Page:Boys of the Fort.djvu/173

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155
SOMETHING ABOUT WHITE OX.

and it took their combined efforts to turn the huge carcass over. Then old Benson got out his clasp-knife, sharpened the blade upon the leather of his boot, and set to work, the boys assisting him as much as possible, which was not much, since the process was entirely new to them.

"That will be a load," said Joe, when they had the skin and a part of the head free. "How much do they weigh, Benson?"

"Close on to a hundred pounds."

"And how shall we carry that load?"

"We'll tie it up into something of a long bundle and take turns at toting it behind our saddles. Of course we won't be able to move along as fast as before, but that won't be necessary, now the captain has gone ahead to break the news."

The trail now led toward the river where Darry had almost lost his life by being hit with the drifting tree. The path was uncertain in spots, and they had to be careful for fear of getting into some boggy hole.

"What a splendid place for a ranch home!" suggested Darry. "Benson, I am surprised that there are so few cabins in this neighborhood."

There used to be quite a number through here, lad; but the Modoc and other Indians burnt them all down. I suppose new settlers will come in, now the Indians are behaving themselves."