kicking, rearing and plunging for about a miles, he sobered down to his share of the work, but was far from being bridlewise.
We had got safely out of the second canyon east of Fox Creek, and had stopped preparatory to descending a steep hill leading into another canyon, when I insisted that Kirby should set out, to which he strenuously objected, remarking that he dared to ride where I rode. The hill was long and very steep, some parts of it covered with ice, especially at and near the top; other parts of the buffalo trail we were following were covered with snow. The morning was bright but stinging cold with a sharp wind blowing.
I hesitated some time, surveying my intended route down the hill before starting, having a lack of faith in the Texas side of our team when and where careful driving was needed to get us over bad places without accident, since our Texas horse, in the short distance we had come, had indicated a very strong desire to go one way while I would endeavor to persuade him to go another. This caused me to insist and ten beg of Kirby, who was an old Missourian and knew no fear, to get out, telling him at the same time we were liable to upset. But it was no use; might as well talk to a stone. After taking a big drink out of a suspicious-looking canteen, he gave orders to "let her go," and I obeyed, using all the precaution I possibly could. We had proceeded but a little way down the hill when our horses lost their footing, and the wagon likewise. The dashboard was on my neck, and both horses; especially my Texas friend was making a target of my head with his hind feet. Fortunately I held onto the reins and, after being dragged under the buggy about two hundred yards, I was finally extricated by Kerr and Jones.
Alas! Poor Kirby lay groaning where he had fallen, the box of books having rolled down the hill some distance from him. We were sorry to find Mr. Kirby's arm broken in two places, and collar bone fractured. He only words we succeeded in getting from him were:
"Let me die right here."
As soon as we could fix up the breakage on the wagon and tongue, we lifted poor Kirby into it, much against his protests, and I let the team back to Fox Creek ?Ranch. Here we laid him carefully on the bed, at which I knelt while he swore me into office of county commissioner, and I left him in care of three of our men with orders to take him to Ft. McPherson as quick as they could and as easy as possible.
This done, I again started with that team and that box, with which I arrived at Hank Clifford's Indian lodge, near Coon Creek, at nearly six o'clock that night. Here our would-be county dads had assembled and were impatiently awaiting my arrival. It was but a few moments before our box was opened, the officers sworn in, the commissions distributed. But lo! When we come to sign our names we had neither ink, pen nor pencil. Necessity, the mother of invention, came to our rescue. A stick was sharpened, some soot scraped from the teepee poles, our names signed -the organization of Frontier County was complete.
Returning to Fox Creek Ranch the following day, I was almost paralyzed to find my friend Kirby yet on the bed where I had laid him, his arm and shoulder swollen to an enormous size. He had a six-shooter by his side and threatened to shoot the first man that disturbed him. I took the revolver away from him unnoticed. Meantime I had our men prepare a wagon with hay and quilts, into which it took six of us to handle and lay him. We got him into the hospital at Ft. McPherson about three o'clock the next morning, where Dr. Elbery, one of the most efficient of army surgeons, attended him and I am pleased to say, saved his life, which for some years afterward was devoted to the interests of your county. Kirby finally went back to Missouri, where he died. Finis.