A cowboy of the Pecos by Patrick Dearen

By Patrick Dearen

BY THE WINNER OF THE 2015 SPUR AWARD
In the past due Eighteen Eighties, the Pecos River area of Texas and southern New Mexico used to be often called "the cowboy's paradise." And the cowboys who labored in and round the river have been often called "the so much specialist cowboys within the world." A Cowboy of the Pecos vividly reveals tells the tale of the Pecos cowboy from the 1st Goodnight-Loving livestock force to the Nineteen Twenties. those meticulously researched and enjoyable tales provide a glimpse right into a forgotten and but mythologized period. contains archival images.

Along a lot of its Texas stretch this present day, the Pecos is barely a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and ignored. the trendy motorist crossing it via bridge is prone to greet it with a yawn than with visceral emotion. yet have been he to learn the background buried deep in its banks, he might locate the sweat and blood of cowhands who knew this ghost because the such a lot bold and treacherous river within the West.

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Situated thirteen miles east of the present city of Pecos, Adobe Walls, like Dagger Bend, had been the site of a Butterfield stage stand. When westbound passenger Waterman L. Ormsby reached the station in the dark of September 26, 1858, he found "a very fine 'adobe' corral" already completed and an adobe house under construction. 38 Even then, the sheer banks repelled any notions of watering for another nine miles until, south-southwest of present Mentone, the river leaned westward and cut a large, sweeping curve.

9. Log of James G. Bell, 219. 10. Billy Rankin, videotaped interview with author, Rankin, 29 April 1991. 11. Rankin, composite of statements, interviews, 9 August 1989 and 29 April 1991. 12. L. B. Eddins, interview. 13. Rankin, interview, 29 April 1991. 14. Young Bell, Seventy Years in the Cow Business in Texas, New Mexico, Old Mexico, and Arizona (Pecos: Elliott Printing Company, 4th edition, 1987), 3637. 15. Hudson "Bud" Mayes, videotaped interview with author, 30 April 1991, Ozona. 16. Patterson, interview, 29 April 1991.

12. J. Evetts Haley (hereinafter, Haley), Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 10th Printing, 1987), 134. 13. Dobie, Vaquero, 274. 14. The river's length, presumably including all bends, is from Delmar Hayter, "The Crookedest River in the World: A Social and Economic Development of the Pecos River Valley from 1878 to 1950," (dissertation, 1988), 11, Southwest Collection, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. 15. James F. Hinkle, Early Days of a Cowboy on the Pecos (Santa Fe: Stagecoach Press, reprint, 1965), 44.

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