By Cordia Duke,Joe B. Frantz
This booklet of memories of outdated XIT Ranch cowmen places on checklist the standard lifetime of the people who made the ranch run.
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Extra resources for 6,000 Miles of Fence
I learned that Mrs. Duke had been writing for nearly fifty years. As a young ranch wife she had begun a diary. Busy as any mother of three with a herd of cowhands to look after, she had carried a notebook and pencil in her apron pocket and had written at every opportunity. When nothing happened to add to the diary, she would reach back to jot down recollections of her childhood. “I got the habit of writing, and I couldn’t stop,” she said. In the 1920’s she nearly stopped. Returning from placing her daughters in Lake Forest College, she confided her writing ambitions to an actress riding alongside her.
But the winter he cannot forget was the one spent fifteen miles from the headquarters ranch: “I stayed in camp nine months by myself and sometimes I wouldn’t see anybody for eight or ten days. I looked after the cattle in that pasture, the South Pasture. “I’ve done everything on the ranch; went up trail to Channing a number of times. Plowed fireguards and helped burn them out and helped fight prairie fires and helped brand calves. I’ve seen lots of wild mustang horses and hundreds of antelopes, and while working there I roped a wildcat and I still have its hide.
I am grateful also to the Research Institute of the University of Texas Graduate School for its material aid. All photographs which do not carry credit lines are from Mrs. Duke’s personai collection. Paul T. Armitstead of Austin drew the maps. And finally I want to thank Miss Colleen T. Kain, who acted as a sort of subeditor, not only wielding an intelligent pair of scissors but assisting also in selection and organization of material, so that the cowboys did not trip all over their spurs as they sauntered through my mind and vision.
6,000 Miles of Fence by Cordia Duke,Joe B. Frantz