The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Here is an account of a scene in the forest of the Boston Mountains, which was furnished me by John Davis, who was a former resident on the Buffalo Fork of White River.

Said Mr. Davis, "Two brothers—John and Sam Adams, sons of Isaac Adams—were hunting together one day in the Boston Mountains south of Buffalo, and they were separated on the side of a steep hill and while only a short distance apart John discovered a wild cat standing on the brink of a ledge of rock a few yards below him. He aimed at it with his gun and shot and the cat dropped on the rock where it was standing and of course the hunter supposed he had killed it. At this moment Sam who was on the hillside above him saw a deer and shot and wounded it and the deer started off and Sam called John to come and help find the wounded deer, for he said that he did not believe that it was able to travel very far and John without taking time to reload his gun hallooed to Sam that he had killed a wild cat and he would carry it up to him and picked up the cat by the hind feet and slung it over his shoulder with the cat’s belly to his back and with the end of the cat’s nose reaching down to the back part of his knees. He held its feet with his left hand and picking up his rifle with his right hand he walked on up the hill toward his brother. he did not get but a few yards from where he started when something happened. The supposed dead cat revived from its stupor in a moment and with a struggle and a fierce growl it sank its claws and teeth into the man’s legs. With a yell loud enough to be heard a long distance the terrified hunter leaped forward and let loose the animal’s feet and kicked and bucked worse than a scared mule until he freed himself from the infuriated beast and after running and jumping up the hill a little farther he halted and looked back to see what the cat was going to do and found that it was up on its feet with its hair bushed up and looked at him in a defiant way. John lost no time in reloading his gun. In the meantime the cat did not move a step. When the hunter had finished loading he took quick aim at the fearless animal and shot it dead. The first shot had only creased it, as hunters call it, and the cat had returned to life again."

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