The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among the noted spots in Boone County, Ark. is the Alph Cook Cave which we have already stated in another article and which is situated in the rough valley of West Sugar Loaf Creek. We have given a brief history of the killing of several men at this cave during the closing scenes of the Civil War, which is not necessary to repeat here and will give an account of how it was occupied by wild beast. A few bear have been slain within its walls. Dave McCord one of the pioneer settlers of West Sugar Loaf Creek furnished me an interesting story of his step father John Campbell having found and killed three bears in the cave. In giving, the account Mr. McCord said: I was only a young lad then, but I remember quite distinctly the occurrence. The bears were two fine cubs and their mother. Back in the cave is a stream springs from the mountain side; I accompanied Mr. Campbell to the cave and assisted him to slay the bears and we used bees wax candles for a light. We crossed the stream before encountering the bears. Upon finding them, Campbell shot the old one, which floundered about until she fell in the stream of water and died; the carcass was left there a few, hours until we found the cubs and after considerable trouble we dispatched them also. The old bruin had bled freely; we worked with the three some time, preparing them as best we could to carry home; being quite thirsty and as the water in the cave was mixed with blood that flowed from the bullet wound of the mother bear we passed out of the cave and went to the mountain side to get a drink of water from the spring, when to our surprise we found it a spring of blood, showing conclusively that this spring was the same stream that runs through the cave. For many years after we had killed the bears in the cave I have heard Campbell laugh and tell his associate hunters about seeing one spring of water run blood on West Sugar Loaf Creek.

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