I recently found myself in Texas, visiting old places and taking in the scenery. During my stay at a sheep ranch, I witnessed the process of dipping the sheep, which involves boiling water mixed with lye, lime, and sulphur. The sheep are then dunked in this mixture and left to dry. After a long day of work, my friend Bud Oakley and I relaxed by a nearby charco. As we enjoyed our meal, we heard the sound of horses' hoofs approaching. Bud, a Texas ranchman, assured me that there was no need to worry about anyone approaching from behind. He explained that times had changed and law and order were now the norm in the South and Southwest.
Bud then proceeded to tell me a story about a case of law and order that he had witnessed in the past. It involved a cattle king named Ben Kirkman, his range boss Luke Summers, and Luke's child who had been taken away from him.
Despite Luke's efforts to regain custody of his child, the law did not work in his favor. However, Luke eventually became sheriff of Mojada County and continued to uphold law and order in the area. One day, Luke and I traveled to New York City to apprehend a young man who had shot a prominent citizen of Bildad, Texas. We successfully brought the young man back to Texas, only to discover that he was Luke's long-lost son.
‘Bud,’ says Luke, ‘I’ve never had that boy out of my mind one day or one night since he was took away. But I never let on. But can we hold him?— Can we make him stay?— I’ll make the best man of him that ever put his foot in a stirrup. Wait a minute,’ says he, all excited and out of his mind—‘I’ve got some-thing here in my desk—I reckon it’ll hold legal yet—I’ve looked at it a thousand times—“Cus-to-dy of the child,”’ says Luke—‘“Cus-to-dy of the child.” We can hold him on that, can’t we? Le’me see if I can find that decree.’
Luke was overjoyed to have his son back and vowed to make him the best man he could be. However, we had to follow the law and hold the young man accountable for his actions. Despite the challenges, Luke was grateful to have his son back in his life.