I haven't had much time to write you in the past 2 weeks and I hope you have not felt angry at me or worried, but I have been having a pretty tough experience and it nearly layed me up.
You know there has been no snow this fall like there usually is before cow weather comes on and my whole water system froze up & we did not know it till the water was all out of the tank. The ground was frozen so hard we could not dig it. We managed to dam up a little spring near the barn so the cattle could get some water & for 2 weeks we worked like mad to get the water going - at one time we worked 36 hours - the 25th that night or the 26 - we had to drag dry wood and pile it along the pipe line, which took us 5 days & then burn it to thaw the ground & then mend 3 broken pipe & it getting colder all the time & the poor cattle following us around & begging for water. Last Saturday night we got the water coming into the tank again & the pipe partly covered - and had to quit at night from utter exhaustion and that night toward morning the Good Lord sent about 4 inches of snow and saved us. I think we have it pretty safe now unless it turns bitter cold before more snow comes. My miserable heart gave out on me one night & I had to sit up most of the night and to add to my troubles I fractured a small bone in my right wrist - which put that hand out of commission for several days. I got knocked senseless by a wagon box hitting me in the head. So you see I have been busy & unable to go to town to mail a letter to you. I didn't want to tell you about this trouble & bother you, but knew you would hear about it. I lost 2 cows & 1 calf & am not out of the woods yet as regards water. I tried to do too much this fall & supposed because the pipes didn't freeze last winter they would not do so this, but we did not get any snow to cover it & it was not deep enough & I am very tired & worn out with the hard work & harder worry, but I had that little handkerchief in the pocket over my heart all the time & it helped.
It will be impossible for me to be with you Xmas. I wish very much that I could but I am beginning to think that such pleasures are not for me anymore.
I drew 1000.00 instead of 500 as I wrote you and also another check for 26.00 to pay the reward on Rowdy & a man to ride him to the ranch near Fort Collins. The man who stole him rode him to Laramie City & sold the saddle he stole here & stole another one there & rode to Loveland & was caught after selling the horse for 50.00. He has been working on a delivery wagon there ever since till he was recognized by a man who had one of my printed cards. He is in fine shape so I am told by Mr McEbravy, who is keeping him for me. I don't know yet how I am going to get him. Please don't blow anything on me for Xmas except a little box of candy. Money is too scarce to spend on me & besides there is nothing coming to such as I.
Must close now with all my love. I am very tired.
Your boy, C.