The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

There is always a few people scattered over the earth that take pride in boasting of their skill in whatever occupation they follow and their exaggerations are usually exposed which bring them down a few notches till they forget the lesson taught them. Mr. Ira J. Davis a long resident of Franklin County, Mo. tells an amusing story of a boastful fellow of the name of John McManis who lived in his neighborhood in the county just named, who blowed of his great marksmanship in killing game. The truth was the man was able to find plenty of deer and turkeys in the woods but he wasted a great deal of ammunition without killing hardly anything. One day George Shookman and Hart McWilliams went out hunting together and one of the boys shot at a little deer and "creased" it and before it revived they got hold of it without hurting it and one of them says "Now is a good time to test John McManis skill as a marksman" and the other said "Good, let us try him with this deer". As it happened they had a stout cord with them and they tied one end of the cord around the deers neck and the other end to a limb of a small tree. This limb hung a few feet above the deers back when they put the deer out of their hands it struggled hard to free itself but the cord was too stout to give way under the strength of the deer. McManis lived only one half of a mile from there and the boys proposed to go to his house and persuade him to go hunting with them which they did and when the three fellows got back into the hollow they told McManis to go up the hollow and one of them would go on the side of the hill and the other on the other side and if there were a deer in the hollow they would be sure to find it. The little deer was tied in the bed of the hollow and they told McManis to keep in the bed of the branch and look close as he might scare a deer before he seen it. The two boys were careful to keep just in sight of him and not too close to arouse suspicion that a job was put up on him. The boys were anxious to observe his maneuvers when he caught sight of the deer and when John got up near the deer he seen it. The little animal had struggled so hard to free itself that it was exhausted and so tired that it was standing still at the approach of McManis and did not try to get loose. McManis lost no time in putting in a shot at ft. The bullet missed the deer and hit the cord the deer was tied with and severed it, the report of the gun scared the deer and it jumped and finding itself liberated it went slowly up the hollow. George Shookum and Hart Williams who were watching McManis at a distance roared out in laughter for they saw at once that the boaster had shot the cord into two parts and it was quite amusing to them to see the little deer escape from the bragging fellow. One of the boys hallooed and told him that he could not kill a deer and it tied, and he yelled back that it wasent tied. Then the boys went down to the sapling and told him to come and see for himself and they showed him the part of the cord tied to the limb and he look perfectly crestfallen and did not boast so much after that.

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