It was the trail drive season again. Billy had been looking forward to it for
months. The trail drive was one of the biggest events in a cowboy's life; Billy
loved being on the road even though he was aware of the dangers he would face in
the following months.
Before the drive began, Billy went around various cattle
ranches to collect the cattle. He was joined by a cook and ten other cowboys who
had been hired to handle the large herd during the long drive. As the leader of
the group, Billy was in charge of the entire operation and had to ensure the
cattle's safe arrival at the railway station. There, the herd would await
shipment to the eastern markets. It was indeed a heavy responsibility to bear,
but Billy knew that he would be well paid if the trail drive proceeded smoothly.
The day of the drive arrived. The cattle were rounded up and all the cowboys got
into a large covered wagon. The wagon was very sturdy and Billy made sure that
it carried enough food and water to last everyone for the next three months.
During the drive, they had to keep the cattle together and head in the right
direction. There had to be two or three cowboys behind, in front and on each
side of the herd to keep them manageable. Sometimes, the cattle panicked as they
crossed a river and they would swim in all directions. Also, they were
frightened by loud noises like thunder. There were many occasions when a
stampede occurred, and Billy and his men had to ride in front of the herd and
fire their guns to stop the lead cattle.
The long nights on the roads were
spent singing. The men also took turns guarding the herd through the nights. At
the end of the drive, they arrived at the station and loaded the herd onto a
train. Their work was finally done. After a good meal, Billy and his friends
headed for the nearest saloon. It was time for a celebration.