A Bat Masterson Bar Fight, Tracking the Wild Bunch
BY CHARLES A. SIRINGO
From Cowboy Detective
On returning to Santa Fe [in 1895], I received a telegram from W.O. Sayles [fellow Pinkerton detective], saying that he had found the right trail [of the train robbers we were pursuing], going through Pagosa Springs, and over Mosca Pass into the Wet Mountain Valley. Shortly after rejoining Sayles south of Canyon City, Colorado, we lost the trail again. He then went to Cripple Creek on a false scent, while I went east and picked up the trail by tramping afoot ten miles from a little railroad station where there was no horse to be hired. In Cucharas Junction the trail crossed the railroad and headed for Rattlesnake Buttes, towards the Arkansas river.
Of course I kept the Denver officials of our office posted by wire.
Sayles was called in and sent to Montana [I would soon follow] to work on a clue as to where some of the stolen money which had been sent to the City of Washington had come from. I continued to follow the trail down the Arkansas river.
In Lamar, Colorado, I met my friend Newt Parrish who was in a bank there. He and his lovely wife and I had become acquainted out in the Wet Mountain Valley several years previous, when I was chasing a tough character for Henry Tompkins, the hardware merchant prince of Colorado. I had spent two months on that operation playing outlaw, cowboy, and miner.
Finally I landed in Dodge City, Kansas, and found that my men and horses had passed through there on their way down the Arkansas river; but I concluded to lay over a half day and note the changes in this the toughest of all early day western cattle towns.
In looking over the prosperous town I found many old landmarks in the way of buildings, etc., but only one live one, the live one being old “Dog Kelly,” the early-day mayor of Dodge City. He was nicknamed “Dog Kelly” because in the early days he always had a pack of greyhounds following at his heels; and the strange part of this story is that the dogs were still with him, though not the same dogs, of course.
After Kelly and I had a few drinks we began to “hark back” to 1877 when my friend Jim Kennedy, son of the Texas “Cattle-King” shot at the Hon. “Dog Kelly” and killed his “lady” companion, and how Bat Masterson and a gang waylaid Jim Kennedy by hiding behind an old well dump at Mead City and shot him as he rode by.
This brought to my mind how near I came to being put out of business by this afterwards noted Bat Masterson. It happened in July, 1877. Dodge City was then one year old, and she had a graveyard with 81 men sleeping their last sleep. One of these had died a natural death and the other 80 with their boots on, in other words, were killed. A fine record for a year old town.
I had landed in Dodge City with one of the Littlefield cattle herds from Texas. One night “Wess” Adams, a cowboy chum, and I rode into town to have a good time. There were several dance-halls in full swing, but we settled on the Lone- Star dance hall as the “girls” there seemed better looking and the name had a Texas flavor. Bat Masterson was the night bar-keeper.
About 11:00 p.m. “Wess” Adams called me outside and told me how he had been insulted by a big long haired buffalo-hunter by the name of Jim White, and he said this fellow ought to be taught a lesson to show him that the killers of buffalo are not in the cowboy class.
He then asked if I would stay with him in a fight. Being a fool boy, and realizing the disgrace of a cowboy quitting a chum in time of danger, I told him to go ahead and start the ball to rolling; that I would stay with him.
Our horses were taken out of the livery stable and tied in front of the Lone Star dance-hall. Of course we both had on Colts 45 pistols. The hall was filled with cowboys and buffalo-hunters. When the fight started, Bat Masterson, who was behind the bar, gathered a lot of heavy beer glasses together and began throwing them in the direction of my head. One glanced from the side of my head and hit the wall nearby. Pieces of the broken glass struck me in the face, drawing blood. This was the only blood lost by yours truly. When Bat had no more glasses to throw, he came running from behind the bar with an ice mallet. He started in on a big dutch cowboy who had no hand in the fight, which was then raging between a dozen cowboys and buffalo hunters. It was a shame the way that poor Dutchman got his face mashed. The blood flew every time Bat struck with the ice mallet. I was too busy helping my chum, to go to Dutchy’s assistance, though I would have liked to.
There wasn’t a shot fired, but in two instances pistols were used as clubs to knock men down.
After long-haired Jim White was lying on the floor apparently dead, with blood flowing from wounds in the head, and I had seen a buffalo hunter stab my partner in the back, I dragged “Wess” to the door and out to the sidewalk where we both mounted our horses. Just as we did so, an officer, I think Joe Mason, ran up and demanded our arrest, but we didn’t surrender worth a cent. We just jumped our horses towards the side walk and with drawn pistols made the policeman get back into the little hallway from whence he had come.
We then put spurs to our horses and rode east out of town on the run, and yelling cowboy fashion. Of course we were both half drunk on the poisonous liquor passed over the bar by Bat Masterson, now one of President Roosevelt’s pet revenue officers of New York state.
On reaching the stock yards a mile east of town, we dismounted and went into the little board shanty to examine “Wess” Adams’ wound. Laying him on his stomach I pulled his shirts over his shoulders and found a horrible knife-wound under the right shoulder blade. The knife had been thrust in and then brought around in a semi-circle in the shape of a large horseshoe. The open part of the shoe is where the flesh was not cut, and the other part of the wound the flesh stood out several inches from the body. The clothing was saturated with blood. Lighted matches had to be used in order to see. I told Adams that the wound was serious, and for him to lie there until I could ride back to town and get some medicine and a needle and thread to sew up the wound.
Getting on my pet horse, Whisky Pete, I rode fast, but on nearing town I became “foxy” and thought possibly the officers might be watching for our return, and this “foxy” part of my makeup saved my bacon. For, about fifteen years later, Supt. Jas. McCartney, in Denver, introduced me to Bat Masterson, and in telling him of my part in the fight at the Lone-Star dance-hall, he told how he and a gang of officers had followed us to the edge of town and there on each side of the road, concealed themselves from view, thinking we would take a notion to return. He said they were armed with rifles and shot-guns and intended to make angels of us if we returned. He said they stood guard till morning. They were no doubt anxious to increase the size of the cemetery, at that time the pride of the town.
By riding south in a deep arroyo, I struck the rail road track and followed this into town. Riding up to the rear of a drug store I kicked on the door till the angry old Dutchman in his night-shirt opened the door. After purchasing needles and thread, sticking plaster and a candle, I returned to the stock yards the same way I had come.
I found poor Adams groaning with pain, but he kicked like a bronco steer when my knee was put on the wound to force the swollen flesh back in its place so that it could be sewed up. The horseshoe shaped protruding flesh could not be pushed back in place on a level with the rest of the body, therefore I had to discard the needle and thread and use sticking plaster.
We had an 18 mile ride to make to the Bates & Beals cattle camp, and towards the last part of the ride I had to hold Adams on his horse, he was so weak from loss of blood. We arrived in camp long after daylight. We had both hired out to this firm to drive a bunch of steers into the wild Panhandle of Texas, and there help to establish a new ranch.
From “boys” who went into Dodge City next day, we learned that long-haired Jim White, who was the boss of a large gang of buffalo hunters, was not dead, though very low. His skull was cracked in several places and a lot of sewing had to be done on his many wounds. He finally recovered. It was one of White’s men who had stabbed Adams.
Our “boys” reported that the officers had no suspicion as to who Adams and I were.
In the course of a couple of weeks, Adams was able to ride.
This little scrape illustrates what fools cowboys were after long drives over the trail. Had a shot been fired that night in the dance-hall as a starter, the chances are several new mounds would have been added to that fat graveyard.
I continued on the trail of my two train-robbers, on horse-back, in buggies and on trains. They passed through the outskirts of Wichita, where I spent one night visiting old friends and acquaintances. Among them were Bedford Wood, ex-city marshal of Caldwell, Kansas, now a city detective in Wichita, and “Dynamite” David Lahey, a brilliant newspaper writer of early border days; also Jack Davis, proprietor of a white bulldog and the swell Club Saloon of Wichita.
After retiring for the night in this prosperous little city of 25,000 people, my mind naturally drifted back to a summer night in 1876 when I entered the place, then a village of the wild and woolly kind with about 2,000 population.
I had just arrived from a three months’ cattle drive up the Chisholm trail from Southern Texas, and during the night I was arrested by policeman Mike Meagher, who afterwards became town marshal of Caldwell, Kansas, and was shot and killed in the bloody Talbot cowboy raid on Caldwell, when the streets were made red with human blood. But Mike Meagher was a kind-hearted officer and on account of my youth liberated me after a few words of friendly advice.
Another cowboy and I had tried to play smart by scaring the old fellow who kept the toll bridge across the Arkansas river, and at the same time beat him out of the toll which was 25 cents each. We cared nothing for the money as our pockets were bulging out with a summer’s wages. We were on our way from the town proper, to the Red Light dance-hall across the river. When the bridge man came out of his shanty to collect the toll we both put spurs to our horses and pulling our pistols began shooting into the air. The old man jumped into his shanty and came out with a double-barrel shot gun. By that time we were nearly across the bridge and our pistols were empty, but the old fellow turned both barrels loose at us and we could hear the buckshot rattling along the bridge at our horses’ feet. One shot struck me in the calf of the right leg, leaving a mark to this day as a reminder of the hurrah cattle days of Wichita, where the noted “Wild Bill” Hecock made his first record as a man-killer, while marshal of that town.…
Called to Montana
Finally I received orders to give up the chase and return to Denver, as my services were needed in Montana on the same operation.
On quitting the chase I was about three weeks behind the two train robbers.
In Denver I was informed by Asst. Supt. “Rank” Curran, who had charge of the U. P. Ry. train holdup operation, that W. O. Sayles had run into a brother, Loney Curry, and a cousin, Bob Curry, of the noted outlaw “Kid” Curry, in Harlin, Mont.; that Loney and Bob owned a saloon there and had sent some of the unsigned bills stolen in the Silcox, Wyo., robbery, off to be cashed. In this way they were located, but sold their saloon and skipped out before Sayles had a chance to arrest them. They had become suspicious of Sayles, so for that reason he could not work on their friends secretly.
Sayles had found out that the right names of Kid and Loney Curry were Harvey and Loney Logan and that they were born and raised in Dodson, Mo., near Kansas City, and that for years they had been making their headquarters in the Little Rockies, a small range of mountains 50 miles east of Harlin, the railroad station where Bob and Loney had owned the saloon. Therefore, I was instructed to meet Sayles in Helena, the capital of Montana, and then buy a horse and saddle at some point and ride into the Little Rockies and get in with the friends of the Logan brothers.
So finally, with several hundred dollars in my pocket I started for Helena, Mont. I took along instructions for Sayles to hurry on direct to San Francisco, Cal., there to start in as Asst. Supt. of the Pinkerton office in that city. There was to be a change of superintendents in the San Francisco office, and they wanted Sayles to learn the office work by starting in as an assistant. He was appointed superintendent soon after arriving in San Francisco.
General Supt. of the Western Division, Jas. McCartney, had tried to induce me to accept the position of Asst. Supt. of the San Francisco office before it was offered to Sayles, but I refused it. I told him that if he should ever die and the Pinkertons should offer me his position I might consider it, but wouldn’t promise that I would accept it. The truth is, I didn’t want to be tied down in an office, even with an advance in salary and a chance to swell up with self-importance.
In Helena, Mont., I visited with W. O. Sayles and detective M. B. Wilmers a couple of days. Sayles gave me much information about the Little Rockies, although he had not been there himself, but he had talked with many men who had.
It was thought best for me to outfit in Great Falls and ride about two hundred and fifty miles across the “bad lands,” to Landusky, the small cattle town in the Little Rocky mountains.
Bidding Sayles goodbye I boarded a train for Great Falls, Mont., where I bought a bucking bronco mare and started east for Lewiston, Mont., about three days’ ride. In Lewiston a severe blizzard was raging, it being about the latter part of February. I waited two days for it to moderate, but it seemed to grow worse. Therefore, a start was made one morning when the thermometer registered about 20 below zero, and with the wind blowing a gale. The people at the hotel advised me not to start, and I wished before night that I had heeded their advice.
My route lay over a flat country north to Rocky Point on the Missouri river, a distance of about 80 miles, and only one ranch on the route. It was this ranch that I aimed to reach before night. After traveling against this cold wind about 15 miles I could stand it no longer. My mare could hardly be kept headed towards the blizzard. I had a woolen hood over my face and head and even then my nose and ears were about frozen. I could see the mountains off to the east where I had been told the mining camp of Gilt Edge was situated, so for there I headed, not caring to return to Lewiston. About night I struck the wagon road between Gilt Edge and Lewiston, and then I was happy.
A long climb over this mountain range brought me into the live camp of Gilt Edge about four hours after dark. I felt like a half frozen fool for ever having undertaken such a journey. But after I had gotten on the outside of a large porterhouse steak and the trimmings, which included two hot whiskies, I began to thaw out and felt better.
Next morning I concluded to take a different route to the Rocky Point crossing of the Missouri river. Therefore I obtained a sketch of the route to the “Red Barn” on the south border of the “Bad Lands.” A hard, cold ride brought me to the “Red Barn” ranch, where I found a crowd of cowboys congregated waiting for the weather to moderate. From here it was 30 miles across the “Bad Lands” to Rocky Point, and I was advised to lay over a few days and wait for a “Chinook” wind to melt the snow so that the dim road could be followed. I did so, and while waiting, I gained some information about the “Kid” Curry gang. Loney Curry had stopped here before and after the Silcox train robbery on the U. P. Railway.
I started one morning after a “Chinook” had been blowing all night, so that the snow was almost gone, but the sticky mud on the “Bad Lands” was something fearful. It would stick to the mare’s feet till the poor animal could hardly gallop. I had seen many kinds of sticky mud in my life, but nothing to equal this.
The warm wind was blowing a gale, and soon after leaving the “Red Barn” I had a race after my broad brim cowboy hat which made me swear and laugh by turns. The country was level, and when my hat blew off the wind took it “a sailing” across the country. It went like a wheel, on edge, and I tried to keep up with it, but my mare was handicapped in the race on account of the balls of mud sticking to her hoofs. After a mile and a half run I outwinded the hat and caught it, but in getting off in the mud to pick it up after I had made the mare step on it, I found I couldn’t get my foot in the stirrup, owing to the mud which was stuck fast to it. Here my early cowboy training in the art of fancy swearing came in play, as it seemed to relieve my mind, while the mud was being scraped off my foot with a knife.
I had been told of the many dim wagon roads leading in different directions, which were liable to lead me astray, and this gave me much worry when I came to the forks of a road. The thoughts of a blizzard striking me on these “Bad Lands” where there is no wood or habitation, caused cold shivers to run down my back whenever the dim trail seemed to be bearing away from a north course. It was a cloudy day so that I couldn’t tell for sure which was north.
Just as night was approaching I found a piece of glass from a telegraph pole. This satisfied me that I was on the right road, hence I was happy. I had been told that in the early days the government had a telegraph line on the road to Rocky Point, but that the line had been moved away years before. I still keep that piece of green glass, as it had brought good cheer to my drooping spirits.
I arrived in Rocky Point on the south bank of the Big Muddy river three hours after dark. Here I found old man Tyler and his son running the ferry and keeping a small Indian trading store.
My mare had only traveled 30 miles, but she had carried about 75 pounds of mud across the “Bad Lands,” hence she was almost played out on arriving at Rocky Point.
I had often heard of the “Bad Lands” and wanted to visit them, but now that desire has vanished.
Before reaching the Little Rockies, I learned that outlaw Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry, had a half interest in a horse ranch “with one Jim T.; that they owned about 500 head of good horses which ranged in the Little Rockies.
As luck would have it, on reaching Landusky, the small village in the Little Rockies, I made the acquaintance of Jim T. through an accident. In riding by the saloon in front of which were a crowd of rough looking men, my mare shied and I spurred her in the flanks. She began bucking and old Colts 45 flew out of the scabbard, striking a rock in the street. When the mare quit bucking, Jim T. gave me the pistol which he had picked up. This meant a treat for the crowd, and I became acquainted with the partner of “Kid Curry,” the slickest and most bloodthirsty outlaw of the age.
To recite all my ups and downs and the valuable in formation about outlaws and tough characters secured for my agency would take up too much space. Suffice it to say that I played myself off for an old Mexico outlaw and became “Solid Muldoon” with the worst people of the community. I had adopted the name of Chas. L. Carter.
Harvey Logan had killed old Pike Landusky, the man for whom this town was named, several years previous, which first started him on the road as a genuine desperado. Jim T. informed me that he advised Harvey to kill Landusky, and for that reason he will always be his friend through thick and thin.
Pike Landusky’s widow, Julia, still resided on their ranch two miles out of town. The family consisted of two boys and three girls. One of these girls, Elfie, 20 years of age and good looking, had a three-year-old son by Loney Logan. They had never been married by law, which seemed no disgrace here.
In trying to capture Loney Logan at Dodson, Missouri, where he was in hiding with his aunt, Mrs. Lee, mother to Bob Lee, alias “Bob Curry,” by officials of the Pinkerton agency (my friend Tom F. Kipple being at the killing) he was shot through the head and killed.
I had made myself “solid” with Elfie Curry, as she was called, hence read all of her letters and was told all of her secrets. She had stacks of letters from her husband, as she called Loney, and also from Mrs. Lee and her daughter, and during Bob Lee’s trial in Cheyenne, Wyo., she received letters from the lawyers whom Mrs. Lee had sent from Kansas City, Mo., to defend her son. As I had free access to Elfie’s trunks I could read these letters at any time.
The Kansas City lawyer came to Landusky after evidence to prove an alibi for Bob Lee, and while he was working with Elfie and Jim T., I was introduced to him, and learned all of his secrets. Jim T. would meet him at Elfie’s house in town.
During the round-ups and horse branding trips I showed my skill in throwing a rope. This made me solid with Jim T. who lived with his common-law wife on a ranch a few miles south of Landusky. They had a bright little three-year-old boy named Harvey in honor of the outlaw Harvey Logan. This little fellow felt at home with a small pistol buckled around his waist, then he would go wild. A high picket fence had to be built around the house to keep him from running away.
One evening during the past winter when the thermometer was hovering about zero, little Harvey struck out for “tall timber” with his pet dog, a large yellow cur. They tramped the hills all night. Next morning the whole population of Landusky, in the male line, about twenty-five men, were out searching for the child’s corpse, as it was thought impossible for a boy of his tender age to endure the bitter cold night. But the little fellow proved to be tough like his daddy. He was found in the afternoon many miles from home, huddled up by the side of his pet dog, fast asleep. The warmth from the dog’s body had no doubt saved his life.
This boy is pretty good material for a future train- robber. He says that will be his occupation, and his father encourages him, as he says he would like to see him prove as brave a man as his namesake, Harvey Logan.
“Like begets like” is a true saying. There is no doubt but that Jim T. was a hard case and landed in Montana under an assumed name.
Mrs. Julia Landusky gave me many inside facts of Jim T. and his actions when he first landed in the Little Rockies as a slender young man. Now he is a middle- aged, large, heavy man.
Judging from the time he came to the Little Rockies and his description as given by Mrs. Landusky, Mr. W.L. Pinkerton is confident Jim T. is no other than “Dad” Jackson of the noted Sam Bass gang who robbed the Union Pacific train near Ogalalla, Nebraska, in the early ’70’s. Most of this gang were killed or sent to the penitentiary for this hold-up, “Dad” Jackson being the only one who made his “get-away.” Mr. Pinkerton, who was then an operative in the agency, worked on the case.
Shortly after my arrival in the Little Rockies I received a ducking in the cold icy waters of a branch of Milk river. I was going to Harlin on the Great Northern railroad, with Puck Powell, the ex-cowboy post master of Landusky. We were the only passengers in the open stage coach drawn by four horses. On reaching the swollen stream which was full of broken ice, we persuaded the kid driver to swim the team across. When out in mid-stream the large chunks of ice struck the stage coach, carrying horses and all down stream. The spring seats were all that showed above water, and Puck, the driver and I, were upon these. We were having a free ride with the poor horses trying to swim up stream. Something had to be done to save the horses from drowning, so with all my clothes on I jumped into the icy cold water. On reaching the bank in a bend of the creek the driver threw me the lines. The lead horses were pulled ashore and the vehicle swung around against the steep clay bank, so that Puck and the driver could step off without getting wet.
Undressing in the cold wind to wring the water out of my clothes, gave me a taste of old-time cowboy life. We didn’t reach the stage station until dark.
During the month of June, I came within an ace of losing my breath, which would have put me out of business for all time.
I was at Jim T.’s ranch and he got me to drive a bronco team to Rocky Point on the Missouri river twenty-five miles. This team of four-year-old browns had only been hitched up in harness a couple of times. The broncos were hitched to an old buckboard and a bottle of water put under the seat, as the weather was hot and no water en route.
Before starting at 7:30 A. M. Jim T. cautioned me to be careful as this team had run away and smashed up a vehicle the past fall, since which time they had been running wild on the range.
The twenty-five mile drive to Rocky Point was over a broken, rocky country, with a very dim wagon road to follow, and there was not a habitation on the road.
Jim T. opened the gate and I started with the browns tugging at their bits. For the first few miles the horses made several efforts to run, though I managed to get them checked up, but when about five miles out, business started. As we flew over the rocky road as fast as the horses could run, I remember seeing something black, which must have been one of the tug-straps, hitting the broncos on the hind legs. I also remember seeing a deep gully ahead, and to avoid it, I threw my weight onto one line to turn the team around the head of the short gully. I cannot account for my not jumping and letting the outfit go to the devil, for I’ve been in runaways before, and I generally sprout imaginary wings and fly out of the rig. I am all right on a horse’s back, but a rank coward in a vehicle.
When I woke up the sun was about two hours high, it being about 5 p. M. I was lying flat on my back with the hot June sun shining in my face. I couldn’t move or open my eyes, and I wondered what was wrong. Finally, by making a strong effort, I got my right hand up to my eyes, the left arm couldn’t be raised. I dis covered that my face and eyes were covered with a baked coating of some kind. This was scraped from my eyes when they opened. Still, I couldn’t think what was wrong. Soon I became deathly sick at my stomach and started to vomiting. I managed to turn over on my left side so as to vomit on the ground. Then I discovered that I was throwing up blood. Raising up my head I saw the hind wheels and the bed of the buck- board upside down, and only a few yards from me lay my Colts 45 pistol and the bottle of water which was put in the buckboard on starting. Then it all came fresh to my mind of the runaway, but I didn’t remember of the vehicle turning over. The last that I could recall was turning the team around the head of the gully.
As I was dying for a drink of water after lying in the hot sun for eight or nine hours, every nerve in my body was strained to crawl to the bottle of water.
A little of the water was used to wash the blood out of my eyes. In vomiting, while on my back with my head slightly down hill, the blood had run over my face and eyes and when dried, had formed a hard crust.
The water and the crawling had revived me so that I could sit up. On feeling the top of my head I found that my high stubborn bump had overflowed and filled up the hole where the religious bump ought to have been, according to phrenology rules. In fact, the top of my head was badly swollen, which showed that I had landed on the ground wrong end up. My back pained the worst, and it was like pulling a tooth to try to get onto my feet. Therefore I started out to crawl back to the Jim T. ranch about five miles. After crawling a few hundred yards I managed to gain my feet. Several times en route I was on the eve of giving up and lying down to rest, but the fear that I wouldn’t be able to get on my feet again, kept me pushing ahead.
When within a mile of the ranch, after the sun had set, I saw a man afoot running towards me. I was reeling from one side to the other like a drunken bum, and this had brought Jim T. to my rescue. He saved me from a fall by grabbing me in his strong arms just as I was falling. I had given up and couldn’t have walked another step. I was carried to the house and put to bed. Jim T. kept a good supply of horse liniment in the house and he used this on me with a lavish hand as though it was water. There was no doctor nearer than the railroad fifty miles, so I wouldn’t consent to T. going after one.
Two days later the bronco team were found, still dragging the front wheels of the buckboard.
While recovering, I had a good chance to get information about the “Wild Bunch,” from Jim T., but he would never give a hint as to where “Kid” Curry was, though I found out enough to convince me that they kept up a correspondence through the post office in the prosperous town of Chinook, on the railroad, not far from Harlin, but under what names, I couldn’t tell. He informed me that his mail addressed to Landusky was watched when it left the railroad station of Harlin.
In talking, Jim T. showed a very bitter spirit against the Pinkerton s for killing his friend Loney Logan, and for sending Bob Lee, alias “Bob Curry” to the pen.
Our agency had lately captured and convicted Bob Lee for his connection in the Silcox, Wyo. U. P. train hold up. He was caught in Cripple Creek, Colo., and convicted and sentenced to the pen for ten years, in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Jim T. assured me that Loney’s brother “Kid Curry” would soon get even with the U. P. railroad company and the Pinkerton s by robbing another U. P. train; that the “Kid” was then in the south making preparation for a deal of that kind.
It was three weeks before I had fully recovered from the runaway, and even to this day I can feel the effects of the fall in my head and arm.
I had found out many secrets of past crimes in the west.
We knew that Flat Nose George Curry (who was not related to “Kid” and Loney “Curry”) was one of the robbers of the Silcox, Wyo., train hold-up, and deputy U. S. Marshal Joe LaFors of Cheyenne, had written the officials of the U. P. railroad that he had learned through a reliable source that Flat Nose George Curry was with a tough character named Henry Smith, somewhere in the northwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Old Mexico. Therefore I received orders by mail to meet LaFors in Denver and go with him to Old Mexico in search of Flat Nose George Curry.
We had decided that “Kid” Curry, Jim T.’s partner, would steer clear of the Little Rockies where every one knew him, but in this we were mistaken, for not long after I left he slipped back and killed Ranchman Winters who had killed his brother Johnny.
Winters was a prosperous stock raiser and he told me that he expected to be waylaid and killed by “Kid” Curry,
In the latter part of August I slipped out of the country on my red roan horse for which I had traded the bucking mare. No one knew I was going but my supposed sweetheart Elfie Curry. I told her that my partner was to be executed for a crime we had both committed in Old Mexico, and that I feared he would confess and give me away; that if he did she would never see me again as I intended to cut my suspenders and go straight up, where my friends would never hear of me. Otherwise I would return. She was given a certain address in New Mexico from whence letters would be forwarded to me.
Nearly a year afterwards a letter from her reached me through that address. In her letter she wrote that poor little Loney, her four-year-old boy, was heart broken over my long absence, and kept asking: “Mamma when is Mr. Carter coming home ?” The little fellow was pretty and bright, and we had become greatly attached to each other. Of course, the letter was not answered, and I heard no more of them.
In Harlin my horse and saddle were sold and I boarded a train for Denver.
On reaching home Joe LaFors met me and we went to El Paso, Texas, together. In El Paso, LaFors located until I could run down Henry Smith and his chum who was supposed to be Flat Nose George Curry.
It had been agreed by Mr. Morris Butt, the president of the West Pacific Railway Company, that LaFors could stay in El Paso until I ran the men down. Then I was to notify LaFors and he would come to me to identify Flat Nose George Curry, whom he had seen.
In El Paso I boarded a train for Casas Grandes, Mexico, at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains. There I secured a horse and saddle and the strenuous part of my work began.
About 100 miles northwest of Casas Grandes, in Janos, a large Mexican town, I got on the trail of my men. But in the wind-up two weeks later, I concluded that Henry Smith’s chum was not Flat Nose George Curry.
In the Mormon Colony of Bias I wired to Joe LaFors, in El Paso, Texas, that we were on the wrong trail hence he could return home to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Soon after this Flat Nose George Curry was shot and killed in Utah, while trying to resist his capture. This confirmed my decision that Smith’s chum was not the man wanted.
While resting a few days in the Mormon colony of Dias, Mexico, I saw some queer sparking. The pretty eighteen-year-old hired girl at the place I was stopping made love to the sixty-year-old proprietor, and married him. This made his fourth wife, all living within a stone’s throw of each other.
On this trip into Old Mexico I recognized several former cowboy chums, but I didn’t make myself known Among them was one who was outlawed from Texas. He was going under an assumed name and was living with a native woman. They had a house full of little half-breeds of all sizes, from the cradle up into the teens. So, why disturb him when he was faithfully assisting Mother Nature to improve the human race.
From Dias I rode on a stage coach to a station on the Sierra Madre railway, and arrived back in Denver after an absence of over a month.