The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The Chainlink Hills which divide the waters of McVey Hollow and Big Cedar Creek, both of which run into Big Creek, and Lower Turkey Creek which flows into Little North Fork are in Ozark County, Mo. The crest of these hills is not very tall, yet the tops of some of them are narrow and the sides are steep. Many years ago this was a great resort for deer and many of them have been shot on this noted range of hills by the hunter. Among the hunters who hunted the beautiful deer in this part of the country is Ed Quick who met the antlered monarchs on more than one occasion. One of his funniest stories he gave me was about a scrimmage he had with a big fat buck with five points on each beam. "One day," said Mr. Quick, "while I was hunting on this divide, I met a fine buck and shot it down. When I got in five paces of it I noticed that it was reviving. I stopped and reloaded my rifle and walked up to the deer and watched it struggle and try to rise to its feet but it seemed too weak to do so, and to save a load of ammunition I laid my gun down and leaped on the buck to hold it still until it died. In a moment after I had lit on the kicking animal I found that I had plenty of work to do and a stirring time ensued between myself and the struggling buck. The animal proved to be much stouter than I had anticipated. The struggling beast used its feet, legs and head in a way that surprised me. I realized that its strength was increasing and did its best to get up and I used my best efforts to keep it on the ground on its broadside for it was desperate work for me to hold it down and in this way the fight went on. In a few minutes I concluded that it would outdo me and get on its feet in spite of all the resistance that I was able to bring against the struggling animal. I had no knife except an old Barlow that was worth about 5 cents which I used in cutting bullet patching. Though this knife was a weak affair to use in my defense but it was the only chance for I dare not leave the buck to get my gun. The Barlow was in my pocket and it was a puzzle to me how I would get it out of my pocket for I was very busy attending to the buck, but I made a strong effort with a stouter will to get at the Barlow and after several attempts I succeeded in getting it out of my pocket and managed to open it somehow, and with all the strength I was able to command I held onto the furious buck and seesawed with the blade of the Barlow until I severed a blood vessel of the deer’s neck. The blood began to flow, then it spurted all over me and my apparel was soon colored red. The enraged beast continued its struggles and tried hard to get up but I managed to keep it down until it grew weak from the loss of blood. Then I got up and stood and watched it until it bled to death. When I got through with this one I decided at once that I did not want another fight with a deer whether it was wounded or not," said Mr. Quick as he finished his story.

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