The Day The Cow Boys Quit

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade August 2001

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The Day The Cowboys Quit This story was about the cowboy strike happened in Texas Panhandle in 1833. The main character was Hugh Hitchcock. He worked as a wagon boss for rancher Charlie Waide. Rascal Mcginty and Law Mcginty were also worked for Charlie Waide. The story started as that Rascal McGinty were argue with Dayton Brumley about the cow¡¦s brand as either LR or Figure 4. Hitchcock can not judge for them.

At night Brumley¡¦s boss Selkirk come to talk about the Figure 4 and tell Charlie Waide that most of the ranchers agree that no men employed for wages be allowed to own cattle. Selkirk also said some cowboys change their owner¡¦s brand to their own brand. Charlie Waide trusted his men and believed this idea was wrong. He felt that his cowboys were like his friend and he wouldn¡¦t do this to them. Several days later, Joe Sand was injured and Hitch took him to town.

After he took Joe to the doctor, he went to the Cowboys Bar to find a place for Joe to stay in town. He saw Gossett and Cottingham in there. They tried to convence Hitch to join the cowboy strike. Hitch said he was loyal to Charlie and would not strike against him. After he came back from town Charlie asked him about the cowboys rule. Hitch said they wouldn¡¦t strike against him. Short after, Selkirk came to threat Charlie to came to the rancher¡¦s meeting which were going to talk about the cowboys rule. Charlie brought Hitch with him. After the meeting, Charlie still couldn¡¦t agree to take away the cowboys right to have cattle of their own or forbid them to have their own horse in the company remuda. On their way back they stop at Law McGinty¡¦s house and from Law¡¦s wife, Kate, Hitch knew Law lie to him that he were came back look for Kate. Kate was also Hitch¡¦s secret love. When Hitch was back from the meeting he wanted Law to went back and took care of Kate. He followed Law that day and tried to find out if he was going to see other woman. What he found out was that Law steal Figure 4¡¦s cattle. Hitch reported this to Charlie. Charlie was sad and mad, then he announced that he would enforced the cowboys rule in his ranch also. They were mad that Hitch told Charlie about Law. Hitch had to lead their group to strike even though he really didn¡¦t want to do this. He had to since he had promise the boys Charlie wouldn¡¦t betry them or if he did he would be the first one to leave. After they meet with other strikers, Hitch found those cowboys were just wondering around and do nothing. Hitchcock became the unofficial leader of the strike. The striker want the rancher pay them fifty dollars a month and then send their statement to each rancher. Selkirk refused to receive the copy and ignore those cowboys. The strikers got weaker and weaker and they started ran out of food. At this time many striker had already left. Hitch decided he wanted to leave also and became a small rancher. Later, Joe told Hitch that big rancher were going to have the smaller brands declared illegal. Hitch quickly drove his cattle across the county line but they hit Hitch and took away his cattle anyway. For the rest of the summer, Hitch continue to look for mavericks and mark it in to his own brand. One day, Charlie told Hitch that the big ranchers knew that Law was stealing cattle and they decide to hang him. Few days later, Kate came to ask Hitch for help since Law was trapped in the dugout. When Hitch got there, he saw Torrington and Dodge had hang Law already. Hitch called them murder cause they lynched Law without trail. Hitch then went to the sheriff office and he only saw Dodge since the sheriff had quit. Later, Hitch went to the campaign for the sheriff. He thought he would lost since the cowboys would vote the way their bossed told them to but he won. Rascal became his deputy. The next morning, Hitch made the judge issue warrants for murder to the man who hung Law. On the trial, Torrington confessed and said Law deserved it. The jury could not made the decision since they had different Opinion. Baucomb told Hitch that a retrial would do no good, but that he believed that Hitch had made a point that no vigilance justice would be tolerated. About that time Rascal shot Dodge in the arm. Hitch sent Dodge out of town and promise never return but wanted to revenged on Selkirk who did not pay him what he owed him. Short after, Hitch saw black smoke billowing up on Selkirk¡¦s land. Dodge wanted Selkirk¡¦s cattle went on starve. The story ended as hitch had a cup of coffee with Charlie and Charlie saw Kate smile to him.