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delightful recollections of it. No boy can really get a thrill from any other sport than to be member of a bunch of real cowboys on the trail and in charge of thousands of head of cattle. The cowboy was one of the gay and festive characters of the early day history of Texas and he has not been overdrawn. He worked hard and played hard and to him there was no task too difficult or dangerous and the life of one head of stock in his charge was as precious as the entire herd.
My first trip over the trail to Kansas was in 1871, when we drove 1,200 steers, from six to sixteen years old, which we gathered and branded at the old Coleman ranch, known as the Chiltipin ranch. John R. Pulliam bought them from T. M. Coleman, Sr., for $10 per head. My brother, D. C. Rachal, was in charge of the herd, and I was second boss. Our hands were A. P. Rachal, William Allen, William Lewis, Ebb Douglas, Dick Bean, Bill Unit, one Mexican called "Big Dirty," and a German cook. We started from the Chiltipin about March 20, 1871, and the second night out, near Sand Mounds on the Arkansas Creek, it rained all night, and our herd became scattered. When he reached Fort Worth we laid in supplies, and went on, and the next night had a stampede and our herd got mixed up with a herd Buck Gravis was driving. From there we just drove the two herds together to a point near Abilene. When we reached Bluff Creek at the Kansas line the first house of Caldwell was being put up. It was a log house. Here we found an old friend, Milam Fitzgerald, with a tent full of trail supplies, so we stocked up. We stopped at Cottonwood Creek, about twenty miles from Abilene, and separated our cattle from the Gravis herd, and drove them across to Ellsworth and from there on to the Smoky River, near Wilson