Mother Teaching the Preacher
Now, the’s a little story right here I’ll tell ‘t my mother witnessed. Haynes Queen used to be a
preacher. He was one of the prominent families on the river. The’ was a few, wealthy, pretty wealthy,
at that time, not much, but they called ‘em wealthy. He used to be a preacher.
Now you can think this over as I go along, and see what happens. I’ll let y’ be y’ own judge.
Well, he was haulin’ lumber . . . he had fine mules, rollin’ fat and sassy, y’ know. He worked three. He
worked with one in front – spike team, they called it. He loaded a big load of lumber on the wagon,
and got stuck in the creek, right at our bars. Now he was a preacher, but he commenced beatin’ them
mules with a whip he had. Now a mule’s skin, or a horse’s skin is tender. Bull’s skin don’t matter. He
can’t feel nothin’. It scares him, the lick of it. But horses’ skin are tender, and them mules are really
raisin’ cane. And Ma went down to the bars and told Mr. Queen, she said, “Don’t you know ‘t ain’t
good to be doin’ that?” He stopped. He said, “Well . . .” and quit. She says, “Now you get out of the
wagon, and go up to them mules’ heads, pat’em a little bit, let’em rest, and they’ll pull it out.” Well, he
done that. He got back up in there and they led it right on out.
Well, now here’s what happened later. This is the sad part of it. When that happened I do not know.
He went on to Whittier with his load of lumber that same day, and he was comin’ back through Shoal
Creek, empty. And them mules was still alert to that beatin’ they got, remember. Well, he got off to get
a drink at the spring – I know exactly where the spring was – it was up beside the road. Pa got off
there many a time.
While he was drinkin’ water, them mules got scared. Something happened; we never did know what.
They started r’arin’ you know. I believe he tied them ropes to his feet thinkin’ he would hold them
mules. How ignorant a man can get. He didn’ know the power of them mules when they got mad or
scared. He hadn’ ever thought of it, had he? Well, I’ll always believe ‘t the Indians stopped them. They
run three miles with him by the feet, over them rocks, draggin’ him. He still lived, a little while. They
took fence rails, they’as playin’ ball, they grabbed fence rails, they knew what to do, them old Indians
did, only way to stop’em. They was flyin’, them mules was. After they’d run three miles, they was fixin’
to go through the ford, there at Nick Bottom, ‘t the river. And they stuck them rails in the ground and
held them to stop them mules with ‘em. They run into ‘em. I don’t know what they done to the mules,
not much. Well, they got him up and took him on, brought him home. Ma went down there that night,
and she asked me if I . . . she said she wanted me to go with her. The froth, where he was beat so
bad in there, was workin’ out o’ his mouth. He’d done died. But he lived long enough to get home.
Couldn’ say nothin’.
Now the last one is where I went out the window and went across the Smoky Mountain. But when I was
little – I’ll come back to that again.