The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In a talk with Jimmie Tabor, son of James Tabor, both of which were very early settlers in Taney County, Mo., he said, "You want to know if I ever met a panther in the woods. I have seen them on Big Creek, but was never molested by one. My brother Arch Tabor was more of a hunter than I was and killed several. Soon after we settled here on Big Creek in 1835 he took one dog and his rifle and rode up on the head of the creek to lay in a supply of wild meat. He had no acquaintance with the wild beasts here on his arrival, but later on he learned their nature by actual experience. After he had gone up near the head prongs of the creek he started up a hollow and came up on a large heap of leaves and trash that had been scraped together. At first he thought it was a hog bed but he knew there were no hogs there for none of the new arrival settlers owned any hogs at that time and he dismounted and kicked the leaves and other stuff apart and exposed the carcass of a deer. Then he thought of a panther and believing it was lying crouched somewhere close by he climbed back on his horse and looked all around and saw two young panthers a hundred yards distant playing up and down a tree which stood on a hillside. Riding up near the tree he shot one which caused the other to cry out in a loud way. Before he could reload his rifle the old panther came running up. She was in a terrible rage and was growling fiercely. The ugly beast stopped in a few yards of him but just before it could make its spring the dog interfered by leaping at it and the panther turned and ran out of sight. After waiting a while for its return which it did not do, he shot the other young panther and without taking time to find a deer and kill it he tied the two young panthers to his pack saddle and took them home."

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