Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Bones Hooks]
“A red-haired man astride a limb of the tree gave the rope around my neck a rough jerk,” Bones vividly recalled;" and said, 'Aw, come on, let's got it over with'; but Skillety Bill saved my life.”
After this narrow escape, Bones went into Oklahoma (then the Indian Territory) and so successfully “lost” himself that his own family and others thought him dead. At last he ventured back into Greer County. Walking through the streets of a Panhandle town, which he refuses to name, he came face to face with the sheriff (Skillety Bill).
The sheriff looked at him closely and finally said, “I thought you were dead. How long are you going to be here?”
“Only a little bit—a few days”, Bones replied.
The sheriff started off down the street, turned back, and said, “How long did you say you were going to be in town? Did you say'a little bit'?”
Bones, answered quickly, “Yes, sir, a little bit”. He knew what would happen to him if he did not get out of town in a “little bit”—and he got.
The pioneer Negro broncho-buster knows cowboy life as few white persons now living. He was an interested listener around the campfires of nearly every ranch in the Panhandle. He heard many a lurid tale around a cow-chip blaze—words that can not be repeated in the hearing of ladies or in polite society. “Every horse, every man, bread and other articles of the camp, had a nickname, often unmentionable in mixed groups, “he said.
Bones recalls an incident that occurred during a visit of Mrs. Charles Goodnight to a camp one day. One of the cowboys, who did not know of the lady's presence, said, “Bones, bring me up a horse.”
“that old—,” the cowboy stopped suddenly and clapped his hand over his mouth,