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government and in the fall drove to Baxter Springs, where I made the acquaintance of Doc Day, Isom Goode and other old cowmen.
In 1871 I drove 400 yoke of work oxen to Fort Harker, in the Smoky Hills, near Ellsworth, Kansas, and was captured by the Osage Indians after I crossed the Cimarron River with my horses. They held me prisoner for about an hour, and I suppose I would have been scalped, but the Indians saw the dust of a big herd being driven by Jim Scobey and turned me loose. Each warrior had one side of his face painted red and the other side painted black. I saw the dust kicked up by that herd and called the Indians' attention to it, and they immediately left me.
The next year or two I drove to Abilene, Kansas, on the Smoky River. Bill Hickok was city marshal there, and was a desperate character. I then drove to Dodge City, taking one herd of the old Jingle Bob steers, which I had bought from Coggin Brothers and J. M. Dawson, from the Plains to Gainesville. These were the old John Chissum steers from Seven Rivers, near Roswell, New Mexico, and the most of them died with tick fever. Before I reached Chicago I lost $21,000 on them and was busted.
Major L. G. Cairness staked me in 1882, when he contracted 10,000 steers from Dan Wagoner. I received only 6,000 and drove them to Honeywell, Kansas, in four herds, which took all summer, as it was -such a short drive. We made $72,000 on this drive, lost only three steers and saw lightning kill them. This was my last trail work.
I would be delighted to meet some of the old drovers again. God bless them. But lots of them have laid down their saddles, spurs and hobbles, coiled the riata and crossed the River Styx, and are resting in the shade of the trees.
Now, in conclusion, if you think this epistle of John