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Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling
And banish the thoughts of the day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart, As showers from the clouds of summer
Or tears from the eyelids start.
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease, Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction That follows after
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
The beauty of thy voice;
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
WHAT WE DID WITH THE COW.
Abridged from Youth's Companion.
ERUSALEM VALLEY, about twenty miles long
and five miles in width at its lower end, lies between two outlying spurs of the Sierra La Sal. Near the upper end of it, where the concave of lofty bluffs walls it round, our little party had made a permanent camp, intending to remain for several weeks, since the locality furnished in abundance those four requisites of a camping-out excursion-namely, grass for the horses, game, wood and good water.
Three miles below us a party of cow-boys were in quarters at a "dug-out,” and with one of their party, a young man of the name of Little, I had made a very pleasant acquaintance.
One day as we two were riding together, I said, "I wonder that, with all the cows you fellows have, you don't corral them, and have fresh milk and cream for
“Too much trouble. Coffee straight's good enough
fellows are welcome to it if you want it. Milk the hull vacada if you wanter. I don't keer.”
At camp that night I mentioned the matter to the boys, and it struck them favorably. Toe Judge's mouth had been watering for cream in his coffee ever since he joined us, and he hailed the proposition with delight. So the next morning we built a corral, or pen, of cottonwood logs, and in the afternoon started out to catch some calves ; for we surmised that if we had the youngsters penned the mothers would be sure to stay around, and we could milk them at our leisure. We soon had half a dozen little fellows cut out from the drove and started to drive them up the valley; but I hope that I may be pardoned for the strength of my simile in saying that it was like trying to drive so many streaks of lightning! I never saw such active, mercurial, elusive little beggars as those calves - --some of them not yet a month old ! They were as spry as squirrels, as light-legged as deer, and as slippery as eels.
At last, however, after infinite trouble, we succeeded in penning three of the calves, and left them to be hunted up by their mothers. These latter we found when we got up the next morning vainly trying to reach their imprisoned offspring through the corral fence. The next thing was to catch and milk the anxious
The trees in the locality were so close together that we could not use a lasso, and the cows, as if suspecting a trap, would not be driven into that part of the corral which we had left open for them. Finally, my brother John took a lariat, and, climbing a tree, lay out on a limb about twenty feet from the ground. The rest of us, on horseback, then tried to drive the cows under the limb. Two soon took fright and broke away through the woods, but a third,-a beautiful black heifer,—would 'not leave her calf.
She dodged us here and there like a will-o'-the-wisp, now and then making a quick dash at one of us, and ne
cessitating some abrupt movements on our part, till in one of her rushes she passed under the limb where John lay, and the lasso, dropped deftly from above, brought her up, plunging and wild-eyed.
Getting a rope around one of her hind feet, we “stretched” her between two trees, so that she was comparatively helpless, and then John, with a campkettle, proceeded to do the milking.
“Soh, boss! soh!” he remarked to her, soothingly.
But “boss” wouldn't "soh.” A mighty plunge, a writhe of the body, a dexterous fore-handed kick from the free hind leg, and down she came with a thump upon her side, while the camp-kettle flew from John's hands and he danced wildly around on one leg, nursing the barked ankle of the other. But in a minute she was on her feet, and the same performance, minus the barked ankle, was gone through with again. Finally, both legs of the cow were tied fast. It was found, however, that even then she possessed the power to "hold up” her milk. We could get very little from her. About a pint was at last procured.
Then another lariat was passed around her horns, and with John at one lariat, myself at the other, and the Judge acting as a drag behind, we started to take her to the corral that the calf might have its breakfast. We intended to imprison her there for another trial.
For about ten yards all went well, then there came a sudden, violent bolt. The Judge was jerked from his feet and landed, face downward, among the sage brush, losing his grasp on the rope; the lariat in John's hands snapped, and I had “ a vision of sudden death” in the shape of a black bovine virago with blood-shot eyes and needle-pointed horns, bearing straight down upon me.
All the cow's untamed Texas blood was up. How I got over that corral-fence, ten feet high, I don't know to this day. When I could survey the scene from between the bars of my portcullis, the furious heifer had changed her course, and was precipitating herself upon the Judge, who was energetically hoisting his two hundred pounds of flesh up a cottonwood tree. Disappointed there, she turned to John, who, cut off from the corral, and having no friendly tree in which to take shelter, found that he had urgent business in the direction of the creek, which flowed between steep banks some twenty yards away, The infuriated animal was between him and the one path which led down to the water's edge, and, with that thing of fire and fury close behind him, he had no time to pick and choose. With one flying leap he disappeared from view, and a dull splash told that he had found refuge in the turbid water below.
Checking herself on the brink, the wrathful cow turned, and, catching sight of me as I peered through the poles of the fence, charged with a vim that shook the whole corral. Then the Judge, who had taken advantage of this diversion and had slipped down from his perch, was discovered by the cow and forced to scurry upward to a place of safety, like a squirrel surprised by a dog.
John's head now appeared above the banks of the gulch, but the enraged heifer dashed at him with a vehemence that caused him to disappear with the suddenness of a prairie-dog diving into its hole.
To a disinterested spectator it would have been very laughable, no doubt. The Judge's portly form perched twenty feet from the ground, on a two-inch limb, hig chubby arms and legs twined around the body of the