Reed Anthony, Cowman HTML version

VI. Sowing Wild Oats
The results from driving cattle north were a surprise to every one. My employers
were delighted with their experiment, the general expense of handling the herd
not exceeding fifty cents a head. The enterprise had netted over fifty-two
thousand dollars, the saddle horses had returned in good condition, while due
credit was given me in the general management. From my sale accounts I made
out a statement, and once my expenses were approved it was an easy matter to
apportion each owner his just dues in the season's drive. This over I was free to
go my way. The only incident of moment in the final settlement was the waggish
contention of one of the owners, who expressed amazement that I ever remitted
any funds or returned, roguishly admitting that no one expected it. Then
suddenly, pretending to have discovered the governing motive, he summoned
Miss Gertrude, and embarrassed her with a profusion of thanks, averring that she
alone had saved him from a loss of four hundred beeves.
The next move was to redeem my land scrip. The surveyor was anxious to buy a
portion of it, but I was too rich to part with even a single section. During our
conversation, however, it developed that he held his commission from the State,
and when I mentioned my intention of locating land, he made application to do
the surveying. The fact that I expected to make my locations in another county
made no difference to a free-lance official, and accordingly we came to an
agreement. The apple of my eye was a valley on the Clear Fork, above its
juncture with the main Brazos, and from maps in the surveyor's office I was able
to point out the locality where I expected to make my locations. He proved an
obliging official and gave me all the routine details, and an appointment was
made with him to report a week later at the Edwards ranch. A wagon and cook
would be necessary, chain carriers and flagmen must be taken along, and I
began skirmishing about for an outfit. The three hired men who had been up the
trail with me were still in the country, and I engaged them and secured a cook.
George Edwards loaned me a wagon and two yoke of oxen, even going along
himself for company. The commissary was outfitted for a month's stay, and a day
in advance of the expected arrival of the surveyor the outfit was started up the
Brazos. Each of the men had one or more private horses, and taking all of mine
along, we had a remuda of thirty odd saddle horses. George and I remained
behind, and on the arrival of the surveyor we rode by way of Palo Pinto, the
county seat, to which all unorganized territory to the west was attached for legal
purposes. Our chief motive in passing the town was to see if there were any
lands located near the juncture of the Clear Fork with the mother stream, and
thus secure an established corner from which to begin our survey. But the
records showed no land taken up around the confluence of these watercourses,
making it necessary to establish a corner.