Fred and Terry after cattle
Terry, being a good judge of musical
instruments, went to a music store in Crabtree, ran
his fingers over the keys of half a dozen different
pianos, and quickly made his selection. Then he
purchased a splendid violin, paying seventy-five dollars
for it, which was the most costly violin that was
ever sold in Crabtree, for he was very fond of good
violin music. Then he bought a guitar, a banjo
and a splendid flute. The dealer promised to
send them all down to the ranch the next day.
“I’ll take the violin and the flute myself,”
“Mr. Olcott,” said the
dealer, “we have a large selection of vocal and
instrumental music. Would you like to look over
it to make some selections?”
he replied. “Sister may have a big quantity
of her old music in her trunk, but if she didn’t
bring any down with her she can come down here some
day and look over your stock.”
“Here is a printed list of all
the music now before the public.”
“All right, I’ll take
that list to her,” and he folded it up and put
it in his pocket.
Then he went to see the two young
ladies whom Evelyn had told him to bring down with
him if they would come.
He found them, and, to his surprise,
found them ready to go on an hour’s notice.
He told them that he would drive around for them with
a carriage, as no passenger train ever stopped at
the ranch unless it was flagged.
They told him that it didn’t
make any difference so long as they didn’t have
They had never been on a ranch in
their lives, although they were rather familiar with
farm life around that locality. He went to the
livery stable and hired the same team that had carried
Evelyn out two days before.
Then he went to a well-known grocer
and bought several cases of preserves and sweetmeats
of various kinds to be sent down the next day, laid
in a good stock of magazines, then drove around to
the residence of the two young ladies, and when they
were ready to go they started off for the ranch.
Their trunks were to come down in a wagon.
The girls were delighted with everything
they saw on the way.
When they reached the ranch Evelyn
and Fred and Jack were at the store to greet them.
While the two girls were hugging and kissing Evelyn,
Fred and Terry threw their arms around each other
and imitated them to the best of their ability; but,
instead of kissing each other, they smacked their
mouths over each other’s shoulders and uttered
expressions of joy in imitation of them. The
girls were greatly amused, and the storekeeper almost
went into convulsions of merriment.
“Now, girls,” said’
Evelyn, “come over to the house with me and you’ll
see how we are roughing it out here.” So
she led the way from the store to the house which
they called their home.
When they entered the two beautifully
furnished rooms the girls uttered exclamations of
“Why, Evelyn,” one of
them exclaimed, “there isn’t a prettier
furnished house in all Crabtree. I can’t
see for the life of me why you call it roughing.”
“Well, I call it roughing because
we can do just as we please out here. There is
nobody about to criticise us. I hope you brought
some of your old clothes with you that won’t
be hurt by roughing it!”
“Yes, we brought some old dresses with us.”
“All right, just as soon as
your trunks come in put on your roughest suits and
I’ll show you how much fun we can have out here.”
She then led them into the kitchen and dining-room.
One of the bedrooms had two beds in
it, and all three of them would sleep in there, leaving
Fred and Terry to have the other room.
A half hour later the girls’
trunks were brought into the house and they proceeded
at once to don what they called their home dresses.
Then Evelyn led them out to the poultry
yard, to the cow-sheds and the dairy-house, Then they
went to the big lot in which lived the sows and pigs.
After that they visited the big stables, where Evelyn
pointed with great pride to two big grays which the
boys had bought for her, and there she told them the
story of the grays she had owned before, how she had
trained them so that she could drive them without bridles
anywhere and guide them entirely by her voice.
One of the girls said that she couldn’t
train a Texas horse that way.
“Oh, any horse is susceptible
to kindness, dear. I will soon have them so trained
that they will follow me wherever I go and I’ll
teach them how to obey every command I give them.
It takes time and patience, though.”
“Evelyn, where is the big spring
that we have heard so much about?”
“It is about a mile down that
way,” and she pointed southward. “To-morrow
we will ride down there, for we have a large surrey
and two horses for domestic use.”
About sunset Evelyn insisted on their
going out to the cowpen and see her milk. Up
to that time they hadn’t taken any stock in her
claim that she could milk cows and make butter, and
they regarded her as simply a society girl who wouldn’t
do any work at all; but the dairyman told them that
she was the best milker he had ever seen.
It was a pretty big job, but she milked
the half dozen Jersey cows, actually doing a man’s
work. Neither of the girls had ever milked a cow
in their lives, for their parents didn’t keep
any cows at their city home.
That night they sat down to a game
dinner of quail, jack-rabbits and prairie chickens.
Evelyn insisted on their standing
by her in the kitchen and seeing her cook everything.
They were satisfied that she had not been boasting,
and such biscuit they had never tasted in their lives,
notwithstanding the fact that their mother had a well-trained
“Evelyn,” the elder of
the sisters asked, “you seem to know all about
housework, but tell me how you manage to keep your
hands so soft and white if you have been doing this
sort of work before.”
“Oh, I don’t do it regularly,
only when I take a notion to do so at home; but I
think it is every woman’s duty to learn such
things, so that if she gets hold of an incompetent
servant she can teach her.”
The two girls were actually ashamed
of their ignorance of domestic life.
During the evening Fred produced his violin and flute.
“Oh, my, brother!” exclaimed
Evelyn, “that is a beautiful violin. What
did you buy such an expensive one for?”
“Why, you know me, sister,”
he replied; “a harsh note grates on me worse
than a crosscut saw going through a knotty log.”
Evelyn seized the bow, resined it
herself, tuned the violin and began playing like an
expert. Fred took up the flute and accompanied
her, making the most delightful music.
There were some cowboys in the store
smoking and talking, but when they heard the violin
and flute they all rushed out and stood at the gate,
about forty feet away from the door, and listened,
and there they stood, quiet and silent, for upwards
of an hour.
Then Terry took the flute and the
girls saw that he could play equally as well as Fred.
Evelyn soon took up the guitar and accompanied him
on that instrument.
Then she handed the guitar to Fred
and took the flute from Terry.
The girls soon saw that she was perfectly
at home with any musical instrument, and that the
boys were, too.
Evelyn had the girls up with the sun
the next morning. They were not in the habit
of starting the day so early, but she laughed at them
and told them they didn’t know how to live.
She soon had them in the kitchen,
where Jack had started a fire in the range, and began
giving them culinary lessons.
It was great fun for her, and also for Fred and Terry.
Some two or three days later Fred
left the ranch, going up by the passenger train, which
was flagged for him to board it, and at Crabtree he
took a train for points a hundred miles east, where
he hired a team and driver to take him around among
the ranches all through that section. He spent
a week inspecting cattle, buying them and having them
shipped down to the ranch.
Finally, in order to make up the order
that he wanted, he had to drive back to the railroad
and go further eastward; so he was gone about ten
days. He paid for the cattle with checks on the
bank at Crabtree, but in some instances the cattlemen
rode down to Crabtree to see whether or not the checks
were good before they would ship the cattle.
When Fred returned to the ranch he
found the two girl visitors still with Evelyn, and
learned from them that they were willing to stay out
there just as long as Evelyn wished them to.
“You haven’t gotten tired of the ranch
yet?” he asked.
“No, indeed. We never enjoyed
ourselves better away from home in our lives.
Mr. Olcott and Evelyn are undoubtedly the finest musicians
we ever heard. That piano is a grand instrument,
and every evening, when the weather is fine, the cowboys
dance in the yard to their playing; and, Mr. Fearnot,
I really believe that every horse and cow and pig and
chicken on the ranch is in love with Evelyn Olcott,
while she has such influence over the cowboys that
I believe she could make them do murder at her command.”
Fred laughed and said:
“Yes, she has that same influence over me, too.”
The girls looked at Evelyn and laughed, and she remarked:
“Didn’t I tell you that
every sort of animal is susceptible to kindness?”
“Why, do you mean to call Mr. Fearnot an animal?”
“Certainly. Every man and
woman is just as much an animal as a horse or cow
Both the girls opened their eyes wide
and Evelyn and Fred and Terry laughed heartily at
“Why, didn’t you know
that man is an animal?” Fred inquired.
“No, indeed. Never heard
of such a thing before in my life,” and then
both Fred and Terry fell to explaining the matter to
them. The younger of the two sisters said they
made her feel “cheap” by proving to her
that she was a mere animal.
“Oh, be careful with your words.
Neither of us have said that you were a mere animal,”
said Terry. “Man belongs to the animal kingdom
just as any four-footed beast does. Generally
the things that will kill any brute will also kill
a man. Both have flesh and blood, eat and drink;
but man is, of course, the highest grade of the animal
kingdom. They are divided into different tribes,
just as animals are into different species. The
Caucasian is the highest type, and the grades go down
from this point until we reach the bushmen of Australia,
who are said to be the lowest type of mankind.”
The girls were highly interested in
his talk, and on the piazza and on the front steps
cowboys were listening with the deepest interest.
They, too, had never thought of the
subject; but Fred and Terry were very familiar with
it, for they had both studied it very deeply.
A few days after Fred’s return
from his trip, during which he had bought another
thousand head of cattle, the cattle began arriving.
Then Fred and Terry and the cowboys
were all very busy. The cars were run down to
the stockpen, where they were unloaded and turned loose
into their new home. Many of them were evidently
very hungry, and had probably been kept penned up
for several days before the cars which were to bring
them down were sent up for them.
“By George, Terry,” said
Fred, “that lot of cattle is almost starved.
The ranchmen didn’t feed them while keeping them
penned up waiting for the train.”
“Yes, and they ought to be made to pay for it,
“Oh, what’s the use?
They’ll soon pick up on this ranch, but really
I think they ought to be punished for their heartlessness.
Just because they were sold they wouldn’t give
them any extra feed.”
The girls came down and saw the cattle
leave the cars and run down the gangway that led into
the stockpen, from which they passed hurriedly into
Evelyn had seen cattle shipped and
unloaded before, but her two visitors had not, so
they stood and watched the process of unloading for
“Fred,” said Terry, after
seeing several carloads of the cattle turned out,
“I think that, on an average, they are a very
fine lot of cattle.”
“Well, I tried to be careful,
Terry, and I am glad I was, for there were quite a
number who tried to pan off poor cattle on me.
Their brand is already registered, just the same as
ours. Of course, their calves we will have to
put our registered brand on, and after a while we will
have to add it to the brand of the original owners.”
The addition another thousand cattle
to the ranch made a pretty good display.
Both Fred and Terry made a careful
count of every beef that arrived. They both rather
suspected that they would come up a little short, but
to their very great gratification every carload panned
out according to the bill.
They were all of the long-horned species,
and some of them were very large. The train was
run on a sidetrack, and as fast as the cars were emptied
they were moved further down the sidetrack until every
car had been emptied.
“Oh, my, Fred!” said Evelyn,
“surely some of those cattle must have been
hurt, crowded as they were in those cars, with such
A careful inspection was made and
not one was found to be seriously hurt. Fred
had stipulated with the ranchmen whom he had bought
front that only a given number should be placed in
a car, and Superintendent Westervelt had warned the
employees of the road not to exceed the limit.
That night Fred and Terry rode all
around the enclosed part of the range on the lookout
for wolves, and also to let the cowboys see that they
were expected to do their work faithfully.
The new cattle grazed incessantly,
but nothing occurred during the night to start an
alarm among them. The majority of them, as dark
set in, laid down to sleep or to chew their cud.
The two boys turned in at about two
o’clock in the morning.
The next day one of the cowboys came
in and reported that somebody down at the lower end
of the ranch had cut out a complete panel of the barbed
wire, thus leaving a wide gap for the cattle to go
Fred and Terry hurried down there
on their horses with their Winchesters, accompanied
by two of their most expert and faithful cowboys and
made a thorough investigation.
They could see the tracks of three
men, who had probably cut the wires; but they were
unable to find the trail of any cattle passing through
the gap. In fact, none of the cattle had done
any grazing that far down.
They sent a cowboy back up to the
ranch-house and had him bring down a coil of wire
and the necessary tools to connect it with the wires
that had been cut, and when that was done they detailed
one-half of their force to watch the line of the fence
at that end of the ranch during the following night.
They taught them a series of signals,
which must be given and answered before firing at
“Now, boys,” said Fred,
“be careful. We don’t want any innocent
man hurt, but if you find any one tampering with the
fence give him a chance to cut just one wire to establish
his guilt and then call a halt. If he doesn’t
hold up open fire on him, and keep firing until he
comes down. Both Olcott and I will be moving
about the greater part of the night. We want
all cattle thieves to understand that they can’t
steal any of our cattle with impunity.”
That night, after singing and playing
at the house with the girls, the boys mounted their
horses and started for the lower end of the ranch.
When they reached there they dismounted,
hitched their horses in the timber and started down
the line on foot. They found the cowboys that
they had stationed along the line in their respective
places. They were very prompt in exchanging signals,
and they spoke in whispers so that their voices might
not be overheard.
By and by in the starlight they saw
about a score of cattle going through the grass as
though they were being driven by somebody.
Fred and Terry crouched down in the
grass and watched them.
They both became fully satisfied that
some one was driving them, and they ran along with
the cattle in order to ascertain where they were going,
and why. They were very near the corner of the
fence, for, as the reader doubtless remembers, they
had enclosed only twenty of the forty thousand acres,
as they thought that was about as much as they would
have need for inside of the next two years.
Suddenly Terry tapped Fred on the shoulder and whispered:
“Down, Fred,” and Fred dropped down on
Terry motioned with his hand and pointed
out on his right where they could both see the figures
of two men moving cautiously and closely behind the
cattle, and they both wondered if another panel of
the wire had not been cut just ahead of them.
Suddenly one of the cattle turned
in their direction, and one of the men ran around
to head him off. He ran almost over Fred, who
sprang up and dealt him a blow on the side of his
head that caused him to sink down unconscious.