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Monday, October 14, 2013

Pig in a Poke Chapter 6 I am a cowboy

Wagon train
We hooked up with a wagon train and the wagon master saw we was dressed in cowboys garb so he said he would take us on as scouts and wranglers. He already had the main scout but he didn’t have time to hunt for fresh meat for the wagon train.

The trip was going to take four months and they needed a lot of fresh meat and that became our primary job.  During the trip they supplied us with horses and gear and more importantly, food.  We had to supply our own guns. 

We met a man in town who said he had some guns he didn’t really want to sell but because we were going west we would need them so for a price he would let them go.  He had a couple of old rusty looking rifles and some of what he called six shooters. 

I told Charlie they didn’t look very good but he said the man was giving us a good price and we should take them.  He found out how much money we had and wanted all of it. 

When we got back to camp we showed our weapons to the main scout and he looked at them and asked where we got em.  We told him and Charlie told him how we bargained with the man and got a real bargain.  He looked at Charlie and spit a big gob of tobacco spit and said let’s go and bring your bargains. 

We found the man in a saloon laughing about how he sold some junk guns to a couple of hicks.  The scout went over to the huckster and dragged him out back of the saloon.  He told the other men of the saloon while he was talking to the man not to follow if they enjoyed breathing.

After shaking the man till his teeth were clacking together he put a shell into one of the guns and told the man to fire it.  He had a pistol in the man’s ear all the time. 
The man begged the scout not to make him fire the gun for it was defective and would blow apart if fired.  He said he would give us some new guns and our money back.

Charlie settled for a single shot large caliber rifle and a side arm.  Me, I choose one of the new Spencer carbines and a colt pistol with a holster. 
The scout gave the man a good whipping and said if he ever saw him again there would be no talk just a bullet.

We were afraid to say anything to the scout and when we got back to the wagon train we hid out and went to sleep.  Nothing was ever said about the incident either by us or the scout.

The first few days were hard for we were not used to being in the saddle fourteen hours a day.  We were up and gone long before the wagon train left and were usually in after they had settled in at night.

The main scout didn’t cut us any slack for he was trail harden and expected us to be the same.  Sometimes he took us with him and other times he sent us in a different direction. 
The first Indian I saw didn’t have war paint on but wanted to trade some pelts for some sugar and salt.  Later on there were some that insisted we give them whiskey but the wagon master said no but gave them some food which satisfied them for the moment.

I felt uncomfortable having my hand on my gun ready to kill if necessary but those were my instructions. 

Though Charlie and I were only sixteen, dressed in our range clothes and being dirty we looked quite a bit older.  Another thing we were pretty well muscled up from hard work. 

If we came in early to camp in the evening a little Irish man got a lot of fun out of punching us around under the guise of teaching us to box.  In the end we got pretty good at defending ourselves from the drunks we would encounter later on.

Later we found Paddy our sparing partner had been a champion in Ireland and he still had all his moves.  He planned to set up some matches in San Francisco when he arrived there and he had used us to keep himself in shape.

To be Continued

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