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Newspaper Page Text
Pink Loses Horse,
Horse Loses Me By H. GRICE This is the fourth of a series in which the author relates his ex periences with an outfit that was rounding up horses on Peoples creek for the Circle Bar in the spring of 1899. At the close of the previous installment the cook wagon had just overturned and cook and wagon had disappeared over a draw. When we got to the outfit which had stopped a few yards after the wagon turned over, one of the wheel ers was down on his back in a little wash. The other three were stand ing waiting for the next move. After we saw the horses didn't need help we went to see if Pink needed any. He was sitting on the ground holding his head. The sage brush had broken his fall and falling on his head wouldn't hurt him. Baking Powder? The other boys were making a circle, so we three had to pick up the mess. The top of the mess box had hit a bump and tom it up bad. Everything scattered around. Pink got a spoon and was putting baking powder into an empty can. Tex told him there were a dozen cans in the wagon, but Pink said it wasn't baking powder; it was strychnine sulphate he poisoned wolves with. He kept it in the mess box and knew it from the baking powder because he had tom the label from the can. That evening John got the whole story, so he made more medicine. Pink wasn't cook anymore, just one of the riders. It was Tex's turn to cook. Pink wouldn't have a turn. JOHN TOOK TWO horses from each of us, the ones we'd sooner not have and gave them to Pink. Pink wore moccasins and when riding he ( THfiifs NOWAY TO HOLD PlRZ ARM5/MAV Ï SHOW YOU THE -SAFE WAY? 0 QOA/^ t 3 pfi m 9 —National Safety Council fastened on badger hides for tops. When a horse didn't rein good, he slapped him on the side of the head with his foot; if he didn't rein he biicked. We were making a circle of Tele graph creek and Freight Bottom which was a river port in the old steamboat days. I was riding along the bottom where a rimrock jutted to a point of high sand rock walls when I came upon a pile of antelope carcasses. I think it was the most thought-provoking sight I had ever seen. It was plain to see that a blinding blizzard had pushed them over the rim into a mangled mass. 200 Antelope—Dead There were a few coyotes and wolves slinking into the tall sage Song of the Lazy Farmer There was a time when I was young I would have more than gladly wrung the neck of ev'ry dog-goned hen out in Mirandy's chicken pen. Each bunch of birds she got, you see, meant lots of ex tra work for me; 'twas I who paid the bill for chicks and struggled with the brooder's tricks, 'twas I who left my bed at night to see that heat was still all right, 'twas I who furnished all the feed to satisfy each pullet's greed, 'twas I who weekly had to scoop a ton of litter from the coop; and if, by chance, some eggs were laid, Mi randy got what cash they made. But nowadays the system's changed, the whole routine's been rearranged. Electric brooders purr along, it's seldom anything goes wrong; the house gets cleaned just once a year, there's nothing 'bout the chores to fear, 'cuz feeders hold a week's supply, the pipe-fed fountains can't run dry. Each high-producing pullet lays so well Mirandy gladly pays for her own chicks and for the feed, and there's no longer any need for me to sit up with the whS sows or struggle with a bunch of j. cows; now I can rest my back and legs, and live off of Mirandy's eggs. brush as I circled the decaying pile of what had been a short time be fore, a band of North America's most beautiful wild animals. I took a quick estimate of the number of antelope that had fallen as I hur ried away. I thought that at least 200 lay there while the noisy mag pies surveyed them from the rocks above. I had made a wide circle, the sun was getting low and I was hungry. As you know, a horse outfit has two meals a day except when you might slip a flap-jack into your hip pocket to eat on circle. I was about 10 miles from the wagon when I met Pink and one of the boys. Pink's pinheaded bay he had been riding when he left the wagon in the morning had taken a bucking spell when he found a nice steep hill to go down among some badland washouts. He had landed in one that was too deep and narrow to let his feet touch the ground and he hung suspended by his sides with his feet about three feet from the bottom. All he could do was wiggle his toes and throw his head, after pull ing and jerking for about twenty minutes. With a rope around the saddle and another on his heels we pulled him down the coulee until his feet touched the ground. When we got him on the level he didn't look like a horse that would buck. Pink dug out some buckskin that night. The 10-mile walk had almost ruined his moccasins. He had stuffed them with grass to shield his feet from the prickly pears. Telegraph Pole for Fuel The wrangler had cut down a tel egraph pole which made a good fire, while I took my first lesson in moc casin construction, Crow fashion. The telegraph pole I just mentioned was part of the old Freight-Bottom Fort Assiniboine line, long since abandoned. We were getting into Circle Bar horse country now up along Rock creek between the Mis souri and the Little Rockies, not far from where the herd had been forded at Rocky Point the year before. This country looked like the Rocky Hill of Beaverhead. We pulled into Jim Thornhill's one evening with the cold rain trickling down the spines of the boys who didn't have slickers, which included me. We made Jim Thornhill's our headquarters for several days. He had quite a few horses. Jim and his tiger, and two Pike Landusky girls who also had horses that were hard to handle, joined up with us to make a pool. Any of the boys that thought them Landusky girls were not top hands changed their minds. In about 10 days we had all the country cleaned that we could reach from Jim's place. When John told us we would have to move, I felt terrible. I didn't eat for three days when I learned that we were to leave the wagon and take a pack outfit. John made that medicine to get rid of our two top hands. Tex wanted to quit. Dry-Cured Snake The next morning we were shap ing our bed to throw the S hitch when Tex shook a rattler from our blankets. It was dry cured. Tex said he remembered killing him away back there on Willow creek a month ago. Sometimes Tex slept with his boots on when he had to stand cm early guard. He said he felt some thing crawling over his ankles and thought it was a pack rat so he stamped it a few times and went back to sleep. John left Ed Shuefeldt and the wrangler to herd what horses we had. We were headed for Peoples creek by way of the south side of the Little Rockies. Jim had a rawhide pair of hobbles around each of his saddle horses' necks. Someone said hobbling makes a horse stiff in front. Jim said he'd sooner have a stiff horse than a horse track. We had picked up a few more horses by the time we reached Peo ples creek. John decided to make camp there a few days. Tex and I were riding circle between the prongs one day on an open flat country strewn with reddish brown rocks and small bunches of grass here and there. What Happened? It was a nice hot day and we had seen a rattler or two but when we went onto the rocky flat rattlers seemed to be everywhere. We could see them and hear them in e v e ; y di rection. We stopped to listen and roll a cigaret. I was riding Sleepy, the wall-eyed sorrel. I twisted the end of my lines around the saddle horn to roll my smoke and Sleepy went to chewing on a bunch of grass. I'd just got my cigaret lit when Sleepy exploded. My reins were gone, I pulled the strings off my sad dle. My head was popping like the silk on a stage coach whip until I found myself sitting on a rock with a dead rattler in my hand. I asked Tex what happened, and he said, "That rattler you got was hanging on Sleepy's nose." Sleepy took me into camp but he was a sick pony next morning. You couldn't have got his head in two wash tubs. Taylor Resigns After 36 Years Service AFTER NEARLY 30 years of con tinuous service to Montana agricul ture, J. C. Taylor, director emeri tus of the Montana extension serv ice since 1946 and prior to that ex tension director for 20 years, retired Nov. 30, it was announced by Presi dent R. R. Renne of Montana State college. A native Montanan. Taylor began his extension career April 1, 1914, as district agent for Dawson and Fal lon counties and was one of the first three county agents to pioneer ex tension work in the state. Taylor's rise in extension was rapid and a year after beginning work he was named Custer county agent. In 1917 he was made assist ant county agent leader, advancing to acting leader in 1921 and to leader in 1923. In 1924 Taylor was named acting director and a year later he became director, a position he held until Dec. 31, 1945, when at his own request he was relieved of adminis trative responsibilities. He was suc ceeded by R. B. Tootell, present di rector. To his extension work Taylor brought the practical experience gained on a farm. He was bom and / * raised near Utica, Mont., and after graduation from Chinook high school he enrolled at Montana State col lege, graduating in 1912. While director of extension Taylor was prominent in the activities of a J. C. Taylor number of committees and organiza tions concerned with agriculture in cluding the Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities. State Soil Conservation committee. State War board, State Agricultural Planning committee and others.