Reed Anthony, Cowman eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Reed Anthony, Cowman.
on seeing Fort Worth, a straggling village on the Trinity River, and, merely halting to feed my mount, passed on.  I had a splendid horse and averaged thirty to forty miles a day when traveling, and early in April reached the home of my friend in Paolo Pinto County.  The primitive valley of the Brazos was enchanting, and the hospitality of the Edwards ranch was typical of my own Virginia.  George Edwards, my crony, was a year my junior, a native of the State, his parents having moved west from Mississippi the year after Texas won her independence from Mexico.  The elder Edwards had moved to his present home some fifteen years previous, carrying with him a stock of horses and cattle, which had increased until in 1866 he was regarded as one of the substantial ranchmen in the Brazos valley.  The ranch house was a stanch one, built at a time when defense was to be considered as well as comfort, and was surrounded by fine cornfields.  The only drawback I could see there was that there was no market for anything, nor was there any money in the country.  The consumption of such a ranch made no impression on the increase of its herds, which grew to maturity with no demand for the surplus.

I soon became impatient to do something.  George Edwards had likewise lost four years in the army, and was as restless as myself.  He knew the country, but the only employment in sight for us was as teamsters with outfits, freighting government supplies to Fort Griffin.  I should have jumped at the chance of driving oxen, for I was anxious to stay in the country, and suggested to George that we ride up to Griffin.  But the family interposed, assuring us that there was no occasion for engaging in such menial work, and we folded our arms obediently, or rode the range under the pretense of looking after the cattle.  I might as well admit right here that my anxiety to get away from the Edwards ranch was fostered by the presence of several sisters of my former comrade.  Miss Gertrude was only four years my junior, a very dangerous age, and in spite of all resolutions to the contrary, I felt myself constantly slipping.  Nothing but my poverty and the hopelessness of it kept me from falling desperately in love.

But a temporary relief came during the latter part of May.  Reports came down the river that a firm of drovers were putting up a herd of cattle for delivery at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.  Their headquarters were at Belknap, a long day’s ride above, on the Brazos; and immediately, on receipt of the news, George and I saddled, and started up the river.  The elder Edwards was very anxious to sell his beef-cattle and a surplus of cow-horses, and we were commissioned to offer them to the drovers at prevailing prices.  On arriving at Belknap we met the pioneer drover of Texas, Oliver Loving, of the firm of Loving & Goodnight, but were disappointed to learn that the offerings in making up the herd were treble the drover’s requirements; neither was there any chance to sell

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Reed Anthony, Cowman from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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