The Log of a Cowboy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 297 pages of information about The Log of a Cowboy.

THE REPUBLICAN

The outfit were awakened out of sleep the next morning by shouts of “Whoa, mula!  Whoa, you mongrel outcasts!  Catch them blankety blank mules!” accompanied by a rattle of chain harness, and Quince Forrest dashed across our segundo’s bed, shaking a harness in each hand.  We kicked the blankets off, and came to our feet in time to see the offender disappear behind the wagon, while Stallings sat up and yawningly inquired “what other locoed fool had got funny.”  But the camp was awake, for the cattle were leisurely leaving the bed ground, while Honeyman, who had been excused from the herd with the first sign of dawn, was rustling up the horses in the valley of the Beaver below camp.  With the understanding that the Republican River was a short three days’ drive from our present camp, the herd trailed out the first day with not an incident to break the monotony of eating and sleeping, grazing and guarding.  But near noon of the second day, we were overtaken by an old, long-whiskered man and a boy of possibly fifteen.  They were riding in a light, rickety vehicle, drawn by a small Spanish mule and a rough but clean-limbed bay mare.  The strangers appealed to our sympathy, for they were guileless in appearance, and asked so many questions, indicating that ours might have been the first herd of trail cattle they had ever seen.  The old man was a free talker, and innocently allowed us to inveigle it out of him that he had been down on the North Beaver, looking up land to homestead, and was then on his way up to take a look at the lands along the Republican.  We invited him and the boy to remain for dinner, for in that monotonous waste, we would have been only too glad to entertain a bandit, or an angel for that matter, provided he would talk about something else than cattle.  In our guest, however, we found a good conversationalist, meaty with stories not eligible to the retired list; and in return, the hospitality of our wagon was his and welcome.  The travel-stained old rascal proved to be a good mixer, and before dinner was over he had won us to a man, though Stallings, in the capacity of foreman, felt it incumbent on him to act the host in behalf of the outfit.  In the course of conversation, the old man managed to unearth the fact that our acting foreman was a native of Tennessee, and when he had got it down to town and county, claimed acquaintanceship with a family of men in that locality who were famed as breeders of racehorses.  Our guest admitted that he himself was a native of that State, and in his younger days had been a devotee of the racecourse, with the name of every horseman in that commonwealth as well as the bluegrass regions of Kentucky on his tongue’s end.  But adversity had come upon him, and now he was looking out a new country in which to begin life over again.

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The Log of a Cowboy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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