Collected by Merlin Mitchell Reel 12
Transcribed by Kyle Perrin Item 2
M ille r 's Chapel, Ark.
January 15, 1950
A Colorado Trip
D o n .....We never have heard Dave t e l l about th is g i r l from Newton County.
Vaught..Oh, I have.
Don Says th e re 's seven or eight in every house down there.
Vaught..He use to hope one of them would come over here with him. I lik e
to hear him t e l l th a t. Dave use to try to get me to go down
there with him but the l a s t eight or ten years he a in 't bothered
me much about going down there.
D o n .....N e ll, I'M going sometime.
V au gh t..I'v e been down there, though. Right where Dave was a t .
Dave....Yeah, he come over there and stayed with me fo r a wh i l e .
Vaught..Stayed with him and Ike up there. About fifte e n days with one
of 'em and about that long with the othern and I stayed—divided
the time up over there.
Don.....With him and Ike.
D o n .....T h a t's before you were back.
Dave....Huh. That's when he was on the dodge.
Don.........Somebody was c e rta in ly hiding. I believe i t .
V aught..I'd hate to think about being a f e l l e r making a 150 mile hike
out of Colorado over Steamboat Springs coming across the mountains
there to the D & R G Railroad a t a l i t t l e old town called R ifle .
That's the nearest point Dave went to there.
Don.....Yeah, R ifle , Oklahoma.
V au gh t..R ifle , Colorado. Over there in them mountains. We 's e coming over
from Steamboat Springs over on the Yampa River over there. That's
pe rty close to where Steamboat Springs i s . That's a f t e r you cross
over the summit there from Denver. Cross plum over the high
knob there and go down on the other sid e toward Wyoming. And
we'se going to make i t back to the D & R G Railroad without
going by the way of Denver. I t was two or three hundred miles
to go back to Denver—going the way the ra ilro ad run then. But,
we could make i t across there by walking a hundred and f i f t y miles.
And so, we took right across them h i l l s there. T r a ils and waggon
t r a i l s part of the time—part of the time wasn't much of a waggon
t r a i l . And we come to a place down there—l e t ' s see—where
th e r e 's two roads, and we pitched up—I know we—we pitched up
a d o lla r to see—i t ' s e right la te one evening—and they said they'se
a house r igh t down a t the foot of the mountain. We hadn't seen
a house in a good while. And we pitched up a d o lla r to see
which on of them roads we tuck. We d idn 't know—hadn't had no
d ire c tio n s. We passed two roads a while back—two waggon t r a i l s .
And so, we went the way—one said heads we go th is way and t a i l s
we go that way. Ever what i t come, well, th a t 's what w e 'll make
i t . So, we went righ t—went down to that house.
A Colorado Trip (Cont.)
Don And then that did you find?
Vaught. .We found a house down there and I hollared "He llo". Dark—
Done got dark. I t was ju s t an old man in that shack—bout eighty,
I think, seventy-five or eighty. I fo rg e t now what his age was.
I know I asked him. I sa id , Could we get to stay inside tonight?
And I s a id , There's two of us out here and we'd lik e to get to
s ta y in sid e . I t ' s perty cold. And out in that canyon there, boy,
i t ' s cold of a n ight . I t was in August I think i t was. But
th e re 's ice down there, boy, I mean—
Don........Worse than here.
Vaught..Put your ice down there of a night—always kept. Cold as ' t i s
now down there a f t e r the sun's down a whil e . He s a id , Where
you from? I s a id , Arkansas. He s a id , Did you ever know old
Doc Davener(?). And we always knowed old Doc Davener. F i r s t
doctor I ever knowed in th is country that c a rried (? ) on the
S t . Paul branch(?).
Don. . . . .Small world.
Vaught..He sa id , well, I'm doctoring my sore le g . He s a id , As soon as
I get a few minutes I ' l l l e t you in. He le t us in and we sle p t
in one of his beds up there. Next morning we got ready to go and
he s a id , Now, I would get you f e l l a s some b re ak fa st, say s, I a in 't
got a thing in the world to eat but potatoes. Well, I had a
notion to t e l l him th a t'd do, but I s a id , No, we'd get a l ong.
We walked perty la t e the next day before we come to any place where
we could get anything to eat—way up in the evening.
Don........Ju s t had potatoes.
Vaught..That's a l l he had, he sa id . He's ju s t there by h i s s e l f . Said
he had a son that l e f t him several years back and he never did
know what become of him.
Dave....You'd l e f t him, too.
Vaught..Yeah, old Doc Davener. There's Tom Davener over here—a doctor
over there was one of his sons. Yes, i t was Tom was the doctor,
wasn't i t ? Or was i t Ed?
Dave....Tom, I think.
Vaught..Tom was the doctor. He had two s on s . Yeah, I sa id , I knowed
Tom and Ed both and th a t 's e evidence enough that he knowed that
I knowed what I 's e talking about.
D a v e ....I knowed he had them two boys.
Vaught..The old man d idn 't even have(?) a waggon. The waggon tracks was—
D o n .. .. .I f you hadn't known old Doc Davener, you wouldn't have gotten that
Vaught..Something e lse I ' s e going to t e l l but i t got away from me. I
forgot what i t was that I 's e going to t e l l about—on that t r ip —
that I 's e going to t e l l you about.
Don....Who was he?
Vaught. .F e lla by the name of Charleston. C a lled(?) him Sam(?). Sam(?)
Charleston. Yeah, me and him made that hunderd and f i f t y mile
hike right across them woods. Oh, yes, I was going to t e l l
about we(?) coming down in the hole. Down in the canyon—nother
canyon. There's a l i t t l e ir r ig a tin g garden and everything he had
down there. And he broke his le g—been coming down the mountain—
A Colorado Trip (Cont. 2)
I think on one of them s k is . You know how they go on them sk is .
Maybe seen 'em, I don't know. Seen p ictu res of 'em anyhow, I
gu ess, lik e I have. But I was . . . he had a couple of 'em hanging
up in the house there. But, anyhow, h e 'se coming o ff one of them
mountains and down on the side of one of them l i t t le creeks
th a t 's e down there—a l i t t l e branch—he broke his le g . And his
wife had gone to town to g i t some groceries or something another
in a l i t t l e old buggy—take the eggs o ff and everything. And
i t ' s e a good long ways she had to go but she hadn't been on
our road any. And, of course, h e 's ju s t lik e any other stranger
th a t had been o ff out in the woods by h i s s e lf a long time. But
he had two l i t t l e g i r l s there th a t 's e about—aw—they 'se about
nine and t en or eigh t and nine or something lik e th a t. And he
put them to cooking—to g ittin g dinner. The wife was gone and he
put them to g e ttin g dinner. And she got dinner served and, course,
he ju s t talked—you know—ju s t lik e I'm ta lkin g now. They'se
way o ff in the h o lle r lik e I'm liv in g here and nobody a round much
to ta lk to and when anybody did come along, why, he 'se ju s t
wound up. He had his crutches there where he could hobble around
there and got to where he could walk on that broken le g a
l i t t l e with crutches. And so, I'v e always wondered—he come from
Kentucky or Tennessee—in that country and told about when he
come there and everything—but i t ' s always been a wonder to my
mind what he done back there in Kentucky and come o ff over there—
That's the way with a lo t of these people that liv e down in here.
You know they done something, sometime or other. K illed somebody,
or done something, or they wouldn't a been here.
Don...........And a few of them w ill f in a lly t e l l you what they did and what
th e ir name used to be before they changed i t .
Vaught..Yeah. And what th e ir name was before they married.
Don No, before they committed the crime.
Vaught..You know, the old age pension was what made the old maids t e l l
th e ir names and t e l l how old they was—t e l l th e ir age.
Dave....Kinda lik e that song was the other night about the old maid.
D on .....B u t your name i s r e a lly Vaught. You're probably already a Vaught.
Vaught..Oh yes. Yeah, I guess I am.
Don You could hardly have thought that one up, I mean—
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