A History of Lipscomb County Page: 25
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let his gun cool a little. We exchanged guns, and I
"Even while I was shooting, buffaloes that had
not been shot at all, some would lie down apparently
unconcerned about the destruction going on
around them. I fired slowly and deliberately. Charlie
poured some water from the canteen down the
muzzle of his gun; then pulled down the breechblock
and let the water run out. He then ran a
greased rag in the eyelet of the wiping-stick and
swabbed the barrel out, leaving the breech-block
open for awhile, this cooling the barrel in order to
have that gun ready for use when my own gun got
"About this time I shot an old cow that at the
crack of the gun bolted down the creek. I shot at
her three times in rapid succession. The third shot
broke her back just forward of coupling.
"I laid the gun down and said, 'Charlie, finish the
job.' He said, 'No, take my gun and go ahead, this is
the greatest sight I ever beheld.'
"I took his gun, and without thinking put in a .44
cartridge and fired. Then he put the cartridge-sack
in front of me saying, 'You used one of your 44's
that time." And as I pulled the breech-block down
to put in another cartridge, a bull about a six-yearold,
started walking toward us, with his ferociouslooking
head raised high. Before I could define his
attentions I fired, and he fell almost as suddenly as
the cow whose back I had broken.
"I would shoot five or six times, wipe the gun,
and we would comment in a low tone, on the apparent
stupidity of the herd. Some came back and
stood by the dead ones. Some would hook them as
they lay dead. I kept this work up for as much as an
hour and a quarter, when I changed guns again.
And at the first shot from my own gun I broke the
left hind leg above the knee of a big bull that was
standing on the outer edge of the herd, about 90
yards from me. He commenced 'cavorting' around
jumping up against others, and the leg flopping as
he hopped about.
"He finally broke in through the midst of the
band and my stand. They all began to follow him,
and I with the big '50' that I now took from Charlie
commenced a rear attack, Charlie putting cartridges
in the belt which I was wearing; and with'
the belt half full and several in one pocket, and a
half dozen or so in my left hand, I moved up to a
dead buffalo, and got in several good shots; when I
moved again, on through the dead ones, to the farthermost
one, and fired three more shots and quit.
As I walked back through where the carcasses lay
the thickest, I could not help but think that I had
done wrong to make such a slaughter for the hides
"In counting them just as they lay there, their
eyes glassy in death, I had killed 88, and several
left the grounds with more bad than slight wounds.
I had killed bulls principally, on account of their
hides being more valuable than the others. Sometimes
I had to kill cows that were on the outside,
and at times they would obstruct a shot at a bull."
From "THE PRAIRIE AND THE BUFFALO"
by John B. Cook.
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Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee. A History of Lipscomb County, book, Date Unknown; Lipscomb, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46830/m1/29/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .