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in cattle ranching, our club adopted the name of The Juan-Jinglero
Cattle Company, Limited. The capital stock was placed at five million,
full-paid and non-assessable, with John T. Lytle as treasurer, E.G.
Head as secretary, Jess Pressnall as attorney, Captain E.G. Millet as
fiscal agent for placing the stock, and a dozen leading drovers as
vice-presidents, while the presidency fell to me. We used the best
of printed stationery, and all the papers of Kansas City and Omaha
innocently took it up and gave the new cattle company the widest
publicity. The promoters of the club intended it as a joke, but the
prominence of its officers fooled the outside public, and applications
began to pour in to secure stock in the new company. No explanation
was offered, but all applications were courteously refused, on the
ground that the capital was already over-subscribed. All members were
freely using the club stationery, thus daily advertising us far and
wide, while no end of jokes were indulged in at the expense of the
burlesque company. For instance, Major Seth Mabry left word at the
club to forward his mail to Kansas City, care of Armour's Bank, as he
expected to be away from Dodge for a week. No sooner had he gone than
every member of the club wrote him a letter, in care of that popular
bank, addressing him as first vice-president and director of The
Juan-Jinglero Cattle Company. While attending to business Major Mabry
was hourly honored by bankers and intimate friends desiring to secure
stock in the company, to all of whom he turned a deaf ear, but kept
the secret. "I told the boys," said Major Seth on his return, "that
our company was a close corporation, and unless we increased the
capital stock, there was no hope of them getting in on the ground
floor."

In Dodge practical joking was carried to the extreme, both by citizens
and cowmen. One night a tipsy foreman, who had just arrived over the
trail, insisted on going the rounds with a party of us, and in order
to shake him we entered a variety theatre, where my maudlin friend
soon fell asleep in his seat. The rest of us left the theatre, and
after seeing the sights I wandered back to the vaudeville, finding the
performance over and my friend still sound asleep. I awoke him, never
letting him know that I had been absent for hours, and after rubbing
his eyes open, he said: "Reed, is it all over? No dance or concert?
They give a good show here, don't they?"




CHAPTER XIX

THE CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHOE CATTLE COMPANY


The assassination of President Garfield temporarily checked our plans
in forming the new cattle company. Kirkwood of the Interior Department
was disposed to be friendly to all Western enterprises, but our
advices from Washington anticipated a reorganization of the cabinet
under Arthur. Senator Teller was slated to succeed Kirkwood, and as
there was no question about the former being fully in sympathy with
everything pertaining to the West, every one interested in the pending
project lent his influence in supporting the Colorado man for the
Interior portfolio. Several senators and any number of representatives
were subscribers to our company, and by early fall the outlook was
so encouraging that we concluded at least to open negotiations for
a lease on the Cheyenne and Arapahoe reservation. A friendly
acquaintance was accordingly to be cultivated with the Indian agent of
these tribes. George Edwards knew him personally, and, well in advance
of Major Hunter and myself, dropped down to the agency and made known
his errand. There were already a number of cattle being held on
the reservation by squaw-men, sutlers, contractors, and other army
followers stationed at Fort Reno. The latter ignored all rights of the
tribes, and even collected a rental from outside cattle for grazing on
the reservation, and were naturally antagonistic to any interference
with their personal plans. There had been more or less friction
between the Indian agent and these usurpers of the grazing privileges,
and a proposition to lease a million acres at an annual rental of
fifty thousand dollars at once met with the sanction of the agent.
Major Hunter and I were notified of the outlook, and at the close of
the beef-shipping season we took stage for the Cheyenne and Arapahoe
Agency. Our segundo had thoroughly ridden over the country, the range
was a desirable one, and we soon came to terms with the agent. He was
looked upon as a necessary adjunct to the success of our company,
a small block of stock was set aside for his account, while his
usefulness in various ways would entitle his name to grace the salary
list. For the present the opposition of the army followers was to
be ignored, as no one gave them credit for being able to thwart our
plans.

The Indian agent called the head men of the two tribes together. The
powwow was held at the summer encampment of the Cheyennes, and the
principal chiefs of the Arapahoes were present. A beef was barbecued
at our expense, and a great deal of good tobacco was smoked. Aside
from the agent, we employed a number of interpreters; the council
lasted two days, and on its conclusion we held a five years' lease,
with the privilege of renewal, on a million acres of as fine grazing
land as the West could boast. The agreement was signed by every chief
present, and it gave us the privilege to fence our range, build
shelter and stabling for our men and horses, and otherwise equip
ourselves for ranching. The rental was payable semiannually in
advance, to begin with the occupation of the country the following
spring, and both parties to the lease were satisfied with the terms
and conditions. In the territory allotted to us grazed two small
stocks of cattle, one of which had comfortable winter shelters on
Quartermaster Creek. Our next move was to buy both these brands and
thus gain the good will of the only occupants of the range. Possession
was given at once, and leaving Edwards and a few men to hold the
range, the major and I returned to Kansas and reported our success to
Washington.

The organization was perfected, and The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Cattle
Company began operations with all the rights and privileges of an
individual. One fourth of the capital stock was at once paid into the
hands of the treasurer, the lease and cattle on hand were transferred
to the new company, and the executive committee began operations for
the future. Barbed wire by the carload was purchased sufficient to
build one hundred miles of four-strand fence, and arrangements were
made to have the same freighted one hundred and fifty miles inland
by wagon from the railway terminal to the new ranch on Quartermaster
Creek. Contracts were let to different men for cutting the posts and
building the fence, and one of the old trail bosses came on from Texas
and was installed as foreman of the new range. The first meeting of
stockholders - for permanent organization - was awaiting the convenience
of the Western contingent; and once Edwards was relieved, he and
Major Hunter took my proxy and went on to the national capital. Every
interest had been advanced to the farthest possible degree: surveyors
would run the lines, the posts would be cut and hauled during the
winter, and by the first of June the fences would be up and the range
ready to receive the cattle.

I returned to Texas to find everything in a prosperous condition. The
Texas and Pacific railway had built their line westward during
the past summer, crossing the Colorado River sixty miles south of
headquarters on the Double Mountain ranch and paralleling my Clear
Fork range about half that distance below. Previous to my return, the
foreman on my Western ranch shipped out four trains of sixteen hundred
bulls on consignment to our regular customer in Illinois, it being
the largest single shipment made from Colorado City since the railway
reached that point. Thrifty little towns were springing up along the
railroad, land was in demand as a result of the boom in cattle, and an
air of prosperity pervaded both city and hamlet and was reflected in a
general activity throughout the State. The improved herd was the pride
of the Double Mountain ranch, now increased by over seven hundred
half-blood heifers, while the young males were annually claimed
for the improvement of the main ranch stock. For fear of in-and-in
breeding, three years was the limit of use of any bulls among the
improved cattle, the first importation going to the main stock, and a
second consignment supplanting them at the head of the herd.

In the permanent organization of The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Cattle
Company, the position of general manager fell to me. It was my wish
that this place should have gone to Edwards, as he was well qualified
to fill it, while I was busy looking after the firm and individual
interests. Major Hunter likewise favored our segundo, but the Eastern
stockholders were insistent that the management of the new company
should rest in the hands of a successful cowman. The salary contingent
with the position was no inducement to me, but, with the pressure
brought to bear and in the interests of harmony, I was finally
prevailed on to accept the management. The proposition was a simple
one, - the maturing and marketing of beeves; we had made a success of
the firm's beef ranch in the Cherokee Outlet, and as far as human
foresight went, all things augured for a profitable future.

There was no intention on the part of the old firm to retire from the
enviable position that we occupied as trail drovers. Thus enlarging
the scope of our operations as cowmen simply meant that greater
responsibility would rest on the shoulders of the active partners and
our trusted men. Accepting the management of the new company meant, to
a certain extent, a severance of my personal connection with the firm,
yet my every interest was maintained in the trail and beef ranch. One
of my first acts as manager of the new company was to serve a notice
through our secretary-treasurer calling for the capital stock to be
paid in on or before February 1, 1882. It was my intention to lay the
foundation of the new company on a solid basis, and with ample capital
at my command I gave the practical experiences of my life to the
venture. During the winter I bought five hundred head of choice saddle
horses, all bred in north Texas and the Pan-Handle, every one of which
I passed on personally before accepting.

Thus outfitted, I awaited the annual cattle convention. Major Hunter
and our segundo were present, and while we worked in harmony, I was as
wide awake for a bargain in the interests of the new company as they
were in that of the old firm. I let contracts for five herds of
fifteen thousand Pan-Handle three-year-old steers for delivery on the
new range in the Indian Territory, and bought nine thousand twos to be
driven on company account. There was the usual whoop and hurrah at the
convention, and when it closed I lacked only six thousand head of my
complement for the new ranch. I was confining myself strictly to north
Texas and Pan-Handle cattle, for through Montana cowmen I learned that
there was an advantage, at maturity, in the northern-bred animal.
Major Hunter and our segundo bought and contracted in a dozen counties
from the Rio Grande to Red River during the convention, and at
the close we scattered to the four winds in the interests of our
respective work. In order to give my time and attention to the new
organization, I assigned my individual cattle to the care of the firm,
of which I was sending out ten thousand three-year-old steers and two
herds of aging and dry cows. They would take their chances in the open
market, though I would have dearly loved to take over the young steers
for the new company rather than have bought their equivalent in
numbers. I had a dislike to parting with an animal of my own breeding,
and to have brought these to a ripe maturity under my own eye would
have been a pleasure and a satisfaction. But such an action might have
caused distrust of my management, and an honest name is a valuable
asset in a cowman's capital.

My ranch foremen made up the herds and started my individual cattle on
the trail. I had previously bought the two remaining herds in Archer
and Clay counties, and in the five that were contracted for and would
be driven at company risk and account, every animal passed and was
received under my personal inspection. Three of the latter were routed
by way of the Chisholm trail, and two by the Western, while the cattle
under contract for delivery at the company ranch went by any route
that their will and pleasure saw fit. I saw very little of my old
associates during the spring months, for no sooner had I started the
herds than I hastened to overtake the lead one so as to arrive with
the cattle at their new range. I had kept in touch with the building
of fences, and on our arrival, near the middle of May, the western and
southern strings were completed. It was not my intention to inclose
the entire range, only so far as to catch any possible drift of cattle
to the south or west. A twenty-mile spur of fence on the east, with
half that line and all the north one open, would be sufficient until
further encroachments were made on our range. We would have to ride
the fences daily, anyhow, and where there was no danger of drifting,
an open line was as good as a fence.

As fast as the cattle arrived they were placed under loose herd for
the first two weeks. Early in June the last of the contracted herds
arrived and were scattered over the range, the outfits returning to
Texas. I reduced my help gradually, as the cattle quieted down and
became located, until by the middle of summer we were running the
ranch with thirty men, which were later reduced to twenty for the
winter. Line camps were established on the north and east, comfortable
quarters were built for fence-riders and their horses, and aside
from headquarters camp, half a dozen outposts were maintained. Hay
contracts were let for sufficient forage to winter forty horses, the
cattle located nicely within a month, and time rolled by without a
cloud on the horizon of the new cattle company. I paid a flying visit
to Dodge and Ogalalla, but, finding the season drawing to a close and
the firm's cattle all sold, I contentedly returned to my accepted
task. I had been buried for several months in the heart of the Indian
Territory, and to get out where one could read the daily papers was
a treat. During my banishment, Senator Teller had been confirmed as
Secretary of the Interior, an appointment that augured well for the
future of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Cattle Company. Advices from
Washington were encouraging, and while the new secretary lacked
authority to sanction our lease, his tacit approval was assured.

The firm of Hunter, Anthony & Co. made a barrel of money in trailing
cattle and from their beef ranch during the summer of 1882. I actually
felt grieved over my portion of the season's work for while I had
established a promising ranch, I had little to show, the improvement
account being heavy, owing to our isolation. It was doubtful if
we could have sold the ranch and cattle at a profit, yet I was
complimented on my management, and given to understand that the
stockholders were anxious to double the capitalization should I
consent. Range was becoming valuable, and at a meeting of the
directors that fall a resolution was passed, authorizing me to secure
a lease adjoining our present one. Accordingly, when paying the second
installment of rent money, I took the Indian agent of the two tribes
with me. The leading chiefs were pleased with my punctuality in
meeting the rental, and a proposition to double their income of
"grass" money met with hearty grunts of approval. I made the council
a little speech, - my maiden endeavor, - and when it was interpreted
to the squatting circle I had won the confidence of these simple
aborigines. A duplicate of our former lease in acreage and terms was
drawn up and signed; and during the existence of our company the best
teepee in the winter or summer encampments, of either the Cheyennes or
Arapahoes, was none too good for Reed Anthony when he came with the
rent money or on other business.

Our capital stock was increased to two million dollars, in the latter
half of which, one hundred thousand was asked for and allotted to me.
I stayed on the range until the first of December, freighting in a
thousand bushels of corn for the horses and otherwise seeing that the
camps were fully provisioned before returning to my home in Texas.
The winter proved dry and cold, the cattle coming through in fine
condition, not one per cent of loss being sustained, which is a good
record for through stock. Spring came and found me on the trail, with
five herds on company account and eight herds under contract, - a total
of forty thousand cattle intended for the enlarged range. All these
had been bought north of the quarantine line in Texas, and were turned
loose with the wintered ones, fever having been unknown among our
holdings of the year before. In the mean time the eastern spur of
fence had been taken down and the southern line extended forty miles
eastward and north the same distance. The northern line of our range
was left open, the fences being merely intended to catch any possible
drift from summer storms or wintry blizzards. Yet in spite of this
precaution, two round-up outfits were kept in the field through the
early summer, one crossing into the Chickasaw Nation and the other
going as far south as Red River, gathering any possible strays from
the new range.

I was giving my best services to the new company. Save for the fact
that I had capable foremen on my individual ranches in Texas,
my absence was felt in directing the interests of the firm and
personally. Major Hunter had promoted an old foreman to a trusted man,
and the firm kept up the volume of business on the trail and ranch,
though I was summoned once to Dodge and twice to Ogalalla during the
summer of 1883. Issues had arisen making my presence necessary, but
after the last trail herd was sold I returned to my post. The boom was
still on in cattle at the trail markets, and Texas was straining every
energy to supply the demand, yet the cry swept down from the North for
more cattle. I was branding twenty thousand calves a year on my two
ranches, holding the increase down to that number by sending she stuff
up the country on sale, and from half a dozen sources of income I
was coining money beyond human need or necessity. I was then in the
physical prime of my life and was master of a profitable business,
while vistas of a brilliant future opened before me on every hand.

When the round-up outfits came in for the summer, the beef shipping
began. In the first two contingents of cattle purchased in securing
the good will of the original range, we now had five thousand double
wintered beeves. It was my intention to ship out the best of the
single wintered ones, and five separate outfits were ordered into
the saddle for that purpose. With the exception of line and fence
riders, - for two hundred and forty miles were ridden daily, rain or
shine, summer or winter, - every man on the ranch took up his abode
with the wagons. Caldwell and Hunnewell, on the Kansas state line
were the nearest shipping points, requiring fifteen days' travel with
beeves, and if there was no delay in cars, an outfit could easily
gather the cattle and make a round trip in less than a month. Three
or four trainloads, numbering from one thousand and fifty to fourteen
hundred head, were cut out at a time and handled by a single outfit.
I covered the country between the ranch and shipping points, riding
night and day ahead in ordering cars, and dropping back to the ranch
to superintend the cutting out of the next consignment of cattle. Each
outfit made three trips, shipping out fifteen thousand beeves that
fall, leaving sixty thousand cattle to winter on the range.

Several times that fall, when shipping beeves from Caldwell, we met up
with the firm's outfits from the Eagle Chief in the Cherokee Outlet.
Naturally the different shipping crews looked over each other's
cattle, and an intense rivalry sprang up between the different foremen
and men. The cattle of the new company outshone those of the old firm,
and were outselling them in the markets, while the former's remudas
were in a class by themselves, all of which was salt to open wounds
and magnified the jealousy between our own outfits. The rivalry
amused me, and until petty personalities were freely indulged in, I
encouraged and widened the breach between the rival crews. The outfits
under my direction had accumulated a large supply of saddle and
sleeping blankets procured from the Indians, gaudy in color,
manufactured in sizes for papoose, squaw, and buck. These goods were
of the finest quality, but during the annual festivals of the tribe
Lo's hunger for gambling induced him to part, for a mere song, with
the blanket that the paternal government intended should shelter him
during the storms of winter. Every man in my outfits owned from six
to ten blankets, and the Eagle Chief lads rechristened the others,
including myself, with the most odious of Indian names. In return,
we refused to visit or eat at their wagons, claiming that they lived
slovenly and were lousy. The latter had an educated Scotchman with
them, McDougle by name, the ranch bookkeeper, who always went into
town in advance to order cars. McDougle had a weakness for the cup,
and on one occasion he fell into the hands of my men, who humored
his failing, marching him through the streets, saloons, and hotels
shouting at the top of his voice, "Hunter, Anthony & Company are going
to ship!" The expression became a byword among the citizens of the
town, and every reappearance of McDougle was accepted as a herald that
our outfits from the Eagle Chief were coming in with cattle.

A special meeting of the stockholders was called at Washington that
fall, which all the Western members attended. Reports were submitted
by the secretary-treasurer and myself, the executive committee
made several suggestions, the proposition, to pay a dividend was
overwhelmingly voted down, and a further increase of the capital stock
was urged by the Eastern contingent. I sounded a note of warning,
called attention to the single cloud on the horizon, which was the
enmity that we had engendered in a clique of army followers in
and around Fort Reno. These men had in the past, were even then,
collecting toll from every other holder of cattle on the Cheyenne and
Arapahoe reservation. That this coterie of usurpers hated the new
company and me personally was a well-known fact, while its influence
was proving much stronger than at first anticipated, and I cheerfully
admitted the same to the stockholders assembled. The Eastern mind,
living under established conditions, could hardly realize the chaotic
state of affairs in the West, with its vicious morals, and any attempt
to levy tribute in the form of blackmail was repudiated by the
stockholders in assembly. Major Hunter understood my position and
delicately suggested coming to terms with the company's avowed enemies
as the only feasible solution of the impending trouble. To further
enlarge our holdings of cattle and leased range, he urged, would be
throwing down the gauntlet in defiance of the clique of army attaches.
Evidently no one took us seriously, and instead, ringing resolutions
passed, enlarging the capital stock by another million, with
instructions to increase our leases accordingly.

The Western contingent returned home with some misgivings as to the
future. Nothing was to be feared from the tribes from whom we were
leasing, nor the Comanche and his allies on the southwest, though
there were renegades in both; but the danger lay in the flotsam of the
superior race which infested the frontier. I felt no concern for my
personal welfare, riding in and out from Fort Reno at my will and
pleasure, though I well knew that my presence on the reservation was a
thorn in the flesh of my enemies. There was little to fear, however,
as the latter class of men never met an adversary in the open, but by
secret methods sought to accomplish their objects. The breach between
the Indian agent and these parasites of the army was constantly
widening, and an effort had been made to have the former removed, but
our friends at the national capital took a hand, and the movement was
thwarted. Fuel was being constantly added to the fire, and on our
taking a third lease on a million acres, the smoke gave way to flames.


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Online LibraryAndy AdamsReed Anthony, Cowman → online text (page 18 of 22)