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.

“He and Hale stayed all night, and Dunlap kept every one awake with the nightmare.  Yes, kept fighting the demons all night.  The next morning Miller told him that he was surprised that an old gray-haired man like him didn’t know when he had enough, but must gorge himself like some silly kid.  Miller told him that he was welcome to stay a week if he wanted to, but he would have to sleep in the stable.  It was cruel to the horses, but the men were entitled to a little sleep, at least in the winter.  Miller tempered his remarks with all kindness, and Dunlap acted as if he was sorry, and as good as admitted that his years were telling on him.  That day our man filled his tub.  He was simply an artist on bear sign.”

“Calling bear sign doughnuts,” cut in Quince Forrest again, as soon as he saw an opening, “reminds me what the little boy said who went”—­

But there came a rumbling of many hoofs from the bed ground.  “There’s hell for you,” said half a dozen men in a chorus, and every man in camp ran for his horse but the cook, and he climbed into the wagon.  The roar of the running cattle was like approaching thunder, but the flash from the six-shooters of the men on guard indicated they were quartering by camp, heading out towards the hills.  Horses became so excited they were difficult to bridle.  There was plenty of earnest and sincere swearing done that night.  All the fine sentiment and melancholy of the hour previous vanished in a moment, as the men threw themselves into their saddles, riding deep, for it was uncertain footing to horses.

Within two minutes from the time the herd left the bed ground, fourteen of us rode on their left point and across their front, firing our six-shooters in their faces.  By the time the herd had covered a scant mile, we had thrown them into a mill.  They had run so compactly that there were no stragglers, so we loosened out and gave them room; but it was a long time before they relaxed any, but continued going round and round like a water wheel or an endless chain.  The foreman ordered three men on the heaviest horses to split them.  The men rode out a short distance to get the required momentum, wheeled their horses, and, wedge-shaped, struck this sea of cattle and entered, but it instantly closed in their wake as though it had been water.  For an hour they rode through the herd, back and forth, now from this quarter, now from that, and finally the mill was broken.  After midnight, as luck would have it, heavy dark clouds banked in the northwest, and lightning flashed, and before a single animal had lain down, a drizzling rain set in.  That settled it; it was an all-night job now.  We drifted about hither and yon.  Horses, men, and cattle turned their backs to the wind and rain and waited for morning.  We were so familiar with the signs of coming day that we turned them loose half an hour before dawn, leaving herders, and rode for camp.

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