Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 333 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
been a pleasant task.  In this summing-up of my active life, much has been omitted; and then again, there seems to have been a hopeless repetition with the recurring years, for seedtime and harvest come to us all as the seasons roll round.  Four of my boys have wandered far afield, forging out for themselves, not content to remain under the restraint of older brothers who have assumed the active management of my ranches.  One bad general is still better than two good ones, and there must be a head to a ranch if it is to be made a success.  I still keep an eye over things, but the rough, hard work now falls on younger shoulders, and I find myself delegated to amuse and be amused by the third generation of the Anthonys.  In spite of my years, I still enjoy a good saddle horse, scarcely a day passing but I ride from ten to twenty miles.  There is a range maxim that “the eyes of the boss make a fat horse,” and at deliveries of cattle, rounds-ups, and branding, my mere presence makes things move with alacrity.  I can still give the boys pointers in handling large bodies of cattle, and the ranch outfits seem to know that we old-time cowmen have little use for the modern picturesque cowboy, unless he is an all-round man and can deliver the goods in any emergency.

With but a few years of my allotted span yet to run, I find myself in the full enjoyment of all my faculties, ready for a romp with my grandchildren or to crack a joke with a friend.  My younger girls are proving splendid comrades, always ready for a horseback ride or a trip to the city.  It has always been a characteristic of the Anthony family that they could ride a horse before they could walk, and I find the third generation following in the footsteps of their elders.  My grandsons were all expert with a rope before they could read, and it is one of the evidences of a merciful providence that their lives have been spared, as it is nearly impossible to keep them out of mischief and danger.  To forbid one to ride a certain dangerous horse only serves to heighten his anxiety to master the outlaw, and to banish him from the branding pens means a prompt return with or without an excuse.  On one occasion, on the Double Mountain ranch, with the corrals full of heavy cattle, I started down to the pens, but met two of my grandsons coming up the hill, and noticed at a glance that there had been trouble.  I stopped the boys and inquired the cause of their tears, when the youngest, a barefooted, chubby little fellow, said to me between his sobs, “Grandpa, you’d—­you’d—­you’d better keep away from those corrals.  Pa’s as mad as a hornet, and—­and—­and he quirted us—­yes, he did.  If you fool around down there, he’ll—­he’ll—­he’ll just about wear you out.”

Should this transcript of my life ever reach the dignity of publication, the casual reader, in giving me any credit for success, should bear in mind the opportunities of my time.  My lot was cast with the palmy days of the golden West, with its indefinable charm, now past and gone and never to return.  In voicing this regret, I desire to add that my mistakes are now looked back to as the chastening rod, leading me to an appreciation of higher ideals, and the final testimony that life is well worth the living.

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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