The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

When Joe Magness located in what is now Cedar Creek Township, Marion County, Ark., Sam Magness, a son of Joe’s, was nine years old. Joe Magness lived in the river bottom known now as the Ross Cantrel farm. When Mr. Magness came to this bottom and after living here awhile the dogs would chase a wild beast from near the cabin of nights and tree it and one of the boys would get up soon after daybreak and go see what the dogs had treed. One morning just before daylight the dogs darted at a wild beast that had ventured out of the cane break into the door yard and after chasing it hotly for 100 yards they rushed it up a tree and barked more vigorous than common. Sam was the first one up that morning and as soon as it was light enough to leave the cabin he went across a small clearing that was planted in corn, and just over the fence on the outside at the back side of this clearing the dogs were treed. When Sam reached the tree the dogs were barking up he saw a large fierce looking animal lying on a limb just out of reach of the dogs. The ferocious creature threatened to leap on him which terrified Sam and he stepped backward to get from under the tree and as he did so he yelled out with all his might, "Oh, Daddy, come here," which he repeated a few times before his parents understood what he was yelling out so about. Then Mr. Magness, knowing that Sam was not hallooing for foolishing and jerking on his sox and breeches and not taking time to put on his moccasins and snatching the rifle gun from the rack, he ran through the patch of corn and on reaching the tree he was horrified to discover that it was a panther just in the act of springing on Sam. The huge animal was lashing its tail and was placing its forefeet to make the leap when Magness took quick aim at the panther’s head and fired and the beast dropped to the ground dead.

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