We Boys Finally Decided

We boys finally decided we would drift Northwest as we had learned wages were much better than were to be obtained near home. In Aug 1881, we notified our parents of our wishes. They gave their consent, as Ben Riley's F. said "OK, let them go. They will be back in six weeks and will be satisfied with the parental roof." Another neighbor boy, Joe Lawrence, decided he wanted to go with us. We three pulled out about the middle of August. After passing Austin we came to a fork in the
road. One way led to the town of Burnett, the other the right hand to Lampasas. Riley and I followed the right hand, Lawrence the left. We learned later that Lawrence soon landed back home.

Ben and I passed thru Lampasas and on up into Hamilton County to an old acquaintance of the families by name of
Maxwell where stopped over for a couple of days to visit and rest our horses. From Maxwell's, our course was still N W. The second day out from there attempting to arise from our saddle blanket bed, I felt weak.  Ben looked at my face and said, "You have the measles". As we were only about two miles out from Comanche, we rode back there, thinking I might need attention. No one would let me into their house, as of course, they did not want their one family infected. The doctor that was consulted gave me a couple of doses of pills and advised to drink lots of cold water. The hospital that took me in was an empty room over a store where the Doctor's orders was carried out, Ben nursing put me on my feet the third day after the hospital entrance. The weather was warm & clear; otherwise I should have had a relapse which would possible put one under the sod even though the measles settled in my throat.

The cause of it has bothered me ever since when I take clod which seems to settle in my throat. Ben and I trekked on NW thru Cisco which was a brand new town, as the TP RR had just recently reached & passed this way from Ft Worth and on its way to El Paso. Our course from Cisco to Albany and on to and thru Fr Griffin, Tex where two companies of Negro soldiers were camped, and the remnant of the Tonkaway Indians were quartered. The Indians were there to be protected against the Commanchies who hated the Tonks on account the Army had often used some of the bucks as traitors when pursuing other tribes. Naturally when a Tonkaway was caught away from his white friends by especially the Commanchies they left the hated enemies bone to be picked by the buzzards or coyotes…….

Written by Woods Coffee

(There is much, much more which I hope to add when I get more time. KCS)




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