The Boy Land Boomer
THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING COMPANY
Robert Smith Printing Co.,
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
|"The youth had to cling fast around his neck to save himself a lot of broken bones"||Frontispiece|
|"The next instant the boy was hurled headlong into the boiling and foaming current"||62|
|"Dick had let fly the jagged stone, taking him directly in the forehead and keeling him over like a tenpin"||179|
|"In a second more the two men were in a hand-to-hand encounter"||220|
"The Boy Land Boomer" relates the adventures of a lad who, with his father, joins a number of daring men in an attempt to occupy the rich farming lands of Oklahoma before the time when that section of our country was thrown open to settlement under the homestead act.
Oklahoma consists of a tract of land which formerly formed a portion of the Indian Territory. This region was much in dispute as early as 1884 and 1885, when Captain "Oklahoma" Payne and Captain Couch did their best to force an entrance for the boomers under them. Boomers remained in the neighborhood for years, and another attempt was made to settle Oklahoma in 1886, and up to 1889, when, on April 22, the land was thrown open to settlement by a proclamation of the President. The mad rush to gain the best claims followed, and some of these scenes are related in the present volume.
The boomers, who numbered thousands, had among them several daring and well-known leaders, but not one was better known or more daring than the leader who is known in these pages as Pawnee Brown. This man was not alone a great Indian scout and hunter, but also one who had lived much among the Indians, could speak their language, and who had on several occasions acted as interpreter for the Government. He was well beloved by his followers, who relied upon his judgment in all things.
To some it may seem that the scenes in this book are overdrawn. Such, however, is not the fact. There was much of roughness in those days, and the author has continually found it necessary to tone down rather than to exaggerate in penning these scenes from real life.
Captain Ralph Bonehill.