I met the second herd at Pond Creek, south in the Cherokee Outlet, and after spending a night with them rode through to Wichita in a day and night. We went into camp that year well up the Arkansas River, as two outfits would again hold the four herds. Our second outfit arrived at the chosen grazing grounds on time, the men were instantly relieved, and after a good carouse in town they started home. The two other herds came in without delay, the beeves arriving on the last of the month. Barely half as many cattle would arrive from Texas that summer, as many former drovers from that section were bankrupt on account of the panic of the year before. Yet the market was fairly well supplied with offerings of wintered Texans, the two classes being so distinct that there was very little competition between them. My active partner was on hand early, reporting a healthy inquiry among former customers, all of whom were more than pleased with the cattle supplied them the year before. By being in a position to extend a credit to reliable men, we were enabled to effect sales where other drovers dared not venture.
Business opened early with us. I sold fifteen hundred of my heaviest beeves to an army contractor from Wyoming. My active partner sold the straight three-year-old herd from Erath County to an ex-governor from Nebraska, and we delivered it on the Republican River in that State. Small bunches of from three to five hundred were sold to farmers, and by the first of August we had our holdings reduced to two herds in charge of one outfit. When the hipping season began with our customers at The Grove, trade became active with us at Wichita. Scarcely a week passed but Major Hunter sold a thousand or more to his neighbors, while I skirmished around in the general market. When the outfit returned from the Republican River, I took it in charge, went down on the Medicine, and cut out a thousand beeves, bringing them to the railroad and shipping them to St. Louis. I never saw fatter cattle in my life. When we got the returns from the first consignment, we shipped two trainloads every fortnight until our holding’s on the Medicine were reduced to a remnant. A competent bookkeeper was employed early in the year, and in keeping our accounts at Wichita, looking after our shipments, keeping individual interests, by brands, separate from the firm’s, he was about the busiest man connected with the summer’s business. Aside from our drive of over thirteen thousand head, we bought three whole herds, retailing them in small quantities to our customers, all of which was profitable. I bought four whole remudas on personal account, culled out one hundred and fifty head and sold them at a sacrifice, sending home the remaining two hundred saddle horses. I found it much cheaper and more convenient to buy my supply of saddle stock at trail terminals than at home. Once railroad connections were in operation direct between Kansas and Texas, every outfit preferred to go home by rail, but I adhered to former methods for many years.