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me that there would be no trouble about it, as I was in good standing with her papa, but when I told her I was "broke," she merely laughed and said "everybody was broke," and that she would help me, so we married and she is still helping me to this good hour— over a period of fifty-five years. After we were married in the spring of 1865, the Indians killed my father at his home on the Frio, in McMullen County, in August, 1865, so my mother, four sisters and one little brother were left for us to care for. During the reconstruction times we had all kinds of trouble on the border with the Indians, Mexicans, thieves and outlaws, too bad to write about, and would not be believed anyway (ask my friend, Ed English, if it was a Sunday School picnic), so better be it forgotten. By hard work and close economy I had got together fifteen hundred head of good mixed cattle by the spring of 1872, and started up the trail in March for my first trip.
I was herd boss, had a yoke of oxen, mess cart, one negro and eight Mexicans with me on that trip, but of the crowd only myself and the negro, Jack Hopkins, are now living to tell the tale. As a boy I had always wanted a good mount, was ambitious to ride good horses and have the best rifle, and as a married man I was anxious to have $10,000 in money in the clear. When I returned home in the fall I had $15,000 in cash and $10,000 life insurance in favor of my wife and babies, and felt that I was "some" financier, as that was the first real money I had ever had, and it was all our own. I started my herd from the San Miguel in Atascosa county, and as I traveled the well-defined trail, nothing of interest happened until I got to Red River Station on the Red River. There I found the river big swimming, and as another herd was close behind me, I could not turn back, so I asked my men if they would follow the herd across, and they said they would, so I spurred "Old Dun" into the river and swam across with my lead cattle following close behind, and all landed in safety, but I did not want