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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
while the rest of us looked over the scene, recovered the buried guns of Wilson, and returned to the herd.  Subsequently we learned that the next morning after Wilson left Loving had crawled to the river for a drink, and, looking upstream, saw some one a mile or more distant watering a team.  By firing his pistol he attracted attention to himself and so was rescued, the Indians having decamped during the night.  To his partner, Mr. Loving corroborated Wilson’s story, and rejoiced to know that his comrade had also escaped.  Everything that medical science could do was done by the post surgeons for the veteran cowman, but after lingering twenty-one days he died.  Wilson and the wounded boy both recovered, the cattle were delivered in two installments, and early in October we started homeward, carrying the embalmed remains of the pioneer drover in a light conveyance.  The trip was uneventful, the traveling was done principally by night, and on the arrival at Loving’s frontier home, six hundred miles from Fort Sumner, his remains were laid at rest with Masonic honors.

Over thirty years afterward a claim was made against the government for the cattle lost at Horsehead Crossing.  Wilson and I were witnesses before the commissioner sent to take evidence in the case.  The hearing was held at a federal court, and after it was over, Wilson, while drinking, accused me of suspecting him of deserting his employer,—­a suspicion I had, in fact, entertained at the time we discovered him at the cave.  I had never breathed it to a living man, yet it was the truth, slumbering for a generation before finding expression.

CHAPTER V

SUMMER OF ’68

The death of Mr. Loving ended my employment in driving cattle to Fort Sumner.  The junior member of the firm was anxious to continue the trade then established, but the absence of any protection against the Indians, either state or federal, was hopeless.  Texas was suffering from the internal troubles of Reconstruction, the paternal government had small concern for the welfare of a State recently in arms against the Union, and there was little or no hope for protection of life or property under existing conditions.  The outfit was accordingly paid off, and I returned with George Edwards to his father’s ranch.  The past eighteen months had given me a strenuous schooling, but I had emerged on my feet, feeling that once more I was entitled to a place among men.  The risk that had been incurred by the drovers acted like a physical stimulant, the outdoor life had hardened me like iron, and I came out of the crucible bright with the hope of youth and buoyant with health and strength.

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