The Log of a Cowboy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 355 pages of information about The Log of a Cowboy.
our right, as we neared the summit, we could see in that rarefied atmosphere the buttes, like sentinels on duty, as they dotted the immense tableland between the Yellowstone and the mother Missouri, while on our left lay a thousand hills, untenanted save by the deer, elk, and a remnant of buffalo.  Another half day’s drive brought us to the shoals on the Musselshell, about twelve miles above the entrance of Flatwillow Creek.  It was one of the easiest crossings we had encountered in many a day, considering the size of the river and the flow of water.  Long before the advent of the white man, these shoals had been in use for generations by the immense herds of buffalo and elk migrating back and forth between their summer ranges and winter pasturage, as the converging game trails on either side indicated.  It was also an old Indian ford.  After crossing and resuming our afternoon drive, the cattle trail ran within a mile of the river, and had it not been for the herd of northern wintered cattle, and possibly others, which had passed along a month or more in advance of us, it would have been hard to determine which were cattle and which were game trails, the country being literally cut up with these pathways.

When within a few miles of the Flatwillow, the trail bore off to the northwest, and we camped that night some distance below the junction of the former creek with the Big Box Elder.  Before our watch had been on guard twenty minutes that night, we heard some one whistling in the distance; and as whoever it was refused to come any nearer the herd, a thought struck me, and I rode out into the darkness and hailed him.

“Is that you, Tom?” came the question to my challenge, and the next minute I was wringing the hand of my old bunkie, The Rebel.  I assured him that the coast was clear, and that no inquiry had been even made for him the following morning, when crossing the Yellowstone, by any of the inhabitants of Frenchman’s Ford.  He returned with me to the bed ground, and meeting Honeyman as he circled around, was almost unhorsed by the latter’s warmth of reception, and Officer’s delight on meeting my bunkie was none the less demonstrative.  For nearly half an hour he rode around with one or the other of us, and as we knew he had had little if any sleep for the last three nights, all of us begged him to go on into camp and go to sleep.  But the old rascal loafed around with us on guard, seemingly delighted with our company and reluctant to leave.  Finally Honeyman and I prevailed on him to go to the wagon, but before leaving us he said, “Why, I’ve been in sight of the herd for the last day and night, but I’m getting a little tired of lying out with the dry cattle these cool nights, and living on huckleberries and grouse, so I thought I’d just ride in and get a fresh horse and a square meal once more.  But if Flood says stay, you’ll see me at my old place on the point to-morrow.”

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