The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Near the source of the south fork of East Sugar Loaf Creek in Boone County, Ark., is a noted cave in the head of a rough hollow that leads into the creek. This cave is on the side of a hill 112 of a mile south of the Mike Green place. I am told that it is a large cavern and as some of the old settlers puts it la wagon with 4 span of horses can be turned around in it.’ At the back part of the cavity which is some 50 yards from the mouth is a large volume of water which pours down from the roof of the cave and runs out at the mouth of the opening.

During war times a number of people concealed provision and all sorts of articles of trumpetry in this cave for safe keeping and as It was in a rough wild looking part of the country and its situation being known only to a few settlers nothing stored in her was molested until those who hid them here taken them out. I am told that a few put their household furniture in here.

Mr. Handy de Shields, an old timer of this section who is dead now, give me a brief account of a little incident that occurred here before Civil War times.

Mr. de Shields in furnishing the story said that one day Levi Henderson, a son in law of Luke Marlor, met three bear on Sugar Orchard Creel. They were composed of a mother and two half grown cubs. Henderson, who was an active hunter, shot and killed the cubs and Wounded the old one ‘Put not at one shot. He did not have any dogs with him and the mother bear escaped for the time. Knowing of a settler living not far off Henderson went there for assistance to pursue the wounded Bruin. He found the man in a hollow hewing timber, but leaving his work he went home for his dogs and went on with Henderson in pursuit of the bear. The dogs followed the trail to this cave and the men found that she had taken shelter here. But the hunters sent the dogs into the cavern where they attacked the wounded beast and she ran out into the open and the two hunters shot and killed her before she got but a few yards from the mouth of the cave. The animal proved to be very thin in flesh and was not fitten to eat and after removing the hid they left the carcass near where it fell. In a few days after this. " continued Mr. de Shields, "I went one night coon hunting and the dogs struck the trail of a coon and treed it near the mouth of this cave. I felled the tree with my ax but the coon made its escape and ran into the cave. The night was very dark and as I went tottering along over the stones toward the mouth of the cave I stumbled and fell on the carcass of the bear and I think I rose to my feet much quicker than it took me to fall. I knew the remains of the dead beast was there but in the excitement of trying to capture the coon I had forgotten it. Hunting after coons had no more glory for me that night and I gave up the hunt and made my way back home and went to bed."

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