The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Tumbo

Occasionally a wild boar and a bear would meet when plenty of bear infested the upper White River country and a hard fight would ensue, the result of which either one or both of them would be slain. Away back when Arkansas was not a state Mike Yocum as we have said elsewhere settled in the river bottom just above the mouth of Shoal Creek. In what is now Boone County, Ark. This land was afterwards known as the Billy Holt place. Allin Trimble was Mike Yocum’s stepson and Trimble who was born in 1815 was a small boy when Mr. Yocum his stepfather lived in this bottom. One day in August, 1813, Mr. Trimble told me the following story about an encounter between a boar and bear that met in the cane in this bottom after Yocum settled here and engaged in a desperate fight leaving only one of the combatants alive. In this case it was not a wild boar that fought the bear, but a tame one. Mr. Trimble said that his stepfather owned a fine bunch of hogs which kept fat on the mast and vegetation in this bottom, but it was a serious task to prevent the wild beasts from destroying them. Among the bunch was a large male hog and a fine white sow, but my stepfather shot and killed the sow one day through mistake. He was passing through the cane toward the river bank when he noticed the glimpse of an animal following him. Thinking it was a panther he aimed his rifle at the object and pulled the trigger and a bullet crushed through the skull of the sow. Stepfather regretted that he never took time to find out what the animal was before he shot. Well, to the encounter between the boar and bear," said Mr. Trimble. "One day the hogs all came running to the yard fence except the boar. The hogs were in an uproar and had been disturbed by a wild beast which we supposed was a panther. We waited anxiously for the boar to put in an appearance. But the missing hog did not come up until two hours after the first ones had shown up. He was in a bad plight—was seriously wounded and covered with blood. He had been in a desperate combat with a wild beast and he was greatly angered and restless. We traced the back track of the boar through the cane to the spot where the encounter took place. A bear lay dead where the ferocious animals had struggled together. Cane, weeds, and paw paw bushes were mashed flat to the ground. Blood was sprinkled on the ground and foliage. The bear was mangled by the boar’s tusks almost beyond description. Deep gashes were cut and torn all over its body and legs. The greatest wounds were inflicted on its belly, breast behind the shoulders. It seemed that bruin was bent on fillin up on a mess of fresh pork but his attack on the bunch of swine was so stoutly resisted by the boar that his bearship was compelled to give up the feast and his life too," said Mr. Trimble.

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