Chuckwagon: Southern Fried Apples

To make Southern Fried Apples:

Fry 4 slices of bacon in a Dutch oven.  Remove bacon.

Peel and slice 6 to 8 Granny Smith apples.

Put apples in Dutch over with bacon grease, cover and cook down the apples, but not to mush.

Serve topped with butter or cream and crumbled bacon.  They’re great for breakfast or desert.

Cowboy to Cowboy - Southern Fried Apples

 

Old West Book Review: A Thousand Texas Longhorns

A Thousand Texas LonghornsA Thousand Texas Longhorns, Johnny D. Boggs, Pinnacle Books Kensington Publishing, paperback, $8.99, 500 Pgs, Western Fiction.

The time period for this novel is shortly after the American Civil War.  The protagonist is a surly individual named Nelson Story living in a rough mining town in Montana Territory.  Nelson Story wants to make money and become a successful rancher, and gets the brainstorm to acquire a herd of cattle lie must buy in Texas, and drive the herd back to Montana where the population is hungry for beef.  So the adventure begins.  He heads for Texas and prepares to drive a herd of longhorns all the way across the country filled with sheriff’s posses and angry homesteaders afraid the Texas cattle will bring fever to their own stock.  Meanwhile Nelson Story has to maintain discipline among the drovers and freight wagon drivers, plus having to face electrical storms, driving rain, roaring rivers, drown cowboys, hordes of insects, cantankerous military commanders and Indians on the warpath.

Some of the cowboys are ex-Civil War veterans, both North and South.  Two young women disguised as men sign on to drive freight wagons filled with goods for the trip.  One is wanted for murder and both fool Nelson Story until one gets her clothing eaten off during a locust attack.  Tired men commit mutiny, one cowboy dies in river, another is the victim of a rattlesnake, plus several others are brutally killed by Sioux stalking the herd hoping to rustle horses and beeves.

Nelson Story left a wife back in Montana when he skedaddled for Texas, and the book switches occasionally to what is going on with her as she anxiously awaits her husband’s return.  She is pregnant when he departs, and must handle delivering and caring for a baby while keeping her meager household together.  Her doctor fails in love with her although she remains faithful to Nelson Story, the author takes his readers from the gritty trouble-filled cattle drive to the desperately poor circumstances of a Montana mining town struggling to survive hard times, including a diphtheria epidemic.

Nelson Story eventually makes it to Montana with most of the herd, and there is a happy reunion with his wife who is nearly as tough as he is.  Unfortunately readers never really get to know Nelson Story.  He’s tough and determined, but rarely shows empathy or compassion that we can relate to.  We never find ourselves cheering for his success.  His quick temper and tough as nails attitude works to bring in the herd, but we never feel like we’d want to ride with him.  Don’t look here for a John: Wayne or Matt Dillon hero.  This story is mostly about grit and determination with little room for sentiment.

Author Johnny D. Boggs, a Spur Award winner, knows his business.  Before writing this book, he followed the trail in an automobile to get the feel of the land, weather, and what it must have been like to cover all those hard miles on horseback.  It is well told, with lots of realistic Old West action, and sometimes a tough book to read, but we find this story a good Western adventure for sure.

Editor’s Note: The reviewer Phyllis Morreale-de la Garza is the author of numerous books about the Old West, including Lost Roundup, published by Silk Label Books, P.O. Box 399, Unionville, New York, 10988, Ph. (845) 726-3434. www.silklabelbooks.com

Some New Arithmetic

April 15, 1882, Mountain Democrat, Placerville, California – Some New Arithmetic: Some New ArithmeticIn a schoolroom are twelve benches and nine boys on a bench.   Find who stole the teacher’s gad.

A laundress takes in twelve shirts and has four stolen from her line.  How many are left and what are the losers going to do about it.

A farmer sold eleven bushels of potatoes, with the product purchased two gallons of whisky at 90 cents per gallon.  How much per bushel did he get for his tubers, and where did he keep the jug.

What velocity must a locomotive have to pick up a dead man walking on the track and fling him so high that six cars pass before he comes down?

A boy earned 20 cents a day for 18 days and bought his mother a muskrat muff costing $2.10.  How much did he have left to go to the circus with?

A mother standing at the gate calls to her boy who is just 68 feet distant.  It takes two minutes and twenty-two seconds for the sound to reach him.  Find from this the velocity with which a woman’s voice travels.

A woman earned 42 cents a day by washing, and supported a husband who consumed $1 worth of provisions per week.  How much was she in debt at the end of each month up to the time he was sent to the workhouse.

 A father agreed to give his son four and a half acres of land for every cord of wood he chopped.  The son chopped tree-sevenths of a cord and broke the ax and went off hunting rabbits.  How much land was he entitled to?

A certain young man walks five-sevenths of a mile for seven nights in the week to see his girl, and after putting in 112 nights he gets the bounce.  How many miles did he foot it altogether, and how many weeks did it take him to understand that he wasn’t wanted?

Two men agreed to build a wall together.  One does four-fifths of the bossing and the other three-tenths of the work, and they finally conclude to pay a man $18 to finish the job.  What is the length and height of the wall?

The Jersey Lily Mine

Jersey Lily MineMarch 31, 1897, Weekly Journal-Miner, Prescott, Arizona – In company with Gil S. Ferguson, a former owner of the Jersey Lily mine, the editor of the Journal Miner visited the above property this week, and was very courteously received and hospitably entertained by General Manager W. C. Bashford and Superintendent J. E. Clark.  The underground workings were visited and examined—not in the capacity of an expert, but simply out of curiosity.

The shaft is 370 feet deep.  It is sunk on the ledge, which pitches at an angle of 44 degrees.  The shaft is one of the best timbered ones in the county, everything being as neat and workman like as it is possible to make it.  In addition to an old level, run at a depth of thirty feet, which is called the grass root level, but which is not now used, there are three levels run, one at each hundred feet of depth.  At the 200 foot level, a south drift is in 250 feet and a north drift 180 feet.  The latter is in good high grade ore all the way, while the former is also in ore, part of which is high grade and part of ore of lower grade, but good milling ore.

At the 300 foot level, the north drift is in 110 feet, with a solid body of ore all the way, averaging from three to four feet, and with a fine body of high grade ore on the face of the drift.  The south drift is in 100 feet, but owing to the pitch of the ore chute on this side, the ore encountered in this is of lower grade, but improving now with every foot of work done.  A small amount of stoping has been done, and the stopes also show up good ore bodies.

In the “grass root” level, a large body of rich honey comb ore, which made the Jersey Lily famous, even in the days of its infancy, remains exposed to view.  It is very high grade, and a moderate fortune can be obtained from it at any time that it may be desired to take it out.  Mr. Bashford has about twenty men at work at the present time, and on April 1st he will increase this force and will sink the shaft to a depth of over 500 feet, and will open up the 400 and 500 foot levels respectively.

The mine is equipped with one of the finest friction hoists in the territory.  It is of sufficient capacity to sink to a depth of 1,000 feet or more.

The Lily Company also owns the Gold Treasure claim, a very promising one, which adjoins the Jersey Lily on the north, but on which very little development work has been done.

The company expects, during the summer, to erect a mill for the reduction of the ore.  This will be done just as soon as the mine is opened up to a depth of 500 feet.

Northwest of the Jersey Lily, W. C. Bashford, J. E. Clark and Fred Smith own a claim, called Point Look Out, from which they have taken ore for shipment which went $250 per ton.

Old West Book Review: Thunder in the West; The Life and Legends of Billy the Kid

Thunder in the WestThunder in the West; The Life and Legends of Billy the Kid, Richard W. Etulain, University of Oklahoma Press, $29.95, Non-fiction, Cloth. Illustrations, Photos, Essay on Sources, Bibliography, Index.

At various times he was called Henry McCarty, Kid Antrim, and Billy Bonney.  However, most of us know him as Billy the Kid.  This biography of the Western outlaw is carefully researched and well written in a style that keeps readers turning pages even though we have been exposed to this character via books and movies as far back as we can remember.

The author, Richard W. Etutain is the former Director of the University of New Mexico. He has had a long and important career as a writer and editor of more than 50 books pertaining to the American West.  This book takes the reader on a journey beginning with Billy’s original birth place in New York in 1859.  His mother moved west with young Billy and his one brother when the boys were children; it is not known who Billy’s father was.  The family’s trait continued to New Mexico Territory, and the information includes the death of Billy’s kind, hardworking mother of consumption.  Billy meandered after that from one situation to another.

Without real parental supervision or help, he drifted in and out of trouble, killed a man in Arizona before his 20th birthday, fled back to New Mexico ahead of a hot Arizona posse, and was arrested several times always managing to escape.  Later, arrested for murders in New Mexico, he was jailed and awaited execution when he escaped again this time shooting and killing two sheriff’s deputies in Lincoln, New Mexico.

New Mexico politics comes into the life of Billy the Kid as he got mixed up in shoot-outs and became a gun-for-hire as various powerful political factions and wealthy land owners vied for power.  In time, Billy ran with a gang of outlaws stealing horses and cattle.

Meanwhile, there were many people who considered Billy a good friend and many girls were attracted to him.  He had friends in the Hispanic community, and spoke Spanish fluently.  Eventually Billy was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garret inside a house in Fort Sumner, New Mexico in 1881.

Everything pertaining to Billy the Kid has some controversy involved.  His birth, his little known family history, his mothers brief life, her marriage to a man who seemed to take no interest in his stepson, Billy’s involvement with politicians as well as land owners and desperadoes is all mired in controversy.  As his fame grew, many people remembered him and wrote or talked about their relationships with him even many years after his death, thus adding to the intrigue.

The second part of the book delves into all the best-known books and movies featuring Billy the Kid.  Etulain separates fact from fiction, complimenting those authors who have done serious and lengthy research.  The movies featuring Billy the Kid are mostly contrived plots filled with fistfight action and gun battles.  In the end we are still wondering why all the interest in a young, wayward character who even by modern standards would be known as little more than a dangerous juvenile delinquent.

This book takes the reader on a detailed, from beginning to end, Wild West journey featuring everything you ever wanted to know about Billy the Kid. It belongs in your Old West library.

Editor’s Note:   The reviewer, Phyllis Morreale-de La Garza is the author of many books about the Old West, including Death For Dinner, the Benders of (Old) Kansas, Silk Label Books, P.O. Box 399, Unionville, New York 10988. www.silklabelbooks.com

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