Texian Stomping Grounds Page: 21
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ON THE JEFFERSON ROAD
plained of the roughness of the ride. But he did not have long
to complain. On making an angling turn at the corner of the
field, the mad horses detoured through a small thicket of second-
growth hickories. When these tough, springy saplings bent
beneath the front axle, they thrashed the horses into an even
madder fury of fright. When the same saplings sprang back
straight, they lifted the wagon bed off its bolsters. The young
hickories simply picked the wagon bed up and let the running
gear go on its way. And when the thrashing was all over, the
wagon bed was still there, sitting in the tops of the trees, ten feet
The runaway ended at the camp ground at the foot of the
hill, and that with all the usual noise and confusion, wheels over-
turned and still spinning in mid-air, two trembling horses with
breast-yoke wrapped around a tree, men shouting in alarm and
running in from all directions, dogs barking and horses snorting.
Into this confusion plunged the two half-drunk passengers.
They were somewhat sobered by now. But in following the
rattle and bang of the runaway, they had missed the detour. They
came in earnestly demanding to know if Bill was hurt. There
was no Bill, no wagon bed, no whiskey jug. A search party
set out up the hill. In the dark of the new night they missed
the detour. A third party set out with pine-knot torches. It also
missed the detour. They were all looking for the wagon bed
to be on the ground, not up in a tree.
By now the two passengers were dead sober. The whole camp
was gathered around them at a big, logheap fire, whites, blacks,
men and boys.
"And," the sobered narrator said, "I looked out. And shore
nuff, there were tombstones under the cedars. Then the tomb-
stones begun to gallop away. Then the horses started running.
I fell out back and run along behind, all the way here."
"Well, what happened to the wagon bed?" someone de-
"It must've just done like the tombstones," the explainer
observed--"just up and galloped away. If tombstones can gallop,
ain't no reason why a wagonbed cain't fly. Is there?"
The answer to that well-put question was thick silence, wide
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/m1/29/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.