Sixty years in Texas Page: 22 of 398
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12 SIXTY YEARS IN TEXAS.
know what to do with the oxen. We were afraid to
take the yokes off, fearing that we would not get
them properly adjusted in the morning; so we
turned them loose with the yokes on, and camped
out for the first time in our lives. Mother said she
was afraid the people would think we were Gypsies.
The morning came, but there were no oxen in
sight. Father and the boys went out to search for
them, and were out a long time, but late in the
evening they returned to the camp and reported
that they had been lost in the woods all day and
found no oxen. Tired, weary and worn out, they
laid down to rest until the next morning. They then
took a new start, keeping near enough each other
to hear one another hollow. About noon they found
the oxen, and they were all together, but one pair
had the yoke turned under their necks, and Father
was very much surprised, and exclaimed, "How
in the world did these oxen swap sides? Look, Dick
is on the larboard side, and Darb has got over on
the starboard side, and the yoke is completely upset.
Some enemy must have done this. It is impossible
for them to have done it themselves." They were
driven to the camp and the yoke properly adjusted,
and after some trouble they were hitched together
and a new start made for the West, and day after
day we herded them along through the deep sand
and beneath an almost tropical sun, and its scorching
and blazing rays were too much for us. One
by one we were stricken down with malarial fever
and dumped into the schooner wagon. Swarms of
mosquitoes would hover around us of nights, and
with their poisonous bills suck our blood until our
fair skin and rosy cheeks were distorted and swollen.
In this deplorable condition we reached Mount
Pleasant, in Titus County, but none well enough to
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Jackson, George. Sixty years in Texas, book, 1908; Dallas, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20205/m1/22/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .