The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Soon after Ned Coker settled in the bottom on the right bank of White River in 1823 in what is now Crooket township in Marion County, Ark., he and Winnie, his wife, had an adventure with a bear one day while clearing land near the house. They were both busy at work in a thick growth of tall cane cutting the cane off with homemade hoes. Mr. Coker while at work noticed an object in the edge of the cane which he took for his wife and wondered why she was dodging around in the cane. Next moment he saw his wife busy at work cutting the cane which brought him to his senses and raising up he was confronted by a bear standing on Its haunches with its nose almost at his face. Coker was much astonished at the audacity of Bruin and jumping back from it a few feet he yelled, "Look out, Winnie", and struck the bear on its nose with the hoe. At this the bear snorted and lowered himself and with another snort the blood dripped from Bruin’s nose for the man had mashed it with the hoe. The bear made off into the cane and was gone, but Coker thought it might come back and stood ready to protect himself and wife if it did return. But that was the last of it as far as they knew.

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