There were no papers signed, only a handshake over the campfire - they were men as good as their word; paper contracts were wasted on them.

After many incredible and dangerous experiences, Loving and Goodnight got back to Texas again and began straightaway buying up cattle for another drive in 1867 to Ft. Sumner. The partners efforts were starting to pay off, but bad luck loomed over this drive from the start.

By this time, news of their success had spread far and wide, and several other herds were being put together to be trailed over their path to the Fort. Loving and Goodnight were buying cattle with gold, and they assembled a herd quickly and got on the trail in hopes of beating the rush. Just beyond the edge of the Texas frontier, Indians stampeded their herd, but the outfit got it under control again. The word was out among the tribes now too, of all the herds moving across the Llano. Only a stampede was required to steal an entire herd.

Just after that the cow camp was attacked at dawn by Indians attempting to take the herd. The men fought them off, but one of the cowhands caught an arrow in the skull behind his ear. Goodnight succeeded in pulling it out with a shoe pincher and covered the wound with mud. The man was sent back with an escort and survived. As they moved on, the herd stayed spooked and stampeded at anything - lightening, noise, Indians. There was more Indian trouble ahead. After crossing the Pecos some of the hands were chased for miles by Comanches, but they rode fast and hard and escaped.

As they trailed up the Pecos toward New Mexico, Loving began to worry that they would not be the first to reach the Army for a beef contract. It was late July, 1867, and the contracts were to be let in August.

Goodnight agreed that Loving should go if he were to travel only at night to avoid Indian contact. One of the 'coolest' hands, "One-Armed Bill" Wilson, was assigned to go with Loving, and the two rode for 3 nights northward, sleeping during the day.

By the third day, Loving was restless. He didn't like riding at night, he had seen no sign of Indians, and with Wilson's consent, the two set out at mid-day. They rode some miles up the vacant Pecos tablelands in