Founder of Carbons Creek-Pioneer fictional Short Short Stories
Our town of Carbon’s Creek was started by a pioneer cattleman name of Mendel Linwood who came to buy horses and cattle. Sarah, the young woman thet puts out our weekly paper, knowed quite a bit ‘bout our town even ‘fore she moved here. That’s cause she’ herited ‘et from her uncle Jake, who was murdered. Anyways she, Sarah that is, wanted ta know ‘bout way back ‘fore the war. That be the civil War. So’s I tell her ‘bout how Mendel Linwood come here when they wasn’t anything ‘round but a few Indians and some trappers.
He come from the east somewheres and had saved a bit of money. He thought he’d come and buy some horses. He’d also larned ‘bout them longhorn cattle which had got driven up here from Texas to fatten up ‘fore gonin’ on to Chicago town. He did buy a few of both but he decided to stay around, bought him some land and started breedin’ cattle and horses. He hired a few of the Indians that had escaped President Jackson’s removal plan. They turned out to be pretty good cowboys.
‘Twasn’t long ‘fore he got into some other stuff like millin’. With flour to sell and trading with both the Indians and the whites he started a tradin’ post. He set it up by the mill, which was on the creek, which he started callin, Carson Creek cause of his admiration for Kit Carson. The U.S Guvment come along an’ made him Postmaster ‘cause he had the tradin’ post. Than he put in to have the town named Carson Creek but the post office assigned the name Carbons Creek. Ain’t thet jus’ like the guvment?
Wahl old Mendel was doin’ pretty good fer hisself with the town and mill. His horse herd was doin’ good an’ so was the Longhorns. Sometime along than I drifted into town lookin’ fer work and he hires me as a wrangler.
Maybe things was goin’ too good. I heard rumbin’s in town and elsewhere’s of a powerful lot ‘a jealousy amongst some folks. There’s them aroun’ thet like to see a rich man take a fall. Them’s the kind that won’t stand up for what’s right when the chips is down. There was the other kind too. Them’s the ones that don’t got anythin’ personal against a man but just want to take what he’s got.
Pretty soon cattle and horses went missin’. Me an’ the other hands started ridin’ extra shifts. The thievery was bad enough but then vandalism started in. The barn caught fire. Was it set? Bet odds it was. We saved the horses but it took a week to repair the damage and we was getting’ shorthanded. Lots of cowboy’s moved on. Didn’ want no part of whatever was buildin’ up’
Next thing happen was a herd run off. Much more an’ the boss man might have trouble holdin’ it together.
I had been gittin’ pretty friendly with the Indians and was friends with Chief Red Eagle who is about my age an’ still my friend. We both knew that Mr. Linwood’s business had been good for the local Indians. He always helped the Indians when there was scarce hunting and trading by givin’ them credit. He knew they would be shamed by given’ handouts so he had ways they could pay for what they got.. He gave jobs to many in the tribe and occasional cow to take for food when needed. Now the tribe was ready to help him.
Some young bucks went out around the area to spot sign of the rustlers and some who knew English overheard the plans being made for a large raid. The rustlers planned to set fire to the main house as a distraction to keep the hands busy, then gather up and scatter the horses and then steal the cattle.
We posted some hands by the house who would stop the fire before it got a good start. We decided to let the rustlers get a start on the rest of their plan. We could round up he horses later. But when they got a mile or so running the herd they were in for a surprise. It might have been the only Indian attack near Carbons Creek in a decade or two, but them rustlers were sure surprised to see Warriors with war bonnets and paint on their faces and bodies. Well-placed arrows stopped a few that tried to fight the Indians.
We really didn’t have a local sheriff yet so the prisoner’s had to stay with the Indians until a proper lawman arrived to take custody.
So’s thet’s how a unlikely pioneer came to buy horses and cattle and founded the town of Carbons Creek.
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund