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Church & Community July 18, 2017  RSS feed

The old cowboy spins a tail

By Mac Shadix

Editors note: During the slow days of summer the Buffalo Press is going to rerun the previously published stories from the old cowboy series. Today we have the conclusion of the first story.

Well, anyway, the catamount was screaming and it kept getting closer. After while I could hear it tearing at the carcass of that steer. There was only a tore up cactus patch between us. The moon was full but I couldn’t stand up to see over the cactus, but after a while it got on top of the steer and screamed at me. It was so close that I could smell it’s bad breath. And it smelt worse than old Bob. My hands were shaking from the cold and fever and being hungry and I thought that if I shot at it with a handgun and didn’t do the trick that it might just make it mad enough to come for me. But I took out my gun and tried to line it up but before I was nearly ready it went off. I guess that scared the critter off cause I never did see it again. Heard it or another one screaming some later that night though.

The next day around noon Tommy D comes riding up with a doctor on another horse.

Turns out that the doctor was out at the Running M delivering Mrs Beartha of a baby boy when Tommy D got there on his way to Sand Springs. The country was so rough that they couldn’t think of trying to get a buggy over it, but they sent word to the outfit cause they could get the chuck wagon in from the other direction and it was closer. The doc gave me some medicine, strychnine or quinine, or something, and some salve and pulled a bunch more thorns. My right leg was swollen to where he didn’t know if he could set it or not. I passed out when he tried, and then he got it done. He put on some splints, said I might live as I was too worthless to die, and then he lit out back to the Running M on his way to Sand Springs.

I was laid up in the bunkhouse all that winter eating partched peanuts and ginger snaps and bacon and and playing 42. I was never as good as I was before all that but I kept on cowboying for two or three years until I met your grandmother over at Sand Springs and had to give up cowboying and go to work.

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