The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 86
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86 Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
point of falling a large cotton-wood, when they were stopped, to
make as litte noise as practicable. I did not know if I was to be one
of the party or not at the time. I was very anxious to see a buffalo,
not to speak of seeing one killed.
We arrived at the place and immediately started on trail of the
buffaloes, though it was evident that they were at feed. I heard the
old Governor whisper to Mr. Jacky that in all probability they were
lying down. He, Mr. Jacky, and Holston went some thirty yards
ahead of us, but very noiselessly. They had gone perhaps a quarter
of a mile, when as well as we could see they both squatted down to
prime afresh. Very soon Mr. Jacky raised up his rifle and fired. We
remained still until beckoned up. The old Governor said in his
usual tone, "He has one." * * *1
I think we were the best part of three days in packing and jerking
the meat of the buffalo for after use. It gave considerable relief to
the hunters, though we occasionally killed a deer or turkey, as they
were very plenty and not very wild; but we perceived after a week
or two that they were getting scarce for a mile or so near the camp.
It was now a good time to get help to bring my canoe up. I men-
tioned it to Mr. Jacky, and we went down again, taking Thompson,
the carpenter, and my long engineer, Nelson, and Beddinger. We
found the boat quite dry and got it out on the beach. Thompson and
Nelson went in search of something to splice the bottom with. They
found the blade of an old flat boat steering oar, but it took as much
work and trouble to get it out as the canoe. Mr. Jacky called us to
him some distance out from the drift. He had found what he said
looked like burnt tar or pitch. The mass was two and a half feet in
diameter and three or four inches thick. As it lay in the cold it was
quite hard, but a little flexible. Mr. Jacky got off a small particle
and took it to the fire. "By Jo," he exclaimed, "it is very like good
pitch, except the smell." It was what we afterwards learned to be
coal bitumen. The discovery was most opportune, for we were in
want of the very article. Our whale boat or yawl was getting to leak
badly, and our new found old canoe could not well be made avail-
able without a good coat of pitch.
We now made preparations to start up to camp. Our first attempt
was to put our canoe athwart the middle of the yawl, but we found
1 Here follows a lengthy description of the behavior of the buffaloes and
of the method of caring for the meat and cooking the marrow of the one
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/94/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.