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Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
that we were tender-feet.  But with the falling of darkness every horse was brought in and we harnessed up and started, leaving the fire burning to identify our supposed camp.  The drovers gave our darky cook instructions, in case of an attack while passing through the Gap, never to halt his team, but push ahead for the plain.  About one third of us took the immediate lead of the wagon, the remuda following closely, and the remainder of the men bringing up the rear.  The moon was on the wane and would not rise until nearly midnight, and for the first few miles, or until we entered the canon, there was scarce a sound to disturb the stillness of the night.  The sandy road even muffled the noise of the wagon and the tramping of horses; but once we entered that rocky canon, the rattling of our commissary seemed to summon every Comanche and his ally to come and rob us.  There was never a halt, the reverberations of our caravan seeming to reecho through the Gap, resounding forward and back, until our progress must have been audible at Horsehead Crossing.  But the expected never happens, and within an hour we reached the summit of the plain, where the country was open and clear and an attack could have been easily repelled.  Four fresh mules had been harnessed in for the night, and striking a free gait, we put twenty miles of that arid stretch behind us before the moon rose.  A short halt was made after midnight, for a change of teams and saddle horses, and then we continued our hurried travel until near dawn.

Some indistinct objects in our front caused us to halt.  It looked like a caravan, and we hailed it without reply.  Several of us dismounted and crept forward, but the only sign of life was a dull, buzzing sound which seemed to issue from an outfit of parked wagons.  The report was laid before the two drovers, who advised that we await the dawn, which was then breaking, as it was possible that the caravan had been captured and robbed by Indians.  A number of us circled around to the farther side, and as we again approached the wagons in the uncertain light we hailed again and received in reply a shot, which cut off the upper lobe of one of the boys’ ears.  We hugged the ground for some little time, until the presence of our outfit was discovered by the lone guardian of the caravan, who welcomed us.  He apologized, saying that on awakening he supposed we were Indians, not having heard our previous challenge, and fired on us under the impulse of the moment.  He was a well-known trader by the name of “Honey” Allen, and was then on his way to El Paso, having pulled out on the dry stretch about twenty-five miles and sent his oxen back to water.  His present cargo consisted of pecans, honey, and a large number of colonies of live bees, the latter having done the buzzing on our first reconnoitre.  At his destination, so he informed us, the pecans were worth fifty cents a quart, the honey a dollar a pound, and the bees one hundred dollars a hive.  After repairing the damaged

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