The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 84
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Southwestern flistorical Quarterly
'Ten (counties) in Texas' and that the brand was chosen because
X I T 'waddies' rode into and over that many counties without
leaving the home range. Commission men of the stockyards of
Chicago, between measured expectorations of the juice of the weed,
told the story when X I T steers came in by the trainload from
Montana, and the story is still being told wherever reckless riding
and good cow work mark the Texas cowboy. Ab Blocker knew
that a good brand must be easy to make, but difficult to burn or
alter, and it is doubtful if his mind dwelt upon any county in
Texas, much less the ten that embraced this ranch. The X I T
brand, though a large one, was easily made with one five-inch bar
and was difficult to burn out."
One is tempted to go on with these quotations which reflect the
flavor of the book. There is a vivid chapter on the fight for law,
shot through with humor and sound historical perspective. In it
we meet the "man of small means, but vaulting ambition. .
His vocation was mavericking, at which he was no amateur."
And Jim Cook, foreman of the ranch, "wearing his two six-shoot-
crs and his ill-boding reputation [as a gun-fighter] with equal
grace," who "rode in to do battle with the cow thieves to the west."
And Ira Aten, another foreman: "Confidently expecting to be
killed when he went to the ranch, Ira Aten doubled his life insur-
ance, but kept his six-shooter oiled." And numerous others, good
men and bad, but all intensely human and characteristic of the
time and place. It was the wire fences which marked the be-
ginning of the end for the maverickers. "With fences, clearly the
mavericks found within an enclosure belonged to the brand rang-
ing therein, and the man from the outside who burned his heraldry
into the hide of a maverick had committed an act of theft. Thus
progressed the ethics of the range."
The routine of the great ranch appears in vivid flashes-the
round-up, the branding, killing lobos, fighting prairie fires, driving
the trail, grading up the longhorns. Of the statistical, financial
history of the organization back of this colorful life there is little
-too little. But the ranch files are now the property of the Pan-
handle-Plains Historical Society by gift of the company and may
be expected to furnish material for more detailed studies. Limited
by space, as he was, the author chose wisely in concentrating upon
the ranch at the expense of the business organization.
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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/m1/92/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.