Brother Tex spoke up and asked, “How is it that a prairie dog can dig a hole 50 feet and leave no dirt on the outside?”
They all gave up, so it was up to Tex to answer the question or buy the drinks. “The prairie dog don’t leave any dirt on the outside,” Tex said, “because he starts at the bottom and digs up.”
McCauley sorted. “How does the prairie dog get down there to start digging?”
Ah!” said Tex, “that’s our question. Now you answer it.”
McCauley cheerfully set out the drinks, including my fourth bottle of lemon soda. Shortly after this round of drinks, word was sent down by children that the coming year’s supplies had been bought, paid for, and were ready to be loaded in the wagons.
This information cast a gloom over Tex, Joe and Will.
Tex left, but not alone. He had his brown gallon-jug in hand.
Joe had his half-gallon jug. And Will left with a half-pint bottle hid in each pocket. He said his wife Lula didn’t like the smell of it, but had no objections to a little ol’ half-pint.
This brought to an end the day at McCauley’s Saloon.
For over 40 years, I made an effort at various times to learn something of the family history of the Clark brothers, something about their and my ancestors.
For example, I asked Joe, my father, what his mother’s maiden name was. He said it was Vaughn.
A year or so later, I asked him the same question. He than told me her maiden name was Scott.
I later asked Ed and he said his mother’s maiden name was Smith, and a little later Jim told me it was Moore.
Will said his mother’s name before her marriage was Jones.
I then braced my courage and asked Tex, thinking perhaps I would get somewhere. He said her maiden name was Sparks.
I then asked him if Grandpa Clark, his father, was married five times. “Hell no” he said and wanted to know why I asked such a question.
I told him that Joe, Jim, Ed and Will and himself had all given me different names.
Research”: Ed Clark’s article in True West magazine 1967 “Chips from Five Cords a Day.”