The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Years ago the Crooked Creek bottoms below Yellville, Ark., were so infested by wolves that great numbers would collect after night and howl for hours before ceasing. Mr. Elias Keesee who was acquainted with this section during its early history said that he was employed by a peddler to drive his team of two span of horses, drawing a wagon loaded with goods. The peddler’s name was Thompson, and he had brought the wagon all the way from Saint Louis to sell the goods to the settlers in north-Arkansas.

"One night," said Mr. Keesee, "we camped in the creek bottom below Yellville, and while we were preparing supper and broiling meat, we were attacked by a gang of wolves. They rushed up all around us, and came in a few yards of the fire. I felt mighty nervous, and the horses kicked, bucked and snorted to break loose. Thompson kept as cool as a chunk of ice and did not appear the least excited. He said that he had been exposed to all sorts of dangers from wild animals in the Rocky Mountains and did not get hurt, and did not propose to allow a bunch of wolves in Arkansas to beat him out of his supper. I had been used to wolves since I could recollect and have been frightened by them but this was the worst scare I ever met from wolves. Though Mr. Thompson claimed that he was not afraid of them, but we had to quit broiling meat, and were kept busy fighting the wolves back out of the circle of firelight, and they left us awhile and returned back close to camp and howled fearfully during the remainder of the night, and there was not much sleep for me. But Thompson slept and snored loud to keep even with the racket the wolves made."

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