DIALOGUE BETWEEN SAM JOHNSON AND A TRAVELER
By S. C. Turnbo

Pete Howard related the following "When Sam Johnson lived at the mouth of Brattons Spring Creek in Ozark County, Mo. a traveler called at his house late one afternoon and ask permission to remain over night with him. ‘All right’ said Mr. Johnson, ‘Get down and make yourself at home.’ After the stranger had dismounted he says to Johnson ‘Have you plenty of roughness for my horse.’ ‘Yes’ replied Mr. Johnson, ‘I have lots of oats to feed your horse.’ This seemed to please the traveler well for he thought he had got to a place where he could give all the oats to his horse he desired. On going to the barn with Johnson to put his horse in the stable he noticed only a few bundles of oats in the barn which took him on surprise and he says ‘Mr. Johnson how many oats have you on hand.’ ‘Oh, near about a dozen bundles I suppose’ says the farmer. ‘Good Lord’ says the stranger, ‘That don’t amount to anything. They are just the same as none with me. My horse can make way with them at a few mouthfulls.’ ‘Them oats will do me a whole year’ said Mr. Johnson. ‘What’ replied the man. ‘You don’t mean it’ and looking around over the lot and on the outside of the enclosure he says, ‘notice there is plenty of stock here. Is these cattle and horses yours or do they belong to your neighbors.’ They are certainly mine, and when my oats are exhausted I have abundance of roughness on the outside.’ ‘You do?’ says the stranger. ‘What sort is it.’ ‘Well’ said Johnson, ‘it is rocky hills, deep stony hollows, cliffs and precipices and plenty of wild grass.’ This seemed to satisfy the traveler concerning the provender or roughness for stock and he did not ask Johnson any more questions relating to that subject. The man had come from an old settled country where the inhabitants had no range for their stock and they would provide feed for their stock."

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