The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

At the Jim Jones ferry landing on the south side of White River is a small field which lies between the mouths of the two creeks known as Music and Coon. This part of the river which we have often referred to before it in Marion County, Ark. Soon after the mining excitement started up in northern Arkansas some speculators made an attempt to start a town in the field which lies between the mouths of these two streams. They named It Duluth in honor of the city of Duluth on Lake Superior in Minnesota. But it was like a soap bubble. It "busted" and was gone. During one year in the early fifties Sam Carpenter cultivated this land in corn and he said that in the fall of that year before the corn was matured enough to gather a bear took to the field and played havoc with the corn crop. This bear was a careful fellow and would wait until after night before paying the field a visit "and my efforts to kill the bear was fruitless, " said Mr. Carpenter. "One morning before daylight," continued he, "I took my gun and started around the field to scare his bearship out of the field if he was in there. The moon was shining bright but the big timber cast a dark shade in the edge of the field on the bluff side. While I was passing along a dim road between the fence and the base of the bluff and hearing no noise in the corn I had nearly reached the conclusion that Bruin had not come for his breakfast as usual. The animal had usually got over the fence at a certain place on the bluff side and when I reached there I discovered an object that I first took for a big fat man standing just over on the inside of the field in the edge of the corn. I stopped and looked at the supposed man and wondered who he was and what was his business there. I did not speak and the object was silent too. Very soon the object lowered itself and I saw at once that It had four legs and the supposed man was a bear and was probably the one I was looking for. When he had got on his feet he started toward me with the intention no doubt of getting over the fence where he had climbed over on several other occasions. As the animal advanced toward me I thought he was going to give me a scare but I managed to aim my rifle at the beast and fire. Whether I hit it or not I never found out but at the report of the gun it wheeled about and ran across the field toward the river and made a mighty racket as It ran through the corn. It is needless to add that I was not anxious to follow it and it made its escape. I suppose the report of the gun gave it a scare or I might have wounded it for it never invaded that field anymore during that fall."

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