They were awaiting the coming of certain pettiaugres from New Orleans, a long journey by way of the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Cherokee, and the Tennessee rivers, with a cargo of French goods cheaper than the English.
It all disturbs Cherokee, who's a nervous sharp; an' when he sees how greedy the avaricious gent is for what he deems to be a shore thing, he concloodes to drop him plenty hard. "It's four-hand poker now, an' the game wags on for a dozen hands.
"I looks at Cherokee; his face is as ca'm as a Injun's; he's too finely fibred a sport to so much as let a eyelash quiver. This Holliday is equally onemotional. Cherokee shoves over three yaller chips. "'Call 'em ten thousand each, says Cherokee. Then he waits for this Holliday to place his next bets.
To-day, Oklahoma extends right up to the southern Kansas line, and the Cherokee Strip, on whose rich blue grass hundreds of thousands of cattle have been fattened, is now a settled country, with at least four families to every square mile, and with a number of thriving towns and even large cities.
A lease for the Cherokee Outlet was pending, but for lack of precedent the retiring Secretary of the Interior, for fear of reversal by the succeeding administration, lent only a qualified approval of the same. There were six million acres of land in the Outlet, a splendid range for maturing beef, and if an adequate-sized ranch could be secured the new company could begin operations at once.
Either they had not heard of him before, or they had forgotten him. In those days a man who made a reputation in the Cherokee country was not known to the rest of the State for a long time. The means of communication were slow and uncertain. But the whole State found him out just as Toombs did. He was prompt to begin the campaign.
Either way, however, gun or knife, Cherokee is a heap reliable; an' you can put down a bet that what he misses in the quadrille he'll shore make up in the waltz with all who asks him to a war dance. But speakin' of knives: Cherokee comes as quick an' straight with a bowie as a rattlesnake; an' not half the buzz about it.
Far back in the eighteenth century, when this was still "Cherokee Country," inhabited by no whites but a few Indian-traders, William Bartram of Philadelphia came plant-hunting into the mountains of western Carolina, and spread their fame to the world.
"When Dave evolves the cadencies in the Red Light that evenin', thar's Enright, Moore an' me along with Dan Boggs, bein' entertained by hearin' Cherokee Hall tell us about a brace game he gets ag'inst in Las Vegas one time. "'This deadfall this brace I'm mentionin', says Cherokee, 'is over on the Plaza.
The ancient, curiously shaped chungke-stones, fashioned with much labor from the hardest rock, perfect despite immemorial use, kept with the strictest care, exempt by law from burial with the effects of the dead, were the property of this Cherokee town, and no more to be removed thence than the council-house, the great rotunda at one side of the "beloved square," built upon a mound in the centre of the village.