Chaffin Outfitting

From "South Fork Memories" (My Forty Years Scribblin's) and "Wilderness Travel" (Once Upoon a Lifetime).

Friend husband [Allen] knew all about the country, having followed his father since he was a lad—had bugled the majestic bull elk since he could whistle, and could throw a diamond hitch with the best of them.

I was sure a "greenie" way back, when that mountain-minded man of mine fell for all that malarkey about the rewards of being a packer and guide.

Oh, I'd lagged along a time or two when he'd taken some friends on a hunting excursion, but I r'ared up like an old fly-back horse when he began to talk of "dude wrangling" for our bread and butter. (I darn well knew who was going to be his "man" Friday.) I plugged my ears while he extolled the glories of the South Fork of the Flathead country—the freedom of the wilds—fresh air and exercise.

There was no talkin' him out of it, though. We hitched our wagon to a runaway star, and climbed on the driver's seat together. And like the old fly-back mare, when I did capitulate, I gave it all I had. With us rode what savings we had been able to gather, along with our hopes for the future. All we could do was "sit tight" and hope the road wouldn't get too rough.