We lived kind of like the Indians. You had the teepees to sleep in around the chuck wagon.
It was a good outfit. They had a lot of good horses and they had lots of good men. Some of them weren't as desirable as the others, but they had a lot of good men.
About fourteen cowboys went out with the wagon. Besides that, the wagon boss was there, a hoodlum to haul the water and get the wood an a cook. Sometimes the range boss would be with us and two or three campers would join the drive in their territory.
We got up before daylight and we'd eat and we'd go to the bustin' up ground. The horses were on stakes from the night before. Each man had as many as ten to twelve head. Making those hard drives you really needed five or six drive horses. I had five and I rotated them just like a pitcher in baseball.
You didn't put your best horse on the drive. On a drive, you'd do a lot of ripping and running. The cattle was wild. You'd have to make them do something. They'd try to go anywhere but the right way. The old drive horses was good at that. One of them wouldn't hardly buck when with you if you were running him. Those ol' drive horses--you couldn't hardly hold them when cattle started running.
I had two or three old horses. I did the evening work on them.
I found out how they operated. They started branding in the spring and they had holding pastures up there. Plains Corral was the first one we filled up. We filled it up with mother cows and steer calves. The heifer and steer calves were separated at the branding pens. They never were together any more. After they filled up Plains Corral, they filled up Griffin Hills. They'd take the heifer calves to the big pastures to the north.They branded right at 10,000 calves. We tallied the cows and we had better than 12,000 cows. The JA bought us knives to detail the cows. (Ed: detailing was trimming the tails to let the cowboys know that the cow had already been counted.)
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