The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

John Bias, son of Hiram Bias, furnished me with this account.

"One day," said he, "while the weather was cold Bob Forest hired me to split some rails for him on the west side of Little North Fork and a short distance above the mouth of Calebs Hollow. This was a few miles below Theodosia in Ozark County, Mo. I wore an old floppy black wool hat that when the wind was blowing the brim would drop down over my eyes. One day while I was busy splitting rails and the wind was blowing fresh from the northwest the old hat annoyed me by the brim getting over my eyes until I become impatient and stopped mauling rails and sit down on some of the new made rails and pulled off a splinter to pin the brim with it to the crown of the hat to keep it from flopping. Before taking the hat off of my head and while I was sharpening the end of the splinter with my pocket knife I heard a whirring noise just over my head. I turned my head and looked upward to ascertain the cause of the sound and saw a grey eagle in the act of striking my head with its claws. I ducked my head as quick as a didapper would in water. At this the eagle appeared to be mistaken in the kind of game it supposed I was and rose high in the air and flew away. No doubt," continued Mr. Bias, "it mistook my old black hat for a wild turkey sitting on my head. The eagle was as much surprised as I was."

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