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Monday, July 4, 2016

NORTH OF AUSTIN - Chapter 22


Cattle Drive
 
Chapter 22  - Abby Goes to Town with her 4 Children.

Abby was just turned thirty when she gave birth to another boy.  

Three boys and one girl.  Daniel was the oldest and spent as much time with Abner as I would allow.  There was something about Abner’s rough exterior that appealed to my son. I could tell when he had been with Abner by the way he acted when he came home. He would act roughly with his siblings.

On this particular day our hired hand hitched up the buggy for Abby and she came to town with all four of the kids. Daniel was big enough to hold Lloyd our new baby so Abby was free to drive the horse. When she arrived she took baby Lloyd and Daniel jumped down and hooked up the horse to the rail. Sammie got down and Daniel helped Lorry to which she objected.

Abby with all her brood started her shopping tour when she was braced by a cowboy who was above the deadline and he was armed. Along with him were four more intruders. The first one began to say unseemly things to Abby and wanted to take the baby. Daniel lit into him kicking him with his sharp metal toed boots and the man fell to the ground.

The other four men started to move forward as Daniel relentlessly kept kicking the man wherever he could. As one of the men reached for Daniel a gun barrel crashed across his skull.

Cody hit another one and knocked him out in the street where a heavily loaded wagon ran over his leg, breaking it. Cody’s deputy hit the other two with his gun butt in quick succession and Cody pulled Daniel back from the man he was still kicking.

They disarmed the men and his deputy took them to jail.  Abby hugged Cody and said "I’m glad you were here and handled this."
Cody said, "Daniel almost had it under control. It looks like his time with Abner was well spent.  When I was with Abner he taught me the same stuff he used on that worthless tramp."

The man laying in the street was hurting and pleading for help.  The doctor finally showed up and got him down to his office. Those who got pistol whipped had split scalps and were sewed up by one of the nurses later on.

I arrived after it was all over and felt a little ashamed for not being there.

The next day the rancher whose men were involved in the fracas showed up and was plenty mad. He came to me and demanded an explanation why his men had been mistreated.

He wouldn’t listen to anything I tried to say so I told him to sit down and shut up or I would knock him silly. That quieted him down and I told him what happened and if I had seen what they were doing they would be lying dead for no one messes with my family.

Then I told him he had better keep his mouth civil or he would need some new teeth.

After seeing I meant business he meekly said, I’m starting roundup and I need these men. There are not any more men available around here with experience.

I asked him how many men he needed and he said “I could make it with six.”

I told him to get back to his gathering herd and tomorrow he would have the men he needed. Cody took the men before the judge and he fined them all the money they had and gave the thirty days for being above the deadline and thirty days for accosting Abby.

They were complaining about losing their job and for the time in jail. The judge said; if anybody is unhappy I will double their time in jail. The noise went silent immediately.

The next day I pulled five of our hands to go with me and help the ramrod finish his drive. I knew what it was like to make a round up and a hard drive to the rail head and have trouble the last minute. Before the week was over his herd was either loaded and on the way to market or in the corrals to be loaded tomorrow.

He came over to me and said; you’re alright. “I’m sorry for the way I acted when I first saw you.  I want to thank you and your men for I was really in a bind. I had to meet the schedule or the rail road would have refused my herd.  If that happened, I don’t know what I would have done.”

I said, “We cattlemen have to stick together. Just try to pick hands with a little more self-control for the next drive.”
TO BE CONTINUED
 
 
 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Robert for sharing your story with us today at Tell me a Story. I am glad Abby was safe and all turned out well.

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