Continued from yesterday …

Mr. Johnson “left Mirage very early on the 27th [of August 1882] and made Granite Point that day, a distance of twenty-eight miles. It was one of the finest mornings I ever saw, and my road was a good one and I journeyed with good cheer. About half-past six o’clock I saw smoke in our front, and spoke to my horse, saying ‘Fannie, go on, we will soon have breakfast.’

“We shortly came to a station called White Plains. Here was a good house not painted brown like others, but white; there were several men around and as I came up bade them good morning. One of the men answered, ‘Where in hell are you from, and where are you going; you must have come from the East some time?’ ‘Yes, I came from the East.’ ‘But where are you now from?’ ‘I am from California and going East.’ ‘Yes, I know you are traveling East, but where do you intend to haul up?’ ‘In Massachusetts.’ ‘The devil you are, with that outfit; that cow will never see Massachusetts.’

“[I replied,] ‘But where are you from, and what are you doing with that derrick?’ I asked. ‘I am from New York and came here to make an artesian well,’ was answered. ‘I want a pail so that I can milk my cow; you can have the milk. By the way, I don’t suppose that you have any hay that I can get for my cattle?’ ‘Yes, I have some hay, you can have some of it for your cattle. Perhaps they would not eat it, but we will try them.’

“The hay was placed before them and they seemed to relish it very much from the greediness with which they ate it. I got a pail and milked the cow and giving it to the stranger, said ‘Will this pay for the hay?’ He answered, ‘Yes, and more; go into the house and get some breakfast.’ So I partook of breakfast with him. ‘How far have you come this morning?’ he asked. ‘From Mirage,’ I answered. ‘How far did you travel yesterday?’ ‘From Wadsworth, about twenty-five miles.’ ‘Now, stranger, you say you belong in Massachusetts and going home. Do you honestly think you can made that distance with that cow?’ ‘I do. Why not? You see, she has iron shoes* on her feet, and I think she will stand the journey as well as the horse. She has nothing to do but walk; I think she will make the journey.”

To be continued …

* To see a photos of iron shoes for, and the shoeing of, cattle, click here.