Proposed location of the cattle drive's crossing of the Nueces River.

Lonesome Dove: Nueces River Crossing

The Hat Creek Cattle Company crosses the herd at the Nueces River.

It was just as Newt turned to watch the last of the cattle cross that a scream cut the air, so terrible that it almost made him faint. Before he could even look toward the scream Pea Eye went racing past him, with the Captain just behind him. They both had coiled ropes in their hands as they raced their horses back into the water — Newt wondered what they meant to do with the ropes. Then his eyes found Sean, who was screaming again and again, in a way that made Newt want to cover his ears. He saw that Sean was barely clinging to his horse, and that a lot of brown things were wiggling around him and over him. At first, with the screaming going on, Newt couldn't figure out what the brown things were — they seemed like giant worms. His mind took a moment to work out what his eyes were seeing. The giant worms were snakes — water moccasins. Even as the realization struck him, Mr. Gus and Deets went into the river behind Pea Eye and the Captain. How they all go there so fast he couldn't say, for the screams had started just as Mouse and the steer reached the top of the bank, so close that Newt could see the droplets of water on the steer's horns.

Photo: Click2Houston

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