The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In Barry County, Mo., is a small stream called Rockhouse Creek which empties into Big Flat Creek of White River. Mr. Steve Sisner, a former resident of Barry County, tells the following story of a night’s hunt for possums on Rockhouse Creek. He said that he took his dog he called Sharp and an axe and along in the night the dog treed a polecat and after I had captured it the dog treed again. He let on like something was up a tree and I cut the tree down, but finding nothing in the shape of game I picked up a small club and whipped the dog for lying and he left me and ran back home. The night was dark and I was left alone and I felt lonesome enough to pick up the ax and skunk and start for home, too, which was a half a mile distant. I had not went but a few yards when I noticed the object of some big animal come up near me and squat down on the ground. I could not make out its color exactly on account of the darkness, but it looked like it was yellow and that was enough for me for I imagined that it was a panther and about this time it began to put its feet against the ground and I moved away from there as fast as I could go. I done some tall running. The animal followed me close up to my heels and I could see its form as it darted along behind me. I was certainly scared and went through the woods at headlong speed. The animal did not try to catch me but I thought it was going to nab me every moment. Onward I rushed over the rough ground shunning trees and low limbs the best I could. I leaped off of a cliff of rock 5 feet high which was in 30 yards of the house and off jumped the beast right after me. On reaching the house I dashed in and found all the family asleep. As I got into the house the animal run in onto the porch, then it flashed over me that it was Tom Smith’s big yellow dog he called Shep and so it proved to be. I never told this for two months afterward. This was 1 ½ miles east of Mineral Springs," said Mr. Sisney.

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