As the news spread around through
the county of Fred’s having shot an apple from
the fingers of another man, it seemed so incredible
that scores of people came to the cowboys to inquire
as to the truth of the story.
One day, when Tom was sent to town
with a wagon to bring back some things that Fred had
ordered, he told a story at the depot, when a man
challenged him to prove it. He said that be had
seen Mr. Olcott fire at a tree with his revolver at
a distance of thirty paces, and then plant the rest
of the bullets in the weapon in the same hole in the
Said the townsman:
“I’ve got a hundred dollars,
which says that that is not so. That no such
thing ever happened.”
“Well,” said Tim, “I
haven’t got one hundred dollars, for I don’t
carry my money with me wherever I go; but I will have
to come up again on Saturday, and I will see if I
can get Mr. Olcott to come up with me and prove it
to you by shooting for you.”
“All right,” said the
man. “I will meet you here, and put up the
money, and I will bet one hundred dollars that Mr.
Olcott can’t plant all the bullets in his revolver
in the same hole at a distance of thirty paces, and
if you want to make another bet, I’ll bet ten
dollars that Mr. Olcott won’t undertake it.”
“That’s a go,” said
Tom, “Just meet me here on Saturday, and I will
bring up my money ready to bet any amount that I can
get you to put up that he can do it.”
When he went home Tom told Terry of
the bet that he had made.
“Now, Mr. Olcott, I haven’t
got much money, but I’ll put up every cent I
have on your marksmanship, and I beg you, as a favor,
to go with me on Saturday and give me a chance to
win that bet, for I need it, as I am engaged to a
girl up at Ranchman’s Rest, whom I want to marry
just as soon as I can get money enough ahead to build
a little home for her.”
“All right. Tom. I’ll
help you out. I’ll go up with you, and if
that fellow or any other man wants to bluff you, I’ll
check enough out of the bank for you to cover whatever
he or his friends may put up.”
The next Saturday Terry went up to
Crabtree, going on a freight train cab, Tom drove
a wagon, for there was no local freight train running
that day down to the ranch.
The fact is, only through freights
ran over the road at that section, hence none of the
cars were unlocked at the ranch. Of course, Terry
had his faithful revolver with him, and when Tom arrived,
the sporting men got around him and challenged him
to show his money.
“All right, sir. Mr. Olcott
has agreed to shoot, and I am ready to cover any amount
you want to put up, unless you have put up more than
The original bettor offered to put
up three hundred dollars.
“All right,” said Tom. “I’ll
Then several others put up one and two hundred each.
Terry had given Tom a check for one
thousand dollars, and Tom hurried off to the bank
with it, cashed it, and covered all the bets.
The depot agent acted as stakeholder.
Then they went about a quarter of
a mile up the road into a piece of timber, where thirty
paces were stepped off, and a piece of white paper,
about an inch square, was fastened, against the tree.
One man carried a sharp axe with him,
saying that he was not going to let any trick be played
“It’s easy enough,”
said he, “for one shot to be fired in the tree
and the other shots just to be blank cartridges.”
Terry then fired the first shot, and
every man in the party went to the tree to look at
the bullet hole.
Then Terry fired the other live shots
with cool deliberation and caution.
When the whole six bullets had been
fired no one could tell, from the appearance of the
bullet hole, that any other bullet had hit the tree.
The man with the axe proceeded to
cut into the tree in quest of the bullets, and the
whole six bullets were found, one on top of the other.
When they came back the report was
that six bullets were shot into the first bullet hole
and were found when the chips were cut out.
On that the men paid the thousand
dollars to Tom, whose enthusiasm was so great that
he was ready to risk the whole amount by offering to
bet two to one that Olcott could shoot an apple from
his head with that revolver at a distance of one hundred
But the party of bettors had had enough.
They didn’t care to risk any more money and
some of them couldn’t afford to lose a hundred
dollars; but firmly believing that they would win,
they had borrowed a little to make up that amount.
Evelyn and her two visiting friends
agreed to go up to Crabtree and stand up with Tom
and his girl when they were married.
The girl lost no time in leaving Ranchman’s
Rest for Crabtree, and when she arrived there Fred
and Terry recognized her as a girl they had often
seen, without knowing who she was. They greeted
her kindly, and so did Evelyn, saying she remembered
her face well, and within thirty minutes after she
arrived in Crabtree they were married in the parlor
of the hotel at Crabtree, with Fred and Evelyn standing
up with them, and quite a bevy of young ladies acting
as maids of honor.
Terry paid for the dinner of the couple
at the hotel, after which they went out to the wagon
that was to carry her trunk, and Tom and she drove
to the ranch by themselves, while Evelyn and the girls
returned in the ranch carriage.
Fred and Terry and Jack went down
on the conductor’s caboose of the freight train.
Thus Fred and Terry managed their
new ranch by giving the strictest personal attention
to every little matter of importance.
They made it a rule to deal justly
and kindly with every man in their employ, and thus
gained their confidence.
By and by the Crabtree Herald published
a statement that the fattest cattle in the whole State
of Texas were to be found on the ranch of Fearnot
and Olcott, and soon applications from cattle firms
way up in Kansas City, Omaha and Chicago began coming
to them, the firms asking for particulars. Terry
and Fred knew every one of their correspondents.
They wrote back to them, however,
that it was not there intention to sell but a limited
number of their cattle that fall; but every one of
the firms wrote back to them, saying that they would
take their word as to the condition of the cattle
that they had for sale, and would pay the highest
market price for them.
Some of the firms offered to go down
at once, although it was some two or three months
ahead of the regular season for buying cattle, pick
them out, and pay a cash deposit, contracting to pay
the market price when the cattle were ready for sale,
and that each beef was to be weighed at the depot.
Jack said that he would have a few
hundred head for sale, while Fred and Terry had over
Jack finished his big house, and at
once proceeded to furnish it.
Evelyn looked after that part of it
for him, so, while he went North after his mother
and sweetheart Evelyn attended to the furnishing of
his home, and all of his cowboys were instructed to
obey whatever orders either Mr. Olcott or Mr. Fearnot
Jack wanted Evelyn to go up with him,
but she wrote to Mary Hamilton to go down to New York
City and act as bridesmaid for Katy Malone.
Next week’s issue will contain
“Fred Fearnot and the Lariat
Thrower; or, beating the Champion
of the west.”