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THE OLD COWBOY Part Forty Nine
When spring did come, so did a dif'rent job. Working as a deputy sheriff at Cheyenne. They needed a good cowhand to ride herd on Ol' 'Cotten' O'Conner's spread, and I needed to buy some groceries. So, sure I took the job, even though I never wanted to be a lawman. Push come to shove a man will do whatever he has to, to make sure the family eats.
Charly 'Cotton' O'Conner had brought his herd up from western Missouri, right out of this area here Grandboy. Well, ya know we had some in common, to talk about. He said he really liked it down in these parts a lot , but he just felt crowded. And when the 'iron horse' came tootin' through the countryside, he'd had enough. That was just one blasted thing too much.
So there we were in Cheyenne, Wyoming nearly froze that winter and me happy to have a job, but what a dif'rent job. All through the year before, the big sheriff Bill Severs was chasin' down cattle rustlers. Seems Ol' 'Cotton' was one of the first in the area to be hit. They took a little over fifty head of prime beef.
As the days and weeks went by it became clear to the lawmen that they needed an 'inside man'. That's when I came in. All the cows rustled were either 'Cottons' or his neighbors. So when some cows are roomin' around and seen grazin' on them borders, ya begin to suspect your neighbor.
Most of the lawmen had no idea of bein' a good cowboy, they just knew 'bout keepin' the peace. I had a good reputation all the way 'round, good with a gun, fast on a horse, and one of the best cowhands anyone knew. My job was simple enough, just be the cowhand and report back to the sheriff of any unusual goins on.
One thing 'bout life I'd lern't was that things hardly ever go as ya'all think they gon'na go. Naw sir, some storm comes along and catches ya 'off guard', and bluy, your best plan just got shot. What started out as a couple three months took a little over six months.
Grandboy, you come back tomorrow and I'll finish up. I'll tell ya 'bout 'Ol' Tanner' comin' down..."
To Be Continued. . .
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