The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

In my collection of material relating to wolves chasing dogs is the following which was furnished to me by Mac Donald Turley who died at Gainesville, Mo., in the latter part of the year 1905. Mr. Turley said "I will tell you of a lively race between a dog and two wolves once that amused me a great deal at the time of its occurrence. Here is how it happened," said he. "I and Seth Webster had went down on Pigeon Creek which runs into Big North Fork to hunt some stock that had wandered off down there. We took our rifles and a brindle dog with us we called Track. The dog was an expert to track game. There were plenty of wild turkeys in Baxter County then and we soon met a flock on the creek and Webster says,, "Let us kill an Arkansas turkey," and he shot one of the turkeys and wounded it. At the discharge of the gun the other turkeys rose and flew away. The crippled one was not able to fly and ran beyond our view. Soon after it was gone we decided to send the dog after it. The track dog was a half cur and very fleet as well as active. When we put the dog on the trail of the wounded turkey he darted off and we thought he would overhaul and catch the turkey in a few minutes and we were making ready to follow the dog when we heard him yelping as if he was in great distress. The dog had followed the trail of the turkey up a long bald hill into the timber. A few moments after we heard the dog we saw him coming out of the timber and make straight toward where we were standing. Two animals which we knew were wolves were in close pursuit of him. It was one quarter of a mile across the prairie hill where we saw the dog emerge from among the trees but the distance between us and the dog shortened rapidly. The scared dog was doing its utmost to keep in advance of his enemies and yelped as loud as he could at every bound he made. The wolves remained silent but they lost no time in keeping their feet and legs moving at a lively rate to overtake the dog. The dog was a few yards in the lead and the two wolves made all the efforts in their power to make the space between their noses and the dog’s tail shorter. Onward they rushed toward us and we stood still and watched the swiftly moving figures with much curiosity. When they got near us we saw that one of the wolves was black and the other was a gray one. The latter was just in the advance of the black one and gaining on the dog. They were now close to us and we held our guns ready to shoot and as the panting dog with the foremost wolf almost in the act of taking hold of him I sent a rifle ball to meet the fast moving wolf. It was running so swiftly that I had small faith in my aim but as good luck would have it the ball struck it and the gray beast staggered and turned a sommersault and lay struggling, on the ground and was soon beyond the power to frighten anymore dogs. The black wolf halted and finding that he was at the end of his row wheeled about and ran back up the hill. The dog seemed to rejoice at his timely rescue."

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