Charlie in vain not to play the fool. "That's what I live for", he shouted, and raced off.
I had got accustomed to spend all my spare time with Reece, Dell, Bob or the Boss, and from all of them I learned a good deal. In a short time I had exhausted the Boss and Reece; but Dell and Bob each in his own way was richly equipped, and while Dell introduced me to literature and economics, Bob taught me some of the mysteries of cow-punching and the peculiar morals of Texan cattle. Every little herd of those half-wild animals had its own leader, it appeared and followed him fanatically. When we brought together a few different bunches in our corral, there was confusion worse confounded till after much hooking and some fighting a new leader would be chosen whom all would obey. But sometimes we lost five or six animals in the mellay. I found that Bob could ride his pony in among the half-savage brutes and pick out the future leader for them. Indeed, at the great sports held near Taos, he went in on foot where many herds had been corralled and led out the leader amid the triumphant cheers of his compatriots who challenged los Americanos to emulate that feat. Bob's knowledge of cattle was uncanny and all I know I learned from him.
For the first week or so, Reece and the Boss were out all day buying cattle; Reece would generally take Charlie and Jack Freeman, young Americans, to drive his purchases home to the big corral; while the Boss called indifferently first on one and then on -another to help him. Charlie was the first to lay off: he had caught a venereal disease, the very first night and had to lie up for more than a month. One after the other, all the younger men fell to the same plague. I went into the nearest town and consulted