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.
in case of an emergency.  And you can just bet we changed to our best horses.  When we overtook the herd, we were at least a mile and a half from where the shooting occurred, and there was no Indian in sight, but we felt that they hadn’t given it up.  We hadn’t long to wait, though we would have waited willingly, before we heard their yells and saw the dust rising in clouds behind us.  We quit the herd and wagon right there and rode for a swell of ground ahead that would give us a rear view of the scenery.  The first view we caught of them was not very encouraging.  They were riding after us like fiends and kicking up a dust like a wind storm.  We had nothing but six-shooters, no good for long range.  The owner of the horses admitted that it was useless to try to save the herd now, and if our scalps were worth saving it was high time to make ourselves scarce.

“Cantonment was a government post about twenty-five miles away, so we rode for it.  Our horses were good Spanish stock, and the Indians’ little bench-legged ponies were no match for them.  But not satisfied with the wagon and herd falling into their hands, they followed us until we were within sight of the post.  As hard luck would have it, the cavalry stationed at this post were off on some escort duty, and the infantry were useless in this case.  When the cavalry returned a few days later, they tried to round up those Indians, and the Indian agent used his influence, but the horses were so divided up and scattered that they were never recovered.”

“And did the man lose his horses entirely?” asked Flood, who had anteed up his last bean and joined us.

“He did.  There was, I remember, a tin horn lawyer up about Dodge who thought he could recover their value, as these were agency Indians and the government owed them money.  But all I got for three months’ wages due me was the horse I got away on.”

McCann had been frozen out during Roundtree’s yarn, and had joined the crowd of story-tellers on the other side of the fire.  Forrest was feeling quite gala, and took a special delight in taunting the vanquished as they dropped out.

“Is McCann there?” inquired he, well knowing he was.  “I just wanted to ask, would it be any trouble to poach that egg for my breakfast and serve it with a bit of toast; I’m feeling a little bit dainty.  You’ll poach it for me, won’t you, please?”

McCann never moved a muscle as he replied, “Will you please go to hell?”

The story-telling continued for some time, and while Fox Quarternight was regaling us with the history of a little black mare that a neighbor of theirs in Kentucky owned, a dispute arose in the card game regarding the rules of discard and draw.

“I’m too old a girl,” said The Rebel, angrily, to Forrest, “to allow a pullet like you to teach me this game.  When it’s my deal, I’ll discard just when I please, and it’s none of your business so long as I keep within the rules of the game;” which sounded final, and the game continued.

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