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T-Bone was our camp cook when we went on the trail, whiskered an' b-grizzled with a wit that never failed. He took no guff from anyone, not even the boss man, 'cause he controlled his eaten too when he rattled those tin pans. He made bakin' powder biscuits 'n beans most ever' day, an' swore the meal was hardy an' kept hunger pains away. He always brewed black coffee, you could cut it with a knife, an' had a squaw he took along, he claimed she was his wife. We'd cross wide open prairie an' ford the ragin' stream, while T-Bone would maneuver that bedraggled two-mule team. Chuck wagon, he kept well supplied, not only with our grub, but also with some medicines, liniments, an' rub. He allowed we tie our horses to the wagon wheels to eat, if we was still on duty, an' not long upon our feet. That cook was most obligin' in the middle of a storm, he'd break out extra blankets just to try an' keep us warm. Sometimes we'd get to teasin' an' call him Mother Hen, 'cause he always was a fussin' an' keepin' track a men. They say ol' T-Bone's mother was a barroom girl from town, an' he never had no daddy, at least, none come around. But he musta had some learnin' 'bout the good Lord up above 'cause our cooky was a Godly man that filled his heart with love. We laid the man to rest today an' many tears was shed, 'cause ever'one loved T-Bone, an' hate the fact he's dead.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2005

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