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THE OLD COWBOY Part Thirty One
"War is not a good thing an' here we are again. No ser, I'll take it out west 'for I'd go ta war. I'd go live in southern Ne-va-da an' be a dirt farmer 'for I'd go ta war. Ain't nothin' but sage brush, rocks, an' dust 'round them parts. Water's one thing they just don't have much of."
"Grandpa, did you cowboy out there?"
"Oh yea, Grandboy! Well, we tried drivin' a herd through there. It was s'pose to be the rainy part of the year. We started off with three 'xtre wagons loaded with water.
Leavin' north west Arizona from the great Colorado River, we was figurin' it'd rain 'bout three days out. We'd be one third of the way there an' one more good rain like that an' we'd make the mountain streams."
"Grandpa, our geography books was showin' that as bein' a desert all across that whole area. We just found that out this past year in school. We learned about the importance of maps and knowing the geography of a place."
"Yer right Grandboy. We didn't have a map. The boss man said he'd been through there before, more than once. He said he'd seen it rain gully-washers. Well, so he said.
We headed them danged ol' cows, a-round twenty five hun'derd head, out into the desert sand. It was mid-fall when the leaves was turnin' p'rty colors back east, a-round here and such. It had cooled down some and the herd moved along for a couple a days like we planned.
Third day out the wind came up an' the sand came up with it. It didn't take long to get tired of that. Them ol' cows got slug'ish, slowed down, couldn't see from blowin' dust ya know. Then the lightnin' flashed right over our heads and the the rain came in buckets changin' all that blowin' sand into mud.
Grandboy, it weren't long 'til we was in a pickle. All the cows stampeded. They went left, then they went right. 'Ol' Tanner' an' me did our work. That Tanner,..."
"I know Grandpa, best horse you ever knew!"
"Yes ser, he knew just what to do. He took off up the..."
To Be Continued. . .
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