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Honest Rancher

During his time as a rancher, Theodore Roosevelt and one of his cowpunchers lassoed a maverick steer, lit a fire, and prepared the branding irons. The part of the range they were on was claimed by Gregor Lang, one of Roosevelt’s neighbors.

According to the cattleman’s rule, the steer therefore belonged to Lang. As his cowboy applied the brand, Roosevelt said, “Wait, it should be Lang’s brand.”

“That’s all right, boss,” said the cowboy.

“But you’re putting on my brand,” Roosevelt said.

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Drop that iron,” Roosevelt demanded, “and get back to the ranch and get out. I don’t need you anymore. A man who will steal for me will steal from me.”

Today in the Word, March 28, 1993