Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
an hour.  On arriving at the national capital, we found that all outside shareholders had arrived in advance of ourselves, and we went into session with closed doors and the committee on entertainment and banquets inactive.  In as plain words as the English language would permit, as general manager of the company, I stated the cause for calling the meeting, and bluntly suggested the only avenue of escape.  Call it tribute, blackmail, or what you will, we were at the mercy of as heartless a set of scoundrels as ever missed a rope, whose mercenaries, like the willing hirelings that they were, would cheerfully do the bidding of their superiors.  Major Hunter, in his remarks before the meeting, modified my rather radical statement, with the more plausible argument that this tribute money was merely insurance, and what was five or ten thousand dollars a year, where an original investment of three millions and our surplus were in jeopardy?  Would any line—­life, fire, or marine—­carry our risk as cheaply?  These men had been receiving toll from our predecessors, and were then in a position to levy tribute or wreck the company.

Notwithstanding our request for immediate action, an adjournment was taken.  A wire could have been sent to a friend in Fort Reno that night, and all would have gone well for the future security of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Cattle Company.  But I lacked authority to send it, and the next morning at the meeting, the New England blood that had descended from the Puritan Fathers was again in the saddle, shouting the old slogans of no compromise while they had God and right on their side.  Major Hunter and I both keenly felt the rebuke, but personal friends prevented an open rupture, while the more conservative ones saw brighter prospects in the political change of administration which was soon to assume the reins of government.  A number of congressmen and senators among our stockholders were prominent in the ascendant party, and once the new regime took charge, a general shake-up of affairs in and around Fort Reno was promised.  I remembered the old maxim of a new broom; yet in spite of the blandishments that were showered down in silencing my active partner and me, I could almost smell the burning range, see the horizon lighted up at night by the licking flames, hear the gloating of our enemies, in the hour of their victory, and the click of the nippers of my own men, in cutting the wire that the cattle might escape and live.

I left Washington somewhat heartened.  Major Hunter, ever inclined to look on the bright side of things, believed that the crisis had passed, even bolstering up my hopes in the next administration.  It was the immediate necessity that was worrying me, for it meant a summer’s work to gather our cattle on Red River and in the intermediate country, and bring them back to the home range.  The mysterious absence of any report from my foreman on my arrival at the Grove did not mislead me to believe that no news was

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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