The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

On the 17th of January, 1904, Joe Davis who was living five miles north of Choska in the Indian Territory furnished me the following story.

"During the early days of Franklin County, Mo., a big panther annoyed the settlers on Beff’s Creek and killed several calves, sheep and hogs. The settlers and hunters tried to rid the neighborhood of the fierce beast but had not succeeded. One cold morning while snow lay on the ground, Henry Rooshic, son of Lewis Rooshic, heard a disturbance among the crows and he says, "Pa, look at that big flock of crows down there. Let me take my gun and kill one of them." "Well, go on and shoot one," says his father, and the boy took the gun and went on. The crows seemed to be greatly disturbed and confused and were making a big todo over something they disliked. On approaching the spot where the crows were darting around Henry who was only 12 years old spied a panther creeping along in a creeping position. The boy became scared at once and forgetting all about his gun he turned and started back to the house and worked on in the snow in a hurry for he was afraid that the beast might pursue him. Directly the boy stopped and turned around to see if the animal was following him and he found that it was and wishing with all his heart for a gun he dropped down on his knees to go through the motion of shooting at it by pointing his finger at it. Then he got up and went in haste toward the house. After he had went a few yards he hit the barrel of the rifle against something which reminded him that he carried a gun and looking back he saw the panther coming toward him. He kneeled down in the snow and waited until the fierce animal was in close gunshot range and he aimed and shot it in the forehead and killed it dead. The boy now ran to the house to tell his father and then ran to John Davis’s to tell him the news of the death of the panther, too. The dreaded animal had baffled all the hunters and dogs and had met death at last from the hands of a boy. All the old hunters congratulated Henry on his good luck."

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