By Patrick Dearen
Along a lot of its Texas stretch this day, the Pecos is simply a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and overlooked. the trendy motorist crossing it through bridge is prone to greet it with a yawn than with visceral emotion. yet have been he to learn the background buried deep in its banks, he could locate the sweat and blood of cowhands who knew this ghost because the such a lot bold and treacherous river within the West.
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Additional info for A cowboy of the Pecos
Bell, 221. 32. John S. Ford, "Letters and Documents, Opening Routes to El Paso, 1849," SHQ 48, No. 2 (October 1944), 265. 33. L. B. Eddins, interview. 34. Taylor, Coming Empire, 301. 35. "'World's Worst' is Pecos Water," Pecos Enterprise, 15 April 1932, microfilm, Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library, and Hall of Fame, Midland. 36. "Scout made by a detachment from Company B, 10th Cavalry, under command of 2nd Lt. John Bigelow Jr. under an order dated April 25, 1878," journal of marches, scouts, and expeditions, Fort Stockton.
Page 29 The Goodnight-Loving Trail Their Livelihood taken away by war, the Texas cowhands who rode the California Trail returned home or were mustered into service to face military action. Almost none of it took place along the Pecos, whichwith the abandonment of Forts Lancaster, Stockton, and Davisreverted to the domain of the Comanche. 3 Moreover, the South's foredoomed defeat in 1865 left Texas with little cash but a lot of potential money-on-the hoof. For Texas was a superb breeding ground for cattlethree million wild and ornery longhorns 18664and territories to the north had lush grasslands for maturing, the promise of railroads-to-come, and, most importantly, money.
19 Seldom less than half-bank full, the Pecos was so turbid with red sediment that, said one cowboy, a bucket of its water would yield an inch of sand20a condition which led to the formation of quicksand below the unscalable walls. (courtesy, Southeastern New Mexico Historical Society, Carlsbad, New Mexico) Page 6 Pecos sands than ever reached the California gold fields. Consider the experience of cowhand F. S. Millard: "We used to go in a-swimming. " 24 Cattle drover Pete Narbo found the river's horseshoe bends less obliging.
A cowboy of the Pecos by Patrick Dearen