Manuscripts/Mixed Material [John Freeman]
My pal and I built a raft to carry people across the river. A large fat man wanted me to carry him over so I said “all right” and he got on. The raft tipped to one side so I asked an indian woman if she wouldn't ride across and balance the raft. She got on and I asked her if she could swim. She said she could not but she could only die once and said “Lets go over.” We went across just barely making it.
One time on our homestead (Daniel's Freeman's first homestead) us boys thought we would go out and have some fun by stealing watermelons. So we got a wagon and on our way we decided to get a neighbor boy named “Hank.” We told him where we knew where a swell watermelon patch was and we wanted him to go along. Hank obliged and we started off for the patch in the inky darkness. We went up one ravine and down another until we finally came to a fence. We pulled the fence down and drove the team over it where the watermelons were just on the other side. We filled the wagon full of the choicest melons and we left going aways where we split up going to our respective homes.
Early the next morning, Hank came up to our door and said: “Somebody cleaned up all of my watermelons last night.” This teaches me a lesson—I'll never steal any more melons!”
Hank never knew that it was his patch where we picked up the melons.
My father went to medical college with Wild Bill Hickok. At Ottawie, Illinois. Hickok's mother wanted him to be a preacher but Bill did not agree. However his dad compromised by sending him to college to become a doctor. This did not please Bill either and after the first term he disappeared. His folks didn't know what happened to him. In 1862 my father stopped at a station in Nebraska. A man came out and said “Hello Dan, where did you come from?” It was Wild Bill Hickok.