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The Life and Adventures of Nat Love (1854-1921)
"Deadwood Dick"

CHAPTER XXII: A FEW REMINISCENCES OF THE RANGE. SOME MEN I HAVE MET. BUFFALO BILL. THE JAMES BROTHERS. YELLOWSTONE KELLEY. THE MURDER OF BUCK CANNON BY BILL WOODS. THE SUICIDE OF JACK ZIMICK.
 

It has now been many years since I quit the range, and as my mind wanders back over those years as it often does, memories both pleasant and sad pass in review and it is but fitting that I record a few of them as a final to the history of my life which has been so full of action, which is but natural as the men of those days were men of action. They had to be, and probably their actions were not all good, that I freely admit, but while that is so, it is equally so that their actions were not all bad, far from it. And in the history of the frontier there is recorded countless heroic deeds performed, deeds and actions that required an iron nerve, self denial in all that these words imply, the sacrificing of one life to save the life of a stranger or a friend. Deeds that stamped the men of the western plains as men worthy to be called men, and while not many of them would shine particularly in the polite society of today or among the 400 of Gotham, yet they did shine big and bright in the positions and at a time when men lived and died for a principle, and in the line of duty. A man who went to the far west or who claimed it as his home in the early days found there a life far different from that led by the dude of Fifth Avenue. There a man's work was to be done, and a man's life to be lived, and when death was to be met, he met it like a man. It was among such men and surroundings that I spent so many years of my life and there I met men some of whom are famous now, while others never lived long enough to reach the pinnacle of fame, but their memory is held no less sacred by the men who knew them well.

Some men I met in the cattle country are now known to the world as the baddest of bad men, yet I have seen these men perform deeds of valor, self sacrifice and kindness that would cause the deeds recorded as performed by gentlemen in "ye olden time when knighthood was in flower" to look insignificant in comparison, and yet these men lay no claim to the title of gentlemen. They were just plain men.

It was my pleasure to meet often during the early seventies the man who is now famous in the old world and the new world, Buffalo Bill (William F. Cody), cowboy, ranger, hunter, scout and showman, a man who carried his life in his hands day and night in the wild country where duty called, and has often bluffed the grim reaper Death to a standstill, and is living now, hale, hearty and famous.

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Excerpts from the electronic edition of The Life and Adventures of Nat Love Better Known in the Cattle Country as "Deadwood Dick" by Himself; a True History of  Slavery Days, Life on the Great Cattle Ranges and on the Plains of the "Wild and Woolly" West, Based on Facts, and Personal Experiences of the Author, are the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The full electronic edition, which also includes original illustrations of this text may be viewed here. All other text and graphics on this website are 2002 http://www.natlove.com Send mail to webmaster@natlove.com
Last modified: October 18, 2002