This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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The cattle were a11 ear-tagged or branded and a description of each head entered in a tally book under the owner's name.

One time Towns was bringing about a hundred head across the line from North Dakota. Father met him south of Carberry, where the cattle had to be inspected, which was always a tiresome and expensive job. When a mile or so from the customs Towns pulled a couple of bottles of whisky from underneath the buggy seat, stuffed them in his pocket, mounted father's horse and rode on ahead. Shortly the veterinarian and customs officer appeared in a shining buggy behind a flashing team of bays. At top speed they whirled around the herd of cattle; then the customs officer stood up and waved his arms; "All right boys," he yelled to the men with the herd, "away you go." The herd never stopped. Pioneer days were hard but they had their compensations.

The year 1903 was remembered throughout Southwestern Manitoba as the year of the big blizzard and to the people north of Whitewater as "the year of the stampede." Tom Stevenson was herding for Bill Stewart, who by that time was also running a small herd, with his home corral two miles west of father's. The after­ noon of the 12th of September was blustery but Stevenson thought little of it as he pushed the herd into the corral. He closed the corral gate, had his supper and went to bed. When he woke up next morning the cattle were gone, in one of the worst storms that had ever hit the country.

Before it ended the following day drifts of snow were piled ten feet deep. For rods in from the edge of fields the stooks were com­ pletely covered over. A howling north wind that whipped the snow in blinding clouds had lashed the cattle in Stewart's corral till they broke out of it and were driven in a wild rush the mile south into the lake. Their mad dash in the darkness and storm carried them out into the soft mud and icy water till the leaders floundered and sank while the ones behind piled on top of them. It was a grim scene that confronted father and others that were summoned by Stevenson for help. Some cattle were pulled to safety, only to die later. It was a cold, heart-breaking task, made the grimmer because of the pitiful bellowing of the dying cattle and the knowledge of the loss to the owners. One hundred and six died at the end of their fateful run into the lake.

The news of the stampede travelled fast and Indians gathered tram all directions. They hauled the carcasses out of the lake with their cayuses, stripped off the hides, cut the meat in long strips and hung it to dry on racks of poles. Father and mother recalled vividly seeing the meat waving in the wind like red blankets. In true .Manitoba fashion the weather changed abruptly after the storm to .warm, beautiful fall weather that lasted well into November, so

that harvest was completed without much loss except in the grade of the grain. (See write-up if more detail required.)

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