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By Patrick Dearen

In the overdue Eighteen Eighties, the Pecos River sector of Texas and southern New Mexico used to be referred to as "the cowboy's paradise." And the cowboys who labored in and round the river have been referred to as "the so much professional 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 Twenties. those meticulously researched and pleasing tales provide a glimpse right into a forgotten and but mythologized period. comprises archival images.

Along a lot of its Texas stretch this day, the Pecos is simply a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and overlooked. the trendy motorist crossing it by means of 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 could locate the sweat and blood of cowhands who knew this ghost because the so much bold and treacherous river within the West.

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W H. Boyd, interview with Haley, Sweetwater, 24 January 1932, Haley Collection, Haley Library, Midland. 24. Jim Lane Cook, as told to T. M. Pearce, Lane of the Llano (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1936), 8. 25. Such an incident occurred on Charles Goodnight's first drive to the Pecos in 1866. See Charles Goodnight, "Recollections II," 70, typescript, Haley Library. 26. See log of Michael Erskine, and log of James G. Bell. Page 26 27. , Diary of Michael Erskine, 160 ("Memo of Mr. Campbell's Route to California").

16 Having planned a drive of his own to New Mexico and Colorado since the previous spring,17 he undoubtedly was aware of the Reynolds-Huff-St. John venture and likely learned details of their route upon their return. 19 With 2,000 steers and breeding cows (all under separate ownership),20 the two men and eighteen hands set out June 6 from a point twenty-five miles southwest of Fort Belknap for "the mountains" of Colorado. By direct route, it would have been a long, hard drive to Denver, much of it through dangerous Comanche and Kiowa territory But Goodnight had a daring plan.

R. "33 Five air miles upstream, at the point at which the present Reeves-Pecos county line intersects the river, herds could water at Pecos Falls, later known as Great Falls. One of the few crossing points in Texas, Pecos Falls (which no longer exists) offered a brief moment of grandeur in an otherwise bleak and despairing river. "Saw a grand sight at the falls of the river," emigrant Maria Shrode wrote in her diary in 1870. " Twenty-one years earlier, Brevet First Lieutenant Francis T. "34 Emigrant Crossing, twelve miles southwest of present Barstow, would have been the next available watering,35 but the Goodnight-Loving Trail bypassed its miry east bank36 and bore straight for a wicked twist in the Pecos eighteen wagon miles upstream of Pecos Falls.

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