Texas Bob Travels

Life in the Glass Mountains of Texas

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Visiting Goat Camps

Spring came and the goats were moved to the mountains for summer quarters and for better grazing. Mexican herders followed them by day and bedded them in camps by night. Sheep dogs helped patrol to keep wild beast from committing the thieving act. No day brought as much joy to me as the day we visited the herders and brought them their monthly supply of food. It seemed to me that each time we visited they had a more thrilling tale to tell, of a narrow escape or an adventure with some wild animal, than on former visits. No food was ever so delicious as the red beans, camp bread, goat meat and black coffee served by the herders. We often took our bedding along and spent the night so Father could look the flocks over and count them. On one such escapade we literally had to weigh our covers down with rocks to keep them from flying down the canyon. The wind was so strong that we half suspected that we might awaken in a new land the following day. The next morning we found that our horses had broken their stakes and most of the day was spent in giving chase. It took the herders, Father, Mother and me to finally wear them down. I was sorry, to tell the truth, when they were captured. I wanted another night of tales, good Mexican food and clinging to covers.

About the middle of the summer- Father decided to ride quite a distance from the ranch to a goat camp. The way was too rough for a wagon or hack so he was going on horseback. Of course the family could not miss the thrill of such an expedition and with a little persuasion we all wound up in the procession. Father was riding a rather wild horse. Mother and Scott came next on another horse and I was behind on still another horse alone. This was my first long ride on a horse all my own. The sun beat fiercely down upon us and often it was hard to remain in this world. Many times various members of the band slumped in the saddle as if under the power of sleeping drugs that saturated the mountain air and penetrated the soul. About noon we stopped under a scrub pine for lunch. We stretched our legs and passed a little time by rolling huge boulders off the mountain. After lunch Scott decided that he was big enough to ride alone and wanted my horse. I got on with Mother to please him. We never knew exactly what happened but a few minutes later something excited our horse and he began pitching. He threw me hurling through the air about the first jump but Mother rode for a few seconds. He pitched down the path and then turned and started pitching back over us. Father's half broken horse went wild and he had a time stopping him and getting back to us. Father ran to Mother first and she begged him to go to me. Mother could not move and Father feared that her back was broken. I was not breathing so he picked me up and began running up the mountain to try to get to the goat camp and water. After walking for awhile with me, he saw the color coming into my face and knew: that I was beginning to regain consciousness. He laid me down under a little tree and went back to Mother. He had great difficulty in getting her on my horse and my little brother behind her. No matter how great the pain, she had to ride back to the ranch. The country was one mountain stacked upon another and it would have been next to impossible to have reached her with a vehicle of any kind. I can remember raising my head and seeing them ride toward me. That was the last I knew until the next day. My mouth and face were bruised and skinned until I could hardly eat for a week or more. Only the great Spirit Doctor knows to this day how badly we were hurt and how we recovered. We are all living and well and the years have stretched over a lengthy span since that day.I must not forget to say that the cowboys went back the next, day and roped the mad, runaway horse. We were told by the old timers that the horse had eaten Loco which grows in that part of the country. An animal partaking plant never fully recovers and on becoming excited goes wild or locoed.


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