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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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When I arrived I was met by Jenny’s parents as well as my
grandparents which was unusual. Normally grandpa would send one of the hands
(usually Pecos) with an extra horse for me.
We all stood around saying our hello’s when grandpa spoke up
and said I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.
My response was is Jenny alright?
He spoke with words that were faltering and it was hard to
get his meaning but it was clear enough to tell me something was bad wrong.
Impatiently I said, “For goodness sake get it out grandpa.”
Jenny’s mother said, “Randle I’m sorry to tell you Jenny has
been stricken with a brain disease. We
didn’t want to alert you until we had some handle as to what was wrong. She needs to go to a clinic in the big city
but the doctor said she isn’t able to make the trip with the transportation
Naturally I wanted to go and see Jenny but her mother said, “No
visitors until we are sure it isn’t catchable by others.She is a room at the doctors house and is in
what he called quarantine.”
I said, “I need to talk to the doctor and get this straight
The doctor pretty well confirmed what the folks had told me.
He emphasized the need for treatment in the clinic but it wasn’t possible under
the present circumstances.
I told him I couldn’t stand by and wait for her to die.
He said, “If you could do something it had better be soon.”
I contacted George and told him the facts of the situation
and he said, “Let me handle this for you.”
A half hour later he wired me saying there was a medical car
not an hour away and he has already ordered it to be sent to me.
I expressed my gratefulness and asked how he did that?
He said, “We Pinkerton’s have a lot of clout so get her on
The medical car was one used to transport wounded soldiers
and was well equipped. It was stationed near one of the forts so it didn’t take
long to get here.
The doctor quickly checked the car over and said everything
I need is there and I will get her loaded immediately.
Still no one was able to see Jenny for she was covered in a
tent kind of a bed. The engine was already up to steam and had one passenger
car hooked to it as well as the medical car.
The doctor said he didn’t want anyone except Jenny’s mother
to come along. He said we couldn’t help her and he didn’t have time to pacify
us every few minutes and beside her mother was the one she needed at this time.
Her mother’s voice would help keep her calm while I would cause her to react
emotionally in a negative way.
It took me a while before I got a handle on that. The train
pulled out and I could tell the engineer wasn’t going to waste any time getting
her to the care she needed.
Grandpa said, “There is nothing to do now but wait so let’s
go to the ranch and I will have one of the hands wait in town for any news.”
The ride to the ranch wasn’t what I had expected and hoped
for. I was out of sorts when we got
there so I went to the corral and greeted my horse. He was glad to see me and
acted up a bit. He hadn’t been ridden since I had left so he was a little
frisky. I saddled him and rode out the where Jenny and I often went to. I
couldn’t stay there for long. The memories just tore me apart.
The only news we got was that Jenny was resting without any
change in her condition.
Grandpa decided to get me out of the mood I was in so he
told me he wanted to show me part of the ranch I had never seen. I found that
hard to believe for I had ridden over all of it so I thought.
We left early for he said it was a three hour ride to where
we were going. After a couple hours we came to a canyon that was narrow and
Grandpa said, “Let’s go and see what we can find in here.”
I could see the canyon walls were going to get steep rather
quickly. As we rode in we began to see some our cattle that someone had tried
to use a running iron on them to change the circle D brand.
Grandpa said, “Keep alert for something isn’t right here.”
I thought that was evident. We found about fifty head of
cattle when grandpa said, “Lets move the critters out of here for the weather
is changing rather fast.”
We were about half way back to where we entered the canyon
when we began to hear a slight rumbling noise.
Grandpa said, “Whip them up for we have to get out of here
The noise was getting louder by the minute when the first
trickle of water caught up with us.
He said, “Leave the cattle and ride as fast as you can.”
I spurred my horse and he went at a fast gallop just the
water was beginning to cover the floor of the canyon. I was glad to see the
entrance of the canyon where the land widens out. We rode up on a ridge with
the cattle following us at a fast clip.
All the sudden there was a torrent of water flooding out of
the canyon which was almost frightening because of the roaring sound it made.
As we watched there were a couple of steers floating by that didn’t make it
Then there was a fully saddled horse came floating by. And
then a couple of more followed by three bodies of cowhands. It was obvious what
had happened but grandpa felt the need to explain the situation.
“These men had ran a number of cattle up the canyon and were
changing the brands. They would have kept them there until the brands had
healed and then they would have marketed them.”
Grandpa said. “C’mon let’s find one of the dead horses and
check his brand for I want to know who is rustling our cattle.”
I thought “Our cattle” sounded good to me for that was the
first time he solidly included me as part owner of the ranch. He had eluded this prior but this event
affirmed that I now was a ranch owner.
When we found one of the horses we saw the brand was from
one of the smaller ranches that seemed to be growing by a faster rate than appeared
possible. We also found one of the steers and cut the altered brand from the
carcass. Grandpa said, “Let’s head home
and tomorrow we will see the sheriff.”
When we got to the ranch grandpa sent a message for the
sheriff to come to the ranch for he wanted him to verify what we had found. In
the morning the sheriff showed up early. He must have left town at daybreak.
Grandpa said for him to sit down and have some breakfast
because it would be some time before we returned. The sheriff had a hearty
appetite and he ate well. After he was finished he said, ‘That will hold me for
the rest of the day.”
The sheriff, grandpa, me, and Pecos,
with about fifteen hands went to the canyon area and surveyed the situation. He checked the brand change and cursed whoever
We went further and found the three cowboys that drowned and
the sheriff said, “I know the men. They are mean and trouble follows them
around. It is good riddance as far as
I’m concerned. They work for the Baron
and I have suspected him of rustling but haven’t been able to prove it. If you and some of your hands will side me I
will go over and brace this guy.”
Grandpa said for three of the hands to round up the canyon
cattle and herd them back to the ranch where their new brands can heal. On the way to the Barons ranch grandpa told
the sheriff, “I need you to give me an affidavit saying that these cattle are
in fact mine.”
The sheriff told
Grandpa, as soon as he returned he would take care of it.