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character that the outside world knows nothing of. They were to a man defenders of women and children. Drop a woman down in an isolated cow camp and she was a queen and her will and wishes are absolute. They are to a man Chesterfields in the rough, and in my fifty years of life on the cow range I have never known a cowboy to insult nor heard of one attempting the unpardonable crime against the sex.
From the Rio Grande, which is the border between Texas and Mexico, to Red River, which is the north line of Texas, going over the cattle trail, is a distance of about 600 miles, so it took cattle leaving the southern part of the state from six weeks to two months to cross the northern border of Texas. Some of these herds were headed for Montana and often snow would be flying by the time they reached their destination.
All of the old trail drivers will remember Fort Griffin in Shackelford county, which was the last organized county on the trail, and all herds had to be inspected at the crossing of the Clear Fork of the Brazos, near the mouth of Tecumpsee. The writer at one time had the honor of being inspector there, and the memory of many pleasant events come back over the fleeting years as I sit here and write.
It seems now as though it was all in some other world and under fairer skies. The cowboy as he was then is gone from the earth. The railroads and wire fences have got his job. His old sore-backed cow pony is aged and wobbly. The automobile has got his job and his old three-quarter rigged saddle, with its busted raw-hide cover, hangs out in the old rickety shed —a relic of former days— and soon the last of his tribe will sack his saddle, roll and light his last shuck as he bares his breast to the winding trail out over the Great Divide, where, we trust, vast herds of long-horned cattle roam over fertile plains and slake their thirst from crystal streams.