The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. Rila Mullen told the writer the following story: "A man of the name of George Lafferty lived 4 miles north west of Evening Shade in Sharp County, Ark. His home was on a ridge 2 miles north of Big Strawberry River. Mr. Lafferty was a peculiar man, strange natured. His mind did not appear to be all right but still he was not considered an idiot or was crazy. He followed hunting a great deal and mostly used an old muzzle loading rifle that was somewhat tricky at times. One day while he was out in the woods with his old gun he become very thirsty for water and went to a spring to get a drink of water. When he got to the spring he dropped the breech of his gun down on the ground in order to get a drink but he struck it too hard and it discharged the load, the muzzle of the rifle was close to his face and it powder burned his face and singed his whiskers and hair on one side of his head. The accident had much tendency to quench his thirst and without taking only a few sips of water and he did not stay at the spring no longer than he could reload his gun. He had not left the spring but a short time before he met two of his neighbors in the woods who were also hunting. The three men stopped to have a chat together and Lafferty in explaining the accidental discharge of his gun at the spring struck the breech of the gun against the ground like he did at the spring in order to show the men how it was done and as it hit the ground it ‘went off’ again. This time the muzzle of the gun was close to the other side of his face and his face hair and whiskers were scorched as bad as the other side was at the spring. This occurred several years before the war.

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