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.

The mixed outfit were yet working our herd when Wilson’s wagon and saddle horses arrived, and while they were changing mounts, we cut the mixed herd of our brand and picked up a number of strays which we had been nursing along, though when we first entered the main herd, strays had received our attention, being well known to us by ranch brands as well as flesh marks.  In gathering up this very natural flotsam of the trail, we cut nothing but what our herd had absorbed in its travels, showing due regard to a similar right of the other herds.  Our work was finished first, and after Wilson had recut the mixed herd, we gave his herd one more looking over in a farewell parting.  Flood asked him if he wanted the lead, but Wilson waived his right in his open, frank manner, saying, “If I had as long-legged cattle as you have, I wouldn’t ask no man for the privilege of passing.  Why, you ought to out-travel horses.  I’m glad to have met you and your outfit, personally, but regret the incident which has given you so much trouble.  As I don’t expect to go farther than Dodge or Ogalalla at the most, you are more than welcome to the lead.  And if you or any of these rascals in your outfit are ever in Coryell County, hunt up Frank Wilson of the Block Bar Ranch, and I’ll promise you a drink of milk or something stronger if possible.”

We crossed the Wichita late that afternoon, there being not over fifty feet of swimming water for the cattle.  Our wagon gave us the only trouble, for the load could not well be lightened, and it was an imperative necessity to cross it the same day.  Once the cattle were safely over and a few men left to graze them forward, the remainder of the outfit collected all the ropes and went back after the wagon.  As mules are always unreliable in the water, Flood concluded to swim them loose.  We lashed the wagon box securely to the gearing with ropes, arranged our bedding in the wagon where it would be on top, and ran the wagon by hand into the water as far as we dared without flooding the wagon box.  Two men, with guy ropes fore and aft, were then left to swim with the wagon in order to keep it from toppling over, while the remainder of us recrossed to the farther side of the swimming channel, and fastened our lariats to two long ropes from the end of the tongue.  We took a wrap on the pommels of our saddles with the loose end, and when the word was given our eight horses furnished abundant motive power, and the wagon floated across, landing high and dry amid the shoutings of the outfit.



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