The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. G. W. Thurman, an early resident of Taney County, Mo., gives a funny story of a coon making him bounce to his feet once while calling turkeys. In relating the story Mr. Thurman said that while his father, William Thurman, lived on the south bank of White River two and one-half miles above the mouth of Beaver Creek he and his brother Dee Thurman started out together one morning before daylight to kill turkeys. Near about daybreak they separated, "but we stationed ourselves in hearing distance. I selected a spot where two small logs lay in four feet of each other and lay down on my belly between them and began to yelp for a gobbler and I heard one answer me. I continued to call and he went on with his answering calls and gradually worked up closer to me. When the turkey got in sight of me I called and watched it intently with my gun ready for a shot when it came in range. I was so deeply interested in watching the slow movements of the turkey that I was lost to every other noise. When all at once something leaped on my back and as it struck me it growled in a fierce manner. I howled with terror and sprang to my feet. As I did so the animal jumped off of my back and retreated. I turned and looked at it and it was a coon. I was so greatly excited that I did not hush hallooing until Dee came running to me to see if I had gone crazy without previous notice. This broke up our turkey hunting that morning. The old gobbler was surprised, too, and he left on a hasty run. This little incident occurred in 1855 when I was 17 years old," said Mr. Thurman.

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