A Tenderfoot Kid on Gyp Water
Still wet behind the ears in 1894, Carl Benedict was “crazy to get away and work on the range.” In the summer, he hooked up with a big outfit called the Figure 8 to round up cattle in the Texas Panhandle. Out of that experience came this book, published fifty years later, about what it was really like to be a cowboy in some ornery country checkered by canyons and gyp water springs.A Tenderfoot Kid on Gyp Water is all the more engaging for being unpretentious. During daily drives, the Kid learns how to ride, rope, brand, and hobble cattle and horses. The cowboys who teach him are not stereotyped or romanticized. Life on the range is too immediate and real to require Hollywood heroics. But every day brings drama: blockbuster fights of fierce wild bulls, treacherous river crossings with thousands of cattle in the water at once. Some nights bring thunderstorms and stampedes. And through it all those “cattle, horses, and also men who were not physically fit and healthy soon died or disappeared.”“One of the best books ever written on the Texas range.”—William S. Reese, Six Score: The 120 Best Books on the Range Cattle Industry.“Intelligence, [a] sense of humor, rightness of heart, observant sympathy for nature, and gentle sensitiveness [are] manifest throughout A Tenderfoot Kid on Gyp Water.”—J. Frank Dobie.
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