Charlie was very busily engaged for two or three minutes because the fusilade was kept up from behind till he was joined by Bent and shortly afterwards by Bob. We were all now driving the cattle as hard as they could go, straight towards the ford. The shots behind us continued and even grew more frequent, but we were not further molested till three quarters of an hour later we reached the Rio Grande and began urging the cattle across the ford. There progress was necessarily slow. We could scarcely have got across had it not been that about the middle Bob came up and made his whip and voice a perfect terror to the beasts in the rear.
When we got them out on the other side I began to turn them westwards towards our wooded knoll, but the next moment Bob was beside me shouting—"Straight ahead, straight ahead; they are following us and we shall have to fight. You get on with the herd always straight north and I'll bring Charlie back to the bank so as to hold 'em off."
Boylike, I said I would rather go and fight, but he said: "You go on. If Charlie killed, no matter. I want you." And I had perforce to do what the little devil ordered.
When Texan cattle have been brought up together the largest herd can be driven like a small bunch. They have their leader and they follow him religiously and so one man can drive a thousand head with very little trouble.
For two or three miles I kept them on the trot and then I let them gradually get down to a walk. I did not want to lose any more of them; some fat cows had already died in their tracks through being driven so fast.
About two o'clock in the morning I passed a log-house and soon an American rode up beside me and