The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One of the incidents of hunting as told by Elias Keesee is the following. "Many years ago when there were plenty of bee trees in Ozark County, Mo., my father Paton Keesee who lived on Little North Fork and Mose Lants who lived on Brattons Spring Creek went out coon hunting one day in the early part of the month of September. They were on horseback and carried an ax and their guns with them and while riding along through the timber on the divide between the east and west prongs of Bratton Spring Creek they discovered a bee tree which they both pronounced to be rich in honey. They had plenty of dogs along to tree coons but they had no vessels with them to put honey in. But not to be outdone my father told Lantz that he would make a vessel and telling Lantz to remain at the tree until he returned. He rode off. In a little while Mr. Lantz heard the report of his gun and in an hour or more my father rode back carrying a deer hide which on his arrival he rubbed the bits of flesh off with a stone and they both rubbed the inside part of the hide against trees for some minutes, then spread the hide out on the ground in an open place where the sun could shine on it and let it lay there awhile, then took it up again and rubbed it against trees and with stones until it was dry. Then they trimmed off the ragged edges and sewed the edges together with dressed buckskin string (leaving an opening) and called it a "honeycase" and felled the tree and filled it with rich honeycomb."

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