… continued from yesterday …

At six o’clock the next day, Mr. Johnson reached Hallocks station. “The surroundings at this station I did not like. I gave my cattle water and went on, taking the trail that led to the right and followed it until I came to a house, which I found untenanted, so I journeyed on still further and came to another house where I found the people at home, and asked if I could stop there for the night, having coming from Elko and myself and cattle being very tired. ‘Yes, stranger, you can, I like the sound of your voice. It is Eastern, if I am not mistaken; you are or have been an Eastern man.’ ‘I am. Will my cattle do any harm to let them in to those stacks of hay and let them eat all they want?’ ‘You can let them in there and they can have all they need.’ I led them into the yard and turned them loose; the horse took to rolling and the cow to the grass.

“The man of the house asked me in, saying he had a wife and two children and had many questions to ask me. So I went into the house and he said, ‘Wife, this stranger is going to stop with us tonight; get him some supper while I ask him some questions.’ ‘No, Sam, wait till he has had his supper, then we all will listen,’ answered the wife. So as soon as the supper was ready we all gathered around the table and partook of a hearty meal. The man of the house asked for my story, where I was from and where going. I answered, saying, ‘Well, friend, I have come from California, more than three hundred miles north of San Francisco, having left Eureka city on June 1st, following the railroad most of the way, and have traveled more than a thousand miles already.’ ‘What, and brought that cow that distance?’ ‘Yes, just as I am: horse, carriage, cow, and dog.’ ‘And where are you going to, I would like to know?’ ‘Well, friend I belong in Massachusetts, and am going there; that is my intention.’ ‘Well, stranger, ain’t you a little crazy?’ ‘You are not the first that has thought me so, but as yet I am all right.’

“[My host replied,] ‘Well, well; what a long journey before you, and you think you can make this journey. How many miles will you have to travel to make it?’ ‘About four thousand, perhaps a little more.’ ‘Why, that cow can’t stand it; she will wear off her feet and legs.’ ‘But, friend, she has on her feet iron shoes, and so has the horse. So far, the cow has stood the journey the best.’ ‘I did not think she was shod, and should not wonder that the cow did stand it best. Does she give milk?’ ‘Yes, I milk her twice a day; I have milked her three, and once four times a day, and have sold milk all along for fifty cents a gallon to the station agents. When I have sold on the trains I have got twenty cents a quart. When I came through Reno, where I got the cow shod, I was obliged to stop four days, as she was lame from the shoeing. This was her first shoeing and, as she had traveled more than seven hundred miles, her feet were very much worn, and putting on the iron shoes contracted her feet, causing the lameness. The blacksmith told me not to take off her shoes, and the soreness would wear away; she could not have traveled much farther without shoes, so I stopped over. The four days I was at Reno I sold over seven dollars’ worth of milk, so you can easily see that she is worth something on the road.’

“‘What part of Massachusetts are you going to?’ ‘The town of Webster, Worcester county.’ ‘I am from the State of New York, so you see I also come from the East.’ ‘What brought you out here?’ ‘Oh, I came out here to get rich by raising cattle.’ ‘You have got rich, I suppose?’ ‘Well, I am not rich, but I can make more money by raising cattle than I could by raising corn in Nebraska. We can grow potatoes and small grain, but no corn; we can cut any quantity of hay. You see those four stacks? There are eighty tons of hay in them.’ ‘How many cattle have you?’ ‘I have thirty-six head on my own ranch. There are three of us, each having a ranch, about one hundred head of cattle in all.’ ‘Do you feed your cattle in the winter?’ ‘Oh, yes. We do not intend to have them freeze to death. We give them shelter and feed with hay. We do not have such barns as you have down East, as lumber is too costly. We have long sheds fronting to the south, boarded on the north side and ends, about twelve feet wide and seven feet high, covered with straw. This gives our cattle a good, comfortable shelter in a storm and breaks the cold wind. This mode is an improvement of our own, and there are but few in the state like ours.'”