The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 522
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
themselves." When they got to Dodge, the cook, who was an old
hand, was so dog-tired that he would not even go to town, "but
aimed to lie in the shade of the wagon all day and have his
meals served there." It was open season on cooks in Dodge,
anyway, he said, and furthermore he did not like the ammunition
they used. They would shoot a Texan with nothing but sawed-
off shotguns loaded with anything from bird to buckshot, and
"you had to pick the blamed things out afterwards with a fork."
A wound from a six-shooter would have been easier. "You could
stop" the hole with a little biscuit dough, and like as not, it
would heal itself."
These quotations are right out of the chuckwagon larder of
the old-time cook. Undoubtedly Sikes drove the Texas Trail.
He went north from Abilene, Texas, across the murky Brazos
and the turgid Red, finding Mayne Reid's Texas's "sapphire
skies" entirely satisfactory but wondering what in the name
of creation had happened to its "crystal streams."
He ranched in Colorado in the eighties, then pushed on toward
the Flagstaff country, and tried ranching there. He trotted
about the globe a right smart with that Englishman's sense of
being perfectly at home, and then returned to Flagstaff and
put in his spare time building a boat, to the wonderment of the
local landlubbers. By the time it was finished the town was
bursting with pride-though water was a long distance away
-and commandeered a Santa Fe flatcar to get it to the Colorado,
at Needles. With another imaginative soul he sailed down that
stream until they encountered those awesome bores-the riotous
Colorado tides that flowed upstream from the river's mouth.
They boldly set forth on the indigo waters of the Gulf of Cali-
fornia to explore and expand, saw their craft burn on the beach,
and walked out across the desert where many have ventured
afoot but few have survived. They got through by going 140
miles afoot on four gallons of water.
Thus Sikes's story moves on with his progressive years but
his unappeased zest for life. He was a veteran associate of the
Carnegie Desert Laboratory, at Tucson, near which he still lives.
When he lost a leg in his eighties, he went into his workshop
and made himself another of ponderosa pine.
His autobiography, the title of which suggests a movement
in history instead of the story of a man, bears the subtitle of
"Being a Veracious Chronicle of More than Sixty Years of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/633/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.