Entry of May 5, 1892
I reported on this day and hour as ordered to the newest Marshal, Jim Daggett, an old cuss lately retired out of the Texas Rangers as a sergeant there, who was called up by the Governor to fill a slot that (for whatever reason) would not be given me. Marshall Daggett said he heard the Governor say it was somethin' about me bein' too quick to gun down my would be killers dead, rather than trick shootin' them in the hand or arm or somethin'.
Eastern notions and pretend books are fine for pretendin', especially when actors and their prostitutes put on a play and badly act out a story, and don't take to bother what happens to anything or anyone else in the path of the bullet once you pull the trigger. They act of some sort of foolishness as if the bullet stops in mid-flight and never kills or wounds or maims any and all that also might be in the path of that fast movin' hot lead weapon of war.
In the real world of gunfights and flyin' bullets, you put the man down fast. And preferably, in a place where you don't have the bullet keep moving through to kill or maim someone you never had a mind nor intent to, nor would in any way wish harm. In the stage play put on last week by a travelin' troupe, the prostitute actress shot her manager off-stage and it went through him into a Deputy Sheriff in the left side above the waist, and he shot her and three other besides in a hail of 6 rapidly fired bullets in which his fellow deputy sheriff at the other side of the stage was shot near the heart and still let loose and shot all three remainin' stage actors as he was passin' out, staggerin' onto stage center, and dyin' in the dyin' scene. If it wasn't for all the blood and the smell of the insides spillin' out, it would have been worth the price of 25 cents admission. Since everyone was dead, I ordered the clerk who took the admissions to pay everybody their money back, but by the time the money was out seconds later, everyone had fled. I collected mine and went home and gave it back to the wife, since she insisted on me goin' to see if it was decent for bringin' the children. I told her the show died, and that I got my money back, and then I gave her 25 cent piece back to her. When she asked what "The Show died" meant, I merely stated that "It's a local problem", meaning it's the Sheriff's problem, not mine, and left it at that. When she put her hands on her hips, began tapping her right foot and glared with that look for not givin' her gossip, which she loves to hear and share with her relatives and friends and be FIRST, I figured it was time to tend to the horses again rather than be anything other than a man gabbin' the gossip. This book is different, it's biography and better outhouse readin' than any newspaper you might take with you, only you're not supposed to use the book the same way you use the newspaper...you keep the book.
The local newspaper is only as good as what it is used for, and it's cheaper than medicinal paper at the general store...just some of the advertisements need to be avoided, especially when it uses too much ink. It gives you the itches and the twitches, which ain't good when you are walkin' in a very public place, and parts of your body you never knew could twitch or move this way or that just reach up and surprise you. I once walked into Fat Kate's to get a beer while the music was playin' a new tune I never heard, and I was announced as having the latest Confederate reconstituted dance direct from the bowels of New York City. The applause and laughter was so loud and long, even though I uncontrollably jerked and kneed the bar twice and accidentally chicken winged another person's drink into someone else's face, I finished my two beers a month limit right quick and left. So be careful to not use the ads when there is more ink than the plain part of the newspaper to it. I had to sit on a pan of moonshine to kill the itch, and near two miles later I stopped runnin' from the pain, and felt like I was gettin' death tired. At 48, I find that I am no longer a young man at more things than I ever realized would happen afore I was in my 60s or something.
Gunfights are not much different than glimpses in time, moments of revertin' to what happens to a campaigner in war. For me, it often is like goin' back in some way to step into another time, almost like I was back in the War for the Southern Confederacy, and know I am there and yet not there, but fightin' somewhars else. Sometimes, the gunfights are a bit overwhelmin', and emotions are pushed down as the mind and vision swirls about a bit. The best I can describe it, is for those of us who have experienced a 6 pound fragmentary cannon balls impactin' near where you is at. They bust up in a minimum of 50 parts, make a huge thunder and suck out the air which you instinctively have to blow out your own lungs right quick and count 8, and you never knows exactly what they'se are about to blow apart or blow the wrong or right way or what. They are acts of war, and the more bullets fly every which way, the greater the danger for women folk and children and good peaceable men in the way not bein' involved to be be crippled for life or killed by those bullets flyin'.
Often it is not the noise, or the nuisance of smoke and cinders flyin' about blown by the wind, gettin' in your eyes and doin' tricks with your vision while tryin' to see who is tryin' to kill you that is the problem I have...sometimes it's the smell that comes back with a memory that may really get my attention where the world that is, that just stops, and it is like I see only what once was, where moments in time of minutes to hours can be compressed into just a matter of seconds, with secondary effects that can last for hours if I have a mind to let it. The smell of thousands of battlefield dead that I was detailed by General Lee himself to help bury. Pick one up and he breaks in half, or a limb pulls right off and he is alive after all and screamin' in pain, the smell more than the event, when you smell that a second time and aren't ready or alert for it, THAT can really hit and make you lose focus as to where you are and what is happenin' around you, and can get you and others killed if at a time when every second counts. This never used to be a problem, but of late, it has been, starting with the case of an Army officer who came to testify and was burned beyond identification. That smell brought about a host of unpleasant memories of the late great war for the Southern Confederacy, things I had long forgotten, and wish to forever forget when I do so again. That smell cost me 3 bullets through my clothes afore the murderer ran up to get a closer shot and I let loose with 4 to his sternum, as the doc calls the target center of the chest, and one up his nose as he fell back and it goin' out the back top of his head with pieces of his brain...which smell also wanted to again make me dream with my eyes wide open, but which I would not let do so.
So unlike like any time in the past when I might have tried to spare a life here or thar', if they are tryin' to kill me and I see 'em, and if I don't know them, and reachin' for or raisin' a gun they ain't defendin' life or property, I drop 'em faster than that unbelievably really fat woman I and two others stuck up on the third floor of Flander's Hotel fell from the third story to the 6 foot deep mud pit in the ground under her hotel window. Trapped by fire on the stairs from goin' back down, me and her father and her uncle Zeke (the Feed Store Owner) could barely even shove her blubbery stinkin' flesh through a third story double-wide window while savin' her while the rest of her hotel was on fire.
There we was, pullin' at her as she lay naked in bed, intendin' suicide because she is so fat that she puts a circus baby elephant to shame , and the whole means of escape after near 8 minutes of strugglin' to pull her through the door way and down the stairs by her filthy heels, failed. Fortunately, we was able to use a couple hatpins off her dresser into her sittin' place, and this upset her enough to get her up as far as the window, naked as the day she was born, and no ladder for us. We already knew where she was goin', and how we was goin' to get her there.
Our new Fire Company loaned their one and only ladder out to a family member out in Butlersville, and we was stuck, smoke chokin' and chunnelin' through black and hot and thick so that we could no longer see one another, even though we was by that time almost nose to nose, and the floor was almost fryin' pan hot!
I shoved my face under her armpit, tryin' to get my nose outside for even just a single clean breath of air and got a sharp repulsion as if I just took horseradish up my nose. With what breath I had left, I staggered back about 8 paces to her doorway, and guessed where she was and did a runnin' tackle. She went straight down and descended like a shooting star, landed back first in a 5 foot deep mud hole, and her 700 pound plus frame instantaneously emptied all the water and mud onto over 80 or more of the townsfolk who came to watch or help. Meanwhile, I too went out the window and because I was able to walk two steps off her back and keep goin', from the third story window I landed more than 18 feet from the building onto the backs of the two horses of the fire wagon, folded in half and landed between them as they bolted and ran the wagon over me, rollin' me several times in the muddy street and draggin' me down it about 65 feet or more, leavin' me unconscious and bed-ridden for days after with lots of bruises, a concussion, but nothin' busted. The out-pouring of compassion by the town toward me and my family was like nothin' I have ever seen. Even those few who were not partial to religion paid respects, and politely and quietly joined in prayer. I guess it must have really been a bad fall and what looked to really be a maulin', even in spite of the deep mud perhaps bein' the big difference that allowed me to be spared from what otherwise would have been, but I have no recollection. The doc did cut and drain my head, as it also swoll up so much, he could press his fingers between the plates of bone in the top of my head and feel my brain through the skin, he said. I would be restricted to a soup then stew diet for the next few weeks, and be confined to walkin' in the house and to the outhouse, get what sunshine I could, and no liftin'.
I found out from copies given me of the town newspaper that two cowboys lassoed blubber woman by her legs and used their horses to drag her to safety up and out of the 6 foot deep mud hole at the side of the burning hotel that was in fact, her father's. Several years before, I saw her once, she was 6' 2' and then perhaps 190 pounds. I never knew who or what she was, and in fact, up until that day, she was not known outside her family to even have existed. What's more, for months, because of her weight gain and hidin' like a hermit, there was all the creaking that came from the third floor where it was always insisted by the hotel that no one was, because they would only rent the first and second floor and had a locked door on the stairwell to the third. Even when there was no wind blowing outside, because of the creaking which could even be heard outside to passersby, with sometimes lights and shadows playin' on one of the supposed to be unoccupied top floor windows, the hotel was thought to be haunted.
The two 16 year old cowboys, who lassoed her naked muddy side show figure, loudly stated at the time in amazement that they didn't see her fall at first, and were sure disappointed that she wasn't a hog when they realized what she was.
One of them then threw a rope up to the window where the woman's father and uncle was, and they scurried down right quick before it was too late, havin' smoke pains and small burns all about. By seein' the young fat woman, the town finally got over their spooks about the hotel. Seeing how incredibly huge she is, so many of the townsfolk realized that it was amazing that all those creaks from the top floor was now something having nothing to do with ghosts, and were amazed that with her obesity she never broke and fell through any of the floors.
The new County Sheriff Office just established last month and headquartered in town placed the father under arrest for cruelty. Some folks obsessed and demanded answers of how could her father afford to feed her? The answer was that her father and his wife, her step-mother who hated her existence, apparently recooked the scraps and unused portions his guests never wanted, and she apparently ate it all.
I noticed as I was strugglin' to remove her bloated form from her bed by the ankles, that she used very thick and what must have been 5 gallon ceramic pots as her potty, which the normal members of her would obviously rotate out, dump, and clean and return as needed. Both her father and step-mother were tried and convicted and are now awaitin' transport to their respective prisons: 3 years for the father (2 removed for tryin' to save her), and 5 years for the step-mother. The children were awarded custody to their Uncle Zeke until age 21.
The wife -- mine -- has also gone back to wearing a two revolver quick draw gun belt and hides a .41 revolver concealed elsewhere on her. She has even created town scandal by wearin' pants when she goes ridin' and trick rides like a Rodeo Champion. This one is worse than when she went barefoot to town once, and two score or more of the women folk wanted to see us run out of town because they could see the wife's legs some 3 or 4 inches above her ankles. Anyone that ever bothers to look at any of their bedroom windows gets an eyeful of a whole bunch more than that, and not a one of them is worth a look other than immediately after telling a scary story about witches and then sneakily point them out without most of their clothes on, sometimes involved in mating activity with no shades or curtains as if their own exhibitions. Jealous, just jealous. My wife with muddy feet is more attractive at her feet and ankles than they are over their whole bodies with a free side peep show with no admission price to any neighbor just walking or ridin' by just happenstance gazing that direction. These ugly body women are one sure way to scare a person to just always look down at the road. Their ugly features unintentionally seen gave me more nightmares than any dozen things I could name about havin' seen or been through in the great war for the Confederacy. If we ever have another war, just send these body ugly women naked before an enemy army, and they'll either flee or beg for terms instead of inhuman suffering to see THAT. No wonder their husbands are mostly drunks who never seem to be able to forgive themselves.
The wife's gun draw and accuracy now always rivals mine at everything and every kind of gun we can shoot with at near every distance, and sometimes she seems a mite faster on the draw. I pity any professional gunslinger that ever dares to face her down, his name will never get over the shame of being bested by a woman. With me, whenever the wife bests me at anything it don't count, as ever since we got married and we was pronounced as two being now as one flesh, she has always been my better half anyway. And shades of General Robert E. Lee if she don't daily sweetly keep remindin' me of her bein' my better half, as well. For her age, she still looks young, and she tells me, that even though I ain't gray like fellas my age usually are, it's more than just my face that could always use improvement...whatever that means. Must be a Dutch or Danish idiom I missed somewhars.
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