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The grass was burned to a crisp, stock water was scarce, provisions were high and everything in the vegetable line was scarce. Irish potatoes the size of a hickory nut were $2.50 per bushel. Sometimes the boss had to pay $10 to water the herd. People there informed us that it had not rained there in seven months, and it looked to me like it had not rained in seven years. Holding one foot on the Kansas soil and the other on Territory soil was like having one foot in the submerged alluvial soil of the Nile and the other out in the desert where it had not rained enough to wet a pocket handkerchief in a hundred years. The cool nights and almost unbearable heat in the daytime about got the best of the cowboys.
Two days after we struck camp southwest of Dodge City several of the cowboys were excused by the boss to go to town for supplies. Soon after they arrived there they began to "tank up" on mean whiskey and proceeded to shoot up the town. As they came out at a high rate of speed one of them, John Briley, was killed by the marshal of Dodge City. I was in Dodge City the next day and saw that he was buried. Associating with bad company has cost many a man his life.
Man dieth and goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the street. At the cemetery in Dodge City I noticed a number of fresh mounds, and I said to the sexton there that an epidemic of some kind must have struck that place, but he said the graves were those of desperadoes who had died with their boots on. While looking around I noticed on a small tombstone the following inscription : "Here rests Mary Hamilton, aged 14." Then came the following lines :
"Weep not for me my parents dear, I am not dead, but only sleeping here. I was not yours alone, But God's who loved me best, and took me home."