PUNCHING CATTLE ON THE TRAIL TO KANSAS, Page #0147
I was, with a white shirt,
collar and cravat, starting on the trail. You can imagine just how green I was.
We put the herd up below Bryan. We were gone seven months, so I had plenty
of time to learn a few things in regard to driving cattle. We were a
month putting up the herd. I was always left to hold the cattle, and when we
finally drove out of the timber and reached the prairie, the grass was ten
inches in height, green as a wheat field and the cattle were poor and hungry, so
went to chopping that grass as though they were paid. There was a nice little
shade tree right near, so I got off my horse to sit in the shade for a few
minutes and watch the cattle. The first thing I knew Tom Baylor was waking me. I
thought, "Well, I have gone to sleep on guard. I had just as well put my hand in
Colonel Ellison's pocket and take his money." I never got off of my horse any
more when on duty, though I have seen the time when I would have given five
dollars for one-half hour's sleep. I would even put tobacco in my eyes to keep
awake. Our regular work was near eighteen hours a day, and twenty-four if a bad
night, then the next day, just as though we had slept all night, and most of us
getting only $30.00 per month and grub, bad weather making from
twenty-four to forty-eight hours, never thinking of "time and overtime," or
calling for shorter hours and more pay.
In Kansas one day for dinner we bought some pies, eggs and milk from a granger.
He informed Baylor that a certain section of land that had a furrow plowed
around it, did not belong to his neighbor, but was railroad land