The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It may not be proper to write an account of a number of incidents that occurred among the old timers from the fact that some young people might attempt to do like some of them did and get into trouble. But it is not right to suppress them. In writing of these things it only tells how many thing shappened and what some of the settlers followed during the gatherings at small towns and other places for passtime and not to teach others to follow in the foot steps of those that practiced it. We have mentioned that Dubugne a small village that was started on the right bank of White River in now what is Boone County, Ark. was done away with since the close of the great Civil War. It was a great resort for those that followed drinking and gaming. One day Mort Herrean who lived on Shoal Creek and John Tabor who lived on Big Creek went to Dubugne together and Herrean got involved in a row with Jim over a game of Crack a Blow as it was Called which was played in a house by throwing up a silver quarter and if it stopped directly over a joint in the floor or nearest to it the one that tossed it up won the game which was for a small sum or a drink of liquor. If there was a tie it was played over again during the day Mort Herrean and Jim Cheek engaged themselves in this game which was played in Bob Trimble’s Grocery Store. Herrean soon won three drinks of whiskey off of Cheek and he paid his opponent two of the drinks but refused to pay the third one by denying that Herrean won it. The latter kept insisting on Cheek to pay it and the man flatly refused to do so and at last he told Mort Herrean if he demanded it any more he would cut his throat. This enraged Herrean but he made no reply to the threat of the man Cheek but stepped out and picked up a stone unobserved and concealed it and stood near the grocery store and waited for Cheek to come out, who by this time was very drunk. When the drunken fellow tottered out of the store he did not see Herrean standing there waiting for his appearance and just as he got on the outside onto the street and after he had passed Herrean a few feet the latter hurled the stone against the man and he fell senseless and without uttering a groan. As soon as Herrean hit Cheek he and Tabor mounted their horses and started home. After they had forded the river and was riding through the river bottom in the Jake Nave Bend Tabor says ‘Mort you have killed that man and you may be hung for it’, to which Mort replied ‘I cannot help it he ought to have paid me that drink of whiskey that he owed me’. Neither one of them did not seem uneasy about Cheek and never knew whether he was dead or alive until one week afterward when Herrean went back to Dubugne to find out. Cheek was not dead but he was not in town his friends had taken him home. Bob Trimble said that after Herrean and Tabor had left the village and when Cheek had revived from the shock he says ‘Bob something went wrong with me. Something fell on me or I was kicked by a mule, I don’t know which’."

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