From Hell to Breakfast Page: 76
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FROM HELL TO BREAKFAST
every horse, mule, and colt there was on the diggins, (except oie
horse Jo. Sykes had locked up in a corn crib) and him they shot so
full of arrows thru' the cracks, that when he was hauled out on the
prairie, nearly all the buzzards in the neighborhood put their eyes
out picking at his carcase. Did you ever notice, Bob, how curious
these varmits carry on, when they find a dead horse or 'cow brute'
on the prairie? They don't 'pitch in' at once as an eagle or a wolf
do, and eat what they want and be done with it, but they'll set for
ever so long on the critter, moping and hanging down their heads, as
if they was grieving for its death, but they ain't, for all at once
you'll see 'em take a sly dig at the fellow's eye, and then shuffle off a
few feet with a sort of 'half hammon hop' as if they was ashamed
of themselves, for doing it, (as of course they ought to be.) They
never appear to me to take their meals with the least appetite (and
no wonder neither) because . ."
"But what," said I, "about the fight with the Indians over on the
"Ah yes! well you see, as I was saying, it was the last quarter of
the moon of the year 1838, when a party of Injins came down into
the settlement on the north prong of the 'Stinking Blue,' and stole
every critter they could lay their paws upon (except one they
killed) and put off for their wig-warns in the mountains. I suppose
they call 'em wig-wams, because they generally have so many sculps
hanging up in 'em, that they look like a wig-maker's shop. Well, you
see as the Injins had left us no horses to ride, some fifteen or twenty
of us went over to Johnsing's settlement on 'Big Muddy,' not far
from where the town of Doe Bleat now is, and borrowed as many
as would mount us tolerably well, and arter that it warn't long afore
we were on the trail of the Injins. Did you ever fowler a trail, Bob?
No, well I can tell you it takes a cute feller to do it, just as sure as
you are born. But I've often thought that some men have a 'natural
turn' for that sort of thing and some haven't. I've been with some
men that couldn't foller a loaded wagon and six yoke of oxen, and
then again I've been with others that I raly believe could foller a
cut-tailed lizzard thro' the thickest break on old Caney. If folks
ain't born with a 'natural turn' for trailing, and have what I call
'hog knowledge,' they may live in the woods for ever and never
know much about it. You see, sometimes when you are follerin'
Injins, they will scatter like a flock of partridges, and then come
together agin a long way off, and then they'll take into the chapparal,
(I suppose they calls 'em chapparal because they cuts up a chap's
apparal so wretchedly that nothing but buckskin and an Ingin's
hide can stand 'em), well as I was saying they'll take into the chap-
parals so thick that a lizzard can't crawl thro' 'em without leaving
most of his hide stickin' to the thorns. Then agin . .."
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. From Hell to Breakfast, book, 1944; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67649/m1/84/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.