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In the Year of our LORD Jesus Christ
2017
-- As of January 20, 2017
A Sigh Of Relief With The Inauguration Of Donald John Trump as President of the United States of America, And Hope For A Prosperous Future For All United States Citizens (we who are a nation called "the melting pot of the world"). We shall be great and exceptionally great again.




Peace and Liberty. Semper Fidelis.





Sunday, July 17, 2016

Recollections of A Western Deputy: 1894 - Exposed And Lantern Out

July 27, 1894

       On June 2nd, I finished up serving two weeks as a personal protection guard to Judge Williams after a shootout the U.S. marshal and four other deputy marshals had with the Halder gang, who tried to fulfill their threat in killin’ the Federal Judge over at Capitol City.  Despite my hand to hand brawl with Regis Halder in Judge Williams home in a 28 minute death match in which neither of us for 22 minutes could get the upper hand until I finally began prevailin', the locals there took all the dang credit in the outhouse news journal for the city, but Judge Williams made sure I got the 600 dollars reward and another 1000 besides in savin’ him and his Mrs.  All the furniture in the parlor, the hallway and kitchen was no more...and we went through walls no less than 8 times and put holes in 5 more besides.  Even so, the Judge and his Mrs. were grateful, as calls for help went unheeded at the first cry of 1:32 am in the mornin', perhaps because of the heavy winds outside drownin' them out and knocks at the doors and windows of neighbors also were ignored and unanswered.  It was only because of an old rival -- whom I once fought and never knew he had a condition where his great brute strength came because he had no physical sensation of pain and lived in walking numbness in his 6'7" 320 lb muscular frame -- it was only because of him hat any help came at all, as he and several men of his company were riding by back to the Calvary Post when the Judge was able to direct them to where I was.  But by then, what was left of Regis Halder was in custody and tied secure, and I was in shock passin' out and tryin' to not lose my insides as my body shook uncontrollably from whatever was goin' on, as my left arm cramped tight, a numbness came over my heart, and I went temporarily blind.  

For the rest of that day and the next, I was mostly bed ridden with high fever except for trips to the outhouse, and under Mrs. Williams constant care and on a chicken broth and soup regimen.  I finally was up and about on the third mornin', and took my horse Lightning with me to the Train Station, and went home on the 9:40 am train.  I chose to stay with my horse in the animal car, and swept it out real well on the way back home to help pass the time.  


As soon as I arrived home, my Mrs., hearin’ about the event over the telegraph and takin’ things for granted, bought some new fangled cast iron bath tub and shower outfit, new clothes for the kids and all her relatives, and a whole list of I don't know what, and met me at the Train Station with 9 bill collectors in tow.  I didn’t even get to greet her afore she spoke up and told me to pitchfork over 1,574 dollars.  When I found out what it was for, I said “No!  Give it all back!”  and then she drew down on me, pointin’ a .45 right at my belly and demanded, “Kolica-shista. Give me the damn money, bitte.”

I replied to the wife within hearing of the general public for the first time I can remember in cultured rhetoric, 
“You do know you’re surreptitiously drawing down on and holding up a Federal Officer and committing at least 5 felonies that I can charge you with, do you not?”

To which the small crowd gasped, 
“Deputy B. is speaking like an educated man.  He’s been fooling us all these years with a dumb yokel lingo as an act!”  --    And words to this effect.

The wife almost growled in agreement, saying,  
“He always speaks a clear and concise English and German at home, though his Dutch is sometimes as bad as his yokel.  He only speaks like a moron to keep an upper hand like a card sharp not letting a fool  know he already knows the game forward and backwards, and strings them along like a carrot on a long stick dangled before a horse drawing a cart.”

To which I replied to her, 
“Put up your gun.  The play acting is over.  Here’s the entire amount minus twenty dollars, all in this almost good for nothin' paper money.   You charged for it, you pay them yourself."

I then turned to two of my boys, who accompanied their mother to the station to greet me.
  "Winston, Henry, you take care of your mom and see she comes home safe.  I'm holding you two responsible. "
    

With that I pulled a 4 inch thick stack of bills wrapped in paper and tied with twine from my inner jacket pocket, and gave it to the wife.  

 So with that statement to the boys said, I guided my daughters Hallie and  Charlotte, who were also on hand there with their mother and brothers, to get aboard the buckboard that was waiting for me, and then brought them home  while their mother paid the bill collectors off.  

The girls then happily took me on a tour of some of the things their mother bought, and even got me to stand in a cast iron bathtub and look up as I yanked a chain.  They frightfully scurried off as I got soaking wet from some kind of overhead pan punched through with lots of little holes, and I hollered out their names  followed with a “Damn it” for good measure. Apparently, they were not aware that someone had as yet filled the upper gravity basin full of water.  It was cold, and it went into some cuts under my hair that I didn't know were there until they were hit by the cold water, and this gave me a terrible headache at the time.  

Over the next three weeks, at the back corner of the property, by the Creek, I built a 15 foot deep block house as an explosive workhouse.  I even put up a 2 foot by 4 foot sign in which I wood chiseled and painted that read, "Deputy B.'s Tree and Stump Enterprise", as if it were really something.  The thought of it still to this day makes me want to hang and shake my head in embarrassment.   

I only got to use this building for one experiment.  While working for the Governor on an assignment, a United States Army explosives engineer showed me how to make nitro glycerin from the basic elements, but failed to inform me that besides temperature and motion, there were some other danger signs to be aware of.  I made a batch of  what I reckon was by then about 24 gallons in total at full potency, of which perhaps 8 of these gallons were reduced down into one pint bottles, which I figured to use for blasting stumps and earning an extra income at this if I became proficient enough. I had not yet tested the potency of the nitro, and if I had, I would have realized that 2 ounces to perhaps 4 at most,  rather than 16 were more than enough for most stumps that I would have contended with.

Unfortunately, I noticed that it was a bit humid and hotter in this cellar than I thought.  Water was seeping through the walls, and I realized that I should have made the cellar like Noah's ark, and put a heavy layer of black pitch under the base and up the outside blocks and sealed it tight enough to float.  At some point, I noticed that all of a sudden, a lot of the nitro not only was sweating outside their bottles, dripping wet, but some of them began to smoke.  Fortunately the family was all to the other side of the property, and I mounted Lightning and sunk spur out of there.  A little over a half mile away, I spotted the wife walking towards me with a basket of food, intending us to have a meal together.  I jumped off the horse, and picked her up intending to put her on Lightning and ride out of there.  As soon as I whisked her up, she began struggling and fighting me, and as she did so, the blockhouse blew up.

Folks for more than 20 miles saw and heard that explosion.  Some of the boys from the Confederacy in town reckoned the debris went mostly straight up no less than more than 900 feet in the air.  My sign ended up on one of my brother-in-laws roofs some two and a half miles away, and I figure me and the wife had about three to six inches of dirt sprayed down upon us, but fortunately no rock or wood debris, which mostly went north across the Creek into unoccupied open lands.  

Before the waters of the Creek rushed in, a couple of local engineers who later looked at the damage, figured an original crater more than 90 feet deep on one end, and the other dimensions were 137 feet by near 91 feet 7 inches.  The entire town rushed out by horse, mule, and by foot, and watched in shock as the wife beat and kicked and chased me from one end of the property to the other end and back again, before I made it back to the house and barricaded myself inside.  She demanded I unbar the door, and I yelled through the window for her to go home to her mother.  She snapped back that I was embarrassing her in front of the whole  town and to please let her in.  Having a soft spot of compassion for her, I removed the 6' by 8' by 6' barricade beam and let her in.  Then I made a mistake.  I forgot there was an iron skillet by the front door and I turned by back on her to walk into the kitchen -- in Danish the wife calls the kitchen as the "kjokken" --  where I could sit down at a eating and visiting table with her and let her let me have it.  As soon as my back was turned, she must have been running, because I don't think I walked two steps  toward the kitchen table to her more than 10 and for the next two weeks, it was lantern out.  

To this day, as an exclusive requirement of our reconciliation,  she won't let me near even a stick of dynamite at Beth's general store, nor to have or handle on the property.  If there are any stumps to be blown up, either Winston or Henry, who were both trained in the proper use by Beth and some of the boys from the Sons of the Confederacy would do the job themselves.  

Deputy B. - Retired    June 10, 1902 
Exclusive for The Law and Order Weekly
Recollections Not Shared In The Book

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