Although I would have preferred to link directly from my web page to this oral history at the WPA's web page, this was not possible.  Their pages are not set up to accommodate such links.  I was able to copy the text exactly as it appears on their site.  What follows is an exact copy of the document found at the WPA's web page with one exception.  I deleted a bit of information on viewing  the document that is not relevant for this site.  The references to "Page image" below refer to links of images of  the original type written page. 

This project is online thanks to the:
Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, WPA General Writer's Project Collection.

Dave E. Burns

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[Gauthier Sheldon ??]


Tarrant Co., Dist,. 7 {Begin handwritten} 54 {End handwritten}

Page #1

FC 240

Dave E. Burns, 80, living at 3808 [Race?] St. [Fort?] Worth, Texas, was born May 7th, 1857,
at [Penock?] (now Paris) Texas, Lamar County. He was reared on a plantation and learned to
ride a horse at an early age.

[He?] left home at the age of 13 and came to Fort Worth, and there met Joel Collins, by whom
he was hired to work on the Collins ranch located in [?] County.

Burns continued to follow/ {Begin inserted text} the range {End inserted text} until 18, at
which time he joined the Texas Rangers and served under Captain [McNally?] and took part in
the capture of [Sam Bass?], July 19, 1878. He resigned from the ranger force in 1880, and
thereafter engaged in farming and cattle buying.

His range story follows:

"I am now 80, years old, I was born in Lamar County, Texas May 7th, 1857, on a plantation,
which my father owned, near a place called [Penock?]. It since has been changed to the name of

"My father owned several good saddle horses, which were used for traveling and riding over the
fields, looking after the nigger slaves. I learned to ride when I was six years old and when I
reached the age of 13, was a good rider and hossman.

"Plantation life did not sit well with me and after my 13th birthday I hankered for a change and
wanted to get into some other line. Kid like, I decided to hunt a job and at the same time see
some of the world, so left home without the consent, or knowledge, of my parents. {Begin
handwritten} C12- 2/11/41 - Texas {End handwritten}

"I made it to Fort Worth, that was in 1870, and there was not much to the city at the time, but
was a big cow center. I was hanging around the wagon yard the after I arrived and a man came
up to me, he began to chin. After getting me to tell

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who I was and where from, he sez:

"Are you looking for work?"

"Reck n so", I sez.

"Well, how would you like to work on a ranch?, he asked me.

"Fine", sez I, "and I can ride a hoss.

"That man was Joel Collins, he owned a ranch in Erath, County and there is were we jiggled to.
That was in the month of December and I went to work hunting strays as my first job. That gave
me time to graduate from a scissor-bill to a rawhide and by spring I was handy with the [rest?]
and could throw a mean loop. I also, was handling the hosses like an old timer.

"When spring arrived Joel began to cut out a herd to drive up Kansas way. I worked in the cut
out and shaped up so well that Joel gave me ridding orders to go on the drive. I had been
hankering for such and of course was tickled pink.

"We started to drift up the trail in the later part of May and had good luck. It was my first show
on a drive and I was soaking in everything and the first to jump at any job that came up and took
my turn at night riding, after the critters were bedded down at night. We had about 2000 head
and did [not?] lose any. Collins gave a few, sore footed, animals to Indians that called on us for
"wohaw", which is the Indian word for beef. I had it put into my conk on that trip, that it was
better to give the Indian wohaw, than to have them get it by

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stampeding the herd. During the drift we hit up with just one bad storm and the herd got the
jitters, but we worked fast and we put them to milling without any of the critters getting away,
but they kept us dragging all night.

"We arrived at Camp Supply and there Joel met up with Sam Bass. The second day at Camp
Supply, Joel called me and sez to me, "I have a good deal in the making and your are just the
knid of a buckaroo I want to take in with me." So we [sauntered?] over to where Sam Bass and
several other were. The layout offered to me was for me to join up with the gang and go to
making 'big money' as they put it, doing anything from rustling cattle to bank robbery. They had
an oath that they read to me and I was to swear to it befor I would be accepted. The oath read
that a person must accept the orders of the cheif, never tell anyone about plans, never admit
doing a job, or tell whom the other members were. Death was the penalty for breaking the oath.
I refused to become a member and Joel argued with me for two days trying to get the idea into
my conk, but it was a hopeless job, which he finally agreed to and he sez to me "Lad your
missing the chance of a life time to make big jack and be able to take it easy". But I could not
see it the that way and told him so. I sez to him, sez I, "Joel I am looking for hard work".

"After he seen that I would not join the gang, I and four others were started back to the ranch
with 400 hosses that he had traded for.

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"We started to drift back to the ranch with the hosses and made better time, of course,
averaging around 15 miles a day, where with cows they must be allowed to graze and drift, so
that the average is only seven miles a day. The cattle were always allowedmto graze a-plenty.
The idea was to deliver the critters in good flesh.

"When we arrived at the [home?] range, I prattled to Joel's wife, I sez to her:

"You'll never see Joel again, he has joined up with Sam Bass and a gang of them are going to
stick up banks, trains, rustle cattle and anything that comes their way to make big jack".

"I calculate on haveing him brought in feet first, with his boots on, but he is sit on doing it and has
that hankering and I can't stop him.' she sez.

"well, he did come home about a month later and had Sam Bass, and several others, with him.
They took the top hosses of the ranch, left the woren out mounts, and went off again. That got
my bristles [yp?], because we were left with a bunch of second grade hosses and had to work
with that kind or bust others, which we did. We worked about a month busting and training
hosses that we took out of the herd. We had a pert string in the remuda when Joel, with his
buckaroos, showed up and took the tops of the remuda again. That got me plumb riled and I sez
to Joel's wife:

"If that happnes again I will take to the [drags'.?]

" I can't help it Dave," she sez, but I wish you would

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stay. You are one human that I can trust.

"So, I promised that I would stay. I never had any more of the top hosses taken, because they
never came back. A couple months after their last visit, Mrs Collins received a letter and it told
her that Joel got killed during a stick up of the U P train. A few weeks after a party showed up
with money for Joel's wife. It was Joel's share of the loot.

"I quit the Collins ranch a short time after the word of Joel's death arrived as she was intending
to sell. It was the first part of December and I hit the drag for Brownwood. There I met up with
Coogins, he run a bank in the town and had ranch. [He?] had tow partners in the cow business.
The firm was Cooggins, Crouch and [illy?] and their brand was '3'. Coggins took me/ {Begin
inserted text} on {End inserted text} and I joined his outfit, which was 25 miles, S W. of
Brownwood. The ranch run about 15000 head. There is where I had my first brush with Indians.

"AAfellow named Moody was working at the corral and his hoss was off a piece. I happened to
step out of the back door of the bunk house and I saw about 15 Indians, mounted on hosses,
trying to cut Moody off from the hoss. It was the hoss they were after. I pronto stepped inside
for my rifle and stood in the door and threw five shots of lead at the bunch. They were a little out
of my range, and pulled farther away. As it happned Moody and I were the only two that were
at the camp just then, so we dare not take after them. The Indians, no doubt, were not sure of
our numbers and, also, they were in

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which was not the place for an Indian to do any "fitting". An Indian always hankers for a place
where he can hide and do the "fitting" from ambush. We calculated that they were a party of
scouts and that during the night we would be called upon. To be safe, we sent a man to
Brownwood to ask for help and a party of rangers came out under Captain Robinson. We
cowhands joined them and trailed the Indians, but failed to meet up with any of them. If they
were intending to come back they got wind of the rangers and high-tailed it out of the section.

"I next met up with Indians 18 months later. It was in 1876 I joined up with the John Duncan
outfit located in [Llano?] County. The ranch was 16 miles E. of Llano. Duncan's brand was 'T 5'
made by using the 5 to make [?], thus

Illustration . He run about 10 thousand head of cattle and 5 thousand head of hosses.

"It was in the summer of 76, that I was hunting strays and [Boy?] Johnson was working with me,
he had a small herd running the range. He lived in a cabin on the creek near the Glen Cedar
[Breaks?]. [Babs?], his brother lived 150 yards up the creek and Mrs Carwell, with tow
grandchildren, lived beyond that. The Glen breaks is about 8 miles out of Llano and extends 16
miles to Gap Sandy.

"Boy and I returned from stray hunting, late in the afternoon, and found his wife and 3 month old
child gone and signs showed the [work?] of Indians. We went to his brother's cabin and found
Bad's wife and 5 month old child gone. Then

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half mile up the creek we came to the cabin where Mrs Carwell lived with her two
grandchildren. [Ceo?] Klick and Mary Carwell, both children were in their tens and the [?] of
them were gone. All of the homes had been ramsacked and things destroyed.

"Babs Johnson high-tailed it to notify other cowmen. while Boy and I started on the trail of the
skunks. It was not long until we were joined by a good crowd, including Captain Robinson and
Arron Moss, with a bunch of rangers. We trailed them and got a good number of the bunch
befor they reached the [Pecos?] and there, what was left of them, escaped.

"We found Boy's child at the edge of the cedar break, laying at the side of a rock with its head
crushed. On the rock was a spatter of blood, which indicated that they had taken the child by
the heelsand swung itsshead against the rock , to crush the [child's?] head and they threw it
down. The child of Bab's was found a short way farther on with its head cut open, and his wife
was found at the far end of the break with an arrow/ {Begin inserted text} head {End inserted
text} in her breast. The arrow was broken of which showed that she had tried to work the
arrow out and it brok of from the twisting she gave it. Mrs Boy Johnson was not found, but we
saw small pieces of her apron scattered along the trail, which showed that she was giving us
signs of the trail by tearing of bits of her apron, dropping those as she traveled.

"If I ever had any scraples about shooting Indians they were shot when I was {Begin inserted
text} saw? {End inserted text} that child laying by that rock with its head crushed. To shoot
Indians then would tickle my gizzard clear through my innards.

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It was hard to tell how many Indians there were. They split into several bunches and so did we.
It was a running fight, the Indians were trying to get away and it was necessary to hunt and chase
after them. At Pack Saddle mountain we jumped 16 of them, there were only 8 of us in that
bunch, but we made short work of them. The whole 16 were good Indians when we finished our
work and it was done without a man being lost out of our crowd. There were a few scratches
taken by a few of us, but we had better guns and were the best shots. There were about 35
good Indians accounted for by the various parties of cowhands by the time the skunks hit cross
the Pecos.

"The Klick boy turned up at home a few years later. He got the Indians confidence and they
made a brave out of him and at the first chance he high-tailed for home. He came home riding a
yellow hoss. Mrs Carwell was bought from her captives, a few months later by an Indian trader.
He paid her out with a red dress and she was returned to her people. I tried to chin about the
matter with her after she returned, but she just did not want to talk about it. She said the sooner
she could get the matter off of her mind the better she would like it.

"Shortly after the Glen Cedar Indian raid I quit the Duncan outfit and went to wrangling hosses. I
traveled over the Western part of the State busting hosses for different ranches.

"I joined up with the Texas Rangers in September 1877, under the name of Bill Green and
served under Captain McNally.

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"Our work was hunting outlaws in general,,but cattle rustlers where our {Begin deleted text}
cheif {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text} chief {End inserted text} object and we caught
up with a lot of them, and also, a good number that me met up with were hanging from the limbs
of trees with a rope tied around their neck.

"Sam Bass and his gang were operating heavy at that time and we/ {Begin inserted text} were
{End inserted text} after him wanting to get the dead wood on him. We were getting orders
every little while directing us to be att a certain {Begin deleted text} twon {End deleted text}
{Begin inserted text} town {End inserted text} and lay for the Bass outfit. The riding orders
were sent on tips that the outfit were to rob a bank/. Those tips kept coming in for about six
months. Our first tip was [?] that the outfit would be at San Angelo on a certain day to stick up
the bank. On that day we were planted in San Angelo, but the bank at Eden was busted on that
day. The next order came [directing?] us to be at Brownwood. On that day the bank at
Brownwood was calculated to be busted, the bank at Coleman was robbed. The next order
was that we should plant ourselves at {Begin deleted text} Waso {End deleted text} {Begin
inserted text} Waco {End inserted text} and on that day the bank at Terrell recived the visit.

"We were trying to catch the gang in the act and get them in a bunch. We would be planted at
different spots around the bank of a town and the roads leading into it.

"The tips were coming in from some member of the Bass gang and mostl likely it was Murphy.
Captain McNally never admitted such, but did not/ {Begin inserted text} make {End inserted
text} denial that it was murphy and Sam threatened to kill Murphy once claiming he was doing
the tipping.

"Sam Bass was wise to the fact that some one was tipping off his plans and Sam was crossing
the law, which was

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shown by him always pulling a job at some point different from that which we calculated, but on
the same day.

"Finally we were ordered to be a [Raound?] Rock , July [20th?], that was in 1878. The order
was on a tip that the Bass gang would bust the bank there that day. I do not believe Round
Rock was the town picked by the gang, because only three of the gang made a show. The three
were Sam Bass, Bill (Jim) Jackson and Jim Burns. Burns was a cousin of mine and his father
was a preacher. Jim joined the gang at Terrell and had not been with the gang long.

"My company of Rangers were at [Austin?] when the order was received. We left Austion at 2
[A.M.?] and arrived at {Begin deleted text} Roundd {End deleted text} {Begin inserted text}
Round {End inserted text} Rock around 5 A.M. The Captain planted me at the N.E. corner
of the square, next to a saloon and on the street leading to Austin. My orders were to watch for
any of the Bass gang and report their movements and there was to no shooting until ordered.
McNally wanted to get them in a bunch and take them all.

"The sun was just rising, when I spied three men on hosses riding into town. They reached the
square and tied their hosses across from where I was planted. I reconized at once who the men
were. Sam Bass I met him the first time in Camp Supply. Jim Burns, of course was my cousin.
Bill Jackson was a stranger to me.

"They came across the street towards the saloon, next to which I was standing. As they came up
to me, Bass and Burns reconized me and they stopped. Sam and Burns, each sez, "hello

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Dave", and we went to chinning. I sez to them:

"You boys know me and what I am going now".

"Sure do, Dave", Sam sez, "come in and have a drink".

"Can't do it fellows, its against the orders", sez I, "What are you fellows doing here".

"Just jiggling through", sez Burns.

"Well, you had better duck". I sez to them. They turned to go into the saloon and Sam, looking
back over his shoulder, laughed at me and sez, "Sorry old top your duties wont allow you to
take a drink with a friend.

"They went into the saloon and they no more than had entered when a deputy sheriff came up to
me and asked:

"'Who were them men that talked to you packing all that artillery?'

"Let's go in and get them" sez he.

"No", sez I, "My orders are to remain here and watch till I get further orders".

"Well, I am going in", sez he.

"I do [not?] recall the name of that deputy, it has plumb spilled my mind.

"He entered the saloon and in a jiffy I heard one shot fired and the thud of a body hitting the
floor. I became anxious to see the Captain and get action orders. It passed through my conk that
hell was a-going to pop. I looked across the street, to the West, and there I saw McNally
coming a-running like a streak carrying his hat in his hand. Dammed if McNally didn't run right
past me with out a word and there I stood with

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action already started. That deputy had jumped the game ahead of time and all we rangers were

"For a minute, or two, there was plenty of aritlery action. The shooting suddenly ceased and I
saw Sam and his pals backing out of the saloon with their guns levelled, holding the crowd
inside. They back across the street towards their hosses. I could see that Sam was in bad shape
and when they reached their hosses Burns had to help Sam to mount. I could have pumped all of
them full of lead, but I was still waiting for orders, not wanting to against the rule.

"When Sam mounted the boys in the saloon came running out, through door and windows.
McNally came out first and yelled to take after them. Just as McNally spoke, Burns, instead of
crawling under Sam's hoss to his own and stay protected, he started around the rear of Sam's
hoss. As he pssed the hoss a shot felled him and he dropped between the two hosses. Jim
Jackson, on his hoss, was at Sam's side [pronto?] and hooked his arm through Sam's and they
were off with Jackson holding Sam onto the hoss. [From?] the moment that they started to
mount their hosses till they were dragging down the road, consumed less time than it takes to tell
about it. There were shots fired after them, but none seemed to hit.

"There were 211 of us Rangers and we pronto made our mounts and took after the three men.
In addition there were others, some hankering to help and some wanted to get an eye full. There
were folks in wagons pulled by mules and folks on hoss back all going down the road on a dead
run. We rangers were in the lead and I looked back [?????]

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"We took him back to town and put him in a room over a drug store and he died early the next

I was present when the doctor dressed the [wounds?] and there were 28 holes in him, all from
his [wats?] [??] the Cherokee; and rush that I once read about.

"When we had dragged out twon about a mile and half, I saw Sam's hoss grazing off near the
road. I sez to McNally, "there is Sam's hoss over [yonder?]. I'll go over and have a look." I
went over there and under a black jack tree layed Sam, with his conk cover covering his face. I
raised his lid and he turned his head, slightly, and looked at me and sez:

"Its you Dave".

"Yes Sam, its Dave", sez I.

"Well, they have done all they can. It wont be long till tis sez that I was killed". he sez.

" I can't help what has been done", sez I, "but I'll do all that I can for you. You should have
ducked when you saw me, you knew what I was doing. There is Jackson.

"Don't worry about Jackson, he has too good a-hoss you [can't?] catch him", he sez, "I told him
to go on [?] he could do me no good".

"We took him back to town put him in a room over a drug store and he died early the next

"I was present when the doctor [????] there were 28 holes in him all [??] from shock and head.
Not a vital organ been hit, [??] the loss of blood.

We tried to [?] him [??] low down on his raids, [??] just made [?] answer, he sez, 'Boys I am
shut up like a clam.

"Before he died he called McNally to him and sez,"

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"There is $500, in my pocket take the money and my hoss and give both to the deputy's wife. I
wont have any further use for either".

"Sam delt in hosses, especially racing stock and rode good critters. His ranch was located just
about 20 miles North of Fort Worth, on the Denton [and?] Tarrant Counties line. It was known
as the hiden pasture. The spot where the corral stood still shows signs of the old pen. I saw it a
couple years ago.

"Now to get back in the cattle business. One time while I was working for the Duncan outfit, the
dark lining was put into my cloud. Boss Robinson was making a drive of 4000 head of critters to
Demming, New Mexico, and Duncan threw in with him. I was sent with Boss to look after
Duncan's part. We were about half mile beyond the Pecos river and the cattle had [bedded?] on
a flat near what was called [Nores?] Head Crossing. There was a mountain just beyond where
we were camped and the trail led over it. After breakfast [Boss?] rode ahead to pick the trail
and we were to start the cattle shortly. About half way up the mountain Indians had made a blind
by cutting green brush. As Boss reached the spot, Indians concealled in the blind opened fire on
him and he dropped off his hoss dead. The hoss turned quickly and came running back to camp.
We could see the spot from where we were and watched the Indians cut Boss's leg, [arms?],
and head off. Then they danced around him. We waddies were out numbered ten to one and did
not dare to show into the open, because that would have been a sure way to get branded for the
eternal range. The cutting and dancing act they put on was done

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in the hopes we would get riled and come out in the open to fight them.

"we stayed huddled all that day and night, back of the chuck wagon and our hosses waiting for
them to make a rush on us, but they respected our shooting ability and would not come out in
the open. Four of the boys kept the cattle back, but were out of gun range. Nothing happened
and the following morning, the waddies appointed Bob Pierce trail boss, he was among the best
trail bosses that ever went down a trail. We delivered the cattle in full numbers as billed.

"What I have rattled covers the most important part of my range life. In the 80's I decided travel
in double [harness?] and quit the range for a quiet life of a farmer and cattle buyer. [I?] located
in Dallas County, and remained there until 10 years ago, then moved to Fort Worth.

"To finish the prattle I shall tell of the best rider I every met. That was John Hiskman, a negro.
He put all of his active life, as far as I know, on the range. He lived to well past 110 years and
died here in Forth Worth a few years ago. John could do anything on a hoss that any other man
could and then some more. Also, ride wild steers.

"However, I saw him go into a spell off a steer one time. He was with the Waldrope outfit,
located in Llano County, we were working a round-up and one day [got?] hold of a steer that
was full of snake blood and Jon sez, "Hell boys that steer [?] wild, I can ride it an' hankerin' [
{Begin inserted text} he {End inserted text} ?] fo' to do it".

"The idea was just in our mittens. I and a couple

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of the waddies put a bunch of critters, along with the steer [t?] through the [shute?]. As the
critters came through, John [?] the steer and pronto the animal evelated. Just as the steer went
into the air one of the cows crowded into the steer, that put the animal off blance, also Hickman
and they went into a spill. He fell in front of the cow and I am plumb loco, if the cow didn't
[hook?] horn at him and it shot under his cartridge belt and when she raised her conk, there was
John a-hanging from her horn. The animal seemed slightly agitated about it and began to swing
from side to side, trying to throw John off. The cow having crooked horns caused that colored
gentelman to stay with her. There he was swinging out in the air with his arms and legs working
like a swimmer. He was considered a champion rider, but that time he established himself as the
top yeller. He sure put out orders to be taken off that cow's horn. The matter was shaped up
some what [pressing?], so we shot the cow. When John got all gathered up he sez," Lawd
mighty, hows we all get messed up so?"

"Talking about Hickman's predicament, I recall a predicament George Grant, my cousin, got into
with a buffalo. We came to [Earth?] County, to see me and he wanted the satisfaction of killing a
buffalo. I took him out to find one and was not long in finding an old cow. He had a rifle and
started shooting as soon as he sighted the animal, but his lead was falling way short. I [cloud?]
see the balls hit the ground way short of his mark. I sez to him, "work up on her till you can get a
good shot, the wind is in your favor", and he did. I

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waited where we were and watched him work up towards the old cow and he finally stopped
and took a shot. The cow dropped and he went a-running up to it. I noticed his walking around
the critter and giving it the eye-ball and then suddenly up jumped the critter and was not in good
humor. The animal made a dive for George. He had dropped his [?] was shooting at her with his
six-gun aiming at the animals head, which was the only part he could shoot at. The animal kept
coming and George side stepped it. The animal stopped, turned and came at him again and
George kept shooting and side stepping until he used up all his cartridges, then he pulled his knife
intending to cut the animal's ham strings as it passed him. Of course when I saw the show I
started to George and by the time the two performers George was getting plumb tired, but had
got one of the animals ham strings and that had slowed the critter down. I put a bullet back of it's
shoulders and it tumbled over.

"A person can shoot at the front part of a buffalo's head all day with an ordinary gun and not do
any more than raise the animals dander. They have a tuft of hair there and it gets matted with
mud and [cuckleburrs?], then in addition they have a thick skull which, alone, takes a good gun
to put lead through it. George didn't know that, but did know about the side stepping and that
saved him.

"I have seen buffalo hides stacked as high as a house and in windrows a block long. The hunters
would go into a herd and each shoot down about a hundred, then start skinning.

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The skinning was done with the help of a hoss. The skinner would cut the hide loose arounr the
head, down and around the legs and down the belly and then hitch a hoss to the hide, with a man
standing on the buffalo's head, the hoss was started and the hide would peel off in one pull. The
job of skinning was done in a jiffy.

"In 1875-6, buffalo slaughter was in its [full?] swing. They were killed by the thousands and in
five years the buffalo herds in Texas were reduced to a few in numbers. I have seen herds that
were 20 miles, or more, wide and well over a 100 miles long. The buffalo were slaughtered for
the hide and tallow. After the slaughter bone pickers traveled over the slaughter grounds and
gathered the bones by the wagon loads. I have seen hundreds at the work.

"I want slight the brand blotter, so will prattle a little about them. During the time I was working
on the range rustlers run in bunches and the [cowman?] had to "fit" them all the time. Hanging
them where they were caught with stolen cattle was common.

"Most of my dealings with the brand blotters was while I was with the [Rangers?]. The worst
battle I was in took place near Eden. They had a pen in a cedar [break?] and we jumped 10 of
them there and run the boys 15 miles. They were making for a heavy timber and when we saw
what they were up to Captain McNally sez, "If they make that timber we will lose them".

"I can head them off, I reckon" sez I to him. "Do you want me to take the chance?"

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"I know that you have a good hoss", sez he, "but not good enough for that drag and you'll be
branded sure as hell if you swing over to head them off".

"I'll take the chance", Sez I and I gave my hoss the gut hooks and in turn the hoss gave me all the
speed it had. When they saw what I was calculating on doing, instead of branding me, they all
bunched and got behind their hosses and there put up a fight.

"For [15?] minutes there was hell [a-copping?] and when it was over there were only five of
them left that could reach for the sky and [two?] rangers were dead.

"The following week, 20 miles from where we jumped the 10, we located 11 brand blotters
hanging from trees at one place. That must have been a large [naturalization?] meeting. One of
the parties had a note pinned on him and on it was writen, "just cut me down and ask no

"From [?] County, West was plenty tough. A person had to keep plenty of [gravle?] in his
gizzard to stay with it.

"I am going to close this prattle by telling one on my self. It was when I was jumping around
wrnagling hosses. I was near the Pecos river dragging to a ranch. It was just getting dark when
suddenly there hopped along side of me a young fellow and sez to me:

"Where you headed for fellow?"

"Over yonder, about 20 miles," sez I.

"My name is Sorrel", sez he, "and we are looking for the law to be dragging this way pronto.
When they/ {Begin inserted text} hit {End inserted text} we are

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going to load them with lead. I reckon you better turn.

"Thank you fellow", sez I and turned my hoss back the way I came. I rode about two miles and
stopped. There I let my hoss graze and waited to see if any thing would happen. I was there
about 15 minutes when I herd the six-guns working. I circled the spot and went on about my
business, because I calculated that I had no pumpkins to [roll?] in that section. I heard a report
afterwards that indicated the young fellow did me a favor and knew what he was talking about.