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The next year, 1886, I had charge of a herd of stock cattle and started from Las Vegas, New Mexico, to Nebraska. On this trip I killed a smart Mexican in a shooting scrape. I went out of there under fire, but I held my ground, as all of the Mexicans in that region were on my drag. But a boy raised on the frontiers of Texas always had a way to beat that kind of a game. As George Saunders said about Jack West: "If it did not go right, we always had a machine to make it go right." The kind of a machine the cow-puncher had was sometimes called a "cutter," and sometimes it was called a "hog-leg," but it was better known as a six-shooter gun, and we frequently had a use for it, for it was a "friend in need" in those days. The Western boys always stood pat no draw pat or show-down.
I ran a maverick brand on the head of Double Mountain Fork, on the 00 Range. 0. J. Warren was the owner. It got so big I lost my job and had to change my brand. That was my headquarters in winter after I got off the trail.
A great many so-called cowboys nowadays think it is fun to work cattle. It is really play, for they have nothing to do. In the early days we had no pens or railroads or wire fences. When we gathered cattle it was to hold them. Sometimes they would run all night. The boss would yell out to us, "Sing Sing to 'em, boys," and we would sing a song as only a cowboy can sing, but something would go wrong and they would be off on a rampage once more. The worse the weather the closer we would have to stay, for then was the time they gave the most trouble. Once I was on guard six days and nights without going to bed.
This was written in September, 1919, just after I had passed through a great Gulf storm, in which we lost everything, house washed away, and everything lost.. There are nine in my family, but I did not lose any of them. We were in the storm for twenty hours and