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.
which were being cast after them.  Honeyman reported the herd quietly grazing across the river, and after securing our mounts for the morning, we breakfasted before looking after the cattle.  It took us less than an hour to round up and count the cattle, and turn them loose again under herd to graze.  Those of us not on herd returned to the wagon, and our foreman instructed McCann to make a two hours’ drive down the river and camp for noon, as he proposed only to graze the herd that morning.  After seeing the wagon safely beyond the rocky crossing, we hunted up a good bathing pool and disported ourselves for half an hour, taking a much needed bath.  There were trails on either side of the Powder, and as our course was henceforth to the northwest, we remained on the west side and grazed or trailed down it.  It was a beautiful stream of water, having its source in the Big Horn Mountains, frequently visible on our left.  For the next four or five days we had easy work.  There were range cattle through that section, but fearful of Texas fever, their owners gave the Powder River a wide berth.  With the exception of holding the herd at night, our duties were light.  We caught fish and killed grouse; and the respite seemed like a holiday after our experience of the past few days.  During the evening of the second day after reaching the Powder, we crossed the Crazy Woman, a clear mountainous fork of the former river, and nearly as large as the parent stream.  Once or twice we encountered range riders, and learned that the Crazy Woman was a stock country, a number of beef ranches being located on it, stocked with Texas cattle.

Somewhere near or about the Montana line, we took a left-hand trail.  Flood had ridden it out until he had satisfied himself that it led over to the Tongue River and the country beyond.  While large trails followed on down the Powder, their direction was wrong for us, as they led towards the Bad Lands and the lower Yellowstone country.  On the second day out, after taking the left-hand trail, we encountered some rough country in passing across a saddle in a range of hills forming the divide between the Powder and Tongue rivers.  We were nearly a whole day crossing it, but had a well-used trail to follow, and down in the foothills made camp that night on a creek which emptied into the Tongue.  The roughness of the trail was well compensated for, however, as it was a paradise of grass and water.  We reached the Tongue River the next afternoon, and found it a similar stream to the Powder,—­clear as crystal, swift, and with a rocky bottom.  As these were but minor rivers, we encountered no trouble in crossing them, the greatest danger being to our wagon.  On the Tongue we met range riders again, and from them we learned that this trail, which crossed the Yellowstone at Frenchman’s Ford, was the one in use by herds bound for the Musselshell and remoter points on the upper Missouri.  From one rider we learned that the first herd of the present season which went through on this route were cattle wintered on the Niobrara in western Nebraska, whose destination was Alberta in the British possessions.  This herd outclassed us in penetrating northward, though in distance they had not traveled half as far as our Circle Dots.

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