An Interview With Captains Call and McCrea

Hearing of a large herd of cattle being moved north towards Montana, I managed to run into the Leaders of the drive at the store here in Ogallala while they were ordering supplies. One seemed rather jocular while the other seemed kinda taciturn and only wanted to get their business done and get back to the herd.

Approaching the talkative one, I asked his name and discovered he was none other than Captain Augustus McCrea, late of the Texas Rangers and his partner was Woodrow Call, also a Captain of the Rangers.

Offering a round of drinks at the saloon next door, McCrae managed to get Call to follow along and while McCrea put a serious dent in a bottle, I learned they were driving a herd all the way from South Texas to Montana to start a ranch.

Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Me: So, gentlemen what ever made you decide to attempt something of this magnitude?

McCrae: Well, me and Woodrow, we been all over most of Texas and Woodrow wants to be the first cattleman in Montana. Ain’t that right?

Call: Yessir.

McCrea: Now, Woodrow, this man wants to hear about us, don’t you think you could be a might more sociable?

Call: Gus, we got cows to tend to and I don’t like leaving the herd alone with most of the boys in town.

Me: Captain, just a few questions please. What gave you this notion to run cattle in Montana?

Call: Well I got the idea from listening to a fellow ranger by the name of Jake Spoon tell of his travels up there and all the grass and thought it would be nice to see some unspoiled country before it got overrun by folks and civilized.

Me: This Jake Spoon sounds like an interesting person, I’d like to meet him and get his perspective.

Call: Can’t. We hung him down in the Nations for murder and horse thievin’.

Me: Without a trial?

Call: Yessir caught him red-handed. Trial enough.

Me: Captain McCrea, why are you in on this adventure?

McCrea: Call me Gus. Well, Woodrow has it in his mind and well, it’s always been me and Woodrow. We fought the Comanche together; we built us a place down in Lonesome Dove together and well , like I said, me and Woodrow.

Me: Gus, is there anything you’d like to add to Captain Call’s comments?

Gus: Well, a man needs something to do. And this seems like the thing for us right now. The Comanches are gone. We killed off most of the bandits and Texas is getting too tame. We are getting on now and this will be our last chance to go somewhere new, Like Texas was when we first got there.

Me: Well Gus, you seem to have quite a unique philosophy on life and living.

Call: Gus’ philosophy only comes out when he’s about half drunk or better.

Gus: Call that ain’t true. I’m a man who likes to engage in thoughtful conversation with people of a like mind. I do have quite a few thoughts on life and living, unlike you who prefers to watch the sunset cleaning your rifle.

Call: Well it’s a damn sight better than going into town playin’ cards and consortin’ with whores.

Gus: Whores need talking to also.

Call: Like all you do is talk to them.

Me: all right gentlemen, one last question, what kind of legacy do wish to leave behind you?

Call: Gus, you answer this; I’m going back to the herd. Nice meeting you, sir.

Gus: well, I’d like to think we left each place we were a little better. That what we did mattered. And, that we will be remembered for just a little while after we are gone. Is that too much to hope for?



  1. Jane says:

    Great post!!! I can just picture Woodrow and Gus, sitting there, answering these questions.

  2. Sky says:

    Good piece of writing, by ecarter54, different way of showing how Woodrow and Gus would have answered questions if interview way back then.

  3. Vivian Travis says:

    Love these guys….. Sometimes wish I could’ve lived back in their day

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