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ZV1
INTRODUCTION
ico with two other men whom he had hired on the border. Having found the herd and started back with it, these three met a company of about forty Villistas. The ragged general (nothing lower than a general in Villa's army) accosted the outfit. "Are you armed?" he asked Thorp. "Yes." "And your men?" Again Thorp said, "Yes." "Who gave you the right to carry arms in Mexico?" asked the gen­eral. "The Governor of the State of Texas," said Jack. There was a world of remembered history in that answer, and the general, in spite of his supe­rior numbers, permitted them to pass unmolested, though eyeing the cattle hungrily. If Thorp had said, "The President of the United States," it would have been of small avail, as the Republic of Texas is still far more real to most Mexicans than is our flourishing Union, of which it is now a member.
All this is but a suggestion of the extraordinary richness of a life lived during the frontier period in the Southwest — a period that is, happily, not yet ended, although old-timers will tell you, as the old settler in the Organ Mountains said, when he found a few cattle with strange brands straying into his eighty-mile solitude, "It's gettin' too crowded here — guess III have to move on."
Monotonous on the surface, the cowboy's life is usually an adventurous one. When I asked Mr. Thorp for a sketch of his life, he said, "Just say that I Ve been everything but a telegraph operator or a preacher." (But if he hasn't preached, he once gave a series of lectures on the Holy Land with stereopticon slides!) The task of trying to give a portrait of a man of






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III