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twenty-five feet wide, with a deep hole of water on one side and a very high bluff on the other. This was the watering place for the cattle of that particular range. We built a pen and fenced in one end of this natural chute, leaving the other end open so that when a bunch of cattle came down for water we crowded in on them and ran them into our pen through the trap. We often started after them out on the range, and in order to get away from us, they would make for the water hole, and right into our trap they would go. We usually kept them in this pen without water or grass until they became tame enough to drive to our other pens some distance away, when, of course, they were then driven regularly for water and grazing. We kept this up until we had about a thousand head of maverick yearlings.
Harve Putman and my brother, Charlie, decided to sell their undivided interest in these yearlings, and John Putnam and myself bought them for $2.50 per head, on credit, to be paid for on our return from the Kansas market. We drove the herd by way of Fort Worth and crossed the Texas line at Red River Station. We put a bell on an old cow for a leader, and when a yearling got lost from the herd, and came within hearing of that bell it generally came back to the herd. We reached Abilene, Kansas, with our yearlings in good shape, and we sold them for eight dollars per head. We found ourselves in possession of $8,000, and had started out without a dollar. But any old trail driver who found himself rich in Abilene, Kansas, in 1871, knows the rest.
In 1872 my brother, Charlie, and I took a mixed herd of about a thousand head up the trail. This time we made a general round-up. It was the custom in those days for the party or parties getting up a round-up to take along cattle belonging to people they knew. Owners were glad to have them driven to market and sold. The distance between ranches was so great that a consultation was not possible every time, and it was usually left