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.
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.
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.