Manuscripts/Mixed Material [William A. Smith]
“It flashed through my knot at once what the gang had done. I had my dander up, not at the boys, but because I let a hoss throw me. I insisted that I could ride that hoss without being spilled and demanded another chance, but the top-screw would have none of it. He then told me about the hoss. It did not belong to the ramrod, but was the property of Ben Devenprt, and no one had been able to ride him, except his owner. With Ben it was different, the hoss hoss would do anything Ben called [upon?] it to do.
“I was then given a hoss that [?] could ride, in fact, seven hosses that were to be mine for use in my work.
“From that first morning on, the boys did everything they could to help me and break me in. It was [long?] until I was working with the best of them and was a real rawhide. My first six months of wages went for an outfit. I spent $5. for a pair of peewee top boots, $10. for a hat and $60 for a saddle. When I got those boots on my hoofs and that conk cover sloghed on my head I was in danger of busting a gut with pride.
“My first work was gathering stray cattle. My instructions were to pick up everything with the 'M G' brand on and every critter without a brand that was not with a mother cow. Ben Devenport was my partner. We carried a branding iron and when we found an unbranded critter we would give it the heat.