The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

An interesting panther story was told by Mrs. Jane Nave, widow of Abe Nave, both of which have been dead many years ago. Mrs. Nave was a sister of Allin Trimble and a daughter of William Trimble. In narrating the story of the panther Mrs. Nave said that in the early days when her stepfather, Mike Yocum, lived on the left bank of White River just above the mouth of Shoal Creek in what is now Boone County, Ark., her mother, Mrs. Sally Yocum, sent her on horseback one day to her grandfather’s, Buck Coker, who lived in the lower end of the Jake Nave Bend. Her mother had sent her on an errand and she was to hurry back home which she had intended to do. There were no roads then, but she had been at her grandfather’s frequently and knew the way there through the woods. She was only a little girl but she was accustomed to wild life and as long as she did not meet anything that she was afraid of she did not feel the least uneasy. She surrounded the heads of the hollows and followed the ridgeway until she reached the top of the hill east of the pine hollow where she dismounted and lead the horse down the steep hill into the hollow and seeing a log she lead the horse up to it to remount him. Part of this log rested a few feet above the ground and while she was preparing to get up on the horse she was horrified at seeing a panther lying stretched on the ground on the opposite side of the log from where she had lead the horse up. A dead hog lay in a few feet of the beast. She supposed the panther was in a deep sleep and she lost not a moment of time in springing on the horse’s back and urging him into a gallop and never slacked his speed until she had reached her grandfather Coker’s yard fence and soon related her story to the family. Mr. Coker and others accompanied by the dogs repaired to the place indicated by his little granddaughter and found the panther, but it was dead. It had slain one of Coker’s hogs and no doubt being very hungry had torn a big hunk of flesh from the hog and in its greed to appease its appetite had tried to gulp the piece of meat down whole and was choked to death. "Finding the panther delayed my return home and I did not get back home as soon as I was told to do, said Mrs. Nave.

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