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THE OLD COWBOY Part Thirty Three
"That night it was clear an' turned off cold. 'Bout four in the morn' gunshots woke us up."
"What kind of gun do you suppose it was Grandpa? Do you think it was a shotgun or a pistol, or a long riffle?"
"I 'magine it were a pistol Grandboy. Most all us drovers used 'forty fives' or 'forty fours'. Camp 'Cooky' usually had a couple 'a riffles. The trick in those days were to be good with a pistol. So good ya could shoot a rattle snake at forty feet or so."
"So who was doing the shooting, Grandpa?"
"Well that's just it Grandboy. We never con-sid-ered rustlers. The big boss hadn't said a word 'bout band-dete-os, and I hadn't heard of 'em bein' north of Tucson, Arizona. And on top of that here it was four in the mornin'. Like they knew just when to hit us.
Ol' Jeb, he was the oldest hired hand there, had the mid watch from midnight to four a.m. and was just gettin' ready to turn in when he saw the start millin' around. He got down off his horse and settled behind a pile 'a rocks. It wasn't long 'till he saw the reason them doggys started gettin' giddy.
A couple a wily agra-viters came ridin' down off the ridge an' started cuttin' 'bout fifty head. Well ol' Jeb drew down on the varmint on the left an' buzzed one right over his head. He knew when he shot, it would wake the rest of us.
Of course, those no goods started firin' back an' that was good for us. We knew very shortly where they were. All that ka-motion an' them cows stampeded right towards the camp.
I stayed back a might ta get ol' 'Cooky' an' the wagons off ta the side so's'n the herd could go on by. Well Grandboy that weren't the first stampede I'd been in, but it was one 'a the worst.
Just as those cows started by..."
To Be Continued. . .
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