Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 13
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
exploding bomb shell, would come that dreaded cry: "WOAH!
THEY'RE RUNNING AWAY!"
This would come from all sides. Dark forms could be seen
dashing through the bordering woods. There was a constant
rattle of trace chains everywhere. Like the same exploding bomb
shell, the visitors would burst from rolled blankets, "eyes stuck
out to where they could be knocked off with a stick," and begin
climbing trees, regardless of the damage to long drawers and
With the runaways mysteriously stopped as suddenly as they
started, and the outer darkness filled with laughter, the visitors
would brush bark fragments from torn cloth and feet, and
return to their blankets. After the third such runaway, the night
would become an endless nightmare. Their taut bodies made
the ground unbearably hard. Their straining ears caught a mul-
titude of strange sounds, dogs growling nearby, that stealthy
sound of men creeping through the bordering brush--or was it
No. It was not. Not when some Texan had tossed a gunny
sack, filled with a mixture of loose lint cotton and black powder,
on the ash-covered embers of their dying fire. The woof! of the
resulting explosion would not be earsplitting, but the out-blown
cloud of hot ashes would be both blinding and choking. After
that, the wait until daybreak would be just "hell on earth."
After one night at a public camp ground, the visitors would
throw themselves on the famous hospitality of the better class of
farmers. Here, they would find true hospitality, even though
somewhat strained by the hardness of staring blue eyes. But
the food and featherbeds were free, and of the best. But, here
again, sleep refused to come comfortingly close. All through
the night horses would thunder by at a mad run down the lane
before the house. Pistol fire would shatter the night. Men would
scream the blood-thirsty Rebel yell. Then, in the stillness that
followed, there would be whispered conversations among un-
known persons moving around back of the house. All night
long this would go on. The visitors would arise, hot-eyed for
want of sleep, to a bountiful breakfast, studied politeness of host
and family, a tranquil landscape, peace and plenty--when seen
Here’s what’s next.
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Dobie, J. Frank (James Frank), 1888-1964. Texian Stomping Grounds, book, 1941; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67663/m1/21/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.