The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

On the 10th of June, 1907, I remained overnight with James Houston Painter who was born in White River Township, Marion County, Ark., November 22, 1867. He married Miss Bertha Flippin, daughter of Jim Flippin and grand daughter of Hon. W. B. Flippin, and when I saw him he was living just west of the new town of Flippin on the White River division of the Missouri Pacific Railway. Mr. Painter related to me the following incident of hunting. He said that English Denton, an old hunter, shot a wild turkey hen one day on a high timbered knob, a spur of Lee’s Mountain one mile west of where the new town of Flippin is now. The turkey was not killed outright, but rose and flew away. But Mr. English said he did not think she would get far before she would drop to the ground dead. I and Thomas Denton, son of English Dentom, made a search for the turkey and discovered a turkey’s head lying under the bows of an Ash tree that stood on the side of the mountain below where the turkey had been wounded. The head was fresh and had been jerked off a short time previous to our finding it. A further search revealed a dead hen turkey that was headless lying 30 yards below the foot of the ash tree. It was evident that the head and body belonged to the same turkey and was the same that Denton had shot. The head had not been shot off for the bird had been shot through the body. The only explanation that was satisfactory to us was that the turkey after It was shot had rose high above the tree tops and fell and struck in among the limbs of the ash tree and its head and neck and caught in the forks of a limb of the tree and the weight of the turkey and the force of the fall had pulled its head off. This occurred in 1872, when I was five years old," said Mr. Painter.

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