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cattle could be marketed only by driving them over the old Kansas Trail.
At this time in this section of the country good steers could be bought for fifteen dollars, and were often killed for the hides and tallow. The meat was fed to the hogs.
In the early spring of 1871 Mr. Burks rounded up his cattle and topped out a thousand head of the best to take to market. Jasper Clark (better known as "Jap ") was getting ready to take the Clark herd also, so they planned to keep the two herds not far apart.
They started in April with about ten cowboys each, mostly Mexicans, and the cooks. The cattle were roadbranded at Pinitas and started on the familiar trail. They were only a day out when Marcus Banks, my brother-in-law, came back with a note to me from Mr. Burks asking me to get ready as soon as possible and catch up with the bunch. He also said to bring either Eliza or Nick (black girl and boy who worked for us) to look out for my comfort, and suggested that Nick would be of more help than the girl.
So Nick and I started in my little buggy drawn by two good brown ponies and overtook the herd in a day's time. Nick, being more skilled than the camp cook, prepared my meals. He also put up my tent evenings, and took it down when we broke up camp. It was intended that he should drive my horses when I was tired, but that was not necessary, for the horses often had no need of anyone driving them. They would follow the slow-moving herd unguided, and I would find a comfortable position, fasten the lines and take a little nap.
The cattle were driven only about ten miles a day, or less, so that they would have plenty of time to graze and fatten along the way. They were in good condition when they reached Kansas.
Except when I was lost, I left the bunch only once after starting. On this occasion I went to Concrete, where my sister lived, to have a tent made for the trip.