ANNOYED BY A PANTHER
By S. C. Turnbo
Abraham Cole related the following: "When the first circuit court was in session at Forsyth, Mo., after the close of the war I and Esquire Tom Tabor served together as grand jurors and after adjourning one late afternoon, I and Tabor started to our homes on Big Creek. Soon after crossing Beaver Creek night overtook us. The weather was cloudy with no moon, but we supposed that we could get home that night. But two hours after night we got off the trail. The hills were rough with a thick growth of timber and owing to the intense darkness we were not able to find our way and deeming it wise to not proceed any further until after daylight we stopped, dismounted and after taking the saddles off our horses we tied the horses heads down with halters and pulling the bridles off we turned the horses loose to graze and made our bed with the saddle blankets and pillows of our saddles and lay down and went to sleep. How long we slept we never knew, when I was quickly roused by Tabor who was yelling, "Abe, Abe, heres a panther right at us." I jumped up without taking time to rub my eyes and saw the form of the beast in a few feet of me. As I got on my feet the stealthy beast gave vent to a blood curdling cry, then it sprang away, but soon returned and annoyed us until just before daybreak when it left us. The horses had fed off 200 yards and we did not venture to them until broad daylight, when we brought them back and prepared to mount them and went on home."
Springfield-Greene County Library