[Burton, William W.], "Little Willie," Juvenile Instructor, 1 Mar. 1893, 155-57.
The Honduras, on which Willie was a passenger, arrived at Kansas City about four a.m., and during the night previous Willie was taken with the cholera, and when the boat arrived was very sick. He had a large shawl or Scotch plain which he wrapped around him, went ashore and laid down on the banks of the Missouri River; and aged gentleman low with cholera was carried off the boat and laid near Willie; then a young man named Brewerton was laid on the other side of him. Both these died within two hours. Willie began to feel that unless he could soon have a change for the better that he also in a few short hours would be numbered with the dead. His thoughts carried him back to his home in old England. His widowed mother and brothers and sisters were there, anxiously waiting for him to go to the valleys of Utah, find an older brother who was already there, prepare a home and send for them to follow. Would they ever meet on earth again? Would all their fond hopes be blighted? These thoughts wrung his heart. He could not endure them. The great love he had for his dear mother and his brothers and sisters at home inspired him to rise up from his bed on the banks of the Missouri. This was a terrible effort. Only such thoughts could have moved him under the circumstances. Without them he would either not have made the effort, or if he had, would have shrank back to his grassy bed on the banks of the river, and perished there. But he still continued to exert himself until with the pain and the effort the sweat began to roll down his face in big drops as large as peas. The more freely the sweat flowed the better he felt, which gave him encouragement. Willie continued to improve until he had fully recovered. Soon after arriving at Kansas, by request Willie went to a farm about fifteen or twenty miles in the direction of Independence, Jackson County, where one Mr. McMurray was keeping some forty or fifty cows, which calves, until the Church agent should call for them. Mr. McMurray had purchased the calves, which were to run with the cows until they were taken away. Willie remained there about three weeks. All went on smoothly until the time came for separating the cows and calves, which were mostly of the Texas breed, and extremely wild and vicious. The cows were driven to camp, which was about two miles from Westport, near Kansas. They were put up into a corral and closely herded. Next day they were to be yoked up. A good, strong force, including Willie, under the direction of a Mr. Irons, were assigned the task. Mr. Irons was an old frontiersman, and could swing the lasso in true Mexican style. This force went to the corral, climbed over the fence, but before Mr. Irons could get the lasso adjusted five or six of the wildest of the cows raised their heads erect, with eyes glaring fiercely, throwing their tails up, and with furious bound rushed at the approaching company. No one waited for any word of command, but each seemed to take a notion at the same time that he would like to see how quickly he could jump that fence. The feat was performed at exactly the same instant. Under other circumstances they might not have jumped so near together; it was done as though it was only one single effort. Now the operations were conducted from the outside of the corral. The cows were caught with the lasso, drawn up to the fence, and securely tied to a post in twos. Then the yoke was placed over their neck. None of these efforts aimed at their civilization seemed to be appreciated, for they put their tongues out, and with the full strength of their lungs bellowed at their captors. This work of subjugation lasted nearly all day. When all were yoked up they were let out upon the prairie to get acquainted with their yokes and exercise themselves in their new kind of employment. Quite a number broke their horns off, some broke their necks. Two of the cows freed themselves from the yoke and went back to Mr. McMurray's farm. Daniel Gamble, a young man named Martill, and Willie were sent to recover the two. They stayed all night at the farm. Next morning, on foot, they started back with the two cows. Some three or four miles on the way the cows ran off into the timber. One of them took a straight shoot back for the farm. On account of being driven from her calf she was furious, and would run at anyone going near her. Willie and his companions concluded to try to catch the cow with a lasso and tie a dry pole about eight or ten feet long in front of her horns, so that she might be stopped from dodging into the timber. But none of the party were experts at throwing the lasso, and therefore had to go into the yard to catch her, which none of them liked to do. A young man at the farm offered to go into the yard to try to catch her if one of the other party would go in with him. Willie volunteered, and gathered a stick for self-defense. The other young man filled his pockets with rocks, and thus armed the two went in to catch the cow. There was an apple tree standing in the yard, and when the cow, on mischief bent, dashed at them, the young man with the rocks climbed the tree. Willie might have down so too, but could not for his companion, so he concluded to defend himself with a stick. As she came toward him he dealt her a blow with the stick and dodged behind the tree. This blow intimidated her, and they succeeded in catching her with the rope. She was secured and the pole safely fastened in front of her horns. This done, the party resumed their journey, but when the timber was reached the cow turned her head sideways, which placed one end of the pole along the side of her ribs, and the other pointing straight out in front of her, and in this way she could run in among the timber about as well as before, in consequence she was lost in the forest, and the party, faint, hungry and tired, gave up the chase. Night was coming on, and they were fifteen or twenty miles from camp, without money, and in Jackson County, Mo., from which the Saints had previously been driven; therefore, they were afraid that they might not succeed in getting anything to eat were it known that they were Mormons. All concluded to go to a farm house close by, and Willie was to order supper for the party and then make the best settlement with them that he could. The order was given, chickens were killed, and a fine supper was prepared, which after awhile was announced ready. During this preparation the party were ill at ease, and especially Willie, for he was afraid that he, in behalf of the company, might be unable to satisfy the demands of their host. However, after each had laid in a good supply and they were ready to depart, Willie told their host that they had no money, but that they would leave anything they had to satisfy them for the repast. After talking a little while, Willie sold him the wild cow for the supper and an old knife and five dollars, the purchaser to hunt her up and do the catching. Now they started for camp, footsore and weary. They arrived about midnight and made their report, which was fully approved.(TO BE CONTINUED.)