Front Street 1890





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P.O. Box 118826
Carrollton, TX  75011-8826



Jerusalem Blade

The Good Lord Willing and the Creek don't Rise.

The story of a perilous journey by an itinerant man of
God and the perils he endured to support his flock.

Dateline: Texas,  Early March, Circa 1860

On a certain trip in the month of March, while passing from one settlement to another, I found a creek swimming, about midway between these two points. About two hours were lost in my efforts to head the swimming water. It was very cold, and I dreaded it. Finally my horse was plunged into the swollen stream. He swam with me to the opposite bank without any difficulty, but as he struggled amid obstructions on the opposite side I was compelled to dismount in the water and give the animal assistance. My boots were full of water, and my clothing thoroughly saturated.

A blue Texas norther whistled around my ears and appeared almost to penetrate my quivering limbs, as I mounted the horse at 4 o'clock in the evening, with twenty-five miles lying stretched between me and my destination, and not a single house on the way that I knew of. To my great surprise and gratification, after traveling about eight miles, my clothing now freezing, I came suddenly upon a camp by the roadside, made since my February trip.

Here was a good fire, a little log cabin, covered, no floor, cracks not lined, and no chimney. A familiar voice was recognized, and a brother whom I had known long ago, invited me to share with him for the night the comforts of his camp. He had been there only a short time, had no corn for my horse, and his wagon, sent below for supplies, could not return because of the high waters.

It was eighteen miles now to the end of my journey, with two dangerous streams to swim. Although the horse must shiver all night as he nipped the short spring grass, and although the missionary was told the family had neither meat nor bread, he decided to tarry for the night.

It was by this time almost sunset, and as I drew off my boots and exposed my wet and almost frozen feet to the fire, the good sister gave me a cup of coffee.

The wind, 'tis true, whistled through the open cracks in the new log cabin, but this was far better than shivering all night alone on the bank of some swollen stream. While drinking my coffee 1 inquired if her husband had guns and ammunition. This was answered in the affirmative.

I asked if the dogs would tree turkeys. To this a like answer was returned. Still drinking my coffee I ordered the guns put in good order, assuring the family that my "Master" had a storehouse down in the adjacent creek bottom, and that we would soon have plenty of meat.

I soon passed out of the cabin with the little boy and the dogs at my heels. The dogs, understanding what was wanted, preceded us into the creek bottom, some half mile distant, and soon the fluttering turkeys were seeking protection in the trees. I was on the ground in double quick, and saw a fine gobbler perched upon a limb almost right over my head. Here I was much perplexed. The turkey stretched his long neck and turned his eye sidewise on me, uttering, 'Put! put!' But the old rifle in my hand had a flint and steel lock, and, holding the gun up in a perpendicular position, I feared when the pan flew open that the powder, instead of taking fire, would empty itself in my eyes. But little time was given to hesitation, and taking aim I shut both eyes and pulled the trigger. Fortunately down came the trigger and no powder entered my eyes. By the time it was dark we went back to camp with several turkeys. One was immediately dressed and hung before the fire in regular backwoods style.

This was truly an earnest time for the preacher and the family.

The clothing I wore was getting a little more comfortable. But on opening my saddle bags I found everything saturated with water from the creek I swam in the afternoon. ( ' My heart was very sad when I found my old Jerusalem Blade and the old Concordance I had carried twenty-five years perfectly wet. Everything was spread before the fire and the turkey and coffee tasted with a sharp relish. Texans are famous for good, strong coffee, and the flavor of that turkey was beyond description.

The night's rest was quite refreshing, and as the clear golden sunbeams of the morning appeared, we thanked God together for spiritual and temporal blessings. I bade them good-bye and went on my way without further mishap." It was nothing unusual for a minister to preach with two six-shooters in his belt, while some stood guard, that the worshipers might not be taken unawares by the Indians.



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