Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 333 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
welfare until the second morning, when Loving’s horse came into camp, whinnying for his mates.  There were blood-stains on the saddle, and the story of a man who was cautious for others and careless of himself was easily understood.  Conjecture was rife.  The presence of the horse admitted of several interpretations.  An Indian ambush was the most probable, and a number of men were detailed to ferret out the mystery.  We were then seventy miles below Sumner, and with orders to return to the herd at night six of us immediately started.  The searching party was divided into squads, one on either side of the Pecos River, but no results were obtained from the first day’s hunt.  The herd had moved up fifteen miles during the day, and the next morning the search was resumed, the work beginning where it had ceased the evening before.  Late that afternoon and from the east bank, as Goodnight and I were scanning the opposite side of the river, a lone man, almost naked, emerged from a cave across the channel and above us.  Had it not been for his missing arm it is doubtful if we should have recognized him, for he seemed demented.  We rode opposite and hailed, when he skulked back into his refuge; but we were satisfied that it was Wilson.  The other searchers were signaled to, and finding an entrance into the river, we swam it and rode up to the cave.  A shout of welcome greeted us, and the next instant Wilson staggered out of the cavern, his eyes filled with tears.

He was in a horrible physical condition, and bewildered.  We were an hour getting his story.  They had been ambushed by Indians and ran for the brakes of the river, but were compelled to abandon their horses, one of which was captured, the other escaping.  Loving was wounded twice, in the wrist and the side, but from the cover gained they had stood off the savages until darkness fell.  During the night Loving, unable to walk, believed that he was going to die, and begged Wilson to make his escape, and if possible return to the herd.  After making his employer as comfortable as possible, Wilson buried his own rifle, pistols, and knife, and started on his return to the herd.  Being one-armed, he had discarded his boots and nearly all his clothing to assist him in swimming the river, which he had done any number of times, traveling by night and hiding during the day.  When found in the cave, his feet were badly swollen, compelling him to travel in the river-bed to protect them from sandburs and thorns.  He was taken up behind one of the boys on a horse, and we returned to camp.

Wilson firmly believed that Loving was dead, and described the scene of the fight so clearly that any one familiar with the river would have no difficulty in locating the exact spot.  But the next morning as we were nearing the place we met an ambulance in the road, the driver of which reported that Loving had been brought into Sumner by a freight outfit.  On receipt of this information Goodnight hurried on to the post,

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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