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I covered the opening with a wagon sheet. One night, after we had gone to bed, a negro boy whom I had brought with me from Dallas county, and who slept on a pallet on the floor near the fireplace, suddenly cried out, "0, mas Elam ! Fo God! Ole Satan hisself is here, an' done come for us ! " I raised up and looking towards the frightened "coon," whose eyes were bulged out so that you could have roped them with a grape vine, I saw, to my surprise, a great big, black mountain bear making himself at home in the room. There he sat on his haunches, by the fireplace, looking as unconcerned as you please. Before I could get my gun, Mr. Bruin suddenly jumped out of one of the window openings and disappeared in the darkness.
Stock raising was the principal and virtually the only industry in the country, and the range was open and free for all. I did not go up the Trail until 1875. In the spring of that year we left Bandera with a herd of one thousand head for Ogallala, Nebraska. Lige Childs was boss, but as he was not as well acquainted with the country as I was, I was virtually made boss of the herd. Our outfit in addition to Childs, was composed of Sammy Schladaer, John McKenzie, John Brock, Sylvester Bethreum, and myself, with one or two others whose names I have forgotten. When we got to the Colorado River, it looked to me like it was five miles wide. This, however, didn't "faze" us in the least, and we swam the herd across without any material loss. As the weather continued bad, with rains and storms, we had to swim the main Brazos and the Clear Fork. When we got to Denison, on Red River, Childs sold out, and we came back over the trail.
Some funny things happened on our way up, but one of the most serious episodes occurred when we got near Fredericksburg. One of the sturdy farmers of that section (there were but few farming settlements in the country) near whose farm we had passed, came to the