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THE OLD COWBOY Part Thirty Five
"Well, time passed an' the heat of that desert consumed our water. 'Course we'd lost most 'a the extra. We was three days away from the rancho and the boss man stopped the drive in the middle of the day. He told 'cooky' ta break break camp. And he did. He had a word with Jeb an' Tom an' left 'em on the watch.
When the boss man swung down off his horse he grabbed some sage bushes and brought 'em over ."
"What'd he do with them Grandpa?" He couldn't have put them on the fire. I mean, it was way to hot, wasn't it?"
"It was. He had us go 'round an' pick up a bunch of sage brush. We all thought he was goin' loony on us. I'll tell ya, a little bit a that an' we'd worked up a sweat. The ol' boy had a plan though.
He had us pile 'em up 'round 'Cooky's' wagon and hot some piled 'round the water wagon. With the wagons in a 'V' shape we pulled some ropes between 'em an' laid that sage brush across the ropes. We stuck our bedrolls on the sand an' bedded down. It weren't great but we could rest.
We took our turns on the watch ev'ry hour instead of two. We all got three hours sleep, twice. By sundown we was almost rested and ready. All the while them danged ol' cows was tryin' to dig around for food and water, but after the first watch most all were down.
I remember it well. We pushed them longhorns all night. With the moon shinin' bright enough we could see where we were goin'."
"I say ya caught a break there Grandpa."
"Yes sir Grandboy, you'd be right. That ol' boss man had it figured. He had a plan, and a backup plan. We did the same thing for two more days. Them ol' cows was barely able to move, but they revived. He had a nice little creek runnin' a couple hundred yards from the ranch house."
"Grandpa, mom wanted me home early."
"Ya come back tomorrow then, and I'll tell ya a bit 'bout them..."
To Be Continued. . .
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