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THE OLD COWBOY Part Thirty Four
"Just as those cows started by, 'Cooky' drove the chuck wagon over a rock an' broke a wheel. The herd pushed one of the two remainin' water wagons into a ravine an' split it wide open.
Them bandits disappeared into the mountains. Ol' Jeb said he'd found a little blood back where all the shootin' started. He knew somebody'd winged 'em. A couple of the drovers took out after 'em, but they came back shortly an' helped round up what we could find of the herd.
"Gees Grandpa, you never even saw the bandits!"
"No sir, you're right Grandboy. By the time we parked the chuck, I took straight out ta get the herd turned back. By the time things settled down that ol' sun was peekin' over. 'Cooky' made a fresh pot 'a coffee and conjured up some vittles.
Ya know, not that it was anything dif'rent, but I still taste that bacon that mornin'. We was all 'bout tired as we'd ever been. A good hot cup 'a coffee... an' bacon... an' been... Oh yea, I remember it well."
"Grandpa, I'll bet you were glad to see the sun that day!"
"Yes sir, we was mighty glad. Once that ol' sun came up we all got busy. Me an 'Ol' Tanner' headed out and caught up with some strays that had gotten close ta three miles out. Well that ate up near half a day, so the boss man decided he'd let things settle.
When the morrow came we was almost frisky. Almost..." he rubbed his chin an' gave himself a slap on the knee and got up out of that easy chair. He took his cane and pointed out at the sky and went on, "but not like when we started.
No, we'd lost near a hundred head, one dang fine drover, three good horses, two out 'a three water wagons, and now we had bandits after our herd. The boss man was a stern man an' hard to read most of the time. Grandboy that day you could see he'd been broke.
Well, time passed an' the heat..."
To Be Continued. . .
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