Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Feeling the Cowboys - Ben Carter's "Heap of Fun"Date: November 30 1883
Newspaper published in: Tupelo, MS
Source: Lee Co., MS Library
Page/Column: Page 4, Column 2
Feeling the Cowboys
Ben Carter had "heaps of fun," as he expresses; it, at Rock Creek, west of Laramie, the other day. Ben is a typical Western cowboy--a whole-souled, dare-devil puncher of steers, a fellow who will divide his last dollar with a friend, or ride anything that has not more than four legs and wears a saddle. Ben has one weak point, however, a fondness for the sulphuric and annihilator which Wyoming barkeepers retail as whisky and when he is "full" he is windy and ready for any harmless mischief.
On the day referred to Ben was, at Rock Creek loading stock. A dozen or more of his brother cowboys were in town, and after the arduous' duties incident to crowding twenty more steers into a car than the builders intended were over, the boys, began to “booze up," and by the time it got dark enough to light the lamps the saloon-keeper found that he hadn't any that were fit to do, duty as illuminators--the boys had shot them to pieces. Every time a lamp would fall the marksman who assisted at the post-mortem of said lamp would cheerfully waltz to the bar and pay for it, and then try again. The lamp market was active for a few minutes, but the supply was limited. Ben hadn't taken a hand in the shooting match as yet, but had made it a point to drink with the successful marksmen, so strictly speaking he wasn't sober. Finally he awoke to action.
Seizing s revolver from a companion and drawing his own, he sprang to the center of the room and delivered himself of a speech. He told the boys that they ought to be ashamed of themselves. He was a perfect lady himself, and it shocked him to witness such disgraceful proceedings. He had been appointed, as a deputy sheriff on his last visit to Laramie, and had decided to arrest every mother's son of them. The boys protested against such a strange procedure, but Ben flourished his guns, told them, he had the whole United States at his back, and imperiously ordered them into an empty warehouse near, the door of which stood open. The novelty of the thing somewhat muddled the boys, and without a word they filed into the temporary prison, and Ben closed the door. He then rustled around and found several log chains, with which he securely fastened them, and, with the dignity of a high private in a State militia corps, mounted guard on the outside. The boys ventilated their prison cell as well as they could with what ammunition they had, and then dropped off to sleep. In the morning Ben released them, after exacting a solemn promise to behave themselves like gentlemen and ladies thereafter.
The boys walked over to the hotel as meek as lambs. When eating their breakfast they noticed that an unusual amount of hilarity seemed to prevail in the dining-room. The head and only waiter laughed boisterously while serving the soup, the cook poked his head through the doorway leading to the kitchen and drew it back again quickly, and a series of Comanche war-whoops that were positively painful to their listening ears gradually subsided into a low, mellow laugh, which made the plates on the tables fairly jingle. Sounds of mirth also floated in from the office, until finally one of the boys went out to inquire the cause. He came back presently, and the most ignorant judge of the emotions as shown by the human features could have told that he was madder than a wet hen. He consulted a moment with his companions, and then called the waiter and ordered a box of "forty-fours." These were served cold, and the command loaded their weapons and marched down to the saloon, where they found Ben Carter. The spokesman. Broncho Bill, then and there told Ben that he was no gentleman. He had taken advantage of his friends and made them the laughingstock of the community. He had pretended that he was an authorized Deputy Sheriff, when the fact was that he had not a shadow of claim to the title of Deputy Sheriff. Believing that he represented the majesty of the law, they had given him the respect he deserved. He had insulted them by putting them in the "jug" overnight, and they could only wipe out that insult by creating a vacancy in the atmosphere thereabouts of about, the size of his body. He must go, and go quick.
Ben is brave enough, but after he had looked, over the crowd and saw that each man had his hand on his persuader, he concluded that perhaps Broncho Bill was right. He got, and when he had put several hundred yards of sagebrush and sand between himself and the station, the boys, having no further use of "forty-fours," emptied their revolvers. From the agile manner in which Ben was dancing around as he passed swiftly over the brow of the hill toward Laramie, and the amount of dust rising in little clouds all around him, it is believed the boys carelessly pointed their weapons his way while taking the loads out.--Laramie Boomerang.