We rode the main trail back making better time, but were reminded of our sins as we passed near the abandoned cabin, the sky was full of buzzards circling. Just north of Alliance, we saw something no one in the twenty-first century had ever seen. Thousands of buffalo moving across the plain, Jake and I could only sit on our horses and watch. I took pictures with the camera I'd brought along, but the thunder and bellowing of all those bison was something we felt privileged to witness, and as I told Jake,
"This is only a small herd, the hide hunters are already taking their toll. I swear to God Jake, if we ever see any I'm dropping a cap on them." Finally we were able to proceed, and I think Jake was secretly glad I didn't spot any of those murderous bastards. Stopping at the Lonergan homestead we picked up the horses and gave Brian a ten dollar gold piece for his trouble. He protested at first until I said,
"Take it Mr. Lonergan, I know hard cash is hard to come by out here. Save it, you might really need it sometime." Taking it easy, it took us seven days to get home, which was good, because we were out of food by then. Stopping at the cabin, we were met with joyous hugs and kisses. In Lead Mr. O'Rourke was all smiles,
"Boys, I don't know how ya all did it, but the two of you have jobs if ya wants them." We agreed to his terms as we shared a drink with him. He then told us of another job which was much shorter this time bringing out bags of dust and nuggets from a gold camp a little north of Harney peak up here to his office. We agreed, but before we left, he paid us two hundred dollars for a well done job. We gave him back his horses and mule, keeping the three horses we'd taken from the would-be robbers for our own. We then ordered a buckboard from a wagon maker asking that he extend the length two feet, adding a stop board on the rear, and an extra bench seat mounted behind the first, as well as a small canvas roof that would protect the four passengers from rain and snow.