My Adventures in the West
by Joseph Wegley 1867 - 1946
After a time, he showed up in Kansas and killed a storekeeper because he wouldn’t give him $10.00. Then he went into Wyoming during the cattle was referred to before.
A United States marshall was looking for this boy, and the boy was looking for the marshall. They saw each other over a small hill across from each other. They both shot. The boy killed the marshall and the marshall hit the boy in the top of the forehead, the bullet cut the scalp but did not kill him.
I don’t know just how long later it was when he came up there. He was evidently on his way to Canada. To fool him, the detective pretended to be looking for a job cooking. He said he was going to Miles City and was coming back. He told the boss he was going after papers and assistance to take this harmless looking boy to town. The boy said he was going to let his horse rest a few days, and sent with the detective for some tobacco and cartridges. We were keeping an eye on him.
Well, in a few days the detective came back with a man. We were out in the barn in the evening doing chores and the bad boy was with us with no gun on him. They came into the barn and told him he was under arrest. He, of course, being unprepared, gave up.
Well, they all stayed at our ranch for the night. The officers seeing there was no gun handy for the boy, took turns watching him over night. They told him he was wanted as a witness to a killing scrape in Wyoming that he knew about, so he did not think it was serious. When they got him in jail in Miles City, they told him what he was wanted for. He said, “I guess the jig is up with me.”
One day afterwards, I was going to Glendive, Montana on the train. I went to a flag station and flagged a train. I got on the train and there was this same fellow handcuffed and chained to the seat. He recognized me and asked if he wouldn’t be in some fix if this train wrecked. I thought it would be lucky for him if it did. They took him to New Orleans and hung him.
The next spring, I went to work on a cattle ranch. As I said before, many of our best men had quit that range so it made the work very hard as there were so many inexperienced men. I, of course, thought I was a real cowboy.
We got our saddle horses rounded up and started on the general round-up which meant from Ft. Buford to the Rocky Mountains between the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. There were no fences, just the rivers on the east, north and south, and the Rocky Mountains on the west. This had been a good sized outfit at one time, but had dwindled until it was not very big. They had many big saddle horses, and some that were really hard to ride. Some of the worst had been passed up a few years owing to the fact that they had a surplus.
A man came up from Iowa that spring who had a small bunch and worked with us. He wasn’t a cowboy, but he was smart so before the round-up started we were getting the saddle horses cut out that we were going to take. I had worked for this outfit before so I and the boss knew the horses well, so I had the string I wanted.
One day, this smart man from Iowa said he would ride a certain bad horse if someone would snub him to the horn of a saddle. This meant he had a halter or hackamore on. He wanted someone to tie his rope to the horn of the other horse’s saddle so he could not get his head down to buck.
Well, I said, “Taylor, I will do that.” I put the rope on the horn of my saddle until he mounted and then threw the rope down. I said, “Stay with him, Taylor.” It was only about three jumps and Taylor had the cure, but was a better fellow to work with after that.
One day, in came a long, tall boy looking for a job. He said he wanted a string of bad horses. That was duck soup for us, and there was fun in sight. Usually one who could ride was more conservative about his remarks. Well, we started giving him bad horses, and he rode them. The more they bucked, the better he like it. Over cut banks, through wire fences, it all looked good to Jack, which was his name. Sometimes we called him peeked headed Jack.