The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 83
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Book Reviews and Notices
miles of fence. The west line fence with all its 'jogs' was 260
miles long. It began at the northwest corner of the State and
ran south 150 miles without a turn. The east line was 275 miles
long." Then there were the cross fences cutting the X I T ranch
into ninety-four pastures. "So many gates were necessary in the
corrals and along the fences that the first general manager just
ordered a carload of gate hinges."
This first general manager proved to be a costly experiment.
"As a cowman in the Indian Territory he became noted for his
parsimony, traditionally antagonistic to the code of the cow camp.
But inversely proportionate to his penuriousness on his own ranch
was his extravagance on the X I T." He made the ranch a harbor
for "bad men" and stole from the owners by wholesale. When he
was discovered and events began to move too rapidly, "he had a
fine team 'hooked' to a buckboard and, with a special bodyguard,
mounted upon a cow pony, left the field behind him and fled in-
gloriously to the railroad. The bodyguard accompanied him only
a part of one day, it is said, but they had traveled so swiftly that it
took him two and a half days to get back with his jaded pony."
The fugitive returned to Wichita. He "lost, but how much he
gained is a matter of speculation. Some say that upon his return
he bought the street railways of his home town; others, that he
purchased a soap factory. Frank Irwin learned that for every
hundred cattle that passed between the tally men, they were sup-
posed to tie three knots in their saddle strings, a ratio of three to
one. He understood 'B'arbecue' [the absconding manager] had
some $300,000 of Syndicate money with which to manufacture
soap. But Irwin washed his hands clean of the deal."
In considering what brand to put on the company's cattle, the
manager had settled on a brand representing a frying pan. "But
when Ab Blocker, bubbling over with knowledge of the range and
trail, suggested the X I T, Campbell accepted it. At once the
ranch became known as the X I T wherever stray beef was eaten
or mavericks were branded. . . . Perhaps from the fertile
mind of some 'sweater,' or chuck-line rider, whose daily bread
depended more upon his ability to lie engagingly than his inclina-
tion to work, the legendary significance of the X IT brand
emerged into Plains folk-lore. Almost any embryo cowboy who
has perched upon the top rail of a corral knows that X I T means
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/91/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.