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I was born in Caldwell County, Texas, September 3, 1857, and was in my sixteenth year when I entered the trail life. My father came to this state from Mississippi in 1854, when he was sixteen years old. He enlisted in the Confederate Army and died in 1863 of pneumonia while in the service. I was the oldest of three brothers, one of them being Terrell (Tully) Robuck, who went to North Dakota with Colonel Jim Ellison's outfit in 1876. He was then sixteen years old. Emmet Robuck, who was assassinated at Brownsville in 1902 while serving as a state ranger, was my son.
I made my first trip up the trail to Utah Territory with old man Coleman Jones, who was boss for a herd belonging to Colonel Jack Meyers. This herd was put up at the Smith & Wimberly ranch in Gillespie County. I gained wonderful experience on this trip in the stampede, high water, hailstorms, thunder and lightning which played on the horns of the cattle and on my horse's ears. We suffered from cold and hunger and often slept on wet blankets and wore wet clothing for several days and nights at a time, but it was all in the game, and we were compensated for the unpleasant things by the sport of roping buffalo and seeing sights we had never seen before.
On one occasion my boss sent me from the Wimberly ranch to another ranch twenty miles away to get some bacon. At the foot of Packsaddle Mountain, in Llano County, I passed about fifty Indians who had killed a beef and were eating their breakfast, but I failed to see them as I passed. When I reached my destination a man came and reported the presence of the Indians. I had to return over the same route I had come, so I took the best horse I had for my saddle horse and put the