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looking after cattle. You may not believe it now, but I skinned cattle by his side all winter, and will say he could take the hide off a cow just as quick as any man you ever saw. I also met G. A. Ray there. He and his father put 700 two-year-old heifers on that range and got back 240. In the spring of 1884 I hired to Mr. Ray for $12 per month and went home with him, where I broke horses, dug post holes and worked cattle until the spring of 1885, when I went out to Alpine and on to the Rio Grande. Here we were provided with mounts, eight horses for day work and one gentle horse for night riding. These day mounts were half-broke ponies and had been out on the range about a year. We were given thirty-six shoes to put on the nine horses and told to shoe them. I had never shod a horse in my life, but went at it and made a good job of it, for we used those horses right along and no one ever made complaint about our work. Our boss was Gid Guthrie, who died a few years ago at Alpine. We gathered our herd on the Rio Grande and drove it across the plains to Honeywell, Kansas.
In 1886 we drove a herd over the same trail for Lee Kokernot of Gonzales, with Gid Guthrie as boss. That same year we drove a herd belonging to George Miller of the 101 Ranch, then on the Arkansas River in the Indian Territory. When I got back home I had my wages in my pocket and I had two good horses, so began to buy a few cattle for myself. At that time the country was open from Cuero to Colorado, and by 1893 I had accumulated a herd of 500 or 600 head of cattle and moved them to Bee County, near Mineral City, where I rented the old Charlie Fox pasture, which I later disposed of with my cattle to Kenedy, Clair & Wood for $14 per head.
My first attempt to borrow money was at a bank in Cuero which had been in existence about a year. I wanted to borrow $300, which I needed to pay the lease on the. pasture I had rented, and the president of the bank made me put up 500 two-year-old steers as security.