I love this time of the year! The sights, the smells, everything, including the nice cooler temperatures! I have not really been able to actually go to any of the fall festivals or anything this year but just sitting on the porch swing, watching the leaves fall is a pleasure to me. I have been spending a little more time working in the yard, and scrapping! Tonight I worked with the AUTUMN AIR kit by Cathy K Designs. It is a beautiful autumn mini kit in rich colors that I know you will enjoy :)
" The Kaintuck Wagon Road and the trails through Cumberland and Pound gaps
were well-defined highroads when James Musick decided to move his family
from the vicinity of Washington County, Virginia to Floyd County, Kentucky.
However the journey was made, by wagon and horseback. It must have been a
weary trek for the forty-year-old wife and nine children, ranging from the
22 year old daughter to the year-old baby son, yet, come they did around 1849.
To the census taker James Musick gave as his occupation "blacksmith." It
seems that all the men in the Musick family were skillful at such tasks as
smithing, milling, stonemasonry, carpentry. James Musick was said to something
of a gunsmith and was supposed to have kept the best gun in the community.
In order to raise a little money, one practice of the time was that a man would
sell a set number of chances on a beef and then "rifle off" the beef with a
shooting match. All chances were sold prior to the day the match was to be held.
Each chance or shot sold for perhaps twenty-five cents and was for one quarter
of the animal. The first round of the shooting was for the choice of the quarters
of the beef, the second round for the second choice and so on until the entire
animal was accounted for. If a man had paid for several chances, and after the
first round of shooting he saw that he had been beaten, he could then use another
of his shots to try again to win or he could wait and try for the next quarter
coming up. Jim Musick's gun was always on loan to some of the neighbors unless he
or some of his sons were involved in the shooting match.
James Musick was a large man, tall and powerful of muscle whom walked with a
slight limp which in no way seemed to hinder him. He was known to strip up his
britches legs and show horribly scarred calves and thighs on either leg.
This is the story James Musick told:
While living in Virginia he often hunted with a companion. One day in early
winter while in the woods, they approached a cliff, and in a crevice in the rock
they noticed hair where an animal had rubbed against the sides of the walls.
Examining it closely, Jim said, "Bear! He's holed up in there, sleepin' the sleep
of the jest! I'll get 'im!"
Taking his gun, Jim ventured into the crack in the rock and after a few feet
discovered he was entering a cave. Feeling around in the dark, he touched the
sleeping animal. Scratching and rubbing its flank, Jim worked his way to the
animal's head. The bear merely gave a grunting sound and barely seemed to be
breathing. But suddenly, Jim encountered the head of a second bear! Returning
to the outside, Jim explained the situation to his companion. "Thar's two uv'em.
Now we'll both crawl in. I'll take one head and you take t'other. We'll set our
gun muzzles in their yers an' I'll say, 'Ready? Fire!' an' at 'Fire!' we'll both
shoot at the same time an' git 'em both. There's no danger. Jest scratch yourn
along the flank and rub 'im around the yer a little, an' he'll jist sleep right on."
The other hunter agreed to the plan and into the crevice of the rock they crawled
with Jim Musick in the lead. As agreed, one took the one on the right t'other on
the left. By touch , Jim located his bear and set the muzzle of his gun in place.
"You found his yer?" he asked in a low voice. "Yeah," the other hunter answered.
"A'right, set yer muzzle." She's sot," came the reply. "Ready?" "Yeah."
"Fire! " and Musick squeezed off a shot that in the confines of the cave was deafening,
but not so much that he failed to realize that no second shot had sounded. All in
one instant of time, he saw his "Chickened out" companion darken the hole as he
scrambled for the outside and sensed the coming to life of the bear whose winter's
sleep was not so profound as to ignore what had taken place.
The bear seized him just as he entered the slit. Musick told: "I'd reach jist as
fer as I could and dig my fingers in an' pull myself. I felt 'im strip off my
huntin' britches an' knowed my laigs was bein' tore to pieces, but I kep' a-reachin'
an' a-pullin'. The crack was so nar' he never could get a hug around my laigs nor
reach me with his teeth to do no good. Ever' time I'd pull, I'd feel his claws grit
bone. When I busted out into the daylight, I'd broke 'is holt. The first thing my
eyes lit on was the gun that feller had drapped when he left the hole. I grabbed it
an' got off a shot before that bear got use' to the light in his eyes. That was the
last I remembered fer awhile." Meanwhile the other hunter returned to the settlement
and told the people that a bear had killed Jim Musick. A party went out and found the
mangled man and the dead bear . Not knowing the full story, they were astonished when
Jim begged for a loaded gun to take a whack at the fellow he had been hunting with.
He urged the men to go into the cave and get the second bear
and his gun, but the sight of Jim's wounds was deterent enough
and no one would venture in. The dead bear and the
wounded man were dealt with according to the practices of
the time- the bear was skinned and Jim carried back to his own
cabin for his wife, Mariah to doctor as well as she knew how.
Eventually, soaked with the grease of the bear and "wropped"
with strips of the bearskin, Jim's legs responded to Mariah's
treatment. Jim got able to stir about, still swearing
vengeance against the man who had deserted him.
Spring came. "With the help of one of his sons, Jim made
his way back to the cave, crawled in, and retrieved his rifle.
The carcass of the bear was too far gone to salvage. Jim said
that the months in the cave had ruined the rifle and that he
traded it off, but since wished he'd kept it. as for his threat
against the other fellow, Musick said: "When I seed the spring
come ag'in an' ever'thing a-gittin' green an' new after that awful
winter, an' I could crawl outside an' git me a place in the sun an'
watch them big white-billed peckerwoods a-maulin' on the dead trees
out in the clearin', an' hear squirrels ever' now an' then 'Whee'
over in the cove, then I was so glad jist to be alive that I said,
'God hates a coward! An' if God hates 'im, why ort I to' - but -
I'd druther never lay eyes on 'im!
Another friend said, "You've learnt yer lesson, ain't ye, Jim?
Ye'll never go in after another denned-up bear, will ye?"
Musick glowered from under shaggy eyebrows, "Yes, by darn',
I will! But never with no other dam' feller to foul me up, I won't!" "
Here is a little gift for you today as well. The set of stacked papers I made using this AUTUMN AIR kit by CathyK Designs. I hope you enjoy them! Hugz and Peace:)
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