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designate some foreman to take charge of the may reserve all his energies for the rider. In work and let him parcel it out among his men the last case, the man, keeping tight hold with to suit himself. The captain of the round-up his left hand of the cheek-strap, so as to preor the foreman of a wagon may himself be à vent the horse from getting his head down ranchman; if such is not the case, and the until he is fairly seated, swings himself quickly ranchman nevertheless comes along, he works into the saddle. Uprises the bronco's back into and fares precisely as do the other cowboys. an arch; his head, the ears laid straight back.
While the head men are gathered in a little goes down between his fore feet, and, squealknot, planning out the work, the others are ing savagely, he makes a succession of rapid
. dispersed over the plain in every direction, ra- stiff-legged, jarring bounds. Sometimes he is cing, breaking rough horses, or simply larking a “plunging” bucker, who runs forward all the with one another
. If a man has an especially time while bucking; or he may buck steadily bad horse, he usually takes such an opportu- in one place, or "sunfish,”— that is, bring first nity, when he has plenty of time, to ride him; one shoulder down almost to the ground and and while saddling he is surrounded by a crowd then the other,-- or else he may change ends of most unsympathetic associates who greet while in the air. A first-class rider will sit with uproarious mirth any misadventure. A throughout it all without moving from the sad
man on a bucking horse is always considered dle, quirting * his horse all the time, though his fair game, every squeal and jump of the bron- hat may be jarred off his head and his revolver co being hailed with cheers of delighted irony out of its sheath. After a few jumps, however, for the rider and shouts to “stay with him.” the average man grasps hold of the horn of The antics of a vicious bronco show infinite the saddle — the delighted onlookers meanvariety of detail, but are all modeled on one while earnestly advising him not to “ go to general plan. When the rope settles round his leather ”— and is contented to get through neck the fight begins, and it is only after much the affair in any shape provided he can escape plunging and snorting that a twist is taken without being thrown off. An accident is of over his nose, or else a hackamore — a species necessity borne with a broad grin, as any atof severe halter, usually made of plaited hair — tempt to resent the raillery of the bystanders slipped on his head. While being bridled he which is perfectly good-humored — would be strikes viciously with his fore feet, and perhaps apt to result disastrously. Cowboys are cerhas to be blindfolded or thrown down; and tainly extremely good riders. As a class they to get the saddle on him is quite as difficult. When saddled, he may get rid of his exuber- used throughout cowboy land. The term is a Spanish
Quirt is the name of the short flexible riding.whip ant spirits by bucking under the saddle, or
have no superiors. Of course, they would at of carrying dangerous weapons makes cowfirst be at a disadvantage in steeple-chasing or boys show far more rough courtesy to each fox-hunting, but their average of horseman- other and far less rudeness to strangers than ship is without doubt higher than that of the is the case among, for instance, Eastern minmen who take part in these latter amusements. ers, or even lumbermen. When a quarrel may A cowboy would learn to ride across country very probably result fatally, a man thinks twice in a quarter of the time it would take a cross- before going into it: warlike people or classes country rider to learn to handle a vicious always treat one another with a certain amount bronco or to do good cow-work round and of consideration and politeness. The moral in a herd.
tone of a cow-camp, indeed, is rather high than On such a day, when there is no regular otherwise. Meanness, cowardice, and dishonwork, there will often also be horse-races, as esty are not tolerated. There is a high regard each outfit is pretty sure to have some running for truthfulness and keeping one's word, inpony which it believes can outpace any other. tense contempt for any kind of hypocrisy, and These contests are always short-distance dash- a hearty dislike for a man who shirks his es, for but a few hundred yards. Horse-racing work. Many of the men gamble and drink, is a mania with most plainsmen, white or red. but many do neither; and the conversation is A man with a good racing pony will travel not worse than in most bodies composed wholly all about with it, often winning large sums, of male human beings. A cowboy will not visiting alike cow ranches, frontier towns, and submit tamely to an insult, and is very ready Indian encampments. Sometimes the race is to avenge his own wrongs; nor has he an “pony against pony," the victor taking both overwrought fear of shedding blood. He possteeds. In racing the men ride bareback, as sesses, in fact, few of the emasculated, milkthere are hardly any light saddles in the cow and water moralities admired by the pseudocountry. There will be intense excitement philanthropists; but he does possess, to a very and very heavy betting over a race between high degree, the stern, manly qualities that are two well-known horses, together with a good so valuable to a nation. chance of blood being shed in the attendant The method of work is simple. The messquarrels. Indians and whites often race against wagons and loose horses, after breaking camp each other as well as among themselves. I in the morning, move on in a straight line for have seen several such contests, and in every some few miles, going into camp again before case but one the white man happened to win. midday; and the day herd, consisting of all A race is usually run between two thick rows the cattle that have been found far off their of spectators, on foot and on horseback, and range, and which are to be brought back as the racers pass, these rows close in behind there, and of any others that it is necessary to them, every man yelling and shouting with gather, follows on afterwards. Meanwhile the all the strength of his lungs, and all waving cowboys scatter out and drive in all the cattle their hats and cloaks to encourage the con- from the country round about, going perhaps testants, or firing off their revolvers and sad- ten or fifteen miles back from the line of dle guns. The little horses are fairly maddened, march, and meeting at the place where camp as is natural enough, and run as if they were has already been pitched. The wagons alcrazy: were the distances longer, some would ways keep some little distance from one anbe sure to drop in their tracks.
other, and the saddle-bands do the same, so Besides the horse-races, which are, of course, that the horses may not get mixed. It is rather the main attraction, the men at a round-up picturesque to see the four-horse teams filing will often get up wrestling matches or foot- down at a trot through a pass among the races. In fact, every one feels that he is off for buttes — the saddle-bands being driven along a holiday; for after the monotony of a long at a smart pace to one side or behind, the winter, the cowboys look forward eagerly to teamsters cracking their whips, and the horsethe round-up, where the work is hard, it is wranglers calling and shouting as they ride true, but exciting and varied, and treated a rapidly from side to side behind the horses, good deal as a frolic. There is no eight-hour urging on the stragglers by dexterous touches law in cowboy land: during round-up time we with the knotted ends of their long lariats often count ourselves lucky if we get off with that are left trailing from the saddle. The much less than sixteen hours; but the work country driven over is very rough, and it is is done in the saddle, and the men are spurred often necessary to double up teams and put on all the time by the desire to outdo one an- on eight horses to each wagon in going up an other in feats of daring and skillful horseman- unusually steep pitch, or hauling through a ship. There is very little quarreling or fight- deep mud-hole, or over a river crossing where ing; and though the fun often takes the form there is quicksand. of rather rough horse-play, yet the practice The speed and thoroughness with which a
country can be worked depends, of course, very men are rarely very hungry at breakfast, and largely upon the number of riders. Ours is it is a meal that has to be eaten in shortest probably about an average round-up as re- order, so it is perhaps the least important. gards size. The last spring I was out, there Each man, as he comes up, grasps a tin cup were half a dozen wagons along; the saddle- and plate from the mess-box, pours out his tea bands numbered about a hundred each; and or coffee, with sugar, but of course no milk, the morning we started, sixty men in the sad- helps himself to one or two of the biscuits that dle splashed across the shallow ford of the have been baked in a Dutch oven, and perhaps river that divided the plain where we had also to a slice of the fat pork swimming in camped from the valley of the long winding the grease of the frying-pan, ladles himself
out creek up which we were first to work. some beans, if there are any, and squats down
In the morning, the cook is preparing break- on the ground to eat his breakfast. The meal fast long before the first glimmer of dawn. As is not an elaborate one; nevertheless a man soon as it is ready, probably about 3 o'clock, will have to hurry if he wishes to eat it before he utters a long-drawn shout, and all the hearing the foreman sing out, “ Come, boys, sleepers feel it is time to be up on the instant, catch your horses”; when he must drop everyfor they know there can be no such thing thing and run out to the wagon with his lariat. as delay on the round-up, under penalty of The night wrangler is now bringing in the being set afoot. Accordingly, they bundle saddle-band, which he has been up all night out, rubbing their eyes and yawning, draw guarding. A rope corral is rigged up by on their boots and trousers,- if they have taken stretching a rope from each wheel of one side the latter off,— roll up and cord their bedding, of the wagon, making a V-shaped space, into and usually without any attempt at washing which the saddle-horses are driven. Certain crowd over to the little smoldering fire, which men stand around to keep them inside, while is placed in a hole dug in the ground, so that the others catch the horses: many outfits bave there may be no risk of its spreading. The one man to do all the roping. As soon as each
has caught his horse — usually a strong, tough Meanwhile the two bands, a score of riders animal, the small, quick ponies being reserved in each, separate and make their way in opfor the work round the herd in the afternoon posite directions. The leader of each tries to the band, now in charge of the day wrangler, get such a “scatter” on his men that they is turned loose, and every one saddles up as will cover completely all the land gone over. fast as possible. It still lacks some time of This morning work is called circle riding, and being sunrise, and the air has in it the pecu- is peculiarly hard in the Bad Lands on account liar chill of the early morning. When all are of the remarkably broken, rugged nature of the saddled, many of the horses bucking and country. The men come in on lines that tend dancing about, the riders from the different to a common center - as if the sticks of a fan wagons all assemble at the one where the cap- were curved. As the band goes out, the leader tain is sitting, already mounted. He waits a from time to time detaches one or two men to very short time — for laggards receive but ride down through certain sections of the counscant mercy — before announcing the pro- try, making the shorter, or what are called posed camping-place and parceling out the inside, circles, while he keeps on; and finally, work among those present. If, as is usually retaining as companions the two or three whose the case, the line of march is along a river or horses are toughest, makes the longest or outcreek, he appoints some man to take a dozen side circle himself, going clear back to the others and drive down (or up) it ahead of the divide, or whatever the point may be that day herd, so that the latter will not have marks the limit of the round-up work, and to travel through other cattle; the day herd then turning and working straight to the meet
itself being driven and guarded by a dozen men ing-place. Each man, of course, brings in every detached for that purpose. The rest of the head of cattle he can see. riders are divided into two bands, placed un- These long, swift rides in the glorious der men who know the country, and start out, spring mornings are not soon to be forgotten. one on each side, to bring in every head for The sweet, fresh air, with a touch of sharpfifteen miles back. The captain then himself ness thus early in the day, and the rapid morides down to the new camping-place, so as to tion of the fiery little horse combine to make be there as soon as any cattle are brought in. a man's blood thrill and leap with sheer buoy