The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

An interesting story of a bunch of panthers was furnished me by Mrs. Sallie Anderson, who died near Dodd City, Arkansas, several years ago. Mrs. Anderson had been married three times. Her last husband was Arch Anderson. She said that Gid Brown, her first husband, was the author of the story and he had repeated it to her on several occasions after they were married. "He told me," said Mrs. Anderson, "that his father settled on White River near the mouth of Buffalo in 1809. "I was only a small boy when my parents came to that part of Ark.," said he. "There was only a little hut scattered here and there on the bank of the river. We brought seed corn up White River with us. We had no bread until we cleared a few acres of the rich fertile soil in the river bottom and planted our seed corn and raised a crop. We beat this corn in a mortar with a pestle." Mrs. Anderson said that her parents were Millers and they settled on the river near where her first husband’s family lived and came there the same year they did. "Going back to the story of Gid Brown, my first husband," said Mrs. Anderson, "he said that it was not strange to observe two and three panthers together playing on the river beach or gravel bar. But late one afternoon when the evening shade had spread over the gravel beach or sand bar near where our hut stood on the bank of the river we saw a bunch of panthers collect on the gravel bar in full view of our cabin and play and frisk about like cats. There were nine of them—three full grown ones and six not fully grown. We had seen one and two of these animals playing on the beach previous to this, but we were not prepared to witness the sight of so
many panthers together. We were accustomed to see almost all kinds of animals that were natives there and did not feel much afraid until we saw this bunch of panthers and we were sure afraid of them,, but they did not offer to molest us and when they grew tired of playing they went back into
the thick cane in the river bottom."

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