The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935 Page: 26
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
great parade with probably a hundred people was held, and placards
were carried on high, the most noted of which was the painting of
a stump-tailed longhorn bull with the appropriate legend: "Brown-
ing's Cow." And in due honor to the Judge the cowboys painted
the town that night."
The final shot at Goodnight was his arrest and summons to
Mobeetie, under charge of obstructing the United States mail, to
appear before U. S. Commissioner S. G. Lewis, carpenter and
cabinetmaker by trade, recalled the cowman, "and a damned poor
one" at that. In event of indictments he faced a trip to Graham,
the nearest Federal court, some three hundred miles away. He
walked down to Lewis' shop, and, admiring a wardrobe in process
of construction, asked what one like it would cost him. When told
"seventy-five dollars," Goodnight wrote him a check, and while the
wardrobe has not been made yet, it "was cheaper than the trial at
that." As a matter of fact the fence in question was not on the
JA but on the Shoe Bars, fifteen miles to the east. "Of course,
I could have turned in and beat the case," said Goodnight, "but it
would have made him mad and they'd have tried to stick me on
something else. It had got to be popular to get up any scheme
possible to blackmail us cattlemen, and it was actually done to a
finish in many intances. It was cheaper to work a compromise.
We didn't have time to fight all of them."'4
Thus finally the troubles of lease and fencing worked themselves
out to peaceful ends, though those inspired by ambition and politics
are perennial. Browning became Lieutenant-Governor and Judge
W. B. Plemons went to the legislature from the Panhandle. One
day as he sat at dinner with Goodnight at his new ranch to the
north of the JAs, the cowman suggested a "four section" law for
the western part of the State, which would allow settlers sufficient
land for stock-farming, and which might be effective in a semi-arid
agricultural economy. Thinking of the settlers it would precipitate
into the country, Plemons exclaimed:
"Why, Mr. Goodnight, it would ruin you."
"Nothing will ruin us that sensibly settles the country," he said,
"4T. D. Hobart, "Some of the Characters and Customs of Old Mobee-
tie," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, 1929, pp. 124-127; Hobart to
J. E. H., September 7, 1932.
4'Goodnight, MS., "Random Notes," p. 3; Goodnight to J. E. H., July
2, 1929; T. D. Hobart to J. E. H., July 2, 1929.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 38, July 1934 - April, 1935, periodical, 1935; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117143/m1/34/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.