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My First Real Money


"...I know the first real money I had, I shot a deer - the first buck deer I shot - oh, I was about 11 years old. I shot him in the winter time and he was a ten point buck. I fixed his horns up and put them on a board and I had him in the house there. I had the board made heart shaped, and I had it covered with velvet, and I had his horns covered with red velvet - they was a nice set of horns. Anyway, I kept the horns there. When I was fourteen years old, why I shot my first moose and he had a big set of horns so I brought them horns home from this moose and I fixed them up and put them on a board and I put them out on the side of the house. Well,that spring, along in the spring, an American was going by - they was staying over at the Thomas' Hotel - and he saw the horns out on the side of the house - they had 24 points on them and they was an even set of horns. So he drove his car in the yard and I was splitting wood in the door yard. He said, "Who's horns are them on the side of the house?" and I said, "They're mine!" And he said, "Do you want to sell them?", and I said well no, I didn't want to sell them. I said, "They are the first moose that I ever shot", and I said I didn't I didn't want to sell the horns. Well he said "I'll give you $10 for them!" Well $10 was a lot of money in those days, just as much as they offered you a $1000 today. And I said, "Yes sir, you can have them for $10!" He said, "Well, if you get any more let me know.", and he said "I'll give you $10," he said, "for any more of them." So I said, "Well, I've got a good set of deer horns in the house fixed up on a board," I said, "the first deer I ever shot!" and I said, "You want to have a look at them?" He said, "Yes!" So any way he looked at the horns - I brought them out and he looked at them - and he said, "I'll give you $10 for those." So I said, "OK, you can have them!"

So anyway after he left I went in the house and Mother said, "How much money did you get out of those horns?", and I said, "I got $20!" "Well", she said, "give that money to me." She said, "I'll keep it - you'll only loose it," she said, "or waste it," she said. "I'll keep it and anything you want," she said, "I'll buy it and you'll have it!" and she said "When you want money for something it will be here." So I said, "All right", I said, "I want a box of 12 gauge shot bullets, I said, "to go in my old shot gun." She said, "All right I've got to have an order from the store," and she said "You take $10 and you go down and you can buy yourself a box of shells but don't you spend any money for anything else foolishly". She said, "you get the order and bring the rest of the money home!" So I went down and I got her the order what she wanted; she wanted some odds and ends and spices and things. So then I got my box of shells - I could get 25 bullets for, I think for SSG it was one dollar, they was for 25 bullets. So I brought some money back and she counted it and said, "Yeah, it balances right. She said, "Now I'll keep it. She said, "When you want money why," she said, "I'll have it for you." So she kept the money. Well, that was the first money I'd ever had for to amount to anything and for that $20 I thought I was rich. So that money lasted me, oh, I'd say maybe for a year or more. I bought a few clothes with it, and I bought some slate pencils and odds and ends and things with it. I bought some stuff for the kids - they wanted slate pencils or scribblers or something - they was going to school, why I bought, I used the money and bought for them cause they didn't have any..."