enough to offer me a fine estate, if I will only take it off his hands.
“My land,” he says, with a sad humour, “ lies on the upper reaches of the Brazos
, in a lovely country and a healthy climate.
There are woods and pastures, water rights and fisheries.
It is not so large a place as Kent
, yet a swift rider would hardly cross it in a day.”
This fine demesne is the owner's big elephant: a source of cost and trouble which destroys his life.
He has to pay the public tax on land.
He has to hire men to guard his timber.
Yet the place has never yet yielded him a cent.
“The ruin of the war,” he says, “added to the raids of Kiowas and Kickapoos, prevents the march of settlers towards the upper Brazos
But for the Negroes and Indians, Brazos
would be a paradise.
When these two plagues are gone, all parts of Texas
will be as free from marauders as the neighbourhood of Dallas
My friend has reason to believe that Kiowas and Kickapoos hunt game in his preserves, that Mestizo herdsmen crop his grass, that White foresters cut and sell his wood.
Yet how is he to charge them rent?
His title to the land is perfect; but once, on going to see his place, he tells me, he received a notice to