Continuing from yesterday

“It is two a.m., as I leave this house and travel on until sunrise when I came in sight of Reno. At six o’clock I came to a good grass patch where I stopped for my companions to get a nibble. At seven, I journeyed on and entered the town of Reno at half-past eight o’clock, passing through and halting about eighty rods west of the town. Having secured my cattle, I went in search of a blacksmith to shoe my cow.

“I inquired of several but did not find the right one, but was told that such a man could shoe her; I went there and inquired for the proprietor, of whom I asked, ‘Can you shoe a cow for me? I am traveling east with a horse and carriage, leading a cow. I have traveled about seven hundred miles and have not been able to get her iron shoes; I have had her feet seared three times, which have worn very small.’ ‘I have never shod a cow, but have shod a great many oxen and think I can shoe her.’ ‘How much will you ask me to put iron shoes on her?’ ‘My price for oxen is four dollars; if you and I can do it, I will charge you but two dollars.’ ‘When will you shoe her?’ ‘After dinner. Where is she?’ ‘But a short distance from here.’ ‘Lead her down after dinner and I will see what we can do,’ said the blacksmith.

“About one o’clock, I drove down to the shop with my horse, carriage, and cow. I had not said a word to any one but the blacksmith, but on my arrival there were scores of people to see the cow shod. Many were the questions leveled at me, which I patiently answered with as little show as possible. ‘Stranger,’ said the blacksmith, ‘lead your cow around into the brake, we will see what can be done.’

“I untied the cow from the carriage and led her around the shop to the brake. The horse was very much troubled at seeing her led away, but on coming in sight of the horse she was all right again. I am in the habit of talking to my cattle and think they understand much more than we give them credit for. ‘Come, Bessie,’ I said, ‘get into that brake, it will not harm you.’ I went into the brake ahead of her and she followed me without any further trouble.

“A strap was put under her belly and she was raised from her feet; this was more than she would stand, so I asked the blacksmith to let her down again, which he did. I then went to my carriage and got some rope. Putting a rope around each hind leg, and bringing her feet back under her rear parts, I took up her forward foot, telling the blacksmith to make it fast, which he did. She tried to get loose but could not. In the meantime, I had taken the horse out of theĀ carriage and fastened her beside the cow, telling the blacksmith to make a good job. He answered that he would do his best.”

to be continued …