Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
and go down to Texas together.  I had written home to have the buckboard meet us at Fort Worth on October 1, and a few days later we were riding the range on the Brazos and Clear Fork.  In the past there never had been any market for this class of drones, old age and death being the only relief, and from the great number of brands that I had purchased during my ranching and trail operations, my range was simply cluttered with these old cumberers.  Their hides would not have paid freighting and transportation to a market, and they had become an actual drawback to a ranch, when the opportunity occurred and I sold twelve hundred head to the Illinois distillery.  The buyer informed me that they fattened well; that there was a special demand for this quality in the export trade of dressed beef, and that owing to their cheapness and consequent profit they were in demand for distillery feeding.

Fifteen dollars a head was agreed on as the price, and we earned it a second time in delivering that herd at Fort Worth.  Many of the animals were ten years old, surly when irritated, and ready for a fight when their day-dreams were disturbed.  There was no treating them humanely, for every effort in that direction was resented by the old rascals, individually and collectively.  The first day we gathered two hundred, and the attempt to hold them under herd was a constant fight, resulting in every hoof arising on the bed-ground at midnight and escaping to their old haunts.  I worked as good a ranch outfit of men as the State ever bred, I was right there in the saddle with them, yet, in spite of every effort, to say nothing of the profanity wasted, we lost the herd.  The next morning every lad armed himself with a prod-pole long as a lance and tipped with a sharp steel brad, and we commenced regathering.  Thereafter we corralled them at night, which always called for a free use of ropes, as a number usually broke away on approaching the pens.  Often we hog-tied as many as a dozen, letting them lie outside all night and freeing them back into the herd in the morning.  Even the day-herding was a constant fight, as scarcely an hour passed but some old resident would scorn the restraint imposed upon his liberties and deliberately make a break for freedom.  A pair of horsemen would double on the deserter, and with a prod-pole to his ear and the pressure of a man and horse bearing their weight on the same, a circle would be covered and Toro always reentered the day-herd.  One such lesson was usually sufficient, and by reaching corrals every night and penning them, we managed, after two weeks’ hard work, to land them in the stockyards at Fort Worth.  The buyer remained with and accompanied us during the gathering and en route to the railroad, evidently enjoying the continuous performance.  He proved a good mixer, too, and returned annually thereafter.  For years following I contracted with him, and finally shipped on consignment, our business relations always pleasant and increasing in volume until his death.

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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