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crossed the Colorado at Austin, on to Georgetown, Salado, Belton, Valley Mills, Fort Worth and Denison, and crossed the Red River at Gainesville, and from here we went to Boggy Depot near the Arkansas line, and on to Abilene, where the cattle were put on the market.
We started back home and were on the return trip a month. These cattle were fullgrown steers, and were good walkers. I hugely enjoyed this trip, as well as coming back and was ready to go again when the opportunity offered.
In 1870, by which time I had become an expert cow hand, I was hired by Choate & Bennett at a salary of $75 per month, to go through with a herd in charge of Don Pace. Brother Jim was also with me on this trip. I worked in the lead, and we went the Chisholm Trail as before, crossed the Red River and went on up through the Indian Territory, where there were but few settlements. When we reached Wild Horse, that stream was up, and we had to take our wagon bed, put a wagon sheet around it and make a ferry boat which carried our things over. On the banks of the North Canadian we found a newly made grave with a head-board bearing the inscription, "Killed by Indians." I do not know who the unfortunate victim could have been, but these graves were not uncommon. We went on and delivered the cattle at Wichita, Kansas, and then took the trail for home.
On March 15, 1871, Brother Jim, as boss, started with a herd for Choate & Bennett. I went through the same route as before. On this trip we saw plenty of buffalo and antelopes, and the country was full of wolves. At Wichita, Kansas, we threw the two herds together, Brother Jim and hands came back home, and I went north with the cattle a thousand miles, passing through Nebraska, crossed the Platte River and struck the Missouri River which was a mile wide, and steamboats were on it. The stream was so wide the cattle could not see the landing on the other side, and we worked nine days trying