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The Boys of Crawford's Basin The Story of a Mountain Ranch in the Early Days of Colorado   By: (1855-1919)

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The Boys of Crawford's Basin

THE STORY OF A MOUNTAIN RANCH IN THE EARLY DAYS OF COLORADO

BY SIDFORD F. HAMP

Author of "Dale and Fraser, Sheepmen," etc.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHASE EMERSON

W. A. WILDE COMPANY BOSTON CHICAGO

Copyrighted, 1907

BY W. A. WILDE COMPANY

All rights reserved

THE BOYS OF CRAWFORD'S BASIN

[Illustration: "THERE WAS BIG REUBEN LOOKING DOWN AT US"]

PREFACE

In relating the adventures of "The Boys of Crawford's Basin," the author has endeavored to depict the life of the ranchman in the mountains of Colorado as he knew it towards the end of the "seventies" of the century just past.

At that date, the railroads, after their long climb from the Missouri River to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, were still seeking a practicable passage westward over that formidable barrier, and in consequence, the mountain ranchman who, by the way, was also sometimes a prospector and frequently a hunter having no means of shipping his produce to the outside world, depended for his market upon one or another of the many little silver mining camps scattered over the State.

That infant State was but just learning to walk without leading strings; and it has been the aim of the author to show how two stout young fellows, prone to honesty and not afraid of hard work, were able to do their share in advancing the prosperity of the growing Commonwealth in which their lot was cast.

It may not be out of place, perhaps, to mention that, besides having had considerable experience in ranching, the author was, about the date of the story, himself prospecting for silver and working as a miner. He would add, too, that several of the incidents related therein, and those in his opinion the most remarkable, are drawn from actual facts.

CONTENTS

I. BIG REUBEN'S RAID 11

II. CRAWFORD'S BASIN 27

III. YETMORE'S MISTAKE 42

IV. LOST IN THE CLOUDS 64

V. WHAT WE FOUND IN THE POOL 82

VI. LONG JOHN BUTTERFIELD 101

VII. THE HERMIT'S WARNING 119

VIII. THE WILD CAT'S TRAIL 134

IX. THE UNDERGROUND STREAM 150

X. HOW TOM CONNOR WENT BORING FOR OIL 169

XI. TOM'S SECOND WINDOW 190

XII. TOM CONNOR'S SCARE 210

XIII. THE ORE THEFT 229

XIV. THE SNOW SLIDE 250

XV. THE BIG REUBEN VEIN 271

XVI. THE WOLF WITH WET FEET 289

XVII. THE DRAINING OF THE "FORTY RODS" 313

ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

"THERE WAS BIG REUBEN LOOKING DOWN AT US" Frontispiece 22

"AH, SOX, IS THAT YOU?'" 78

"WE SAW BEFORE US A VERY CURIOUS SIGHT" 155

"'CAN FOLKS SEE IN FROM OUTSIDE?'" 213

"HE SHOT DOWNWARD LIKE AN ARROW" 281

The Boys of Crawford's Basin

CHAPTER I

BIG REUBEN'S RAID

"Wake up, boys! Wake up! Tumble out, there! Quick! Big Reuben's into the pig pen again!"

Our bedroom door was banged wide open, and my father stood before us a startling apparition dressed only in his night shirt and a pair of boots, carrying a stable lantern in one hand and a rifle in the other.

"What is it?" cried Joe, as he bounced out of bed; and, "Where is it?" cried I, both of us half dazed by the sudden awakening.

"It's Big Reuben raiding the pig pen again! Can't you hear 'em squealing? Come on at once! Bring the eight bore, Joe; and you, Phil, get the torch and the revolver. Quick; or he'll kill every hog in the pen!"

Big Reuben was not a two legged thief, as one might suppose from his name... Continue reading book >>




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