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During a storm in 1882, while I was delivering cattle to Gus Johnson, he was killed by lightning. G. B. Withers, Johnson and I were riding together when the lightning struck. It set Johnson's undershirt on fire and his gold shirt stud, which was set with a diamond was melted and the diamond was never found. His hat was torn to pieces and mine had all the plush burned off of the top. I was not seriously hurt, but G. B. Withers lost one eye by the same stroke that killed Johnson.
I followed the trail from 1868 to 1887. I bought cattle in Texas and New Mexico and drove them to Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. My first herd numbered 600 Texas steers. The largest herd I ever drove from Texas was 4,500 steers, which I drove from Fort Griffin, Texas, to Dobie Walls in what was then known as "No Man's Land." These cattle were sold to Gus Johnson.
At different times while driving cattle to Northern markets I had as partners Bill Montgomery, George Hill, Dr. John G. Blanks, Dick Head and Jesse Presnall. Some years we had five or six herds, each herd numbering from 2,000 to 3,000 steers. At first we could buy cattle in Texas on time and sell them in Kansas and the territories for cash, but the last few years I drove we had to pay cash for cattle and sell to Northern buyers on credit, and then I quit the trail.
I had a number of flattering offers to remain North in the cattle business, but I loved Texas so well that I always returned after each drive.