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By Patrick Dearen

BY THE WINNER OF THE 2015 SPUR AWARD
In the overdue Eighteen Eighties, the Pecos River zone of Texas and southern New Mexico was once 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 pictures.

Along a lot of its Texas stretch this day, the Pecos is barely a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and missed. the fashionable motorist crossing it by way 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 such a lot bold and treacherous river within the West.

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At 1506 Capital Avenue, Plano, Texas 75074. " J. Frank Dobie, A Vaquero of the Brush Country Page 1 The Cowboy's Paradise He rode hell-bent-for-leather along a Southwest river likened to hell and entered the myth of the West. He was a cowboy of the Pecos. With skills tailored to the river's unique demands and with character honed by a no-man's-land in which "pecos" also meant murder 1 and "pecos swap," theft,2 he was a breed of cowhand unlike any other. F. S. ''3 They were indeed maybe the "best damned cowboy[s]"4 who ever sat a horse, men who rode wild broncs by day and even wilder ones over a plate of beans by night.

Not only was it said to cure athlete's foot and rashes, but serious diseases. "It's good medicineit sure is that," offered Billy Rankin, a cowhand of the 1920s. " Pecos livestock, as well, may have benefitted medicinally. "Take cattle, or sheepyou know, they have stomach worm bad," said Rankin.  . "43 James Campbell of San Antonio, pointing his herd west down the California Trail from Eagle Pass on June 12, 1853,44 didn't worry about the "putrid Pecos potion" (as one old-time Pecos hand termed it);45 he just wanted to see his herd through to the river and on to the West Coast.

48 In 1858 and 1859 the stone and adobe buildings served as a Butterfield station,49 but by the mid-1860s only rattlesnakes and scorpions frequented the walls. From the ruins, which lay on a rounded limestone rise,50 the trail descended toward a point on the river three miles northwest. 51 With the upstream bluffs soon to give way to A trail herd watering at Pope's Crossing in about 1910.  Haley Memorial Library, Midland, Texas) Page 39 choppy sand hills, the trail now crossed to the west side where the footing was better.

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