|Libraries Home | Mobile | My Account | Renew Items | Sitemap | Help|
Select a method to view the page:
the cook. Jim and Dock Watts, who lived at the Man Crossing on the Medina, came to us further up the trail. Woofter went with us, but did not come back. Jim Speed was killed in Moore several years ago ; Tom McDaniel died in 1887; Uncle Ben Duncan died in 1919, and the old cook also went the way we must all go sooner or later. Gus Black of Eagle Pass is the only one of my old comrades on this drive who is still living.
In 1874 I made a trip up the old Chisholm trail with 1,000 beeves which had been selected and put in the Shiner pasture below Pearsall. We went to work gathering them about the 20th of February and it took us until the 5th of March to get them out of the thickets, inspected and road-branded. These cattle were in good shape and as fine beeves as you ever saw, no she stuff, and mostly threes and up. There were a few twos, but they were all fours when we got through and ready for the market. On the morning of March 5th we pointed those old moss-headed beeves up the trail and made it to the Davis ranch that night. Uncle Bob said we could pen them there and perhaps get a little sleep, but a norther and a dry thunderstorm blew up and everybody had to get around that old pen and sing to them while they were milling around like a grindstone. We pulled out from there at sunrise the next morning and drove to the old John Adams ranch on the Castroville road, where we penned the beeves again and had another bad night. Nobody got any sleep, but we kept them in the pen. When the herd reached New Braunfels Uncle Bob, who was acting boss, turned the herd over to Bill Perryman and turned back. Our regular boss was V. A. Johnson, who had been detained in San Antonio on account of sickness in his family.
We crossed the Guadalupe River in a rain, and just after nightfall we had a severe storm with lots of thunder, lightning and cold. It was so dark most of the hands left us and went to the chuck wagon except W. T. Henson, myself and old Chief, a negro. We had to let them drift, and it took us two or three days to get them back together. We were about thirty head short when we counted and pulled out from there. When we reached the vicinity where Kyle is now located we had another big storm and a general mixup with some ,other herds that were near us. We had quite a time cutting our cattle out and getting them all back, especially some strays that were in the herd.
We had storms and stampedes all the way up to Red River, which we reached about the 16th of April. We never did succeed in holding all of them at any time. We had a few old trouble-makers in the herd, which, if they had been shot when we first started, would have saved t s a lot of worry. They ran so much they became regular old scalawags. But, strange to say, we never had a single stampede while passing through the Indian Territory. The Indians did not give us as much trouble on this trip as they did in 1872.
Ed Chambers was killed at Pond Creek, while in charge of a herd for Tucker & Duncan. We had some exciting times getting our herd across Red River, which was on a big rise, and nearly a mile wide, with all kinds of large trees floating down on big foam-capped waves that looked larger than a wagon sheet, but we had to put our herd over to the other side. Henson and I were selected to go across and hold the cattle when they reached the opposite side. We were mounted on small paint ponies, and the one I was riding got into some quicksand just under the water and stuck there. I dismounted in water about knee deep, rolled him over and took off my saddle, bridle and leggins, then undressed myself and called some of the boys to come in and get my things, while I headed my horse for the north bank with just a rope around his neck. I figured that if my little pony could not make it across I would use one of those moss-headed steers for a ferry boat, but the little