 

The colonists enjoyed it. It was their opportunity 
to even things up a little, and they improved it to the 
utmost for five or ten minutes. By this time the soldiers 
outside were drawing off for repairs, and those just inside 
were reached for, drawn out and forcibly started off in 
the direction of their camp. 

Then a separation of the mass of arms and legs and 
heads on the floor of the shanty began, and was contin 
ued until all had risen, or had been picked up and car 
ried out. 

Next to the last man in the pile to be found and lifted 
up was Mr. McKinley. 

He was pretty badly battered up, but not in a worse 
condition than the soldier underneath him, with whom 



WIPING OFF THE INK. 31 5 

he had been contending since the fight began. Both had 
been bitten and clawed about the face, and both were 
covered with printer's ink until neither was recognizable 
by his comrades. It was not until Mr. McKinley had 
been dragged off the soldier under him and set upon his 
feet in the open air that he was identified, and they did 
not know him then until he spoke. 

Wiping the ink from his face with his hand and then 
glaring at the retreating regulars, he drew himself up and 
remarked : 

' ' I think that particular portion of the regular army 
hesitate before again offering me an insult." 



The reader may think it strange that a fight with fists 
such as is above described should actually occur be 
tween citizens and soldiers, and no arms be used. Yet, 
'Such a fight did occur ; and there is nothing very strange 
about it when all the attending conditions are kept in the 
mind's eye. 

The soldiers wished to remove the citizens without 
taking life. Failing to overawe them, they attempted to 
arrest the leaders in a mai. ]er such as would not provoke 
the use of bullets. 

On the other hand, the settlers respected the fact 



3l6 A DRAWN BATTLE. 

that those who sought to arrest them wore the uniform 
of the United States, and so wished, if possible, to avoid 
taking their lives, yet were determined not to be driven 
off their claims. 

Here, then, was the strongest possible incentive on 
both sides not to take life, but on the one hand to arrest 
and on the other hand to resist arrest without blood 
shed ; and when the soldiers found they could not effect 
the arrest without precipitating a fight with arms, they 
got out of it as easily as they could, which was not so 
easily as they could have wished, as many of them car 
ried black eyes and swollen heads and a banged-up front 
generally for days. 

But many of the home defenders were in the same 
fix, so the fight may properly go down into history as a 
drawn battle. 

Both armies slept that night upon the same ground 
which they had occupied in the morning, and both slept 
upon their arms. 



:os- 



CHAPTER XXI. 



MR. M'KINLY GOES TO JAIL, AND FINALLY RETURNS TO 
THE BANKS OF THE WABASH, 

On the morning following the day on which the 
rough-and-tumble fight had occurred the soldiers were 
withdrawn, and the settlers were at liberty to return to 
their families. 

At first very few of them were inclined to regard the 
result of the fight as a real victory. 

True, they had given rather more black eyes and 
broken heads than they had received in return, and the 
enemy had now withdrawn from the field of battle ; but 
still they had a feeling that the end was not yet, and 
what added to this feeling was that the soldiers had not 
withdrawn toward Fort Reno, whence they came, but 
had moved away in the direction of Fort Russell, where 
it was known that a considerable body of United States 
troops were stationed. 



ji8 MR. M'KINLEY'S BELIEF. 

Among the few who took a more cheerful view of th 
matter, and who believed that they had really conquered 
a peace, was Mr. McKinley. Perhaps he was the only 
one who looked at it in that way at the very first, but if 
so he soon inspired others with his own views of the 
case, and pretty soon one and another began to look at 
it as he did and to regard the matter in the light of a 
great victory. 

He would say : 

< ' I tell you, gentlemen, they are licked licked, Sir 
and they will not come back. And if they do, we '11 
lick 'em again. We can do it do it easy. Why, if you 
men outside the shanty had fought the way me and the 
Captain and Phil Johnson did, there would n't be any of 
'em left now. They were three to one agin us when the 
fight commenced yes, Sir, three to one and more, too 
' but you ought to see the way we piled 'em up yes, 
Sir, piled 'em up. Why, me and the Captain and Phil 
Johnson and old man Jones piled 'em up in a pile, and 
then fell on to 'em and pounded 'em till we was tired 
yes, Sir, till we was tired. You just ought to have seen 
the way we did it. 

* 'And as for their retreatin' in the direction of Fort 
Russell, that 's nothing strange. They 're 'fraid and 
'shamed to go back to Fort Reno, and own that they got 
licked. Like as not some of 'em died last night of their 
wounds some of 'em was hurt mighty bad and they 're 



DRESSING THE WOUNDS. 319 

just goin* off that way to bury 'em on the sly, so 's not 
to have it known. Don't you be afraid ; they aint com 
ing back. Reckon they 've got sense enough to know 
when they 're licked, if that 's all they have got." 

It is never very hard to make men believe that which 
they-wish to believe, and the faith which Mr. McKinley 
possessed that the regulars had abandoned the contest 
and left not to return imparted itself to others, and soon 
a voice somewhere in the crowd made an attempt at a 
cheer. 

Like other cheers which are without support, this 
particular " hip-hip" sounded weak to start on, and it 
grew weaker as it progressed, but it was not long before 
the spirits of the crowd had raised sufficiently to induce 
some one else to start a cheer, which this time was 
joined in by half the company, and grew in volume as it 
went until the last " hurrah" gave indication of having a 
good deal of confidence in itself. 

Now, while the majority of them were feeling their 
spirits rise with the departure of the troops and with the 
hopeful view of the situation which Mr. McKinley in 
sisted upon everybody's taking, there were those among 
them who felt that, now the need for suffering in silence 
was over, they would like very much to have their hurts 
and bruises attended to. 

Among them there were several who had received 
wounds of a painful character. 



330 PHH- RECEIVES CONSOLATION, 

Phil Johnson had received quite a long and deep gash 
across the scalp, apparently made by a column rule, 
wielded by some one who in the general melee had hap 
pened to get his hand on it. Old man Jones, the presi 
dent and a dozen others had bruises and cuts that were 
painful, though not of a dangerous character, none of 
which had as yet received any attention, except that 
Phil had bound up his head with a handkerchief. 

The handkerchief had answered very well, so long as 
there was a necessity of remaining on guard against an 
other possible assault ; but, now that the soldiers had 
gone, Phil felt that he needed something further in the 
way of attention to his injuries. He repaired to the 
McKinley home, that being the place where he felt cer 
tain of receiving the consolation which his wounds now 
required. 

Of course, he received it. 

Nettie furnished the consolation, and her mother the 
iniment and bandages, and between them they fixed 
him up as good as new ; in fact, they made him feel that 
he should be tempted to have his head laid open every 
once in a while, just for the pleasure of having it repaired 
again. 

Mr. McKinley also required and received careful at 
tention at the hands of his wife and daughters. 

He was not very seriously hurt not quite so badly 
as he wished he was when he saw that Phil's having his 



COMBING OUT THE INK. 3d I 

head tied up was accepted as proof that he had been 
where the fight raged hottest. 

He had, however, some black-and-blue spots on his 
person and about his face, from one of which a few 
drops of blood had issued and dried, and a sight of the 
red stain made upon the cloth with which his wife was 
striving to remove the ink from his face satisfied him. 
He had fought and bled for his country, and he was now 
content. 

Two or three hours were required to get the printer's 
ink out of his hair and off his person. His wife and 
daughters soaped and scrubbed away diligently, without 
causing him to utter a complaint of any kind. He felt 
that he was having his wounds dressed, and that the time 
spent over him was evidence of the undaunted bravery 
with which he had led the contest. 

Mr. McKinley was now positive that he should never 
again run a ferry boat. If he was not called onto organ 
ize a regiment for the protection of the frontier of the 
Territory when it should be organized, he would accept 
a seat in the Legislature, and serve his country there 
with a dignity equal to the desperate courage which he 
had displayed in fighting for its independence upon this 
memorable occasion. 

Thus was Mr. McKinley mentally occupied while his 
devoted wife was conducting the work necessary to his 
physical repair and rejuvenation. Sorry was he when, 



322 AN UNSETTLED FEELING. 

this task finished, he realized that matters of grave con 
cern demanded his immediate attention. His was the 
usual regret attendant upon the sudden termination of a 
day-dream. 



The unsettled feeling among the colonists that came 
as a consequence of the events just recorded caused an- 
other postponement by Phil and Nettie of their intended 
wedding. 

There was no one living in the settlement wlio was 
legally authorized to officiate at weddings ; and in the 
uncertainty of what might be, they delayed their pro 
posed trip to a place at which they could be united and 
begin their honeymoon. 

They felt the better contented to do this now that 
Phil was spending most of his time at Mr. McKinley's 
house, being for several days quite unfit to do any thing, 
and for a still longer period suffering severely from a rush 
of blood to the head whenever he bent over ; so that he 
made little attempt to work on his claim, but kept him- 



SIX HUNDRED STRONG. 323 

self closely in the house and suffered himself to be made 
much of and coddled without a murmur. 

Neither did any of the colonists feel greatly inclined 
to go on with their intended improvement. 

They tried to^Jiope that the troops had gone not to 
return, but they doubted if they had. Even Mr. McKin- 
ley could not keep alive their belief that the soldiers had 
been too badly frightened to think of returning, and that 
the Lieutenant was sure to make such a report to his 
superiors as would discourage them from renewing the 
attack. 

Hence they did little except to secure a small portion 
of their crops, and wait and watch for what the future 
had in store for them. 

Now, if preference could be followed in this narra 
tive, Mr. McKinley would be sustained in his belief that 
the government was too badly scared to take any further 
steps in the matter of removing squatters from Okla 
homa ; but a stern resolve to adhere to the facts compels 
a different course. 

The soldiers did return, and they came back six hun 
dred strong, being reinforced by a detachment from Fort 
Russell ; and, still under the command of Lieutenant 
Knight, they surrounded the little band of colonists, who 
had learned of their approach and boldly set out to fight 
them. 

Having surrounded them, the army sat down to starve 



$24 NETTIE SEES HER LOVER IN JAIL. 

them into submission, a feat which it accomplished in a 
week by cutting off all supplies which their families at 
tempted to carry to them and by preventing them from 
obtaining food for themselves. 

And then they compelled them to pack up for the 
third time their household goods, put their wives and 
children into the wagons, and after setting fire to the 
printing office without having first permitted the removal 
of the press, type and other appurtenances, conveyed 
them out of the Territory in the same manner that they 
had done twice before. 

At the State line all except the leader, Phil Johnson 
and Mr. McKinley were released and told to go where 
they would, so they did not return to the disputed terri 
tory. These three men were taken to one of the larger 
towns of the State, turned over to the civil authorities 
and put in jail. 

After some delay the leader obtained bail for himself 
in the sum of $3,000, and as soon as he had secured his 
own release he set about obtaining the release of his two 
companions. 

Mrs. McKinley had followed on with the family wher. 
she learned where her husband was, and thus Nettie saw 
her father and lover in jail. 

Bail was at last secured for both, and they were then 
released. Again arose the question as to what should be 
done. 



WHO OWNS OKLAHOMA? 32$ 

Should they again rally their friends and enter Okla 
homa at once ? 

Where were the colonists who had just been driven 
out? 

A portion of them, they learned, were still in camp, 
or had scattered along the borders of Kansas, awaiting 
another opportunity to enter Oklahoma and take posses 
sion of their claims. Others had become discouraged or 
had exhausted their means, and could not return imme 
diately. 

Leaving Mrs'. McKinley and the family at the town 
where the men had been incarcerated, Phil and the oth 
ers went to the vicinity where the larger portion of the 
colonists were, and after getting some of them together 
asked them what their wishes were regarding an immedi 
ate return to Oklahoma. 

For themselves, they told them that they were ready 
to return at once, but would have to be back at the time 
set for their trial. 

Many were in favor of going back at once, but others 
declared such action unwise. They thought some time 
could be spent advantageously in efforts to enlighten the 
country regarding the struggle between themselves, as 
representatives of the people, and the cattle syndicates, 
through the press and by other means. 

It had been learned that already a partial knowledge 
of the outrages committed upon them had reached the 



326 THE WAR CHIEF. 

public ear, and that there were several members in Con 
gress who would respond to any request to bring th? 
matter before that body. 

It was finally resolved to refrain for the time being 
from again entering the disputed territory, and to devote 
the interval to agitating before the country the question: 
" Who Owns Oklahoma ?" 

Accordingly, arrangements were made for the estab< 
lishment of permanent headquarters at Caldwell, Kan 
sas, which is close to the territorial line. Fresh printing 
materials were purchased, and their newspaper, bearing 
now the name The Oklahoma War Chief, was started 
again and placed under the editorial management of a 
competent person, with orders to give it the widest pos* 
sible circulation. 

Petitions were also printed, asking Congress to take 
cognizance of the matter of protecting citizens in theil 
right to settle in Oklahoma. 

These petitions, published in such journals as were 
in possession of the facts of the case and friendly to the 
purpose of the petitioners, were passed from hand to 
hand among the friends of the colonists, and, signed by 
thousands, were sent rolling in upon the members of the 
House and Senate of the United States and upon the 
President. 

This procedure frightened the cattle kings, and they 
hastened to send a representative to Washington to bring 



SYNDICATE LOBBY ACTIVE. 327 

such influence to bear as would prevent any action that 
might be unfavorable to their interests or expose the 
means by which they had secured the aid of the military 
arm of the government and of the civil courts to enable 
them to hold possession of such great bodies of land, 
and to drive from their homes, arrest and imprison men 
who were acting in good faith, in accord with the home 
stead and pre-emption laws of the country and in full 
harmony with the practices in similar cases since those 
laws were enacted. 

Nevertheless, the cattle kings were only partially suc 
cessful. 

Public sentiment was too far aroused and too much 
in sympathy with the colonists to allow the matter to be 
left untouched by Congress and the President. 

Petitions continued to roll in, and more than one 
Congressman received hints from his constituents that it 
would be better for his future prospects if he would heed 
the demands of the people in this matter. 

The politicians at length began to feel that it would 
be a good stroke of policy for the new Administration to 
make some show of being interested in the people, even 
if it went no farther. 

Then came the President's order for everybody, cat 
tle king and squatter, to get out of Oklahoma. 

It was a field day for the colonists when they heard 
read the President's sweeping order in the matter. 



328 A PARTIAL VICTORY. 

Although they were now scattered widely, and only 
such as were connected directly with the work of putting 
a knowledge of these things before Congress and the 
country were at Caldwell, yet this news was to them, at 
whatever point located, a note of victory. 

The colonists knew that if the cattle were removed 
there would be no objectors sufficiently strong to prevent 
the acknowledgment by the Interior Department of their 
right, and the right of all citizens who wished, to make 
homes upon the prairies and along the beautiful streams 
of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Strip. 

The trial of the Captain, Mr. McKinley and Phil 
Johnson for violation of the laws in entering Oklahoma, 
never came off. When the date set for the trial arrived 
they were present in court, but were discharged without 
a hearing, although they strongly protested against the 
nolle prosequi. 

The colonists were anxious to be able to prove again, 
as once before they had proved in the District Court at 
Topeka, that there was no law under which any citizen 
could be punished for entering upon and improving the 
lands in question, and they denounced as unjust and an 
outrage their arrest, removal, imprisonment and arraign 
ment, only to be discharged without opportunity to show 
proof of their innocence or expose the flagrant violation 
of civil law by the military in persecuting them at tile 
bidding of the cattle kings. 



A FARCICAL TRIAL. 

But in nothing were they allowed opportunity to 
make themselves heard by the court. They were simply 
told that, since their followers had vacated the disputed 
territory, they would not be prosecuted. And in spite of 
their protest against this attempt to convict them with 
out trial, they were compelled to bear it. 

After the farcical ending of this pretended trial, and 
after it had been decided that the colonists would not 
return to their claims at once, but would await the action 
of Congress, if action could be obtained within such time 
as should be considered at all reasonable, Mr. McKin- 
ley's family thought it best for them to return to theii 
old home on the Wabash, and await the further move 
ments of the colony. They had not sold the old place 
when they left it principally because no one wanted to 
buy it at much of a figure. 

The little old town of yore was still a little old town, 
and the few acres which Mr. McKinley owned possessed 
no value other than as agricultural land. Not knowing 
how the West might please them, they had decided not 
to accept the only offer they had had for it, which was 
from a farmer who owned land adjoining, and would in 
all probability be as ready to purchase it a year or two 
later as then. 

To the old home, then, Mr. McKinley 's family had 
returned, with the exception of one of the boys, who 
obtained work with the team in Kansas, and decided to 



33O PATIENT LOVE. 

remain there until such time as the family would return 
to enter once more upon their Oklahoma claim. 

Phil and Nettie had again postponed their wedding, 
but only for a little while. 

When Phil decided that he must remain in Kansas 
for a time, and help to start the movement which was *.o 
bring a pressure to bear upon Congress to compel action 
in relation to Oklahoma, Nettie and he talked the mat 
ter over and came to the conclusion that, inasmuch as 
Phil must be constantly moving about for some months, 
it would be best not to marry until this part of the work 
was performed. Nettie decided, therefore, to return with 
her parents to the old home, and there wait for Phil's 
coming. 

Equally with Phil, Nettie felt interested in the settle 
ment of the question of right involved in the contest in 
which they were engaged with the cattle syndicates. 

The wrongs done to the colonists, of whom she had 
been one, the insults and injuries heaped upon her father 
and lover, the memory of their having been tied with 
ropes like criminals all these things had aroused the 
spirit of resistance within her, and she was as ready to 
iiiake sacrifices for the good of the cause as was Phil 
himself. 

And, besides, Nettie was in love with her Oklahoma 
home or Phil's home, which she was to share with him 
and she wished to be able to return there with him. 



FRATERNAL COLONISTS. 331 

and with her father's family and the other colonists, 
among all of whom had grown up bonds of friendship 
which made them seem nearer than any could seem who 
had never rejoiced together in prospective peace and 
prosperity, as they, had done, or sympathized with one 
another over the disappointments and losses that for the 
time had broken up all their plans and hopes. 

She was, therefore, anxious that Phil and others 
should do all that could be done to bring about a peace 
ful removal of the difficulties standing in the way of the 
colonists' return and their permanent settlement of the 
country. 

Nettie and Phil had spent one last evening together, 
taken one last kiss, exchanged vows of eternal constancy 
and adoration, and she, with her father and family, had 
returned to the old home, while Phil started out. on his 
mission. 

But he went with a light heart. 

Just so soon as he could do the work he had under 
taken in behalf of the colony, he also was to return to 
the old home to his father's home and to Nettie, who 
would then become his wife. 

He went forth, too, with Mr. McKinley's blessing, for 
the dignified old gentleman's heart was warm toward his 
prospective son-in-law. 

Phil was brave and ready, and the old man, in spite 
of some little weaknesses, was fully capable of appreci- 



33* WHO KNOWS? 

ating courage and honesty of purpose ; and, besides this, 
nobody treated him with more deference than did Phil. 

Perhaps the reverence which, in his boyish days, he 
had felt for the great man who held commission from 
two States to run a ferry boat on the Wabash had never 
quite deserted Phil. 

Still, beneath his appearance of ingenuousness were 
inaudible whisperings of policy, telling him it was wisest 
to keep on the good side of the father of the girl whom 
he loved. 

Naturally, he had a high sense of the respect due to 
men older than himself. In the case of Mr. McKinley 
he probably saw more clearly than did others of his inti- 



mates a true inward dignity in the man, to which the 
outward dignity of his manner was but an ill-fitting gar 
ment. 

When the old gentleman came to bid Phil good-by 
his lips trembled a little and his voice had the suspicion 
of a tremor in it. 

The two men, the old man and the young one, had 
been in prison together ; they had ridden together many 
a weary mile between lines of soldiers their guards ; 
they had slept side by side upon the green sward of the 
prairies, and yes, they had fought and bled together in 
a cause sacred to both. In addition to these strong ties, 
Phil was soon to be the husband of the old man's beau 
tiful daughter. And now that they were to be parted for 



PHIL'S PATRIARCHAL BLESSING. 333 

a time, he would give the boy his blessing. Straightway 
he proceeded to do so. 

His lips trembled a little at first, but he fought hard 
against a display of emotion, and before he had finished 
speaking all his dignity of manner and fluency of lan 
guage had returned to him. He said : 

"Go, Philip, and do the work which is for you to do. 
You have my blessing the blessing of a man who has 
been honored by having shed his blood for his couni/y 
and in defense of the sacred rights of the people to set 
tle in Oklahoma," 



CHAPTER XXII. 



FARMER- LOOKING INDIVIDUAL, WHO ALSO ENDURES A 
THREE-PRONGED FRONT NAME. 

Phil was one day sitting in the office of a little hotel 
in one of the frontier towns of Kansas, whither he had 
gone on colony business, when a stranger dressed in the 
garb of a farmer entered. 

This farmer-looking individual was a man apparently 
55 or 60 years of age, well formed and preserved, and 
wore an unusually jovial countenance. 

He paused for a second upon entering the door, and 
glanced around the room, as if hoping to find there some 
one to whom he could impart the impression which he 
held that this is as good a world as any one need wish 
to live in ; or, if not that, it was just as well for a body 
not to be aware of that fact. 

Seeing no audience other than Phil, he nodded famil 
iarly and said : 

'Howdy, stranger. Glad to meet ye, 18 
(354) 



A FARMER-LOOKING INDIVIDUAL. 335 

To which Phil returned an equally courteous saluta 
tion. 

Though a stranger to Phil, this man evidently was no 
stranger to the house. He was, in fact, a resident of the 
vicinity and owned a farm a few miles out in the country. 
Being in town on business, he had dropped into the hotel 
for dinner, as is the custom of those farmers who feel 
that they can afford to spend a quarter for a meal now 
and then when away from home at meal time. 

After nodding to Phil he walked up to the office of 
the clerk and was in the act of reaching for one of those 
rusty, ink-corroded pens which usually furnish forth the 
desks of such hotels, and with which guests are expected 
to perform the next to impossible feat of legibly record 
ing their names in the hotel register, when from a door 
opening into the room back of the counter the landlord 
entered and greeted the new comer with : 

" Hallo, Johnson! That you ? Glad to see you 
was just wishing you would happen to drop in. Look 
here." 

The last two words were spoken in a low tone, and 
with a kind of confidential air, and as he spoke the land 
lord turned the register around and shoved it in front of 
his farmer-looking guest, pointing to some entry on one 
of its pages. 

Now, this register supposed to be kept for the sole 
purpose of registering the names of guests and the time 



33^ A POLYGLOT REGISTER. 

of their arrival and departure had become something 
unique among hotel registers. Besides being a record, 
more or less accurate, of the arrival and departure of an 
occasional traveler from foreign parts that is, from 
parts as far away as the next county seat town, or possi 
bly a drummer or two from Kansas City it contained 
the names of all the farmers who occasionally dropped 
in to dinner, of all the regular boarders written as often 
as it occurred to them to do so, and of all the loungers 
about town who made the hotel office their headquar 
ters, and who, since they never patronized the house to 
the extent of so much as a meal of victuals, felt it to be 
a duty which they owed to the landlord to help him to 
maintain an appearance of brisk business by writing 
their names among those of the guests and the regular 
boarders at least once a week, and as much oftener as 
circumstances seemed to require it of them. 

Some of them did still more to make their presence 
agreeable to the landlord and apparent to the traveler 
who might chance to register there. 

Besides their own names, these occasionally wrote 
the name of a chum or of some business man or other 
citizen of the place, with a prefix denoting the enjoy 
ment of civic or military honors. Others, apparently 
less ambitious, contented themselves with simply adding 
huge flourishes to their own names or in drawing aimless 
lines in ink or pencil across the pages. Still others there 



PHIL'S JOHN HANCOCK. 337 

were who, with an eye to the beautiful in art, added ink 
sketches of the landlord or of any person or any thing 
that appeared to them as a good subject from which to 
draw inspiration. 

Now, when Phil had this caricature of a register laid 
before him by the good-natured but unmethodical land 
lord, with a request to "give us your ' John Hancock,' 
stranger, please," the peculiar appearance of the page 
upon which he was thus asked to write his name struck 
him as requiring something more than ordinary in the 
way of a signature. Appreciating this requirement, he 
had written, with all the flourishes he could command 
and with a superabundance of ink : 

" Philip P. P. Johnson." 

This was the first time he had ever written his allit 
erative signature to any document as any thing but plain 
Philip Johnson. For this reason the peculiarity of the 
signature struck him as somewhat odd, and he stood with 
the pen still in his hand and looked at it for an instant, 
as if to photograph upon his memory some thing which 
he regarded as a kind of curiosity, the like of which he 
never expected to see again. Then he turned away and 
other matters engrossed him. 

But now the landlord and his jolly guest were evi 
dently looking at that signature and discussing the coin 
cidence. 

Their heads were close together as they leaned over 



338 PHIL'S JOHN HANCOCK CHALLENGED. 

the counter from opposite sides, the landlord keeping his 
finger upon the open page of the register, at which his 
guest was looking intently. 

During the inspection of the register Phil heard the 
landlord say, in a low tone : "That 's him over there." 

Then the deeply interested farmer also put a finger 
upon the pie-bald register, and appeared to be making a 
thorough study of it. 

Phil could see the man's finger move along by steps 
or jumps, much as an inch worm " measures " his way 
across one's path or along a blade of grass. He was evi 
dently studying Phil's chirography, and was moving his 
finger from one letter to another in an effort to make 
certain that there was no mistake about it. 

When he had apparently satisfied himself that it was 
what it appeared to be, he turned to Phil, who was sit 
ting on the opposite side of the room, and called out : 

41 1 say, stranger, if it aint bein' too impertinent, 
would you mind tellin' me if this is your John Hancock 
that 's wrote here ?" 

"I reckon it is," replied Phil, good-naturedly. 

" An 1 your name 's Johnson, an' you actily claim them 
there three P's that you 've got attached to your name as 
your 'n, do you ?" 

1 ' Yes, I reckon they honestly belong to me, though 
I don't often put 'em to use," Phil answered. 

"Because," continued the other, as if he had not 



PHIL'S REJOINDER. 339 

heard Phil's reply, "you see, that 's my name, too, and 
I thought I had all the P's in the Johnson dish on my 
own plate." 

He raised his hand and brought it down on his thigh 
with a slap, and gave expression to his appreciation of 
his own joke in a loud guffaw, while his eyes twinkled 
and danced like those of the Santa Claus of our child 
hood days, and his whole body shook with merriment. 

' ' Well, maybe you did, " returned Phil, willing to aid 
the old gentleman enjoy himself. " Maybe you did have 
'em, and they just warmed 'em over for me." 

The effect of this sally was to break the old fellow up 
entirely. 

He placed both hands upon his knees, shut his eyes 
and mouth and bent himself nearly double, while his 
whole person shook like a man with the ague. Then 
suddenly his mouth flew open, and a peal of laughter 
that could easily have been heard a block away rolled 
forth and shook the building. He straightened up with 
a jerk which gave a twist to his voice and compelled his 
laughter to end with a kind of " whoop-e-e-e, ah!" a 
sort of a cross between the snort of a mad bull and the 
scream of a factory engine. And then his body came 
together again like a jack-knife, and the operation was 
repeated. 

"W-h-a-t what do your P's stand for, young man?" 
he asked as soon as breath would permit. 



34O FRESH PEAS. 

" Well, you see," returned Phil, who was becoming 
interested in the entertainment and anxious to have it 
continued, "the fact is I sort of inherited two of them. 
They were, so to speak, warmed over for me, in the first 
place." 

Here the joHy man gave a snort, but held on to him 
self out of a desire to hear what Phil might have to say 
further. 

" I was a triplet," continued Phil (another snort from 
the old gentleman), " and when the other two died I was 
allowed to keep the names which had been given to all 
three because, you see, they did n't exactly know 
which of us had died and which was still living." 

"And the names?" snorted the other, making effort 
to hold himself down. 

"The bunch of young Johnsons were named Philip, 
Phineas and Philander," replied Phil. 

"Then they're mostly fresh Peas," yelled the old 
gentleman. ''Mine are Philip Peter Pendegast." 

Away he went again, doubling up like a jack-knife, 
shaking all over for an instant and then opening out with 
a jerk and a " whoop-e-e-e, ah!" 

His hilarity attracted the attention of every man in 
that end of the town, and brought a dozen of the least 
busy among them around to the hotel on purpose "to 
hear old man Johnson laugh." 

This was not an entirely new experience with them, 



AN HONOR TO THE NAME. 341 

for the old fellow was in the habit of coming to town 
about once a week, and whenever he was known to be 
in town everybody who felt a necessity for having a good 
laugh was sure to gather about him. 

The old gentleman often declared, with a snort : 
"The blues and me have never camped under the same 
blanket." 

When this last ebullition of laughter had subsided, 
the old fellow came over to where Phil sat and shook his 
hand. 

"I 'm mighty glad to have seed you, young man," he 
said. " You are an honor to the name you bear, and I 
don't (with a snort) begrudge you the single warmed-up 
P of mine which your parients gin you ; and, jnoreover, 
I reckon I have got something of more value consider 
ing Peas is so plenty (another snort) in our family that 
belongs to you. Now, if you will go out home with me, 
or, if you can't do that, if you will wait until I gallop 
out and back, I '11 turn it over to you 'thout sayin' any 
thing about what you 've got of mine. Maybe it aint 
your 'n, but I reckon it is. It 's a letter which I got 
outen the post office at Caldwell, two or three years ago 
or, rather, one of the boys, a young fellow what lives 
with us, did and I forgot all about it till just the other 
day. 

4< You see, we camped down near there once when 
we first came to the State and we had our mail come 



342 THE MISSING LETTER. 

there. This letter I 'm telling you about came there and 
was taken out by one of my folks, as I was saying, who 
put it in his coat pocket, where it slipped down through 
the linin', where my wife found it only t'other day, when 
she was a-rippin' the thing up for to make carpet rags 
outen. 

"She s'posed, in course, it was mine, and having a 
natural curiosity to know what was inside, she tore the 
thing open. But it was n't for me nor for any of my 
family, and I reckon it must be for you. 

"I hope the loss on 't haint caused you any special 
oneasiness." 

"Whether it has or not, you certainly are not to 
blame in the matter," replied Phil. 

"I have not received many letters at least, was not 
receiving many at the time you got this out of the post 
office at Caldwell and it is difficult to tell what effect it 
might have had upon me. But it does not matter now. 
I imagine it is a letter from my mother, failing to get 
which I wandered off still farther, and have never since 
returned to the old home or seen any of my own people 
not one." 

" Are that a fact, " the old man commented, rather 
than asked. "Wall, now, let me give you a little ad 
vice. We are sort of relations, you know both John 
sons, and also we both got part of our P's from the same 
patch." 



THE OLD LETTER. 343 

Here the old man's eyes twinkled, and his body gave 
indications of the doubling up process. 

"What I 'm wantin' to say to you is this : If that 
letter is your 'n, an' was writ by your mother, she 's a 
mighty good woman ; an' if you are a good son you '11 
not waste any time in goin' back an' givin' her another 
look at you. 

" You see, wife and I read the letter, 'cause we could 
not exactly understand how there could be two Johnsons 
with so many P's to their names, and we kept wonderin' 
what it could all mean the finding of it there, and all 
that till finally the boy, who is older now and not afraid 
of owning up to any mistakes which he makes, told us 
how he remembered getting a letter out of the post office 
at Caldwell and losin' it, and then we guessed that this 
was that letter, and that it was writ to somebody else. 
So we read it all over again, tryin' to find out who writ 
it so as we could send it back, but it did n't have no 
name signed to it 'ceptin' just ' Mother,' and no place of 
startin' 'ceptin' just 'Home,' but it was full of lovin' 
messages, and if it had really been writ to me, and she 
that writ it was my mother, I 'd feel like skipping back 
pretty lively for fear she got tired of waitin' for me here, 
and crossed over the river to do the rest o' the waitin' 
where maybe it will be easier doin' of it." 

"You see," he added, in an apologetical kind of a 
way, 4 * you see, wife and I have got a boy out in the 



344 PETER AND PENDEGAST DONATED. 

world somewhere we don't know where and that sort 
of enables me to understand how your parients must 
feel about you." 

There was moisture in Phil's eyes when he put out 
his hand again and heartily shook that of the farmer- 
looking individual. 

When they had shaken hands, Phil spoke with more 
than usual deliberation : 

' * I am going to start for the old home inside of a 
week. It shall not be longer. I ought to have gone a 
year ago. In truth, I should never have left my home 
on the Wabash." 

If there had been no moisture in his own eyes, Phil 
might have seen something suspiciously like it in those 
of the reminiscent old farmer, as he took his proffered 
hand. 

"That 's right, young man that 's right. Go back 
to the old folks and let 'em set eyes on ye once more. 
They won't be ashamed of your looks could n't be, if 
you looked a heap wuss than you do." 

Here the moisture left the old man's eyes, and they 
began to twinkle again. 

4 'Young man, take your parients my best compli 
ments, and tell 'em if they want to use any more of my 
P's they 're welcome. Bein' they 've got Philip, they can 
have both Peter and Pendegast if they can find ekally 
good use for 'em, " 



MOTHER'S MISLAID MESSAGE. 345 

And again he started off with a snort and ended up 
with a whistle. 



# * 



After eating dinner together, Phil rode out home with 
his new acquaintance. 

There he was handed the letter written to him by his 
mother four years before, and for the first time read the 
loving message which it contained. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



BACK TO THE LITTLE OLD TOWN ON THE WABASH THE 
WEDDING BELLS RESOUND. 

A week later Phil made his report at headquarters, 
and then took the next train for his old home in the State 
of Indiana. 

It all seemed to him as if he were in a dream, as ne 
went bowling along across the prairies and by the banks 
of the rivers and through the woodlands seemed as if 
his whole life had been a dream, and as if he were not 
yet fully awakened. 

Possibly it was a dream, and he had not awakened, 
but was still dreaming. Perchance that is true which 
is taught by the occultists, and which they claim to have 
proven, that the real is the spiritual and that which we 
regard as the real is but a dream an illusion of the 
senses from which we shall awaken some time, to know 
the truth and to live. it. 



KIND OF BROWN. S4f 

Now, if it was a dream this reverie <?f Phil's it 
was twice dreamed. For as he rode along he went back 
in his thoughts over his whole life. He saw again each 
incident which had occurred since his earliest memory 
his boyhood days, the happy days spent with Nettie on 
the ferry, the weeding of the truck patch, the hunting 
for hogs in the river bottom, the little incidents or acci 
dents that brought him joy or sorrow, the running away 
and the life upon the plains, the herding and the stam 
pede, the circle of cow boys about a hundred camp fires, 
the range and the stockade and the herd at the foot of 
the Guadalupe Mountains, the attack of the Apaches 
and Brown. 

His dream changed a little at the thought of Brown, 
and he changed the position of his body to correspond 
with it. 

" I wonder how Brown is and how he is getting on? 
Too bad I did not answer his last letter," he told him 
self. ' ( Reckon he 's all right, though ; said he 'd got a 
boy, and his name was Phil. Kind of Brown to remem 
ber his old pard in that way. But, then, Sam never was 
a man to forget his friends. He shall not get far ahead 
of me in that way, though. I '11 ask Nettie to name our 
first " 

Again the current of his dream changed, and away 
he went on a new trail. 

Arrived at his destination, he got oft the cars at a 



348 THE LITTLE OLD TOWN. 

station five miles from the little town on the Wabash, 
and walked out. 

He had not written to let the folks know at just what 
time to expect him, and consequently no one was there 
to meet him. He preferred walking to being taken out 
by a strange/. 

Phil wanted to see the old town for the first time 
with no one by to break in upon his thoughts with idle 
talk, and he wanted to come upon the folks unawares, 
so that he might enjoy their surprise, as well as see if his 
parents and others who had not seen him since he was a 
boy would recognize him. 

The country about the railroad station where he left 
the train was changed, of course. He expected to find 
changes there. 

Railroads bring business ; they push and hurry peo 
ple ; they whistle and roar and scream at folks ; they 
compel them to be up and doing. One can not sleep in 
front of a railroad train nor fish from the rear platform. 

If a railroad had been built through the little old 
town on the Wabash to which he was going, even it 
would have been compelled to wake up,, and its inhabit 
ants to cease to sit in the sun and fish. 

Phil realized this, and he was not surprised to find 
the country about the railroad station so changed that 
he scarcely knew where he was. 

As he drew away from it things began to look more 



SCME CHANGES. 349 

familiar enough so that he could at least tell exactly 
what and where the changes were. 

That is the same log house that was there when he 
went away, but the barn has been built since, and the 
orchard has grown that is, the trees have. 

They were only just coming into bearing when he 
left. He remembered that because, he had once been 
tempted to hook a few apples from one of the trees at 
the lower end of the orchard, and had been deterred by 
the fear that he might be seen from the house, the trees 
being so small as not to screen one from observation, 
while now the house could not be seen at all from where 
he stood. 

Over there, a little farther on, somebody had cut a 
field out of the river bottom. That must have been 
recently, last year or the year before ; the stumps yet 
had the bark on them, and the ground had never been 
broken with a mould board, but just harrowed over 
probably, and seeded down for pasture. Some of the 
logs lay yet where they fell, or where ineffectual efforts 
had been made to consume them in heaps by fire. 

It was almost sundown when he came in sight of the 
old home and the little town itself. He did not have to 
cross the river to reach it. He almost wished he did, 
and by the ferry, and he wondered whether, if he had 
had to do so, Nettie would have been there to ferry him 
across. She was here now, and living with her father's 



350 IS IT MY BOY? 

family in the little old cabin, just as they used to when 
he and she were children. There was a frame addition 
to it now. 

As he approached the old home, his father's house, 
he began to wonder whether his mother would not be 
standing in the doorway, looking out for him, just as he 
had found her doing many a time when he had been late 
!n getting in from the river bottom, or from an errand to 
a farmer's somewhere ; and as he came nearer still, he 
looked again, half expecting she would be there in the 
door. 

And was it really true this seeming ? Was that she, 
his mother ? Was she really looking out, and had she 
been watching for him thus all these years ? 

Yes, it was she, his mother older and grayer, but 
looking a good deal as she had done when he saw her 
last. She has shaded her eyes with her hand now, just 
as he had seen her do many times before at his approach, 
striving thus to see a little more clearly, that she might 
know whether he who approached was her long-absent 
Philip. 

"Is it Philip ? Is it my boy ?" 

The tones were trembling, eager, expectant. So Phil 
made haste to relieve her suspense. 

' ' Yes, mother, it is your boy come back to ask for 
giveness for having gone away. " 

And in another instant she had her arms about her 



THE OLD HOME. 351 

son's neck, and each was weeping upon the other's shoul 
der tears of joy. 



' ' Nettie is well, and so are all the rest of Mr. Mc- 
Kinley's folks," said Phil's mother. 

The first greetings between Phil and the other mem 
bers of his father's family were over, and Phil was seated 
in front of the old familiar brick fire-place, for which he 
used to cut wood when he was a boy. A little fire was 
smoldering in the great wide space between the two 
jams ; for, although it was Spring again, and the grass 
was green and the flowers were in bloom outside, it was 
cool indoors, especially as evening approached. So just 
a little fire was allowed to smolder away among the ashes 
all the day through. 

Phil looked down at the chair on which he sat to see 
if it was one of the same old splint-bottom affairs, with 
straight back, which he remembered as a part of the old 
household riches. But it was not. There might possi 
bly be one or two yet about the kitchen, or in the bed 
chamber above, with the ladder leading to it ; but there 
was not one in sight a fact which Phil regretted. 

Every thing else was just the same as he remembered 



352 

it before he went away. The same bed, with its woolen 
counterpane, in which there were woven in varied colors 
all sorts of improbable birds and beasts and vegetable 
growths, stood in the corner just as it did, and it had 
about it, and concealing the floor beneath it, the same, 
or what looked like the same, calico short curtains or 
11 va(ances." 

The same old clock stood upon the mantel, and 
swung its pendulum back and forth and ticked away in 
exactly the same tone of voice that it had when he first 
remembered it. Nothing was changed in the least that 
he could see nothing but the chairs. 

" Nettie will be over pretty soon, I reckon. She 
comes over pretty nearly every evening to know if we 
have heard from you," continued Phil's mother, not for 
getting in her own joy at the return of the prodigal that 
he must be eager to see his sweetheart. 

Oh, these mothers ! Always looking and longing for 
the presence of your children ; bound up in them ; ever 
anxious for them ; willing even to surrender your own 
happiness, that theirs may be increased ! 

Who, among us all, has ever appreciated the beauty 
and goodness of a mother's love ? 

Nettie came a few minutes later by the back way, 
and into the kitchen. 

They heard a little "tat-tat," at the kitchen door, 
and then the latch was lifted and Nettie entered without 



REUNITED. 353 

waiting to be bidden. She came so often, and was so 
soon to be a daughter to Mrs. Johnson, that she was 
looked upon as one of the family. 

Mrs. Johnson had always liked Nettie, and after Phil 
went away, and during the years in which they heard 
nothing of him, she and Nettie had consoled each other 
oftentimes. 

Without asking or being told in words, Phil's mother 
knew that this girl loved her boy, and for that alone she 
was ready to love her in return, though in truth she did 
love her for herself, and grew to love her more with the 
passing years. 

"Come in here, Nettie," called Mrs. Johnson from 
the room where they all were, at the same time starting 
toward the kitchen and dragging Phil's father along with 
her. 

Meeting her at the door, she pushed Nettie in and 
her husband out, following him herself after waiting only 
long enough to hear the girl's little scream of surprise 
and joy as she saw who was there and to see Phil ris* 
from his chair and stretch out his arms to enfold her. 

Then she went to work getting supper. And such a 
supper as she got ! 

From somewhere about the kitchen, or from the cup 
board in the sitting room, or from the out-door cellar, 
there came forth stores of preserves and canned fruits 
and jams and other good things in such profusion as only 



354 HAPPY WITH THEIR CHILDREN. 

housewives like Mrs. Johnson know how to make, and 
as only such set forth with equal lavishness when they 
would get a meal for those whom they love or desire to 
honor. 

He who has never sat as the honored guest at such * 
table has missed one of the best things of life, and can 
know but little about genuine hospitality. 

Nettie came from the sitting room after a time, and 
helped about the supper. 

Her face was a little more rosy and her eyes brightet 
than usual, no doubt, but Phil's mother did not seem ta 
notice it. Her own step was lighter, and there was a 
glow in her own eyes that had not been there before for 
years ; and if there was in Nettie's also, it was nothing 
she need to appear to know of or to question. 

After supper Mr. Johnson went over to Mr. McKin- 
ley's house and brought the whole family back with him, 
for he knew they would be uneasy about Nettie if she did 
not return soon, and anxious to see Phil if they knew he 
had arrived, and for that first evening they could not let 
Phil go from beneath their own roof at least, his fond 
mother could not. And so the McKinleys all came over 
to the Johnsons. 

The McKinleys were not all actually brought over by 
Mr. Johnson not the younger ones. They broke across 
lots on the run as soon as they learned of Phil's arrival, 
and Mrs. McKinley only waited to throw a shawl over 



MR. M'KINLEY EXTENDS WELCOME. 355 

her head before she followed after, leaving her husband 
to return with Phil's father in a more dignified, though 
somewhat hurried, manner. 

The greeting between Phil and the younger members 
of the McKinley family was a bit boisterous. 

They regarded him as a brother, an older brother 
but as one with whom there was no necessity for any 
reserve and they exhibited none in their expressions of 
joy at meeting again. Even Mrs. McKinley kissed him, 
and turned away to wipe a few tears from her eyes with 
the corner of her gingham apron. 

Phil was a son to her already, and one in whom she 
had learned to repose the greatest confidence and for 
whom she had the deepest affection. 

Then came Mr. McKinley. 

He entered the house with Phil's father, and as those 
already there and gathered about Phil gave way for him 
the two men clasped hands, and shook long and with 
honest warmth. 

Then Mr. McKinley spoke : 

" I welcome you back to your native town, Philip, 
and I have already told your parents and all who have 
inquired about you that you are an honor to the place of 
your birth ; yes, Sir, an honor to the place of your 
birth." 

And then, as a memory of the scenes and incidents 
through which they had both passed and the kindness 



356 WE 'LL BEAT 'EM YET. 

and respect with which Phil had invariably treated him 
flashed upon his mind, he hastily passed the back of his 
hand across his eyes, and exclaimed : 

" We '11 beat 'em yet, Philip. We '11 beat 'em yet, 
and we '11 all go back to the Canadian River together. A 
bill to make Oklahoma a Territory was introduced in 
Congress today." 



Two weeks later the residents of the little town on 
the Wabash were all gathered together at the McKinley 
residence, on the bank of the river near the ferry, to see 
Phil and Nettie married. 

By all the " residents" is meant only the citizens who 
are classed as belonging to the genus homo. 

The other citizens, free and independent though they 
were, had not been included in the invitation, and for 
this reason they continued their usual vocations, as on 
other days. 

The hogs rooted at will in the streets or else went on 



NOW MR. AND MRS. 357 

excursions to the river bottoms in search for the roots of 
the wild pea, the same as they had done all these years 
since the little town first squatted there ; and the dogs 
lay in the shade and contended with their enemies, the 
fleas just as they will do to the end of this chapter, 
which is the end of the story. 

The old ferry boat lay fastened to its moorings, with 
the same long line of canoes stretched out behind it that 
were there when Nettie and Phil used to run it years ago, 
for it was still a convenience to a few people. Though 
now no one tended it regularly, yet any one who chose 
to used it, and to those living close by it was worth the 
little repairs which it occasionally needed, as the mend 
ing of a broken plank or the replacing of a rope. 

But now it was arched over with branches of trees 
and decked out with flowers and a flag the flag of our 
country, the Stars and Stripes which floated from a 
pole erected at what was the bow, as the old craft lay at 
its moorings. 

After the ceremony and after everybody had kissed 
the bride, wished joy to the groom and eaten of the wed 
ding feast until filled, Phil and Nettie that is to say, 
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Phineas Philander Johnson were 
escorted down to the landing and aboard the boat. As 
many of the company as could crowd on board with the 
bridal couple did so. The chain was then loosened, and 
they swung away across the stream. 



3 8 SUCH AS WILL. 

Not once only, but a score of times, did they make 
the passage. Now Nettie held the tiller and now Phil, 
and now some one else among the gay crowd. When 
the dark of evening came they were yet at it, and for an 
hour later still the sound of laughter and singing came 
floating up from the landing. 

At last, grown weary of the swinging back and forth 
across the river, the crowd was mustered into line to 
escort the bride and groom in becoming style to the resi 
dence of Johnson pere. This riding back and forth on 
the ferry boat was all there was to be of their wedding 
journey. 

Neither of the high contracting parties desired more. 

' * When Oklahoma is declared open by act of Con 
gress," they said, ' ' then we will make a longer wedding 
journey, across hill and vale and river and mountain, to 
our claim and our home in that fair country ; and such 
of our friends as will may go with us." 



THE PLAINS. 



CHAPTER I. 

FROM THE MISSOURI RIVER TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS 
THE TREES THE HERBAGE THE BUFFALO INDIAN 

WARRIOR AND HIS PONY THE INSECTS THE MIRAGE 

WATER THE WICHITA MOUNTAINS THE INDIANS. 

It is but a few years ago that every school boy, who 
was supposed to possess the rudiments of a knowledge 
of the geography of the United States, could give the 
boundaries and a general description of the ' ' Great 
American Desert." 

As to the boundaries, the knowledge seemed to be 
quite explicit : On the north, bounded by the Upper 
Missouri, on the east by the Lower Missouri and Missis 
sippi, on the south by Texas, and on the west by the 
Rocky Mountains. 

The bounUaries on the northwest and south remained 



360 THE PLAINS. 

undisturbed, while on the east civilization, propelled and 
directed by Yankee enterprise, adopted the motto : 

< < Westward the Star of Empire Takes Its Way." 

Countless throngs of emigrants crossed the Missis 
sippi and Missouri rivers, selecting homes in the rich and 
fertile territories lying beyond. Each year this tide of 
emigration, strengthened and increased by the constant 
flow from foreign shores, advanced toward the setting 
sun, slowly but surely narrowing the preconceived limits 
of the " Great American Desert," and correspondingly 
enlarging the limits of civilization. 

At last the geographical myth was dispelled. It was 
gradually discerned that the " Great American Desert" 
did not exist ; that it had no abiding place, but that 
within its supposed limits, and instead of what had been 
regarded as a sterile and unfruitful tract of land, incapa 
ble of sustaining either man or beast, there existed the 
fairest and richest portion of the National domain 
blessed with a climate pure, bracing and healthful, while 
its undeveloped soil rivaled, if it did not surpass, the 
most productive portions of the Eastern, Middle and 
Southern States. 

Discarding the name " Great American Desert," this 
immense tract of country, with its eastern boundary 
moved back by civilization to a distance of nearly three 
hundred miles west of the Missouri River, is now known 
as ' * The Plains. " The Indian tribes which have caused 



AS THE EYE SEES, 361 

the government most anxiety and whose depredations 
have been most serious against our frontier settlements 
and prominent lines of travel across The Plains infest 
that portion of The Plains bounded on the north by the 
Valley of the Platte River and its tributaries, on the 
east by a line running north and south between the 9/th 
and 98th meridians, on the south by the Valley of the 
Arkansas River and west by the Rocky Mountains. 

Of the many persons whom I have met on The 
Plains, as transient visitors from the States or from dif 
ferent parts of Europe, there were but few who have not 
expressed surprise that their original ideas concerning 
the appearance and characteristics of the country were 
so far from correct, or that The Plains in imagination, 
as described in books, tourists' letters and reports from 
various scientific parties, differed so widely from The 
Plains as they actually exist and appear to the eye. 

Travelers, writers of fiction and journalists have 
spoken and written a great deal concerning this immense 
territory, so unlike in all its qualities and characteristics 
to the settled and cultivated portions of the United 
States ; but to a person familiar with the country the 
conclusion is forced, upon reading these published de 
scriptions, either that the writers never visited more than 
a limited portion of the country which they aim to pict 
ure or as is most commonly the case at the present day 
--that the journey was made in a stage coach or railway 



362 SOME PECULIARITIES. 

car, half of the distance traveled in the night time and 
but occasional glimpses taken during the day. A journey 
by rail across The Plains is at best but ill-adapted to a 
thorough and satisfactory examination of the general 
character of the country, for the reason that in selecting 
the routes for railroads the valley of some stream is, if 
practicable, usually chosen to contain the road bed. The 
valley being considerably lower than the adjacent coun 
try, the view of the tourist is correspondingly limited. 

Moreover, the vastness and varied character of this 
immense tract could not fairly be determined or judged 
by a flying trip across one portion of it. One would 
scarcely expect an accurate opinion to be formed of the 
swamps of Florida from a railroad journey from New 
York to Niagara. 

After indulging in criticisms on the written descrip 
tions of The Plains, I might reasonably be expected to 
enter into what I conceive a correct description, but I 
forbear. Beyond a general outline embracing some of 
the peculiarities of this slightly known portion of our 
country, the limit and character of these sketches of 
Western life will not permit me to go. 

The idea entertained by the greater number of people 
regarding the appearance of The Plains, while incorrect 
so far as the latter are concerned, is quite accurate and 
truthful if applied to the prairies of the Western States. 
It is probable, too, that romance writers, and even tour- 



MISSOURI RIVER TO ROCKY MOUNTAINS. 363 

ists at an earlier day, mistook the prairies for plains, and 
in describing the one imagined they were describing the 
other. But the two have little in common to the eye of 
the beholder, save the general absence of trees. 

From the Missouri River to the Rockies. 

In proceeding from the Missouri River to the base of 
the Rocky Mountains the ascent, although gradual, is 
quite rapid. For example, at Fort Riley, Kansas, the 
bed of Kansas River is upward of l,ooo feet above the 
level of the sea, while Fort Hays, at a distance of nearly 
150 miles farther west, is about 1, 500 feet above the sea 
level. 

Starting from almost any point near the central por 
tion of The Plains, and moving in any direction, one 
seems to encounter a series of undulations at a more or 
less remote distance from each other, but constantly in 
view. 

Comparing the surface of the country to that of the 
ocean, a comparison often indulged in by those who have 
seen both, it does not require a very great stretch of the 
imagination, when viewing this expansive ocean of beau 
tiful living verdure, to picture these successive undula 
tions as gigantic waves, not wildly chasing each other to 
or from the shore, but standing silent and immovable, 
and by their silent immobility adding to the impressive 
grandeur of the scene. 



364 LAND WAVES. 

These undulations, varying in height from 50 to $00 
feet, are sometimes formed of a light sandy soil, but are 
often composed of different varieties of rock, producing 
at a distance the most picturesque effect. 

The constant recurrence of these waves, if they may 
be so termed, is most puzzling to the inexperienced 
plainsman. He imagines and very naturally, too, he 
judging from appearances that when he ascends to the 
crest he can overlook all the surrounding country. After 
a weary walk or ride of perhaps several miles, which 
appeared at starting not more than one or two, he finds 
himself at the desired point, but discovers that directly 
beyond, in the direction he desires to go, rises a second 
wave, but slightly higher than the first, and from the 
crest of which he must certainly be able to scan the 
country as far as the eye can reach. 

Thither he pursues his course, and after a ride of five 
to ten miles, although the distance did not seem half so 
great before starting, he finds himself on the crest or, 
as it is invariably termed, the ' ' divide " but again only 
to discover that another and apparently a higher divide 
rises in his front, and at about the same distance as the 
preceding one. 

Hundreds of miles yes, even thousands of them 
may be journeyed over, and this same effect will be wit 
nessed every few hours. The traveler who would avoid 
this optical illusion must post himself before starting, 



THE TREES. 



The Trees and Grasses " Long Forage." 

As you proceed toward the West from the Missouri 
the size of the trees diminishes, as well as the number 
of kinds. 

As you penetrate the borders of the Indian country, 
leaving civilization behind you, the sight of forests is no 
longer enjoyed. The only trees to be seen are scattered 
along the banks of the streams, these becoming smaller 
and sparser, finally disappearing altogether and giving 
place to a few scattering willows and osiers. 

The greater portion of The Plains may be said to be 
without timber of any kind. 

As to the cause of this absence scientific men dis 
agree, some claiming that the high winds which prevail 
in unobstructed force prevent the growth and existence 
of trees and also the taller grasses. This theory is well 
supported by facts, as, unlike the Western prairies, 
where the grass often attains a height sufficient to con 
ceal a man on horseback, The Plains are covered by a 
grass which rarely, and only under favorable circum 
stances, exceeds three inches in height. 

Another theory, also somewhat plausible, is that the 
entire region called The Plains were at one time covered 
with timber more or less dense, but this timber, owing 



366 COTTONWOOD FORAGE. 

to various causes, was destroyed, and has since been pre 
vented from growing and spreading over that area by the 
annual fires which the Indians regularly create, and 
which sweep over the entire region. These fires are 
built by the Indians during the Autumn to burn the dried 
grass and hasten the growth of the pasturage in the early 
Spring. 

Favoring the theory that The Plains were at one time 
covered with forests is the fact that entire trunks of large 
trees have been found in a state of petrifaction on ele 
vated portions of the country, and far removed from all 
streams of water. 

While dwarfed specimens of almost all varieties of 
trees are found fringing the banks of some of the 
streams, the prevailing species are cottonwood and pop 
lar trees (populus monilifera and populus angulosa). 
Intermingled with these are found clumps of osiers 
(salix longifolia). 

In almost any other portion of the country the cot 
tonwood would be the least desirable of trees. But to 
the Indians and also to United States troops, in many 
instances which have fallen under my observation, the 
eottonwood has performed a service for which no other 
tree has been found its equal. That is as forage for the 
horses and mules during the Winter season, when the 
snow prevents even dried grass from being obtainable. 
During the Winter campaign of 1868-9 against the hos 



THE HERBAGE. 367 

tile tribes south of the Arkansas, it not unfrequently 
happened that my command, while in pursuit of Indians, 
exhausted its supply of forage, and the horses and mules 
were subsisted upon the young bark of the cottonwood 
tree. In routing the Indians from their Winter villages, 
we invariably discovered them located upon that point 
of the stream promising the greatest supply of cotton- 
wood bark, while the stream in the vicinity of the village 
was completely shorn of its supply of timber, and the 
village itself was strewn with the white branches of the 
cottonwood, entirely stripped of their bark. 

It was somewhat amusing to observe an Indian pony 
feeding on cottonwood bark. The limb being usually 
cut into pieces about four feet in length and thrown upon 
the ground, the pony, accustomed to this kind of "long 
forage," would place one fore foot on the limb in the 
same manner as a dog secures a bone, and gnaw the 
bark from it. 

Although not affording anything like the amount of 
nutriment which either hay or grain does, yet our horses 
invariably preferred the bark to either probably because 
of its freshness. 

The Herbagec 

The herbage to be found on the principal portion of 
The Plains is usually sparse and stunted in its growth. 
Along the banks of the streams and in the bottom lands 



368 BUFFALO GRASS. 

grows, generally in rich abundance, a species of grass 
often found in the States east of the Mississippi, but on 
the uplands is produced what is there known as ' * buffalo 
grass. " This is indigenous and peculiar in its character, 
differing in form and substance from all other grasses. 
The blade, under favorable circumstances, reaches a 
growth usually of three to five inches, but instead of 
being straight, or approximately so, it assumes a curled 
or waving shape, the grass itself becoming densely mat 
ted and giving to the foot, when walking upon it, a sen 
sation similar to that produced by stepping upon moss or 
the most costly of velvet carpets. 

Nearly all graminivorous animals inhabiting The 
Plains, except the elk and some species of the deer, pre 
fer the buffalo grass to that of the lowland, and it is 
probable that even these exceptions would not prove 
good if it were not for the timber on the bottom land, 
which affords good cover to both the elk and the deer. 
Both are often found in large herds grazing upon the up 
lands, although the grass is far more luxuriant and plen 
tiful on the lowlands. This fact would seem to be suffi 
cient to show a distinct liking for this grass, if not their 
preference as a food. 

Our domestic animals invariably chose the buffalo 
grass, and experience demonstrates beyond question that 
it is the most nutritious of all the varieties of the many 
wild grasses of this extensive region. 



TUB BUFFALO. 369 



The Buffalo. 

The favorite range of the buffalo is contained in a 
belt of country running north and south, about 200 miles 
wide and extending from the Platte River on the north 
to the valley of the Upper Canadian on the south. In 
migrating, if not grazing or alarmed, the buffalo invaria 
bly moves in single file, the column generally being 
headed by a patriarch of the herd, who is not only 
familiar with the topography of the country, but whose 
prowess " in the field " entitles him to become the leader 
of his herd. He maintains this leadership only so long 
as his strength and courage enable him to remain the 
successful champion in the innumerable contests which 
he is called upon to undertake. 

The buffalo trails are always objects of interest and 
inquiry to the sight-seer on The Plains. These trails, 
made by the herds in their migrating movements, are so 
regular in their construction and course as to well excite 
curiosity. They vary but little from eight to ten inches 
in width, and are usually from two to four inches in 
depth. Their course is almost as unvarying as that ol 
the needle, running north and south. Of the thousands 
of buffalo trails which I have seen, I recollect none oi 
which the general direction was not north and south. 



37 BUFFALO WALLOWS. 

This may seem somewhat surprising at first thought, but 
it admits of a simple and satisfactory explanation. 

The general direction of all streams, large and small, 
on The Plains is from west to east, apparently seeking 
debouchement in the Mississippi. 

The habits of the buffalo incline him to graze and 
migrate from one stream to another, moving northward 
and crossing each in succession as he follows the young 
grass in the Spring, and in the Autumn and Winter mov 
ing southward, seeking the milder climate and open 
grazing. Throughout the buffalo country are to be seen 
what are termed " buffalo wallows." The number of 
these is so great as to excite surprise. A modest esti 
mate would give three to each acre of ground throughout 
this vast tract of country. These wallows are about 
eight feet in diameter and from six to eighteen inches in 
depth, and are made by the buffalo bulls in the Spring, 
when challenging a rival to combat for the favor of the 
opposite sex. The ground is broken by pawing if an 
animal with a cloven hoof can be said to paw and if 
the challenge is accepted, as it usually is, the combat 
takes place. After the fight the victor remains in pos 
session of the battle field, and, occupying the " wallow " 
of freshly upturned earth, finds it produces a cooling 
sensation to his hot and gory sides. Sometimes the vic 
tory which gives possession of the battle field and drives 
a hated antagonist away is purchased at a dear price, 



INDIAN WARRIOR AND HIS PONY. 

The carcass of the victor is often found in the wallow, 
where his brief triumph has soon terminated from his 
wounds. 

In the early Spring, during the shedding season, the 
buffalo resorts to his "wallow" to aid in removing his 
old coat. These " wallows" have proven of no little 
benefit to man, as well as to animals other than the buf 
falo. After a heavy rain they become filled with water, 
the soil being of such a compact character as to retain 
it. It has not unfrequently been the case when making 
long marches that the streams would be found dry, while 
water in abundance could be obtained from the '^wal 
lows. " True, it was not of the best quality, particularly 
if it had been standing long and the buffalo had patron 
ized the ' ' wallows " as summer resorts. But on The 
Plains a thirsty man or beast, far from any stream of 
water, does not parley long with these considerations. 

The Indian Warrior and His Pony. 

Surely no race of men, not even the famous Cos 
sacks, could display more wonderful skill in feats of 
horsemanship than the Indian warrior on his native 
plains, mounted on his well-trained war pony, volunta 
rily running the gauntlet of his foes, drawing and receiv 
ing the fire of hundreds of rifles, and in return sending 
back a perfect shower of arrows or well-directed shots 
from some souvenir of a peace commission in the shape 



372 HOW PONIES ARE GRADED. 

of an improved breech-leader. The Indian warrior is 
capable of assuming positions on his pony, the latter at 
full speed, which no one but an Indian could maintain a 
single instant without being thrown to the ground. The 
pony, of course, is perfectly trained, and he seems to be 
possessed of the spirit of his rider. 

An Indian's wealth is most generally expressed by the 
number of his ponies. No warrior or chief is of any 
importance or distinction who is not the owner of a herd 
of ponies numbering from twenty to many hundreds. He 
has for each special purpose a certain number of ponies, 
those that are kept as pack animals being the most infe 
rior in quality and value. Then come the ordinary riding 
ponies used on the march, about camp and when visiting 
neighboring villages. Next in consideration is the "buf 
falo pony," trained to the hunt, and only employed when 
dashing into the midst of the huge buffalo herds, when 
the object is either food from the flesh or clothing and 
shelter for the lodges, to be made from the buffalo hide. 
In the first grade, considering its value and importance, 
is the "war pony," the favorite of the herd fleet of 
foot, quick in intelligence and full of courage. It may 
be safely asserted that the first place in the heart of the 
warrior is held by his faithful and obedient war pony. 

Indians are extremely fond of bartering, and they are 
not behindhand in catching the good points of a bargain. 
They will sign treaties rjglinquishing their lands and agree 



EAGER FOR BARTER. 373 

to forsake the burial grounds of their forefathers. They 
will part, for due consideration, with their bows and 
arrows and their accompanying quivers, handsomely 
wrought in dressed furs. Even their lodges may be pur 
chased at not an unfair valuation, and it is not an 
unusual thing for a chief or warrior to offer to exchange 
his wife or daughter for some article which may have 
taken his fancy. This is no exaggeration. But no In 
dian of The Plains has ever been known to trade, sell or 
barter away his favorite "war pony." To the warrior 
his battle horse is as the apple of his eye. Neither love 
nor money can induce him to part with it. To see them 
in battle, and to witness how the one almost becomes a 
part of the other, one might well apply to the warrior 

the lines : 

But this gallant 

Had witchcraft in 't. He grew into his seat, 
And to such wondrous doing brought his horse. 
As he had been encorpsed and demi-natured 
With the brave beast, so far he passed my thought. 
That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks, 
Come short of what he did. 

The Insects* 

Wherever water is found on The Plains, particularly 
if it is standing, innumerable gadflies and mosquitoes 
generally abound. To such an extent do these pests to 
the animal kingdom exist that to our thinly coated ani- 



374 THE INSECTS. 

mals, such as the horse and mule, grazing is almost an 
impossibility. But the buffalo, with his thick and shaggy 
coat, can browse undisturbed. The most sanguinary and 
determined of these troublesome pests are the " buffalo 
flies." They move in myriads, and so violent and pain 
ful are their assaults upon horses that a herd of the latter 
has been known to stampede as the result of an attack 
from a swarm of these flies. 

But here, again, is furnished what some reasoners 
would affirm is evidence of ' ' the eternal fitness of 
things." In most localities where these flies are found 
in troublesome numbers there are also found flocks of 
starlings, a species of blackbird. These, probably more 
to obtain a livelihood than to become defenders of the 
helpless, perch themselves upon the backs of the ani 
mals, and woe betide the helpless gadfly who ventures 
near, only to become a choice morsel for the starling. 

In this way I have seen herds of horses grazing un 
disturbed, each horse of the many hundreds having 
perched upon his back from one to dozens of starlings, 
standing guard over him while he grazed. 

The Mirage. 

About the first subject which addresses itself to the 
mind of the stranger on The Plains, particularly if he be 
of a philosophical or scientific turn of mind, is the 
mirage, which is here observed in all its perfection. 



THE MIRAGE. 375 

Many a weary mile of the traveler has been whiled 
away in endeavors to account for the fitful and beauti 
fully changing visions presented by the mirage. Some 
times the distortions are wonderful, and so natural as to 
deceive the most experienced eye. 

Upon one occasion I met a young officer who had 
spent several years upon The Plains and in the Indian 
country. He was, on the occasion alluded to, in com 
mand of a detachment of cavalry in pursuit of a party 
of Indians who had been committing depredations on the 
frontier. 

While riding at the head of his command he sud 
denly discovered, as he thought, a party of Indians not 
more than a mile distant. The latter seemed to be gal 
loping toward him. The attention of his men was 
called to them, and they pronounced them Indians on 
horseback. 

The "trot" was sounded, and the column moved 
forward to the attack. The distance between the attack 
ing party and the supposed foe was rapidly diminishing, 
the Indians appearing plainer to view each moment. 

The charge was about to be sounded, when the dis 
covery was made that the supposed party of Indians 
consisted of the decayed carcasses of half a dozen slain 
buffaloes, which number had been magnified by the 
mirage, while the peculiar motion imparted by the latter 
had given the appearance of Indians on horseback. 



3/6 THIRSTY TRAVELERS MISLED. 

I have seen a train of government wagons with white 
canvas covers moving through a mirage, which, by ele 
vating the wagons to treble their height and magnifying 
the size of the covers, presented the appearance of a 
line of large sailing vessels under full sail, while the 
usual appearance of the mirage gave a correct likeness 
of an immense lake or sea. Sometimes the mirage has 
been the cause of frightful suffering and death because 
of its deceptive appearance. 

Trains of emigrants making their way to California 
and Oregon have, while seeking water to quench their 
thirst and that of their animals, been induced to depart 
from their course in the endeavor to reach the inviting 
lake of water which the mirage displayed before their 
longing eyes. 

It is usually represented at a distance "of five to ten 
miles. Sometimes, if the nature of the ground is favor 
able, it is dispelled by advancing toward it ; at others it 
is like an ignis fatuus hovering in sight, but keeping 
beyond reach. Here and there throughout this region 
are pointed out the graves of those who are said to have 
been led astray by the mirage until their bodies were 
famished and they succumbed to thirst. 

Water. 

The routes usually chosen for travel aero? . he Plains 
may be said to furnish, upon an average w*~ 



ANIMAL SUMMER RESORTS. 377 

fifteen miles. In some instances, however, and during 
the hot season of the year, it is necessary in places to go 
into what is termed "a dry camp" that is, to encamp 
where there is no water. In such emergencies, with a 
previous knowledge of the route, it is practicable to 
transport from the last camp a sufficient quantity to sat 
isfy the demands of the people composing the train, but 
the dumb brutes must trust to the little moisture ob 
tained from the night grazing to quench their thirst. 

The animals inhabiting The Plains resemble in some 
respects the fashionable society of some of our larger 
cities. During the extreme heat of the summer they 
forsake their accustomed haunts and seek a more delight 
ful retreat. For, although The Plains are drained by 
streams of all sizes, from the navigable river to the hum 
blest brook, yet at certain seasons the supply of water 
in many of them is of the most uncertain character. The 
pasturage, from the excessive heat, the lack of sufficient 
moisture and the withering hot winds which sweep across 
from the south, becomes dried, withered and burnt, and 
is rendered incapable of sustaining life. Then it is that 
the animals usually found on The Plains disappear for a 
short time, and await the return of a milder season. 

The Wichita Mountains. 

Having briefly grouped the prominent features of the 
central Plains, a reference to the country north of Texas 



3/8 THE WICHITA MOUNTAINS, 

and in which the Wichita Mountains are located, a 
favorite resort of some of the tribes, is here made. 

To describe as one would view it in journeying upon 
horseback over this beautiful and romantic country and 
picture with the pen those vast solitudes so silent that 
their silence alone increases their grandeur to gather 
inspiration from Nature and to attempt to paint the 
scene as my eyes beheld it, would comprise a task from 
which a much abler pen than mine might shrink. 

The scene was a beautiful and ever-changing pano 
rama which at one moment excited the beholder's highest 
admiration and at the next impressed him with speech 
less veneration. 

Approaching the Wichita Mountains from the north, 
and after the eye has perhaps been wearied by the tame- 
ness and monotony of the unbroken Plains, the tourist 
is gladdened by the relief which the sight of these pict 
uresque and peculiarly beautiful mountains affords. 

Here are to be seen all the varied colors which Bier- 
stadt and Church endeavor to represent in their mountain 
scenery. A journey across and around them on foot and 
upon horseback will well repay either the tourist or the 
artist. 

The air is pure and fragrant, and as exhilarating as 
the purest of wine. 

The climate is entrancingly mild, the sky clear and 
blue as the most beautiful sapphire, with here and there 



FEATHERED CHORISTERS. 379 

clouds of rarest loveliness, presenting to the eye the 
richest commingling of bright and varied colors. 

Delightful odors are constantly being wafted upon the 
breeze. The forests, filled with the mocking bird, the 
colibri, the humming bird and the thrush, constantly put 
forth a joyful chorus. 

The sights and sounds all combine to fill the soul with 
visions of delight and enhance the perfection and glory 
of the creation. 

Strong, indeed, must be that unbelief which can 
here contemplate Nature in all her purity and glory and, 
unawed by the sublimity of this closely connected testi 
mony, question either the Divine origin or purpose of 
the beautiful firmament. 

Unlike most mountains, the Wichita can not properly 
be termed a range or chain. They can be correctly des 
ignated a collection or group, as many of the highest 
and most beautiful are detached and stand on a level 
plain " solitary and alone." 

They are mainly composed of granite, the huge blocks 
of which exhibit numerous shades of beautiful colors 
crimson, purple, yellow and green predominating. They 
are conical in shape, and seem to have but little resem 
blance to the soil upon which they are founded. They 
rise abruptly from a level surface so level and unob 
structed that it would be an easy matter for one to drive 
a carriage to any point of the circumference at the base 



380 THE INDIAN. 

and yet so steep and broken are the sides that it is 
only here and there that it is possible to ascend them. 
From the foot of almost every mountain pours a 
stream of limpid water of almost icy coldness. 



The Indian. 

If the character given to the Indian by James Feni- 
more Cooper and other novelists, as well as by the well 
meaning but mistaken philanthropists of a later day, 
were the true one ; if the Indian were the innocent and 
simple-minded being which he is represented to be 
more the creature of romance than reality, imbued only 
with a deep veneration for the works of Nature, freed 
from the passions and vices which must accompany a 
savage nature ; if, in other words, he possessed all the 
virtues which his admirers and writers of fiction ascribe 
to him and were free from all the vices which those best 
qualified to judge assign to him, he would be just the 
character to complete the picture which is presented by 
that section of the country which embraces the Wichita 
Mountains. 

Cooper, to whose writings more than to those of any 
0ther author are the people speaking the English lan 
guage indebted for a false and ill-judged estimate of the 



GLAMOR OF FICTION. 38 1 

Indian character, might well have laid the scenes of his 
fictitious stories in this beautiful and romantic country. 

It is to be regretted that the character of the Indian 
as described in Cooper's interesting novels is not the true 
one. It is not a pleasant task to dispel the glamor that 
he threw about the noble red man. 

But as, in emerging from childhood into the years of 
a maturer age, we are often compelled to cast aside our 
earlier illusions and replace them by beliefs less inviting 
but more real, so we, as a people, with opportunities 
enlarged and facilities for obtaining knowledge increased, 
have been forced by a multiplicity of causes to study and 
endeavor to comprehend thoroughly the character of the 
red man. 

So intimately has he become associated with the gov 
ernment as a ward of the Nation, and so prominent a 
place among the questions of national policy does the 
much-mooted " Indian question" occupy, that it be 
hooves us no longer to study this problem in works of 
fiction, but to deal with it as it exists in reality. 

Stripped of the beautiful romances with which we 
have been so long willing to envelop him, transferred 
from the inviting pages of the novelist to the localities 
where we are compelled to meet with him in his native 
village, on the war path and when raiding upon our 
frontier settlements and lines of travel the Indian for 
feits all claim to the appellation " noble red man." 



$82 IN EVERY SENSE A SAVAGE. 

We see him as he is, and, so far as all knowledge 
goes, as he ever has been a savage in every sense of 
the word. He is not worse, perhaps, than would be his 
white brother similarly born and bred, but is one whose 
cruel and ferocious nature far exceeds that of any wild 
beast of the desert. 

That this is true no one who has been brought into 
intimate contact with the wild tribes will deny. Perhaps 
there are some who, as members of peace commissions 
or as wandering agents of some benevolent society, may 
have visited these tribes or attended with them at coun 
cils held for some pacific purpose, and who, by passing 
through the villages of the Indians while at peace, may 
imagine their opportunities for judging of the Indian 
nature all that could be desired. 

But the Indian, while he can seldom be accused of 
indulging in a great variety of wardrobe, can be said to 
have a character capable of adapting itself to almost 
every occasion. 

He has one character perhaps his most serviceable 
one which he preserves carefully, and only airs it when 
making his appeal to the government or its agents for 
arms, ammunition and license to employ them. 

This character is invariably paraded, and often with 
telling effect, when the motive is a peaceful one. 

Prominent chiefs, invited to visit Washington, inva 
riably don this character, and in their ' ' talks " with the 



A SUBJECT FOR STUDY. 383 

" Great Father" and other less prominent personages 
they successfully contrive to exhibit but this one phase. 

Seeing them under these or similar circumstances 
only, it is not surprising that by many the Indian is 
looked upon as a simple-minded "son of Nature," desir 
ing nothing but the privilege of roaming and hunting 
over the vast and unsettled wilds of the West, inheriting 
and asserting but few native rights, and never trespass 
ing upon the rights of others. 

This view is equally erroneous with that other which 
regards the Indian as a creature possessing the human 
form but divested of all other attributes of humanity, 
and whose traits of character, habits, modes of life, dis 
position and savage customs disqualify him from the 
exercise of all rights and privileges, even those pertain 
ing to life itself. 

Taking him as we find him at peace or at war, at 
home or abroad, waiving all prejudices and laying aside 
all partiality we will discover in the Indian a subject 
for thoughtful study and painstaking investigation back 
through some centuries. 

In him we will find the representative of a race the 
origin of which is, and promises to be, a subject for ever 
wrapped in mystery; a race incapable of being judged 
by the rules or laws applicable to any other known race 
of men ; one between which and civilization there seems 
to have existed from time immemorial a determined and 



384 THE INDIAN SUMMED UP. 

unceasing warfare a hostility so deep seated and inbred 
with the Indian character that in the exceptional in 
stances where the modes and habits of civilization have 
bee-n reluctantly adopted such adoption has been at the 
sacrifice of power and influence as a tribe, and the more 
serious loss of health, vigor and courage as individuals. 



CATTLE AND RANCHING. 



CHAPTER II. 



GAINS IN CATTLE RANCHING HOW TO START IN THE 
BUSINESS THE STOCK COUNTRY THE RANGES THE 
RIGHTS OF SETTLERS THE DASHING COWBOY. 

Away from the haunts of men one seldom meets any 
of the upper and educated classes, and the pleasures of 
social and literary intercourse are for the time super 
seded. The life is sometimes pleasant and sometimes 
dreary ; there is plenty of exposure and not a little dis 
comfort ; there is generally good health, and consequent 
good temper ; there are all sorts and conditions of men, 
who meet you on perfect equality, whether better or 
worse than yourself ; your wants are few, as generally 
you have to satisfy them yourself. 

It is wonderful how you lop off necessities when they 
burden your time and occupations. 

You have entered on a new life in a new world. It 
(385) 



386 CATTLE AND RANCHING. 

is not all admirable, for good and evil are everywhere 
balanced. With freedom in forming new opinions, you 
are apt to grow disdainful of the small niceties of civili 
zation. The trammels of society are cast off, leading 
to a dangerous drop into rude habits and ill-restrained 
language. The impossibility of fulfilling all the refine 
ments of the toilet engenders a disregard of personal 
neatness. Much can not be helped ; some things might 
be avoided. 

Young men are naturally the more easily influenced 
by their surroundings, and fall too readily into the habits 
and tricks of speech most honored on the prairies. This 
is the main educational disadvantage to young men start 
ing alone in the West, for good breeding has to be nur 
tured by descent and association. Coarseness may be 
learned in a day. 



The Gain in Cattle Ranching. 

We have all heard of the gains in cattle ranching. 
AS not 30 per cent a common return ? 

The fact is pointed out that Maverick, one of the 
cattle kings, began with a single steer and a branding 
iron. Now his herds browse on a hundred hills. 

There is money in that. 

How can we do likewise ? The times for these mar 
vels of money getting are gone by. 



HOW TO START. 387 

After the war a vast number of unclaimed cattle were 
running loose. They were the spoil of whoever could 
rope them. Those who bought even ten years later got 
their herds at the very low average of $7 to $8 a head. 

If you have plenty of room and good feed, you may 
expect 80 to 90 per cent of calves to cows. If, at the 
same time, the all-round price advances to $22 or $24, 
the chances have been much in your favor. 

Now the expenses in a crowded country of searching 
out your cattle at the different round-ups and in parts of 
the country lying sixty miles from your range foot up 
such a total that with less than 5,000 head the stock 
owner's profit is far below the normal. 

Men still do start with small numbers, but they have 
first to seek a very secluded spot, and then must be con 
stantly riding around and driving the cattle back on the 
home range. This injures the cattle, there is great loss 
of labor in doing continually over again the same work, 
and the rancher is forced to lay in a stock of hay to feed 
his cattle in the Winter time, as he can not allow them 
to roam at liberty and shift for themselves. 



How to Start in the Cattle Business. 
There is still room, and whether you wish to amuse 
yourself, find occupation or try a new life there are open 
ings. The main point is to be careful and in no hurry; 
settle and wait. To be on the safe side, if you have 



388 THE TENDERFOOT'S DOOM. 

capital leave it at home. Learn the business you wish 
to follow by working at it with your own hands. Pay no 
premiums, but hire yourself out. If active and willing, 
you are worth your keep. At the end of two months, 
if he is a sensible man and meaning to get on, your em 
ployer will be glad to give you wages, for steady men are 
scarce. Many know their work, but few will do it, and 
still fewer are to be trusted out of sight. 

You will soon be able to save money a very little, 
no doubt, but enough to make you think of investing. 

This will set you to inquiring into prices and into the 
chances of a return. You will probably by one or two 
bad deals pick up experience, and will learn that saddest 
lesson a distrust of men. 

After a couple of years you may venture an inde 
pendent start. You can take up 16o and 320 acres at a 
very little expense, under the government land laws ; or, 
you may buy out some one who has pre-empted a claim 
suitable to your purposes. Your money will help you to 
stock it and buy farm implements. 

The tenderfoot who takes his dollars in his trouser 
pockets is a lost man. 

Every old settler with a poor farm, a worn-out wagon 
and horses, a valueless mine or property, will make a 
dead-set at the coin, and they are not easily shaken off. 
Their tricks are dark but not vain, and their victims are 
legion among those not wise in their generation, 



TBRRES MAUVAISES. $89 



The Stock Country. 

In Denver you are in the middle of the stock coun 
try. North, south, east and west cattle have been raised 
and are still running on the prairies where the grass has 
not been fed off. 

The prairies include all the unsettled parts. Thfcy 
are sometimes grass land, sometimes covered with sage 
and other brush, among which grass is found. The term 
takes in flat table lands, the slopes of mountains, and 
what are called bad lands, which are the wildest jumble 
of hills, ravines, small flats of excellent grass, and 
stretches of almost bare lava rocks. The name is derived 
from the French, who wrote on their maps : * ' Terres 
mauvaises a traverser." 

In the hurry of business the first two words only were 
translated, and consequently left a wrong impression, for 
these lands often afford excellent cattle ranges. The 
grass is rich, water is to be found in many deep ravines, 
and the broken ground gives goo^ shelter against storms. 

The Cattle Ranches* 

At the cattle ranches, where a half-dozen cowboys 
may have to spend the winter, fair-sized rooms are put 
up, the accommodations being increased and improved 



39O SETTLERS' RIGHTS. 

year by year. Bunks occupy one end of the room, a 

huge fire-place the other, from which the mound of hot 
ashes, topped by two enormous logs, fills the room with 
light and warmth. A large area of ground is fenced near 
the ranch, in which horses likely to be required are 
turned loose. The range lies outside this, its extent de 
pending on the cattle man's ideas, tempered by the opin 
ions of his near neighbors. 



Settlers' Rights. 

There are, of course, no absolute rights. The land 
is all government often even that which is fenced 
and there is little attempt to segregate the herds. Some 
of the Territories have passed laws acknowledging set 
tlers' rights on streams, or to pieces of land they have 
inclosed ; but this is contrary to State law, and latterly 
a circular was issued in California pointing this out, and 
distinctly laying down the law that others could enter on 
such land without trespass. 

Among stock raisers, however, there is much give and 
take. The first settlers naturally try to keep out new 
comers. They must end in accepting the inevitable 
that is, so long as there is grass cattle will crowd in. 

But the great enemy to stock is the plow. The farm 
ers are coming slowly but surely from the eastward, and 
parts of Kansas and Nebraska have gone over to tillage. 



THE DASHING COWBOY. 391 

Stock must give way and disappear into the mountains 
and rugged country. 



The Dashing Cowboy. 

Formerly the man who shouted the loudest, galloped 
hardest and was quickest in drawing his "gun" was 
considered the most dashing cowboy. 

In the days gone by if a cowboy, coming up on the 
Texas Trail, had failed to kill his man, he was held to 
have wasted his opportunities. 

But times are changing for the better. 

Now only in the South for instance, Arizona is the 
term cowboy equivalent to desperado. 



CHAPTER III. 

CATTLE ON THE RANGES CATTLE IN WINTER ADVAN- 
TANGES OF CATTLE RAISING OVER HORSE RAISING 
THE ROUND-UP " CUTTING OUT" THE COW PONIES 

BRANDING CALVES BRANDING CATTLE INCREASED 

VALUE OF CATTLE HAS INTRODUCED MORE CARE AND 
GENTLER HANDLING IN THEIR MANAGEMENT. 

While roaming on the range the less the cattle are 
interfered with the better, particularly in the Winter. 
In this half wild state they can take much better care of 
themselves and find shelter and food ; whereas, if they 
were herded that is, controlled in any way by men 
they would probably starve. 

The cows, which in cowboy language includes all 
sexes and sizes, split up into bunches and take possession 
of some small valley or slope where water is procurable 
at no great distance. The shallowest spring bubbling up 
through mud will satisfy a small lot, if they get it all to 
themselves a spring so small that, knowing it must exist 



CATTLE IN WINTER. 393 

from the presence of the cattle, you would scarcely find 
it unless for their tracks, and when you reach it there is 
nothing fit for you to drink, and most likely your horse 
will refuse the mixture of mud in alkaline water which 
pleases the cow. 

If water is scarce the cattle must make long tramps, 
and the country is then crossed by deeply trodden paths, 
which are an unerring guide to the thirsty horseman. 
The cattle come down these paths just before the sun 
gets hot, have a drink and then lie down till the evening, 
when they go off again to the pasture at some distance, 
and feed most part of the night. 



Cattle in Winter. 

In the beginning of Winter the cattle leave the high 
ground, and the appearance of a few hundred head in 
the valley which the day before was empty tells the tale 
of severe cold or snow storms in the mountains. 

They like the shelter of heavy timber, which they 
find along the banks of streams, and here at some rapid 
or at the tail of a beaver dam is their latest chance for 
getting water. They can not, like the horse, eat snow, 
nor does their instinct suggest to them to paw away that 
covering to reach the grass beneath. In fact, the cattle 
will sometimes attach themselves to a herd of horses* 
sustaining life by following in their footsteps. 



394 ADVANTAGES OF CATTLE RAISIN. 

When times are hard the cattle will subsist on grease 
wood and eat almost any thing, but until the young 
sprouts begin to shoot there is on the prairie little to find 
after the snow covers the ground. Bare cottonwood 
trees line the streams. On the bark of these trees horses 
will manage to keep alive, but the cattle are far less 
hardy than the horses. These will come through the 
exceptional Winters when 20 per cent of the cattle have 
been lost. 

The Advantages of Cattle Raising Over Horse 

Raising. 

In the matter of breeding cattle and horses, the for 
mer have some advantages. There is, and must always 
be, an increasing demand for beef, and in the disposal of 
your live stock there is a great convenience in being able 
to ship any number by a train load to Chicago. There 
they can be disposed of in a day. Horses must, gener 
ally, be sold in small lots. Besides, the losses by horse 
thieves, both red and white, are greater than from cattle 
thieves. 

The Indians often shoot a calf for food in Winter, 
being altogether easier to find and better to eat than are 
deer and buffalo. Some stockmen believe they lose a 
large number from the redskins, but these are decreasing 
in numbers every year, and are being restricted continu- 



THE ROUND-UP. 395 

ally to smaller reservations, in which they are more suc 
cessfully watched. 



The Round-Up. 

A round-up is the general arrangement among cattle 
men in a given district to work the cattle by a common 
establishment. Each owner sends one or more cowboys 
to represent his brand and to take charge of all animals 
belonging to his herd. 

The management is placed in the hands of an expe 
rienced foreman, and the ground to be covered is of a 
great extent, occupying the men from a couple of months 
to an entire season. 

The main plan is, each day, to drive the cattle out of 
all outlying valleys into some central level spot. From 
the mixed mass the different brands are separated, com 
mencing with the largest herd. This mode is a distinct 
advantage to the large owners, as the principal object of 
the general round-up is to get at the young calves. 

While these are being "cut out," as it is called, the 
cattle in the main bunch are churned up, so that calves 
get separated from their mothers ; and, as the only title 
to a calf is that it is following a cow with your brand, 
those who cut out last will naturally lose some which 
belong to them. 



"CUTTING OUT." 



" Mavericks." 

Any unbranded calf which is found not following a 
cow is called a "maverick." All such belong either to 
the man on whose range they have been found or are 
shared according to local custom. 



"Cutting Out." 

The process of cutting out a cow and calf is very 
pretty, if neatly done. One man can do it, but two men 
are seldom too many on the task. 

The cowboy rides through the gathering of cattle till 
he sees a cow and calf which belong to him. He follows 
these quietly, trying to shove them to the edge of the 
herd. As he gets them moving he quickens his pace, 
and when on the outside he will endeavor to push them 
straight out of the mass. But the cow is disinclined to 
leave her companions, and generally tries by running 
around to break back into the main bunch. This move 
the cowboy has to prevent by riding between the cow 
and her object. 

Cow, calf and horse are soon going their best, and 
the cowboy must be ready to turn as quickly as does his 
game. He must, however, be careful not to separate 
the young one, for should this happen his labor is lost. 



"CUTTING OUT." 397 

In that event he must let the cow rejoin the herd and 
recover her calf. 

Each batch of cows thus separated is kept a certain 
distance off say, 200 yards and is watched by a man 
to prevent them rejoining the main herd, or from mixing 
together. 

If the cowboy has been successful, the cow is soon 
blown, and, finding herself checked in doing what she 
wishes, will yield. Then, seeing another lot of cattle 
which she is not interrupted from joining, she will trot 
contentedly toward them, and, having her calf along 
side, will settle down quietly. 

This cutting out goes on all day long, until the whole 
herd is divided. It is hard work on the men, and par 
ticularly hard on the horses, which have to be changed 
two or three times during the day. The quick turning 
and stopping must shake their legs, and certainly bring 
on sore backs. Their mouths do not suffer. Riding 
with very severe bits, the cowboy has necessarily a light 
hand, and hardly uses the reins for turning. The horses 
know the work, and a touch on the neck brings them 
around at a pace which sends the beginner out of his 
saddle. Cowboy and pony should be trained together. 



39** THE COW PONIES. 



The Cow Ponies. 

The cow ponies are rather small animals, and half 
disappear under the big saddles of the cowboys, which 
often weigh forty pounds. 

The progenitor of the cow pony is the bronco, which 
came into this region with the cattle driven up from 
Texas. They have, however, been much improved in 
latter years. The biggest are by no means the best. A 
short and compact pony of about fourteen hands works 
more quickly than a larger animal. 

Some of them, with small and well shaped heads and 
bright eyes, are really comely animals. Their manes and 
coats are shaggy, showing coarse breeding, and their 
tempers are not to be trusted. Each boy, when out cow 
punching, rides from six to ten horses, using them in 
turns, and without the slightest compunction riding one 
horse fifty or sixty miles, of which a good deal may be 
fast work. 

After the day's duty he takes off the saddle and the 
bridle, and without further ado lets the horse loose. The 
pony, after a good roll, takes up the scent and rejoins 
the herd of horses. His turn for work will not come 
around again for several days. 

Of course, they get nothing to eat but the grass they 
pick up, and they are seldom shod. Their half-wild 



BRANDING CALVES. 399 

origin is attested by the majority of duns and sorrels. 
The heavy saddles are believed to be a benefit to the 
horse, as on account of their size and solidity they dis 
tribute the weight of the rider and his kit over a larger 
portion of the animal's back. There is truth in this, and 
for long journeys probably the ease of the big saddle 
more than compensates for the extra weight. But in 
roping cattle the heavy saddle is an absolute necessity. 
There are often two girths. These must be well tight 
ened, and even then the jerks try the horses severely. 
The end of the rope is held fast by a turn around the 
horn, which stands six inches above the pommel. Often 
the rider has to hang heavily over the farther side to pre 
vent the chance of the whole saddle being turned round. 
The big spurs do not hurt the horses. To make them 
effective at all the cowboy reaches his heels forward and 
spurs his horse in the shoulder. 



Branding Calves. 

If there is still time, it is best to brand all the calves 
the same day, as, after that operation, the cattle may 
often be turned loose to run on the same range in which 
they were caught. But if the outfit to which they belong 
has its principal range at some distance, the batch must 
be taken off and driven and watched until they arrive on 
their own range. It is not absolutely necessary to have 



4OO BRANDING CALVES. 

a corral to brand in, but if you can run your bunch into 
one it saves trouble. The corral is roughly and strongly 
made of posts and rails, about five feet high. It should 
be large enough to hold your bunch of cattle and leave 
room for working. Just outside a fire is lit, and one man 
keeps the brands hot, which he passes through the rails 
as they are called for. In a small corral one man on 
horseback is enough inside, and he can be dispensed with 
unless there are large calves to handle. A man, armed 
with a rope lasso, catches a calf by throwing it over his 
head. If a little fellow, the calf is dragged to one side, 
caught and thrown down, cut and branded in a very 
short time. But a calf of two or three months even is 
not always easily managed. The noose having been 
tightened on his neck, the end of the rope is then passed 
around one of the rails. The calf gallops up and down 
the arena at the fullest length of his tether, jumping and 
bellowing as if he knew his end was coming. By slow 
degrees the rope is overhauled, and the length which 
gives the calf play is shortened. One of the men will 
then go up to it, catching it by the rope around the neck 
in one hand, and, passing his hand over its back, by the 
loose skin on its flank near the stifle, with the other. 

The more the calf jumps the better, and if he is slow 
and stupid he will get a shake to arouse him. There 
fore, taking the time by the calf, the man seizes the 
opportunity of one of his prances, puts a knee under him 



BRANDING CALVES. 4OI 

to turn his body over, and then lets him drop to the 
ground on his side. Another man catches hold of a hind 
leg, which is stretched out to its full length. The first 
man sits near the calf's head, with one knee on the neck, 
and doubles up one fore foot. 

The calves generally lie quietly, and do not bellow, 
even when they feel the hot iron. But a few make up 
for the silent ones by roaring their best. 

A good -sized calf gives a lot of trouble. After the 
rope around the neck has been drawn up, another noose 
is thrown to catch one of the hind legs, which should be 
the one not on the side to be branded. This rope is also 
passed around a rail, and is hauled tight till the animal 
is well extended. Somebody takes hold of his tail, and 
with a strong jerk throws him onto his side. A hitch is 
taken wilh the same rope around his other hind foot and 
the noose is loosened around his throat, but the man 
leans his best on the calf's neck and holds his fore leg 
tightly. He must look out for the brute's head, as the 
calf throws it about, and if it should strike the man's 
thigh instead of the ground, as it is very liable to do, he 
will receive a bruise from the young horns which he will 
not have the chance of forgetting for a good many days. 

The brand should not be red hot, and when applied 
to the hide should be pressed only just sufficiently to keep 
it in one place. The brand, if properly done, shows by 
a pink color that it has bitten into the skin, through the 



4O2 BRANDING CALVES. 

hair. Some of the stock, in the early Spring, have very 
shaggy coats, and a brand applied only so long to their 
hide as would answer in most cases would leave a bad 
mark which would hardly show next Winter. 

The calf, when finished with, generally gets up qui 
etly, so soon as it feels the rope loosen, and rejoins the 
others. The cows seldom interfere to protect their 
progeny, but when you do find one on the war path she 
makes the ring lively, and all hands are prepared, at 
short notice, to nimbly climb the fence or jump over. 

To keep steadily at catching, throwing and branding 
is hard work. The sun is hot, the corral is full of dust 
from the cattle running round and round, and your clean 
suit is spoiled with the blood and dirt of the operations. 
You may have, besides, a tumble yourself when throw 
ing a calf. The process is still worse if rain has fallen, 
and the cattle have probably, for want of time the day 
they were corralled, been shut up through the night. As 
they run round and round to avoid the man they see 
swinging his lasso, the whole area is churned into mud. 
The animals dragged up get covered with filth, which is 
passed on to the men at work. 

There is a certain excitement about the business. 
The cowboys will work at it very hard and through long 
hours. The boss is a great sight, and never tires, run 
ning backward and forward between the fire and the 
struggling calves. Each time he slaps on the brand he 



BRANDING CATTLE. 4OJ 

seals a bit of property worth $10 to $15. He would Hke 
to work at this all day long. If the corral is very large 
the ropes are thrown by a man on horseback. So soon 
as a calf is caught he takes a turn with the end of the 
rope around the horn of his saddle, and the horse drags 
the animal to the right spot. 

A cow accustomed to men on horseback will some 
times run after her calf with her nose stretched down 
toward it no doubt inquiring the nature of its trouble, 
with probably a "What can I do for you?" But when 
she nears the men on foot the cow stops, and leaves the 
calf to its fate. 

If branding is done in the open, one man holds the 
bunch together, and the lassoist picks out the unbranded 
calves and drags them off to the fire. 



Branding Cattle. 

If large cattle have to be branded you can not expect 
to do any thing without horses. The lasso should be 
thrown over the horns only. Three or four men are 
required to hold the animal after it is down. When it 
comes to an old bull, and he declines to be maltreated, 
he has his own way. A couple of ropes thrown over his 
horns and tied to a post he snaps like a pack thread. A 
brand can be put on him by a man jn horseback with a 



BRANDING CATTLE. 

hot iron in his hand, following the bull into the thick of 
the herd. Jammed in the corner of the corral, the bull 
ran move but slowly, and there is time to press the 
brand, and to leave a mark. Throwing the big cattle 
does them no good. For all purposes it would be a bet 
ter plan to arrange the corrals with pens and shoots for 
both separating the different brands and for doing the 
necessary cutting, branding, etc. 

One man should be able to catch, throw and brand a 
cow on the plain, but even with two or three men the 
object is not always accomplished very speedily. Should 
one man dismount, the enraged cow makes for him. If 
the rope is held tight there is no danger outside the ring, 
but sometimes the'rope breaks, or in the charging and 
shifting the man on foot may get between the animal 
and the horse. The cow will make a rush, and the man 
is lucky if he can escape a tumble and a kick. 

When the cattle in one place have been settled with, 
the round-up moves on. The camp is broken up, the 
wagons packed, and a string of four-horse teams makes 
a start. 

The cowboys, with their schaps that is, leather 
leggings and flopping, wide-brimmed hats are trooping 
off in different directions, puffing their cigarets and dis 
cussing the merits of their mounts. 

On both sides moving clouds of dust half conceal a 
mob of trotting horses, which are the spare animals that 



THE COYOTE'S GLEANING. 40$ 

are being taken along to the next halting station, where 
similar scenes are again enacted. 

Soon the place which was lively with bustle is left 
deserted, marked only by the grass trampled down and 
the heaps of dirt around the old camp. 

The coyote will sneak in and have his pickings on the 
offal, scraps of leather and ends of lariat. Then all will 
be quiet until the Autumn round-up, or even until the 
nxt Spring. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON THE TRAIL NIGHT WATCHING SHIPPING BY RAIL-- 
JOURNEY TO CHICAGO. 

After the calves, the fat cattle have to be separated 
from the herd and driven off in the direction of the rail 
way. This drive may occupy one or two months, and it 
must be done with deliberation and quietness. 

The seed-bearing grasses are very fattening, and the 
tendency of all the cattle is to grow rounder and sleeker 
till late in the Autumn. This condition is natural and 
very necessary to enable them to live through the Win 
ter. The steers, mostly three and four years old, having 
been collected into a band, are moved slowly from day 
to day, care being taken that they cross plenty of grass 
and water. 

At first they are wild, and even the men on horseback 
have to hold back a little distance* showing themselves 



ON THE TRAIL. 47 

just enough to keep the herd headed in the right direc 
tion. All galloping and shouting are discouraged, for 
nothing must be allowed to startle the steers. A man on 
foot would possibly drive the whole herd off into a mad 
stampede. 

A few old bulls that are past work are often included 
in the bunch of fat cattle. A low price per pound is 
paid for them in Chicago, but they weigh heavily. On 
the trail they are useful as setting an example of steadi 
ness. If the steers are kindly handled and never over 
driven being young, fat and frisky they are ready to 
romp. Should they stampede, the bulls heavy and old 
and not easily scared hang back and look about for the 
cause of the run. They will stop, and the steers near 
them will follow suit. 

The cattle of the northern territories have the char 
acter of being easi 1 ]' stampeded, but they seldom run 
far. On the other hand, the Texan cattle go for miles. 

One or two men must be continually in advance to 
drive off the range cattle, which might otherwise mix 
themselves with the steers, and give much trouble in 
cutting them out. 

On the actual journey the herd is encouraged to 
string out. The leaders find their place every day, and 
it is only necessary to keep them along the right trail. 
A boy on either side and two at the end to work up the 
stragglers are sufficient, though the line may be over a 



40S NIGHT WATCHING. 

half-mile long. When halted to feed, the herd should 
be surrounded, half the men doing this work in turns, 
the other half getting dinner if in luck's way. But as 
it is necessary, both for food and to avoid disturbance, 
to take the cattle by the most unfrequented routes, the 
wagon may have ten miles to go around in addition to 
the march of the herd. In these cases breakfast must 
last until supper time, except the snack which the boys 
carry with them. 

Night Watching. 

It is important that the herd should never be left un- 
watched. When at night it is thought time, they are 
driven onto a bedding ground and bunched up. So soon 
as they have steadied down, one or two men are left on 
watch, whose duty it is to ride round and round the herd 
and prevent any straying. If the weather is not too 
cold, the night watch not too long and the cattle behave 
well, this is not disagreeable work. 

The cool air is refreshing after the long day's heat 
and glare. You walk your horse at a little distance from 
the cows, with an occasional short scamper after some 
rebels. You must, however, keep moving, and show 
yourself constantly on all sides. 

To hear the human voice seems to quiet the cattle, 
and the man on watch will often sing or call quietly. 



NIGHT WATCHING. 

One by one the animals lie down. You hear a great 
puff, as if all the wind was let out of a big air cushion. 
It is a steer settling down onto his side. More puffs 
the shadows sink low and at last there is none to be 
seen standing. 

The quiet of all these huge animals is impressive, 
and seems in keeping with the sleeping earth and calm 
sky. The voices of the men in camp hardly reach you. 
A flicker from the fire catches the higher part of the 
wagon, and just marks its position. 

Provided nothing extraneous disturbs the peace, the 
cattle will lie still up to n or 12 o'clock at night, while 
you circle in the darkness around the black patch on the 
ground, keeping a sharp lookout for any shadowy object 
sneaking off in the gloom, and often riding to investigate 
a suspicious object, which turns out to be only a bush. 

Before midnight, under some special ordinance of 
Nature, the cows are restless and get on their feet. A 
few will try to feed out. These you must drive back 
again. But before that time, if holding the first watch, 
you have probably been relieved, and are back in your 
bed. Each man has a horse saddled and picketed near 
the camp all night, for if any thing frightens the herd or 
a storm comes on, all hands must turn out and mount. 
If the cattle are really away, you must be after them 
without delay, and so soon as you can stop them bring 
them back to camp provided, always, you know where 



4IO SHIPPING BY RAIL. 

it is. Any one left behind will make a good bonfire to 
direct the boys, but a dark night with rain prevents your 
seeing far, and the camp has often been chosen in a shel 
tered spot, which makes it more difficult to discern the 
blaze. The main thing is to keep the herd together, 
whether still running or halted. 

If matters have been well managed, and no serious 
disturbances have occurred, the herd makes up and sets 
out at daylight. You string them out along the trail, 
and take a count, or see that all the bulls and other ani 
mals with distinguishing marks show up present at the 
roll-call, and move off on another day's expedition. 



Shipping by Rail. 

When approaching the railway station at which the 
steers are to be shipped, three or four days' notice will 
secure you a train. At the appointed time the herd is 
driven into the railway stock yard. 

This is a large inclosure, with passages communicat 
ing with pens which hold just the number you can cram 
into a car. The pens are placed at exactly the distance 
apart of the length of a car. 

When the business of loading is commenced the pens 
are filled. The steers are driven up a chute and enter 
the cars. The last one or two have to be prodded and 
forced to find themselves room. They should then all be 



SHIPPING BY RAIL. 411 

fairly distributed throughout, their haads up and lgs 
clear of each other. A cow hanging its head will get its 
horns entangled in some other's hind leg, and when the 
head is lifted the leg must come too. A steer may often 
be seen caught by a hind foot over a rail five feet above 
the floor. This has happened in trying to kick itself free 
from the horns of a brother in difficulty, and until the 
foot was pushed out there it must have remained. 

When all are properly disposed the bar is dropped, 
the door shut, and the next pen is emptied into its car. 
The top of the palisade of the stock yard is planked, so 
that you can walk all around and look down onto the 
cattle. When the last ones have been cooped in, the 
bell rings and the train starts. 

On well arranged lines the cattle trains are run as 
fast as any, and allowed to take precedence of most 
other traffic, but every day the train must halt, and the 
cattle be taken out for several hours to feed and drink. 

At most large stations there are cattle pens with 
water running through them, and deep mangers all filled 
with hay. At these cattle get a chance to eat and slake 
their thirst. 

On first getting out of their cars they are more dis 
posed to lie down than to do any thing else, for while 
traveling they are so crowded that they get little rest. 
As for lying down in the car, that would never do, and 
during any halt of the train the boys accompanying the 



412 SHIPPING BY RAIL. 

herd must take a look around, and, with their poles, 
prod any cow that is resting, and force it to get up. This 
is done in their best interests, for any animal once down 
can not rise, and is almost sure to be trampled to death, 
missing the ultimate glory of becoming beef. The car 
casses of those that die in transit are thrown out at 
sidings and are eaten by hogs. 

The work of loading and unloading along the journey 
is very expeditious. The new experience of being cooped 
up and shaken, or some instinct of their impending fate, 
has sobered the steers. They are no longer the sleek, 
shining, frisky inhabitants of the prairie. Bones begin 
to show ; their hides are dirty from close quarters and 
lying down in pens. They can not eat food enough in 
the short time at their disposal, so their sides flatten and 
they walk in and out of their cars with the utmost docil 
ity and dejection. 

Twenty minutes' time is sufficient to load up a train 
of 200 or 300 beasts. Each day of a journey the right 
number files into the car with less squeezing. 

Delays are annoying to the owner, who hates to see 
his cattle shrinking. Every pound of flesh lost is money 
out of pocket, but so long as Chicago is the main market 
for cattle they must travel six or seven days by rail from 
the railway point nearest to their range. 



EN ROUTE TO THE ABATTOIR. 4IJ 



The Journey to Chicago. 

The railway journey is as uncomfortable as it can be 
to the men accompanying the herd. The only accom 
modation is the caboose, which is often quite crowded by 
railway working people and travelers by favor of the 
conductor. The employes of the railway are often dis 
obliging, and the mere fact of the cowboys being of sec 
ondary consideration to their charges makes the trip a 
disagreeable one. 

The night is no time for sleep. At each halt you 
must jump out one man with a lantern, both with 
goads walk along the rough ballast, and peer into each 
car to discover a cow which requires stirring up. Having 
found an offender you poke her, prod her, twist her tail, 
and do your utmost to make her rise. In the midst of 
your efforts the bell rings, and the train starts. You 
climb up the side of the car onto the roof, and make the 
best of your way back along the top of the train to the 
rear car. This little trip in the dark is not one to enjoy. 
There may be twenty cars, each forty feet long. Before 
you have crossed two or three the train is going at full 
speed. Only one man has a lantern. You are incom 
moded by a heavy overcoat, as the air at night is keen. 
The step from car to car requires no more than a slight 
spring, but it is dark, or, probably worse, the one lantern 



414 UNION STOCK YARDS. 

is bothering your eyes. The rush through the air makes 
you unsteady ; no doubt your nerves are making your 
knees feel weak. It is a hard alternative to get back to 
the guard's caboose or to sit down in the cold on the top 
of the train until you reach a halting place. Having 
tried both, it seems that neither can be cheerfully recom 
mended. If you do not climb onto the roof you must 
take your chance of jumping onto the step of the last 
car as it goes by. This would be the reasonable way if 
you were allowed to do it, but as the driver does not care 
to look back you must consider whether you are suffi 
ciently an acrobat to rejoin. 

Having reached Chicago, there is an end of the busi 
ness. The cattle are turned into the big stock yards and 
sold on commission. 

To visit these stock yards and witness slaughtering 
there are an important part of the sight-seer's orthodox 
duties in Chicago, and need not be mentioned here. 



CHAPTER V. 

QUEENS OF THE RANCH BRIGHT WOMEN WHO MAKE 
STOCK RAISING PAY. 

Of the women who have had the courage to make a 
bold departure for themselves some few have been suc 
cessful. Conspicuous among the rich women of the 
country is Mrs. Bishop Hiff Warren, who is credited with 
being the wealthiest woman in Colorado. She is worth 
$lo, 000,000, and has made it on cattle, with no other 
adviser than her own wit. 

Another cattle queen, who is said to have amassed 
about $l,ooo,ooo, is Mrs. Rogers, the wife of a minister 
in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her husband ministers to the 
spiritual wants of a widely scattered congregation, but 
Mrs. Rogers, whose talents are of the business order, 
went into stock raising on a small scale, experimentally, 
some years back. She gave her personal attention to the 
business from the start, leaving very little for the over- 

U*s> 



416 QUEENS OF THE RANCH, 

seer. She bought for herself, sold for herself, knew how 
her cattle were fed, learned to be a fearless rider, and 
was over the range about as frequently as the cowboys 
she employed, and more carefully. She enlarged her 
enterprises every season, and her business is still growing 
today. 

Two rich widows, who have inherited ranches from 
their husbands, are Mrs. Massey of Colorado and Mrs. 
Mary Easterly of Nevada. Mrs. Massey went to Colo 
rado as agent for a life insurance company, married a 
man with 150,000 head of cattle, and it is said she now 
manages them quite as well as he did. Mrs. Easterly 
has not a large herd, but her stock is of a fine grade, 
and she gets good prices for it. She is worth, proba 
bly, $300,000. 

Mrs. Iliff, widow of John Iliff, a cattle king, and 
Mrs. Meredith, widow of Gen. Meredith of Illinois, are 
excellent business worner^, and making money on stock. 

Of unmarried women, there are Clara Dempsey of 
Nevada and Ellen Callahan of newspaper fame the 
one worth $20,000 and the other less which they have 
earned from the initial dollar, and are young women to 
have made so fair a start in the world. 

The Marquise de Mores enjoys life on the ranch with 
her husband. She is a good shot and fine huntswoman. 

The number of women who have gone West and 
made money is large, and it grows every year. 



CHAPTER VI. 

CALIFORNIA AS A CATTLE RAISING STATE LAWS- -CON 
CERNING WATER RIGHTS. 

California, after having been one of the best ranges 
for stock, is by degrees turning everywhere, except in 
the mountains, into an agricultural State. 

This of necessity follows from the greater profits of 
husbandry and the diminishing profits of cattle farming 
to men of small capital. So soon as the soil becomes 
valuable and the choicer portions are taken up by indi 
viduals, the cattle are no longer free to roam over th 
country, costing nothing for food. They must be looked 
after and herded, hay must be put up for their suste 
nance in Winter, and a few days in the Spring and 
Autumn must be given up by the farmer. His boys are 
no longer sufficient for guarding his interests, nor for 
keeping track of his property, which are driven by the 
inclosing of the former pasture grounds to wander far< 
t'faer afislcL 



41 S HALCYON DAYS FLOWN. 

In the golden days of old, which in California are 
days of memory and not of tradition, the quantity of 
land actually purchased or taken up, whether under the 
laws or merely held by a sort of squatter right, would be 
limited to an occasional ranch along the fertile valleys of 
the big rivers and to inclosures of meadows where the 
natural dampness of the soil or primitive irrigation gave 
large quantities of hay. 

The owners would let their horses and cattle run at 
perfect liberty to feed themselves, and would only round 
them up when it was desirable to brand the young calves 
and colts or to pick out horses or fat steers for the pur 
pose of sending them to market. 

There are still a few wide ranges, the property of 
companies or of individual millionaires. The land is 
owned, however, and if not fenced is constantly ridden 
over by the boys, who drive off outside cattle and carry 
on a perpetual warfare with the Basque and Portuguese 
swners of bands of sheep which have to traverse the 
ranges on their way to the mountains or to the railroad. 

Those halcyon days of the California stock raiser can 
never return. 

Land has grown exceedingly in value. Water taken 
out of the rivers is led by large canals over a wide tract 
of country. Emigrants have crowded in, some purchas 
ing small lots of twenty-five to forty acres at high prices 
from the pioneer farmers and far-seeing land speculators, 



CALIFORNIA LAWS. 419 

who by ingenious manipulation of the land laws, backed 
by the power of ready money, succeeded in acquiring 
considerable tracts at an early date. 



California Laws. 

So long as a State is but sparsely settled, the stock 
interest is sufficiently strong to make laws favoring that 
industry ; but when the numbers of farmers have in 
creased the law making, following the balance of votes, 
is taken into the new hands, and one of their first acts 
is naturally in the direction of safeguarding their pock 
ets. Whereas, before the land owner had to protect his 
crop from the roaming herds, subsequently the stock 
raiser is held responsible for any damage caused by his 
cattle, and therefore has to look to this. Practically, it 
is found convenient by the farmers to protect themselves, 
and, either in combination or singly, they soon begin to 
inclose the land where the more valuable crops are to be 
grown, and in the older settled districts fencing is the 
order of the day. The cattle are thus shut out of the 
water, and they lose the protection of the copses and 
fringes of trees which border the valley streams. They 
leave the bottoms and range far back in the mountains, 
where they find small springs, and put up with the shel 
ter of broken ground. 

Formerly timber was cheap, and it was mostly used 



42O ALL AGAINST THE STRAN6ER. 

for fencing, but now barbed wire of different patterns is 
more common. 

The laws which concern stock, though they differ in 
the. various States and Territories, have been in each 
case made by people who know exactly what they want. 
From the local standpoint they are excellent that is, 
they suit the majority and benefit the framers. This, no 
doubt, appears the best ends of justice to men struggling 
for wealth in a primitive society. The basis of equity 
may be neglected. Each must look after his own inter 
ests, and if a man does not like the laws he can move. 

If the stock owners are in power, they say to the 
small rancher: "Fence your fields." If the farmers 
preponderate, they turn on the stockman and say : 
" Herd your cattle." Meanwhile all combine against the 
stranger within their bounds. 

Laws are useful to those who command the market, 
and who can thereby profit themselves or frustrate the 
commercial competition of outsiders. At least, such is 
the hearsay evidence of the inhabitants and one of the 
leading topics of their newspapers. It is a common 
saying that the rich man may secure a verdict. 

With all this fencing and irrigation the lawyers in 
California have their hands full of work, with a harvest 
which lasts all the year round. 



LAW FAVORS THE LONG PURSE. 421 

Water Rights. 

The ranchers living farther down a river find the vol 
ume of water on which their crops and stock depend 
gradually diminishing as the upper reaches are settled 
and new canals are laid out. Suddenly, in some par 
ticularly dry year, there is no water at all in the lower 
channel of the river, and the crops suffer and the cattle 

must be driven to the hills. 
A 

In the old days the injured party was apt to set out 
with his shotgun and argue the matter in person. Now 
the majesty of the law favors the long purse, and the 
man who wins his case recovers just enough to pay his 
lawyer. 

There is no more fruitful source of litigation than 
water rights, and in purchasing land the buyer must be 
extremely careful to know that his title to water, and to 
a fixed quantity thereof, is undoubted ; otherwise, he 
may be called upon by his neighbors to join in a lawsuit 
to protect their common rights, or perhaps find that he 
has bought the privilege to fight single-handed a large 
owner who has strong influence in the courts and is pre 
pared to appeal as a pure matter of business. 



CHAPTER VII. 

SHOWING PROFITS ON CATTLE RAISING IN TEXAS, AS THE 
BUSINESS WAS FORMERLY CONDUCTED. 

As the cattle business was conducted many years ago 
the cost of raising cattle was but a trifle. 

To start in business, it was only necessary to have a 
good pony and a couple of men experienced with the 
lasso to catch mavericks and brand them, the cost being 
about 50 cents per head. 

These cattle would run at large, feeding on govern 
ment pastures, and would be rounded but once a year. 
The owner then branded all calves following the cows. 
This brand was registered at the county seat, and all the 
cattle bearing it were recognized property of the owner 
of the brand. 

The natural increase of stock is so great that in a few 
years a daring and adventurous man would have a large 

(4*4 



PROFITS IN CATTLE RAISING. 

herd arising from the capital shown in the cost of the 
brand and the wages of a few men. 

In after years the Eastern capitalists began to em 
bark in the cattle business. They bought these registered 
brands, figuring five head of cattle to every calf branded 
at the last round-up. The price usually paid for this 
stock averaged $10 per head, so $9. 50 per head profit 
was realized. Some of these herds had increased to 
50,000 head. 

Many of the cattle kings of Texas started in this 
way, and still hold their stock, and are now the million 
aires of Texas. 

But the days for starting in the cattle business in this 
simple fashion are now past. 

The Eastern capitalist, though termed ' ' tenderfoot " 
in this section, is very wary of how he invests, and pre 
fers to see the cattle rounded up and counted before he 
parts with his money. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



THE PROFITS ON CATTLE RAISING AS THE BUSINESS IS 
AT PRESENT CONDUCTED. 

The cost of raising cattle at the present time is more 
than in olden times. More attention is given to provid 
ing them with shelter in the Winter months and furnish 
ing them with hay. 

Yet the stock matures better and is of more value 
because of this care and attention, so the stockman is 
fully compensated in the additional price that his stock 
will bring in the markets. The average cost of raising 
three-year-old cattle in large numbers is about $4.50 per 
head. This stock may be marketed in Chicago at an 
additional cost of $6 per head, making the cost, laid 
down in Chicago, $10.50 per head. 

The average weight of Texas cattle sold on the Chi- 

(424) 



PROFITS IN CATTLE RAISING. 425 

cago market is about 900 pounds, and the average price 
is about $3 per hundred, leaving a net profit to ranch 
men of $16. 50 per head. 

Another way of making money in the cattle business 
by those who are familiar with the " ropes" and market 
in Chicago is to purchase droves of fat cattle from the 
ranchmen and ship to Chicago. One who understands 
his business and is a judge of stock may make on a fair 
market in Chicago $6 per head in this way. 

The popular and surest way of succeeding in the cat 
tle business is to locate a ranch near a good water right 
and start in the business yourself. For instance, one may 
purchase loo cows, and the increase from this stock in 
ten years would amount to 2, 500 head. This stock could 
all be marketed in Chicago in thirteen years. It wil/ 
cost the ranchman $4 per head there on the ranch, oi 
$lO,ooo. It will cost him $6 per head to ship to the 
Chicago market, allowing 3 per cent for loss, which will 
make the gross cost to him, laid down in Chicago. $lo 
per head, or $25,000 for the bunch of 2,500. 

These cattle would bring, at the present low rates in 
Chicago, $3 per hundred, or $2 7 per head, making, after 
deducting cost and expense, a grand total of $67, 500. 
The ranchman's net profit would be $42, 500. 

These figures show what can be done in ten years, 
with a start of only loo head of cattle. The ranchman 
will have, in addition to this as it will require thirteen 



426 AVERAGE PROSPECTS. 

years to market the same the increase of the last three 
years. 

These figures are based on the present depressed con 
dition of the cattle markets of the world, which is hot 
likely to continue always. 

A war of magnitude in Europe would increase prices 
of stock, and would have its effect on stock and beef 
sooner than on any other commodity, with the possible 
exception of pork. 

In that case the value of these cattle would be not 
less than 50 per cent greater than estimated. 

It is proper in any business to consider the average 
prospects for and against the chances of success. 

Besides, the ratio of increase of the world's popula 
tion is greater than the increase of cattle, as pasturage 
is growing less by reason of the plow. All these causes 
will tend ultimately to advance the price of beef and 
improve the chances of success. 



CHAPTER IX. 

ADVICE TO COWBOYS WAGES PAID TO THEM AND THEIR 
NECESSARY EXPENSES OF OUTFIT. 

Wages received on The Plains in the capacity of a 
cowboy vary from $15 to $60 per month, according to 
experience and the section of country in which employ 
ment is sought. 

The farther North you go the better the wages, but 
the expense of living is greater, as the clothing must be 
heavier, and other expenses are greater than they are in 
the Southern country. 

Formerly it was the habit of the cowboy to spend 
from $300 to $500 in an outfit for himself. For exam 
ple, a $loo saddle, a $75 revolver, a $25 silver-mounted 
hat, expensive belts and sometimes as much as $25 for 

a horse. 

(427) 



428 ADVICE TO COWBOYS. 

But the cowboy has learned that it is better for him 
to save his money, and start with an outfit costing not 
to exceed $loo, never forgetting . that part of this money 
should be expended for a good revolver, as this weapon 
certainly commands respect on The Plains. 

If you are industrious and watchful of the interests 
of the man for whom you are working, you will soon be 
getting better wages and be given an opportunity of in 
vesting your savings in cattle. 

The owner of the drove will allow your cattle to run 
with his. Possibly he may charge you $1 per head per 
annum for this privilege. 

At the low prices for which cattle can be purchased, 
if you pave your wages and do not spend your money for 
whisky, gambling or sprees of any kind, you will soon 
have quite a herd of cattle of your own. 

In a few years, if you maintain your habits of sobri' 
ety, economy and thrift, you will have a competence. 



SHEEP. 



CHAPTER X. 



JHEEP DRIVING SPANISH MERINOS PROCURE CERTIFI 
CATE FOR TAXES THE OUTFIT TAKING THE HORSES 
THROUGH MOUNTAINS HIRING DRIVERS. 

Texas has lately been a good outlet for some of the 
surplus stock of California. Young sheep have been 
bought and sent by rail half way, and afterward driven 
into that State. 

For many years previously large bands have left both 
the northern and southern parts of California for the 
newly settled States of Colorado, Wyoming and Mon 
tana. The numbers run up to many hundreds of thou 
sands each year. 

The bands start from every county, but generally 
cross the Sierra Nevada over three main passes. The 
pass north of the Central Pacific Railway is the outlet 

(429) 



43O SHEEP DRIVING. 

for sheep from the Sacramento Valley. Southeast of 
San Francisco the sheep cross a little to the north of the 
Yosemite. Those from the direction of Los Angeles 
torn the lower end of the range, and, taking a north 
ward direction, subsequently join the second route. The 
second trail joins the first near the head waters of the 
HumboMt River. From here the trail crosses a corner 
of Idaho and Utah, and then splits. One road leads 
north into the western portion of Montana and the other 
goes east into Wyoming and Colorado. 

If rain does not fall, the sparse grazing to be picked 
up in ordinary years along the road, on which animals 
must depend while traveling, has totally disappeared 
after the passage of a few herds. There is naught but 
dust, under which sheep for a time will continue to find 
scraps and pickings, though not a blade is observable to 
the human eye. This, of course, does not last long. 
To buy sheep in such a season is a mere lottery. Rain 
may fall, and then your transaction turns up trumps. 
Rain may hold off, and then your sheep, unless singu 
larly well managed, will weaken. Once they begin dying, 
they depart by hundreds. 

Spanish Merinos. 

The better bred sheep have been mostly improved 
with Spanish merinos, They are small sized sheep, but 



CERTIFICATE FOR TAXES. 43 1 

carry a heavy fleece. They are thought more hardy than 
French merinos and are close feeders, finding something 
to eat on the most barren looking plains. 

Certificate for Taxes. 

Before starting, have the man of whom you purchase 
procure two certificates that the taxes for the year have 
been paid on them. These certificates should come from 
the county office. They are the most informal docu 
ments, merely stating that Mr. John Doe or Richard 
Roe has paid his taxes for the current year. 

Nothing is added to say that the sheep taxed are the 
same which are now your property, or that they bore a 
particular mark. Often they are not dated. 

I will, however, speak well of them, for I was once 
called on to show my tax receipts, and after some very 
proper objections to the informality of the documents 
they were allowed to pass. 

People moving from one neighborhood to another 
should carry their tax receipts along with them, as they 
are liable to be stopped, wherever there is a collector, 
and asked to show cause why they should not pay the 
county taxes on the value of their horses, wagon, and 
outfit, and also something in the shape of poll tax upon 
each individual for the construction and improvement of 
roads throughout that particular county. 



432 FLIMSY WAGONS RECKLESS DRIVERS. 



The Outfit. 

Besides the sheep, it is necessary to get an outfit. 
This ordinarily consists of a wagon and pair of horses, 
two riding ponies, cooking and eating utensils, saddles, 
harness, a few tools and a stock of food to start with. 

When the boys shall have thrown their bedding and 
bags in the wagon, the whole will make a solid load for 
the team. 

The wagons all over the West are imported. They 
are very much alike, regardless of the makers, and vary 
mainly in diameter of wheels and size of axles. The 
driver's seat has a pair of springs and hooks onto the 
sides of the wagon box. The body is painted green and 
the wheels and working parts red. 

You will see them in dozens at most railway stations, 
lying in parts. , They are quickly put together. 

There is a large demand for these wagons. They are 
much lighter than the ordinary English farm wagon, but 
they are weak and do not last. Their early break-down 
is due to the hastily dried wood of which they are made. 
The usage they receive is rough. They are frequently 
loaded far beyond the maximum which even the makers 
will guarantee, and are rattled along with four horses by 
a reckless young fellow, who cares not for his employer'? 



THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS. 433 

property nor his own neck, over a nominal road full of 
ruts, washouts and boulders. 

But our lad has driven from the time he could hold 
the reins, and he is at home on the box. Perched up 
there, with one foot dangling over the side and resting 
on the handle of the brake, he sends the team along. 

The wagon leaps and swings and sidles, steered as 
well as may be past the big boulders and then checked 
through the washouts by a heavy pressure on the brake. 

The journey is lively, and the driver has quite a time 
in recovering his seat when thrown out by a jolt or slid 
to the farther end by the sway in turning a corner or in 
changing his ruts. 

This is something like driving, and as a science is far 
ahead of any skill called into play in the jog-trot travel 
along our hum-drum and excellent roads. 



Taking Horses Through the Mountains. 

There is a heavy expense in taking horses through 
the mountains, for not only is barley expensive, but, as 
there is little grazing, hay has to be freighted out to the 
different points, and varies from 1^ to 3j cents a pound. 
When it comes to feeding big horses, thirty or forty 
pounds do not go far. 

I receive a letter from my temporary foreman, sent 
by the hand of a traveler who has just crossed, saying 



434 THE HIND-END MESS BOX. 

that he has hired a range, besides entering upon other 
transactions, and asks for a big sum of money. This is 
a serious matter. If I will only give him time he will, I 
feel sure, like an electioneering agent, study my interests 
by getting rid of any amount of money with the greatest 
industry. I therefore determine to leave the wagon at 
the foot of the pass, and to ride over the team horses. 

A large sheet of canvas, which serves as a tilt to the 
wagon in rainy weather, is eminently serviceable. On 
The Plains, where nothing stands higher than a bush 
which hardly gives shade from the hot sun to a dog, this 
canvas is stretched from the wagon bows to pegs in the 
ground, and gives a little shelter. 

A mess box is fitted into the hind end of the wagon. 
It is made with shelves, and holds a supply of daily 
wants. The door is hinged at the bottom, and when 
lowered it is propped by a stick. This makes a fairly 
good table, on which food can be prepared for cooking, 
out of the dust. But you eat your meals on the ground, 
as there is more room for everybody. Besides, at noon 
you want the shade of the tilt ; morning and night, the 
light and solace of the camp fire. 

Hiring Drivers. 

The important affair is to hire men. Settlers in Cali 
fornia have come to employ Chinese labor almost wholly 



HIRING DRIVERS. 435 

for indoor work, and to a great extent for any outdoor 
work which is continuous not, as one might suppose, 
that there is any economy therein. The Chinaman is a 
thoroughly self-satisfied being ; he considers his work 
" allee same like Melican man," and lets you know that 
he is not to be hired for less than white man's wages. I 
would assert that Chinese labor is neither in quantity nor 
quality equal to that of the average European. All over 
the world the Chinaman is a copyist. He invents noth 
ing and improves nothing. His aim is to produce a fac 
simile ; he can never excel. 

Notwithstanding this inferiority, he is preferred for 
the reason that he is more to be depended on mainly in 
the matter of sobriety. As a household servant he looks 
clean and is fairly willing, but he is far behind the class 
of domestics in European houses on the other side of the 
Pacific. 

Nevertheless, he has a solid footing in California, and 
you find a smutty, yellow-faced cook in small farm 
houses, where elsewhere in the States the wife and 
daughters do the household work. 

In choosing sheep herders, the best will be found 
among the Mexicans, Basques or Portuguese. These 
latter two do not, as a rule, take service except with their 
own people. Their aim is ultimately to possess a share 
in the herds, and to rise to the position of owners. 

The Mexicans enter into service willingly enough, but 



CALIFORNIA WAGES. 

they dislike to leave the temperate parts of California. 
It is a great advantage when employing them to be able 
to talk Spanish. They can seldom be persuaded to join 
a drive which takes them off into unknown regions, for 
they are profoundly ignorant of the geography of the 
world beyond their districts. 

There is, besides, little inducement to travel with 
stock for good men, who are sure of employment locally. 
They have to undergo hard work, exposure and some 
privation. 

And for what result ? 

None ! 

Every cent a man can earn above ordinary Caliform'a 
wages will go to pay his railway fare, even by emigrant 
train, on his return to California. 

A herd of 5,000 sheep requires about six men, be 
sides the cook an important member of the outfit. 



CHAPTER XI. 

SHEEP SHEARING ON THE ROAD THROUGH SAN JOAQUIN 
VALLEY SCAB DIPPING. 

In California the sheep are shorn twice a year. It is 
necessary to take their wool off before starting. The 
band is driven out onto a barren plain, where a few 
tumble-down open sheds guide you to the shearing cor 
ral. The first thing to do is to go around and rearrange 
panels and make fast ties and block holes, so as to keep 
the sheep in the pens. 

A mixed band of Mexicans and Chinese do the shear 
ing. Each man is careful not to catch any sheep which, 
on account of size or wool, is likely to prove slightly 
more troublesome. 

A badly boarded floor is all the men work upon. The 
fleeces, having been rolled up and tied, are thrown into 
a long bag hung on a stand, and are filled in by stamp 
ing on them. The bags are then carried to the railway, 

(437) 



438 ON THE ROAD. 

where they are either sold to brokers or shipped to an 
agent in San Francisco. 



On the Road. 

Preliminaries are completed and the herd is started 
on the road, which lies at first along the railway running 
through the San Joaquin Valley. As the land is all 
owned, the drover has no right beyond the width of 
sixty feet. Where there are no fences it is futile to try 
to keep a large flock within such narrow limits. The 
sheep will spread across some 200 yards, and so long as 
they are kept going it is hoped that the land owners, 
most of whom are owners of sheep which have to be 
traveled twice a year, will not object. As a rule, large 
owners do not trouble traveling bands much. But a man 
with a small holding, whose land borders the road, will 
mount his horse on the first sight of the column of dust 
which announces the approach of a band of sheep, and 
ride to meet it. He is all on the fight. First he wants 
you to go back, then to go around, and last to manage 
the herd as you might a battalion of soldiers, and march 
them past his grazing ground in a solid pack, on a narrow 
strip of road. It is a lucky day's travel in which you 
have not to go through some annoyance and jaw. 

Each year driving becomes more difficult, grazing in 
creases in value, the fields are fenced, and more land is 



SCAB. 439 

broken up. It would be difficult to take sheep on the 
drive, close along green crops, without their breaking into 
them. Here troubles begin with the farmer's opportu 
nity of claiming compensation. As a matter in which he 
may have to go to law, he must exaggerate the damage. 
He can always find neighborly friends who will swear to 
his complaint and assess the loss arising from a few hun 
dred sheep crossing a corner of his field at the price of a 
crop from twenty acres of wheat. 



Scab in Sheep. 

Before taking the sheep out of the country it is nec 
essary to dip them to check scab. The Californians are 
not careful in eradicating this disease. I do not know 
of any practical system, as in Australia, for dealing with 
the malady or for detecting its presence in certain flocks 
and compelling the owners to effect a cure. Most own 
ers dip their sheep at least once a year, after shearing. 
Yet hardly in any band you pass can you omit noticing 
marks of the disease on some of the sheep. In some of 
the Territories laws have been passed and scab inspect 
ors appointed. The attention of the latter is directed 
mainly to overhauling bands passing through. Provision 
is generally made by the county or State to pay these 
inspectors of sheep for detection of scab in sheep. 



44<> DIPPING SHEEP. 



Dipping How It Is Done, 

The use of a dipping station must be procured. This 
consists principally of a trough lined with wood, twenty- 
five to thirty feet long, five feet deep and about two or 
three feet wide at the top. This is sunk in the ground. 
At one end is a shed roofed over to shelter the men at 
work. The floor is boarded and has a slight slope to the 
trough. At the other end the sheep walk out of the 
trough by an inclined plank onto the dripping platform, 
which is divided into pens. This is also boarded, so that 
the water which runs out of the fleece may fall back into 
the trough, and save material. At either end is an in- 
closure to hold the sheep that are being worked. Iron 
tanks for heating water stand conveniently near, for hot 
water must be used with some of the scab-curing ingre 
dients. The number of sheep which can be handled in 
a morning are folded in a large inclosure. Then smaller 
bunches are cut off and penned near the shed, which will 
hold thirty or forty sheep. So many are driven in as to 
crowd the place tightly. The gate is shut, and two men 
step in, standing near the outlet which overhangs the 
trough. The sheep naturally turn their heads away and 
press more closely to the upper side. This is just what 
is wanted. The men catch them one by one by the hind 
leg, with a good pull and final jerk drag each one toward 



DIPPING SHEEP. 441 

the trough, tur,n him around and tumble him, head first, 
into the fluid. It is rough work, but they get through 
the business at a fair pace. 

When properly done, the sheep souses, head first, in 
the trough, and comes up turned in the proper direction. 
Seeing the others swimming in front, he follows, and 
walks up the sloping plank onto the dripping platform. 
Sometimes it happens that a sheep will fall in backward, 
and floats with feet up in the air, no doubt feeling partic 
ularly uncomfortable with the composition of the dip 
half chemical and turbid with grease and mud from the 
fleeces filling his mouth and nostrils. A man stands 
alongside the trough, armed with a long pole which has 
a crutch at one end. It is his duty to restore these acro 
bats right side up, to push the heads of those not wetted 
properly under water and to keep the line of bathers 
moving on. When one compartment of the dripping 
platform is full, a gate is shut, ,and while the alternate 
pen is filling the former lot of sheep stand and shake 
themselves, sneeze, cough and generally strive to recover 
their mental equilibrium. Soon their turn arrives to be 
let out into the larger inclosure. Here they ought to 
remain till nearly dry, as the dipping mixtures are more 
or less poisonous, and should not be scattered on the 
feeding ground, as would happen from wet fleeces. 

The dip mostly used is lime and sulphur, which is 
effective in killing scab, but makes the wool brittle. It 



44% DIPPING SHEEP. 

has the merit of cheapness. A decoction of tobacco and 
sulphur is also common. Both of these have to be used 
with hot water, which is a great additional trouble, as 
the appliances at most dipping stations are of the rudest. 
A weak solution of carbolic acid and a patent Australian 
chemical are also used for dipping. These can be mixed 
in cold water. Some men put their sheep through the 
natural hot mineral waters which abound in the West. 
Each farmer will swear by his own spring. It cures scab 
in sheep, removes corns and rheumatism in men, and is 
of universal efficacy. He nurses a pleasant dream that 
some day its virtues will be apparent to an Eastern capi 
talist, who will develop it and create an establishment 
like the White Sulphur Springs, with a vision of shares, 
purchase money and a snug monopoly for the rest of his 
days. 

About noon the sheep penned in the morning are 
through, and the men knock off for dinner. Although 
there are three reliefs in plunging the sheep into the dip, 
the work has been hard. The sun is bright and hot, and 
the air is close inside the shed. The work of driving the 
sheep into compact bunches in the pens is tedious, and 
when you have jerked forty or fifty sheep by the hind leg 
you find yourself winded and your back aching. 



CHAPTER XII. 



SHEEP DRIVING FROM CALIFORNIA TO SONORA TOLLS- 
CROSSING THE SIERRAS THE BEDDING GROUND 
THE SAN ANTONIO DESERT. 

After having dipped the band they are -all marked 
with a brand, and next day you start off. 

Driving sheep is simple enough in theory. The herd 
is marched from day to day a distance of eight or ten 
miles, feeding as they go, starting very early so as to 
travel in the cool, and, if possible, reaching the banks of 
a stream before the sun grows hot. Through the heat 
of the day the sheep do not care to feed or to travel. If 
full, they will lie down, seeking some shade, or drooping 
their heads under the shadow of each other's bodies. 
This is called nooning. It may begin- as early as 8 A. M. 
in the height of Summer, and last until 4 or 5 p. M. It 
is a regular part of the day's business, and is often very 
troublesome, when you have a little distance yet to go, 

(443) 



444 WHEN THE SHEEP BAA. 

to find the sheep stopping in bunches, some lying down 
and the whole baaing their protest against further exer 
tion. If you want to reach your point now is the critical 
time. When the sheep baa shout at them and hustle 
them a bit with the dogs. Beware of a check, for if the 
flock once gets bunched up your chances are over. You 
may then let the sheep lie, for they will not travel again 
until evening. 

There is a disagreeable feeling of helplessness when 
handling sheep. They are the boss, and in your own in 
terest you must study their whims. 

Suppose, however, your arrangements have been 
good. You have brought the sheep to water, and they 
have been pleased to approve the quality and to drink at 
once, without wandering off in search of something 
clearer, fresher, warmer or different. It is not always 
we can understand their fancies. They will feed again 
for a little while, after which you may bunch them up 
where you can conveniently watch them. You will see 
some standing in a line, each head under the belly in 
front. Others gather around a bush, with their heads 
together in the shade and tails out. Some lie down to 
sleep, but many stand with vacant eyes, noses stretched 
to the ground, and ease their feelings by heavy panting. 

In the afternoon, so soon as the sheep show a ten 
dency to scatter out and feed, they are headed in the 
desired direction, and they travel slowly until nightfall, 



SHEEP DRIVING. 445 

when they are rounded up in a bunch and expected to 
sleep. A good driver will, as much as possible, fall in 
with the inclinations of the herd, and let them start, 
travel and feed as much as they are disposed always, of 
course, with due regard to the prime necessity of getting 
over the ground. There are, besides, certain factors of 
which the sheep can scarcely be expected to be aware 
with regard to the situation of water and feed, and it will 
often be desirable to drive them even a couple of miles 
after they show a desire to noon, so as to reach water. 

Sometimes, to get across a desert, you may drive the 
sheep as much as twenty miles a day, but this has to be 
done at night if the weather is warm, and can seldom be 
ventured for more than two or three days. 

Crossing the mountains, the sheep are often as much 
as four or five days on the snow without losing many of 
the band. After reaching good grass on the farther side 
they soon recover themselves. 

At night the sheep, if well fed, will lie still ; but as a 
rule, when traveling, they should be watched.* 

Leaving the main road is not, on the whole, a suc 
cess. The feed is better, but on the country road you 

*A cruel necessity is disposing of the newly born lambs. New arriv 
als are de trop, and more likely to injure the ewes than be of any benefit 
themselves. There is nothing to be done but to knock the flicker of life 
out of the little things, and drive the mothers on. The latter never make 
any fuss. At all times these merinos are careless parents during the first 
few days after the birth of their young. 



44 6 OBJECTIVE POINT TOLLS. 

are more on your rights and meet with fewer annoyances 
from small farmers, whose object often seems merely to 
exhibit "cussedness, " though to the credit of the few it 
must be said that their intention is elevated into the 
region of common sense by the motive of extracting a 
few dollars. 

At one place you may be amused by a woman run 
ning out of a farm house and calling to her husband : 

"Give 'em h 11, Jack." 

These are little incidents, but will serve to illustrate 
the dislike which farmers have against sheep and. the 
petty annoyances they are not above putting in practice 
on the drovers. 

To see the worst side of the character of settlers in 
California, I could not suggest a better plan than moving 
a band of sheep through one or two counties. After that 
you may try any thing else and enjoy the change. 

The objective point of the drive is Sonora, which 
stands at the west end of the only road over the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains which is passable by wagons in this 
part of California. 

Tolls Exorbitant Charges. 

There are several rivers to cross, where the only con 
venient points of crossing are farmed to some man who 
works a ferry and taxes sheep exorbitantly. The rates 



HOW FARMERS EVADE TOLLS. 447 

permitted by the charter often reach as much as 10 cents 
a head for sheep and pigs. This the collectors reduce to 
about 3 cents in their printed rates, but are generally 
satisfied with about half. Even these amounts, when 
they recur three or four times, together with the road 
tolls, add a heavy percentage to the original cost of 
about $2 per head. 

These annoying charges can only be avoided by cross 
ing the mountains over out-of-the-way and very difficult 
passes, which are known to but few people. The farm 
ers who have lived many years near the hills and have 
sent their flocks up regularly hazard these passes, not 
withstanding the risk of spending several days in the 
snow, rather than pay the heavy tolls. 

From Sonora onward, except for a few miles at the 
beginning, the road runs through the forest, and is quite 
unfenced. 

This is about the most difficult part of the drive, on 
account of the loss from sheep straying into the bush. 

Generally a few extra hands are hired, who are often 
Indians. The latter belong to the Digger tribe, and some 
of them are not averse to work, either on the farm or in 
town. They are not all equally civilized, and one of 
their little settlements of a few miserable hovels, with 
granaries of pine-nuts in the shape of bee hives four feet 
high, enclosed by a poor fence made of brambles, cut 
down and thrown into a line, gives a notion of their abo- 



44^ CROSSING THE SIERRAS. 

riginal and miserable style of living. The picture will 
be completed by supposing an ancient and wrinkled hag 
sitting on a flat rock in the grounds, pounding the pine- 
nuts into flour, the mortar being a hole in the rock. 

For a few marches out there are corrals, in which the 
sheep can be placed at night, and out of which they can 
be counted in the morning. This, however, takes so long 
a time that, as a rule, it is done only every second or 
third day. Counting the black sheep and those with 
bells is thought a sufficient check for intermediate occa 
sions. 

It is quite possible for a bunch of 400 or 500 sheep 
to disappear out of a band of as many thousands, and 
the ordinary herder will not notice their absence, even 
in an open country, where he can see his flock together. 

Crossing the Sierras. 

Crossing the Sierras, a very small portion of the band 
travel on the road. Most of the sheep are scrambling 
along the hillside in a parallel direction, browsing on the 
young shoots or wildly climbing in search of the young 
grass. 

With all this bush to contend with, it is hard work to 
keep the sheep together, and it is no unusual sight to see 
a band, as if gone mad, mounting higher and higher to 
ward the hill-top, scattered everywhere in groups of ten 



CROSSING THE SIERRAS. 449 

to twenty, striving to out-run or out-climb some bunch 
with a slight advance, baaing and rushing as if quite dis 
traught, and all because they have come on a patch of 
wild leek or green snow bush, butter weed or brier. 

Now is the occasion for the shepherds to show their 
activity. They must outpace the sheep in climbing the 
hill, and strive to turn them in fifty places, or they will 
have a small chance of collecting the rabble without sus 
taining great loss. 

In such moments a dog is of more use than three men 
not only that he gets more quickly over the ground, 
but the sheep mind a dog, whereas they have no fear of 
the men. 

When started on one of these escapades, they will 
stand and dodge a herder, or turn only so long as he is 
driving them. Others will sneak into the bushes, or hide 
in some little ravine, while nature aids the troublesome 
brutes' in exhausting the men, who are often taken in by 
the appearance of rocks far above them, and thinking to 
catch a band of strays, do not find out their mistake till 
they have had a long climb. 

Toward evening the sheep follow well. It would be 
as difficult to separate them now as in the day time it 
was hard to bring them together. 

No longer in search of food, they come down to the 
path, succeeding each other in endless line. 

For a quarter of a mile the road is a solid mass of 



4 5<> THE BEDDING GROUND. 

woolly heads and backs, with wisps joining in at inter 
vals from out the dusk through some gap in the bushes, 
or down a broken ramp in the bank. 



The Bedding Ground. 

A bedding ground has been chosen already, and so 
soon as the leaders reach the farther limit they are all 
stopped. The rest crowd in, and are made to close up 
their ranks. The men and dogs walk around and check 
the usual discontented ones who now want to go forag 
ing. 

There is plenty of dead wood, and soon a half-dozen 
fires blaze at various points, lighting a small portion of 
the forest and picking out, with a ruddy glare, the out 
lines of the men and*pine trees. By and by cook shouts 
4 'Supper!" One man is left on guard, and we gather 
around the piece of oil-cloth spread on the ground, on 
which are laid the exact number of tin plates. After the 
supper is served the watch is settled for the night. We 
all turn in, except the cook, who is left washing up and 
getting every thing ready for the most speedy preparation 
of breakfast next morning. 

After ten days' travel through the mountains, the 
herders are pretty well tired out by the unwonted exer 
cise of chasing vagrant and skittish yearlings along the 
steep and rocky slopes, or in slowly pushing their way in 



SAN ANTONIO DESERT. 45 1 

the rear of a straggling bunch through a labyrinth o{ 
tangled manzanita or bull brush. Here you have to con 
tend each step with the tough branches, forcing the upper 
ones apart with your arms, while you feel with your feet 
for some firm footing in a mixture of low ground stems, 
roots and loosely holding stones. 

It is bad enough to work your way down hill, but if 
you have to mount upward with a band of a hundred 
sheep to watch and bring them back to the road; to head 
off those which foolishly fancy an outlet by some small 
clearance to one side ; to keep the leaders in view and in 
the right direction ; to persuade those lagging behind to 
follow at all, you will enjoy no small trial of your calf 
muscles, and a moral victory if you repress the bitter 
anathemas on the whole race of sheep. 

Sheep driving is no dashing occupation. It requires 
endless patience. 



The San Antonio Desert. 

The San Antonio Desert can be crossed in several 
places, but nowhere is it less than forty miles wide, un 
less you skirt its upper end, to do which you must go 
around the sink of the Carson River, which adds to the 
length of the whole route. 

It is not a desert in the sense of a sandy waste, for 
much bunch grass grows in little tufts throughout, but 



SAN ANTONIO DESERT. 

water there is none, except in rare and tiny springs far 
up in the hills. 

Along the road you intend to travel there are several 
of these small springs, which will suffice for the camp 
and the horses. The sheep must do without until you 
reach the farther side. For yourselves, too, you must 
often carry water. 

In this matter of crossing the desert, an ounce of ex 
perience is worth a ton of theory. 

Sheep should be moved quietly early in the morning 
and late at night. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



DRIVING SHEEP IN NEVADA FOOD IN CAMP THE COOK'S 

DUTIES SHEEP DRIVERS' CLOTHING BATHING THE 

SHEEP DRIVER'S BED TEMPERATURE SLEEPING IN 
CAMP SHEPHERD DOGS PRAIRIE DOGS. 

It would not be in the least interesting to detail from 
day to day the recurring duties and inevitable annoy 
ances. 

Nevada is a thirsty land. The little water which is 
to be found along the road is being monopolized by indi 
viduals, so that stock of all sorts but more particularly 
sheep, which are violently disliked by farmers have a 
bad time when following the Emigrant Trail. 

Where there are rivers the water is taken out for irri 
gation, and the approaches to the banks are fenced. On 
some of the down-stream farms the people, after the 
Spring freshets, must content themselves with very little 
water. The upper sluices may be closed once a week to 

(453) 



454 FOOD IN CAMP. 

allow a supply to run down to them, which supply has to 
be ponded, and it then becomes unfit in a few days for 
most uses. 



Food in Camp. 

The food out in camp is simple and coarse. Nothing 
but the wonderfully pure air and hard exercise would 
make it palatable to, or digestible by, the ordinary mor 
tal. There is, however, no choice. Rich and poor, 
master and m^n, all sit down to the same provisions, 
fare alike, and enjoy their food. 

The stock for camp consists of flour, baking powder, 
necessary but more or less deleterious, coffee, tea, sugar 
and bacon. 

With a wagon we can afford to carry tins of tomato, 
green corn and fruit, a bag each of rice and beans, some 
dried apples and peaches and a gallon of syrup. These 
are luxuries ; more would be superfluous. 

The bacon serves the double purpose of supplying 
the grease in which to fry any meat or fish that we can 
get on the road and of taking the place of fresh meats 
when the latter are unobtainable. 



The Cook's Duties. 

The cook's chief qualities should be cleanliness and 



455 

dispatch. Skill comes third it requires so little and the 
boys are so hungry. When the meat is fried and the 
coffee is boiled, a piece of oil-cloth is stretched on the 
ground, and the necessary number of plates, tin cups, 
knives, forks and spoons are set out. The word is given: 
4 'Grub pile. " Every man washes his face and hands, 
and, seizing his convert, he helps himself and eats. The 
cook hands around the coffee. 

After the meat a clean place is scraped in one corner 
of the plate for syrup, fruit or pudding, so long as these 
luxuries hold out. The boys are moderate, except when 
any thing new tickles their palate. Then they like to 
finish it at once. If, then, the wagon comes within 
reach they ransack the mess box, and supplement three 
hearty meals by an extra lunch. The cook, however, 
should be a despot, and stand them off. This raid up 
sets his calculations, and may lead to a second baking. 
It is the same with whisky. No self-control will prevent 
them finishing any given quantity at best speed, though 
it is all theirs, and might easily last longer. 



Clothing, 

While traveling through this parched and waterless 
country your condition, as may be guessed, is somewhat 
grimy. Your outer clothing is made of canvas, which 



456 CLOTHING. 

can be bought in every store. The overalls of the herd 
ers are generally blue, worn either without undergar 
ments or over a pair of cloth trousers or red flannel 
drawers, according to the state of the weather. One or 
two flannel shirts, usually dark blue, with a turn-down 
collar and some ornament, either lacing or buttons, in 
front, a brown canvas coat lined with flannel, a felt hat 
with a wide brim, strong highlows, and a stick. There 
is seldom any difference in the men's working dress torn 
the above. These are the kind invariably provided for 
the Western market, and the woolen goods are worse 
than inferior. The overalls are soonest worn out and to 
be replaced. 

On leaving every town some of the boys will appear 
in a new pair of blue trousers. A light-colored patch, 
sown into the waist band behind, represents a galloping 
horse as trade-mark, and informs all concerned that the 
wearer is, clothed in "Wolf & Neuman's Boss of the 
Road, with riveted buttons and patent continuous fly." 
Then come two figures say, 36 and 34 which refer to 
the size of waist and length of leg. If short and stout, 
you buy a large man's size and turn up the bottom of the 
leg. If, on the contrary, 32 would suit you for waist, 
in a country store you are often compelled to take 40, so 
as to secure the other dimension. An odd size, however, 
leads to a tailoring in camp, which is an unprofitable 
employment. For this reason most men start with at 



BATHING. 457 

least one extra pair of overalls to fit. The patch is left 
either from idleness or as a memorandum of one's 
measurements. 

For the rough and rusty work of driving, whether on 
horseback or on foot, these canvas suits are the most 
efficient. They turn wind and dirt, and can be washed. 
Where you must follow stock in a cloud of dust and have 
the ground as your only seat, woolen outer garments 
would be objectionable. In cold weather, therefore, you 
put the canvas overalls and coat over the woolen ordi 
nary clothes. They make a great difference, and help 
immensely in keeping you warm. 

Bathing. 

Whenever sufficient water can be found and a little 
leisure secured, it is a great achievement to have a bath. 
Dust is so penetrating that the least said about one's 
condition is best said. It is a great consolation that it is 
clean dirt, for after having washed thoroughly a quarter 
of an hour at the tail of the herd would blacken you as 
before. In truth, the occupation is so laborious, the 
hours so long and the attention must be so unremitting 
that a bath is often out of the question, even after the 
proper quantity of water is found, for those who have to 
do the work. The middle of the day is the only time 
available, as the drives are arranged for the stock to get 



A FESTIVE DAY. 

water at that time. The wagon generally gets ahead in 
order to fill up kegs before the stock come in and tram 
ple the stream into mud, which takes but a few minutes 
after they arrive. Where no provision is made for the 
men beforehand, they must go a half-mile to get clean 
water. To bathe in the evening, long after sunset, or 
in the early morning, when you should have finished 
breakfast by sunrise, is out of the question. First, you 
are too tired ; second, it is too cold among the hills, even 
in Summer. 

You are very seldom camped on water. When by 
good luck you find yourself near a deep and slowly flow 
ing stream, in which the water is warmed a little by the 
sun, it is a festive day. 

There is generally feed on the banks. The sheep, 
which prefer slightly warm water to a cold rivulet, are 
content to stop around. You can then go in for real 
luxury bathe, change and wash the clothes you remove. 
In the evening you are again as before the bath but a 
memory. 

The natural result of these circumstances is that the 
boys seldom look to ablution beyond washing their faces 
and hands. They are careful in this. 

Barring dust, it is a clean country, and there is fresh 
air all around. Dirty men abound, and at least one is 
to be found in every outfit ; but his habits are sharply 
criticised^ and sharing of bedding or clothes is cai'elully 



A DRIVER'S NIGHT TOILET. #59 

avoided. It is fate that he should be there. You must 
put up with him at least, for a time. 

Beds Rocky Improvisations. 

The bedding consists of blankets or quilted counter 
panes. Your pillow is a bag stuffed with your spare 
clothing. If possible, the whole should be contained in 
a sheet of extra stout canvas, sufficiently long that it can 
be spread underneath you, and when brought over to 
cover you fully. The width must allow a wide margin, 
being tucked under the sides. About fifteen feet by seven 
answers well. At night you spread your bed on the 
ground, and if the sides are properly tucked in, should 
it come on to rain you draw the upper fly over your head 
and lie snug ; the canvas is fairly waterproof. In the 
morning you turn the edges inward on top, roll up the 
bed and strap or tie it tightly. The canvas keeps the 
bedding clean and dry, protecting it against dust and ob 
jectionable emigrants, who find themselves crowded in 
other blankets. Usually the boys sleep in pairs, which 
increases their resources and saves weight. The bedding 
is the most bulky part of the load in the wagon. Your 
night toilet consists in taking off your coat and boots. 
The coat you may imagine a pillow, and your boots must 
be tucked away safely to keep them dry and beyond the 
reach of coyotes, which will steal into camp at night and 



460 TEMPERATURE. 

carry off any thing made of leather. Without your boots 
you would be in a very poor fix on the prairies. 



Temperature. 

As in all elevated countries, the difference of temper 
ature during the day in the sun from that at night is very 
great. Although you may work in a single flannel shirt, 
it is proper to have plenty of blankets for your bed. 



Sleeping in Camp. 

It is the cook's duty, after fetching camp in the even 
ing, having unhitched the team, to tumble all the beds 
out of the wagon onto the ground. Each boy at night 
carries his bed to a spot he likes and there unrolls it. He 
is limited to some definite direction, from which he is 
supposed to assist in guarding the sheep. It is not always 
a search which ends successfully. When you start after 
supper in the dark, carrying a heavy load of bedding for 
the purpose of making your bed, the ground may slope 
and be thickly covered with sage brush. There are hol 
low and stony places, but no level spot, even six feet by 
three. You are a little out of breath with the weight on 
your shoulders. It leans against your head, which you 
hold sideways. You can not see clearly, and stumble 
against bushes or trip over stumps in the dark. You drop 



SLEEPING IN CAMP. 46! 

your bed carelessly with a flop, and up jump the sheep. 
Having jumped up, they begin to stray from their bed 
ground in search of feed. Your first business must now 
be to drive them back and watch them till they lie down 
and are still again. You may then return to your bed, 

i 

and after spreading it out as much as can be done in a 
narrow space between the bushes, you pull off your 
boots and creep inside the blankets. 

But where is comfort ? A root stump is under the 
very middle of your bed invisible to your eyes in the 
dust, but prominent to your present feelings. It is, how 
ever, a very aggressive stump that makes you shift your 
quarters. You are far too tired to mind a little bullying. 
If by means of bending yourself into a C or an S curve 
you can avoid the knotty point it is good enough ; at any 
rate, you will not move. 

Granted that your expectations are accomplished ; 
suppose the sheep have fed and drunk well during the 
day, and therefore are not inclined to move that night ; 
say that there is no wind storm to disturb you and the 
plaintive coyote is dumb then the hours pass away too 
quickly. You wake in the dull gray light of day-break. 
A little flame is seen flickering in camp, and the cook's 
call is heard : <4 Roll out !" You jump up, but before 
you have time to dress and pack your bed the second 
call is heard : " Breakfast !" You carry your bedding 
to the wagon and dump it down somewhere. Having 



462 SHEPHERD DOGS. 

washed your face and hands, you take a place near the 
fire. Some one throws on a bush to make a blaze, and 
you eat a hearty meal of fried meat, bread and coffee. 
Long before you are ready the sheep are on the move p 
and break up their camp. If they travel in the right 
direction you can let them go, but if they are wandering 
one man must start at once and take charge. The other 
boys finish breakfast, fill their canteens with water, grab 
their sticks and follow the herd. The cook is left in sole 
possession. He must wash up, reload the wagon, feed 
and water the team, and then follow the trail of the herd 
and be up with them in time to cook dinner. 

Shepherd Dogs. 

Well bred and well broken dogs fetch a good price, 
if you can hold them till you find a purchaser who is 
really in want of such an animal. The day-dream of a 
herder is to get a dog that will watch the sheep at night, 
for to wake and hallo even a few times makes a bad 
night, and no one need envy the man whose fate com 
pels him to walk, half-chilled, round and round a lot of 
fractious and pig-headed sheep ; to find the same brutes 
leading off again and again, bunches watching him, and 
standing still as statues in his presence, but stealing out 
from the corner on which he has just turned his back. If 
he iits down on a stone for ten minutes the whole work 



PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCY. 463 

may have to be done over again. He comes on a band 
that he has already headed back several times. They 
wait till the last minute and trot into the herd just about 
a yard in front of him ; so soon as he is past they walk 
out again. 

You must take matters slowly. Impatience would do 
more harm than good. The sheep you drove in with 
a rush would startle ten times their number among those 
which, perhaps, had been lying down. They then pack 
and squeeze on the center heads inward and tails out 
ward. The chief culprits have knowingly secured places 
quite out of reach. The lot can not remain so, and to 
lie down must open out. You have to leave them. 

Quietness, patience and persistency these are the 
cardinal qualities. Keep on turning them back until 
fchey are all lying down. You may then go to bed. 

In the first place, use judgment in choosing your bed 
ground. Have room enough for the herd to lie down 
without crowding. They will lie more quietly with elbow 
room. Any place does not suit a sheep's idea of comfort. 

If a big wether sees a smaller sheep in a spot which 
he fancies, he will touch him with a fore foot as a signal 
to clear out. If the sheep will not take the hint the big 
one will butt him out. 

On several occasions, when the sheep had been par 
ticularly well fed and were proportionately content, they 
spread out their ranks till in the morning they were seen 



464 EVERY BAND NEEDS DOGS, 

lying all around the men's beds, and quite close thereto. 
But at these times they did not care to feed at night. 

Properly handled, sheep like nothing better than to 
carry out their role, which is to grow wool and grow fat. 
It is for the men to help them to do so. 

Good dogs are of great assistance on a drive. They 
are scarce in California in the early Summer, when every 
band going to the hills needs two or three dogs. Some 
owners pretend they would rather be without dogs. 

It is possible that in driving fat sheep on The Plains 
the man would work the herd more quietly than would 
the average dog, but the dog is a necessity where the 
ground is rough and covered with bush, and if the sheep, 
attracted by some new food they are fond of, are liable 
to scatter, dogs get them in more quickly than any man 
can do, and by turning those heading in a wrong direc 
tion at once save time and save the sheep an unnecessary 
journey. 

Sheep, too, will mind a single dog when they would 
not be controlled by several men. They watch the lat 
ter, and dodge them so soon as their attention is engaged 
elsewhere. A dog which has nipped them once or twice 
instills a wholesome fear, and for him they will turn at 
once. 

In bad hands a dog is liable to be rough. A lazy man 
will spoil his dog by over-working him, The dog soon 
learns bad tricks, when he feels that he is misused, and 



THE PRAIRIE DOG. 465 

saves himself by cutting across little bunches, instead 
of going outside of all. 



The Prairie Dog. 

Prairie dogs are not common in Nevada. There are 
plenty on the prairies in Wyoming and Montana. 

Their bark is more like a chirrup. 

They are fat and pretty little beasts, as seen sitting 
upon the mounds which surround the mouths of their 
burrows. They eat the grass very close around their vil 
lage, but they are otherwise harmless. 

On the other hand, as they are of no use to you as 
food, you naturally slight them. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

DRIVING SHEEP IN IDAHO THE LARAMIE PLAINS NEAR 
THE GREAT SALT LAKE HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON 
SHEEP IN UTAH. 

As you get into Idaho there is a marked improvement 
in the country. Grass and water are more plentiful. 

There are cottonwood and birch trees all along the 
streams and in fringes on the hillsides. Wherever a hol 
low has retained snow after its general disappearance 
from the ridges of the hills and from open spots the late 
moisture has encouraged the growth of every thing that 
is green. 

But the Autumn is decidedly fading into early Win 
ter. The higher ranges have been once or twice capped 
with snow ; the leaves are changing from green into col 
ors more lively ; the sun, even in the middle of the day, 
is occasionally feeble, having probably over-worked itself 
in scorching us through the Summer. It is high time to 

(466) 



THE LARAMIE PLAINS. 407 

consider where the sheep shall be wintered. Your choice 
lies between taking them south to the country which bor 
ders the Salt Lake and pushing on either to Green River 
or to the Laramie Plains. The Green River country is 
said to have been overstocked for many years, and though 
ranges may still be found, good ones are scarce. 

Without plenty of feed a band of sheep, more par 
ticularly one which has traveled up north from a warmer 
climate, would have a poor chance in the extreme cold 
of these parts. 

The Laramie Plains* 

These comprise a portion of the highest table land 
between the oceans. Although subject to as bitter cold 
as any other place in the Northwest, its exposed position, 
liable to be swept by strong winds, enables stock to live, 
for the reason that, the snow being blown off, the herb 
age is laid bare. This is the case in ordinary winters. 

Animals which start healthy and in good condition 
pull through on these plains fairly well. But in every 
season there are severe snow storms and piercing winds, 
during which it is impossible to take out sheep and when 
cattle and horses can not do better for themselves than 
to turn tail to the blast and drift slowly before the storm. 

The chinook, which is a warm wind, blows at times 
and melts the snow, but the greatest danger to all stock 



468 NEAR SALT LAKE. 

is when such a partial thaw is followed by sharp frost 
The surface of the snow is then ice-bound, and it is im 
possible for any animal to care for itself. To meet these 
cases a sufficient quantity of hay must be provided for 
the sheep. If this is not done, the chances are that the 
whole herd will be starved and frozen to death. Even 
with hay in hand, it is not always a good plan to feed it 
to the herd, for they will not in future take the trouble 
to hunt for themselves, but idle all the day and wait for 
the hay in the evening a proceeding that is exasperat 
ing to the most even-tempered herder, but all in a piece 
with the general behavior of sheep. 



Near Salt Lake. 

The climate of the country lying to the south of and 
surrounding Salt Lake is much milder than that of the 
nearest portions of Idaho and Wyoming. The snow does 
not lie deeply, and the plains, besides grass, bear the 
white sage, which is very nutritious. The latter, after 
it has been nipped by frost, is apparently much relished 
by all stock. 

A light fall of snow here is an advantage, as it per 
mits the herds to push out into the plains, which are 
waterless. The sheep can eat snow, and the herders 
melt it. 



HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN UTAH. 469 

On these trips the herders live in a small canvas 
house, which is built onto the wagon. In this there is a 
stove. The bed is on a low shelf across the hind end. 
The entrance is on one side. With the traps and sup 
plies of a couple of men, two horses only are required. 
The wagon does not move every day, and often the jour 
neys are short. 



How to Make Money in Utah. 

To men who are not averse to a solitary life and do 
not fear rough times and exposure this wintering with 
sheep may be tolerable. 

A man who understands the work, and can be trusted 
to do it, should always be able to secure something bet 
ter than good wages. There are plenty of men in Utah 
who, having saved money, would like to invest it in a 
band of sheep. The sheep, to live, must travel Summer 
and Winter. It is impossible for a man resident in town 
and with a business to see after his sheep in person. He 
must look around either for a herder to manage for him 
or a joint owner to share in the speculation. 

The current expenses are not heavy. Two men can 
through the year easily drive 2,000 or 3,000 sheep, with 
a little help at lambing time. The returns from wool 



47 SALT LAKE CITY. 

and increase are not exaggerated at 25 per cent. As the 
profit with sheep, much more than with other stock, is 
dependent on the care and success of the men in charge, 
the man who knows has a power which in some cases 
transfers the flock from the owner's hands into his own 
in three or four years. 

The alternative to the proprietor who can not accom 
pany his own herd often lies between seeing his property 
destroyed through ignorance or transferred through un 
scrupulous acumen. 

There is a good opening for any man thoroughly up 
in sheep to make his way in Utah. 

A short stay in Salt Lake City satisfies most persons. 
It certainly may be called a pretty town, the trees and 
gardens having a good effect. But how long would the 
latter be retained should the land become valuable ? At 
present worse places can easily be found, and when the 
burning question is settled the town may start afresh* 



I think I have given a truthful picture of the manner 
of life which must be followed on the trail. 

It is not everywhere so dry and dusty as in Nevada. 
But, with due allowances for the more pleasant aspects 
of affairs in journeying through a better grassed and bet 
ter watered country, any one can fancy for himself how 
far he is likely to appreciate the life. There may be dif- 



AU REVOIR, READERc 4/f 

ficulties special to that portion of the territories lying 
farther north, owing to heavier timber and bush, into 
which sheep might stray, and to the greater cold and 
deeper snow which prevail through a longer Winter. 

But wherever it is followed the business of driving or 
looking after sheep is rude and tiresome. The outdoor 
life is healthy and exhilarating. The roughing does not 
show too disagreeably. 

Young men who are fitted out with good spirits and 
manliness have nothing to dread. 

The West is a Land of Hope. 

It is well to go and try it for yourself. 



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