The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One day in the month of January, 1904, I met Tom B. Welch, who lived then on the Verdigris River a few miles south of Wagoner, Indian Territory, but Mr. Welch formerly lived near the town of Jasper in Newton County, Ark. In relating some of the incidents occurring in north Arkansas in regard to hunting he said that there were two brothers in the Buffalo Mountains of the name of Levi and John Henseley. The settlers gave John a nickname and called him "Blue Buck" because he loved to hunt so well and took so much interest in telling his hunting stories. Both of these men were excellent shots and hunted a great deal together in the Buffalo Mountains. Levi used the words "Luck In Leisure" In most any occupation he followed until it had become a byword with him. He claimed that a hunter should never be in a hurry to find game, and said he, a man ought not to be in too much haste in pursueing certain occupations, and he always took time while in the mountain forests to not be in a rush and worry to meet game. He said that a hunter was as lucky to sit down and wait for a deer to come to him as to wear himself out in hunting for one in the rough mountains. "One day," continued Mr. Welch "my brother, Jim Welch and "blue buck" Levi Henseley were together hunting on Cowskin Creek which runs into the Arkansas River. The men had traveled through the woods several hours without seeing any deer and were getting leg weary and Levi says, "Jim, let us sit down here on this log and rest and wait for a deer to come to us, for their is "Luck in Leisure" while hunting." And my brother agreed to wait awhile at least, and accordingly both hunters seated themselves on the log to watch and wait for "Luck in Leisure." In a short time after they had sit down 5 deer ran up in 75 yards of them and stopped and the two men killed three of them. The other two escaped. Soon after the 3 deer were entirely dead Levi says, "Well, Jim, what do you think of Luck in Leisure now?" And my brother acknowledged that It was true in that case, and they now proceeded to save the hides and hams of the dead deer."

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