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One day, in the spring of '74, Cap Smith's freight outfit pulled into
Helena, Montana. After unloading the freight, the "mule-skinners," to a
man, repaired to the Combination Gambling House and proceeded to load
themselves. Late in the afternoon, Zeb White, Smith's oldest skinner,
having exchanged all of his hard coin for liquid refreshment, zigzagged
into the corral, crawled under a wagon, and went to sleep. After supper,
Smith, making his nightly rounds, happened on the sleeping Zeb.
"Kinder chilly, ain't it?" he asked, after earnestly prodding Zeb with a
"I reckon 'tis," Zeb drowsily mumbled.
"Ain't yer 'fraid ye'll freeze?"
'"Tis cold, ain't it? Say, Cap, jest throw on another wagon, will yer?"
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