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I had of the trail was that wonderful herd of wild steers Ab Blocker tells about, in the first volume of this book, that were roped on the Perdinales by John and Bill Blocker. It was a sight and it is a great pity that a picture of that herd was not made and kept.
In 1878 a small outfit left Austin in charge of my brother and we received a herd of steers and a herd of cows and calves on the head of Camp Creek in Coleman county. We had a trail wagon in which to carry the calves that were born on the trail. The herd was owned by Col. Wm. Day. We reached Dodge City, Kansas, in good shape, but it was a wretched trip as the calves gave us a lot of trouble. The next year we started a herd of steers from Kimble county for Major Seth Mabry, going to Ogallala, Nebraska. There the herd was re-arranged and we started with 4,000 steers for the Cheyenne Agency in Dakota. Half of the herd went to Bismarck, Dakota. The herd we drove to the Cheyenne Agency was for the United States government and were fed to the Sioux Indians. One day early in December an Indian courier came to our camp with a message from the commander of the post saying that if the mercury went 28 degrees below zero he wanted 250 steers that day, to commence killing for the Indians' winter beef. We delivered the steers and the Indians killed them all in one day. The meat was exposed to the cold for a few days and then stored in an immense warehouse to be issued out to the Indians every week. During the killing period about 800 steers were slaughtered. About 7,000 Indians were present at the killing. It was no uncommon sight to see a squaw at one end of an entrail and a dog at the other end, both eating ravenously. When the killing was completed we had about 600 steers that had to be crossed over the Missouri River on the ice, which was then about 28 inches thick across the channel. After this was done we had to deliver the horses at Fort Thompson. At this time the government thermometer at Peeve recorded 72