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´╗┐Title: Life and adventures of Frank and Jesse James - The noted western outlaws
Author: Dacus, J. A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and adventures of Frank and Jesse James - The noted western outlaws" ***

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Transcriber's note:
    Minor spelling inconsistencies, mainly hyphenated words, have been
    harmonized. Italic text has been marked with _underscores_.
    Obvious typos have been corrected. An "Illustrations" section has been
    added as an aid to the reader.







    HON. J. A. DACUS, PH. D.

    "Strange murmurs fill my tingling ears,
    Bristles my hair, my sinews quake,
    At this dread tale of reckless deeds."


    ST. LOUIS:
    602 North Fourth Street.
    SAN FRANCISCO: A. L. BANCROFT & CO., 721 Market Street.
    INDIANAPOLIS: FRED. L. HORTON & CO., 66 East Market Street.
    CHICAGO: J. S. GOODMAN, 142 LaSalle Street.

Copyrighted, 1879, by W. S. BRYAN

  [Illustration: JESSE JAMES.


    Copyrighted, 1880, by W. S. Bryan. The copyright laws
    will be rigidly enforced against any person making
    or disposing of copies of this picture.]



  Engraved from Photographs taken about the close of the war.]


    CHAPTER I.--THE JAMES FAMILY.--The Rev. Robert
    James--His marriage--Removal to Missouri--His death
    in California,                                               11-16

    CHAPTER II.--FRANK AND JESSE.--Their childhood and
    youth--They desire fire-arms--Youthful Nimrods--Pistol
    practice,                                                    17-24

    Quantrell--Outrage on Dr. Samuels and Jesse--Mrs.
    Samuels and daughter, Susie James, arrested--Jesse as a
    courier for the Guerrillas,                                  25-28

    CHAPTER IV.--BLOODY WAR.--The hatreds of the border
    people--The partisan rangers--Frank James as a scout--Fight
    at Plattsburg,                                               29-34

    black flag unfurled--The Guerrillas mass their
    forces--The march to Lawrence--Capture of the town--Frank
    and Jesse participate,                                       35-39

    CHAPTER VI.--A GORY RECORD.--The cruel strife of the
    border--Death in the thickets--Quantrell and his
    followers,                                                   40-56

    James follows Quantrell into Kentucky--Fierce
    partisan contests--Death of Quantrell--Jesse follows
    George Shepherd to Texas--The last fight of the war--Jesse
    wounded,                                                     57-65

    James followed by four men--They attempt to arrest him--Terrible
    fight--Frank wounded in the left hip--Concealed
    by friends,                                                  66-70

    robbery--St. Valentine's day, and the prize drawn by
    bold marauders--The James Boys accused of the crime,         71-73

    at night--The family council of war--Jesse
    desires to look out on the cold moonlight scene--Throws
    the door open and fires upon the militiamen--Three
    corpses on the crisp snow,                                   74-77

    to Kentucky--Among his relatives and friends--Placed
    under the care of Dr. Paul F. Eve--A good time,              78-81

    large haul--The James Boys connected with the robbery--They
    ride away on George Shepherd's horses--Shepherd
    arrested and imprisoned--Death of Oll Shepherd--Persistent
    pursuit of the robbers--The Jameses
    escape,                                                      82-90

    sails for California--At Paso Robel--Frank goes West--On
    the Laponsu ranche--Adventures in Nevada--A dark
    seance--The Boys return to the East,                        91-102

    peculiar circumstances surrounding the Jameses--Social
    and political ostracism--The vigilance committees--Not
    allowed to remain at peace in their own home--They
    go forth as enemies of society,                            103-107

    men in Gallatin--They call upon the cashier--Captain
    John W. Sheets shot by Jesse James--Pursuit of the man
    slayers--The escape of the robbers,                        108-111

    people aroused--Detectives on the trail of the Boys--Their
    neighbors arrayed against them--Captain Thomason
    expresses himself--He is interviewed by Mrs.
    Samuels--Failure of all efforts to arrest them,            112-115

    citizens of Adair county, Kentucky, startled--Bold
    daylight robbery of the bank at Columbia--Murder of the
    cashier, Mr. Martin--Chasing the robbers--The marauders
    escape,                                                    116-121

    CHAPTER XVIII.--OUT OF EXILE.--Domestic and social
    relations of the Boys--Their visits to the cities--The
    theaters and concert stage--Life in hotels--How the
    Jameses play the part of gentlemen,                        122-130

    CHAPTER XIX.--THE CORYDON RAID.--The robbers pay
    a visit to Iowa--Their sudden appearance at Corydon--They
    secure a large sum of money and ride away--Hot
    pursuit by Iowa officers--Jesse as a rustic,               131-133

    Jesse at Kansas City--The gate money seized and carried
    away--The pool cashier interviewed by Frank,               134-138

    CHAPTER XXI.--STE. GENEVIEVE.--The cashier of the
    bank at Ste. Genevieve surprised--Narrow escape of
    young Rozier--The bank plundered by the raiders--Escape
    of the robbers,                                            139-145

    night vigil--On the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific
    railway line--A locomotive ditched and a fireman killed--A
    successful raid,                                           146-150

    the invalids en route to Hot Springs were plundered
    on the Malvern road--Scenes and incidents of the
    robbery--Grim jokes at the expense of the passengers,      151-158

    CHAPTER XXIV.--GADSHILL.--A startling sensation--The
    robbers at the lonely wayside station--The passengers
    made prisoners and robbed,                                 159-165

    CHAPTER XXV.--AFTER GADSHILL.--Pursuit of the robbers--Trailed
    through southern Missouri to St. Clair
    county--Diversions in Bentonville, Arkansas--The
    campaign leads to a tragedy,                               166-172

    brave detective caught in a trap--Jim Latche's observations
    in Liberty--The use he made of his knowledge--The
    last night ride--Whicher shot,                             173-181

    to avenge Whicher's death--Preparing a trap to
    catch Frank and Jesse at the Samuels place--Fire balls
    and bomb shells--A terrible scene--Death of a boy and
    wounding of Mrs. Samuels,                                  182-190

    the Legislature--Gen. Jones' amnesty bill--Jesse quietly
    awaits the turn of events--Failure of the bill to pass in
    the Legislature--Taking vengeance,                         191-195

    on the prairies--Strange horsemen at
    eventide--The stage halted--The passengers plundered,      196-201

    Askew--The farmer incurs the hatred of the James
    Boys--Vengeance threatened--Assassinated while standing
    on his porch--Jesse and Frank believed to be the
    guilty parties,                                            202-207

    in wait--The evening train bound from
    the mining regions--Golden galore--The train stopped
    by masked men and the express car plundered,               208-210

    ROBBERY.--A band of robbers in the streets--The people
    alarmed--Demand upon Mr. Oney--The robbers make
    off with the bank's funds--Capture of Jack Kean, and
    death of McDaniels--The handiwork of the Jameses
    shown,                                                     211-214

    under difficulties--A fair cousin--She admires
    the outlaw--The courtship continues, and Jesse takes
    his cousin as his bride,                                   216-222

    cherishes tender sentiments and goes a-wooing--A fair
    girl, beautiful and accomplished--Frank's suit
    encouraged,                                                223-227

    BRIDE.--How Annie Ralston carried off the honors
    of her class at college--A belle in society--Her admiration
    for Frank James--She quietly collects her effects,
    and leaves her home to share his fate with Frank,          228-233

    HAUL.--The train robbery at Otterville--The Youngers
    and the Jameses--Frank James the planner--How the
    train was halted--Capture of Hobbs Kerry--He gives
    away the gang--The escape,                                 234-245

    CHAPTER XXXVII.--IN MINNESOTA.--The bandits seek a
    new field--Frank James and the Younger Brothers--Bill
    Chadwell, Miller and Pitts--The long ride,                 246-254

    DEATH.--The raid on the bank--The cashier
    shot--Bill Chadwell killed in the street--The citizens
    come to the rescue--Fusilades in the town--The bandits
    forced to go out in quick time--A hot pursuit--Capture
    of the Youngers,                                           255-266

    CHAPTER XXXIX.--Escape of Frank and Jesse James.--The
    terrible retreat--Worn out, and yet no chance for
    rest--A remarkable escape--They disappear from the
    very midst of those who were hunting them--How they
    went away,                                                 267-273

    CHAPTER XL.--A VISIT TO CARMEN.--Frank and Jesse go
    into Mexico--They rest at Carmen, in Chihuahua--The
    silver conducta--They join the Mexican party--Capture
    of the treasure bags of the Mexicans,                      274-282

    various classes of people who exhibit friendship for the
    Jameses--Some are bad men, who gather about them because
    they are brave--Social peculiarities,                      283-290

    beyond the border--Chasing Mexican cattle-thieves--A
    serious time at Monclova--Frank and Jesse
    escape,                                                    291-299

    and Jesse pay their respects to Palacios' band--The raiders
    of the border punished by the American outlaws--A
    pleasant meeting with troops,                              300-313

    Big Springs ventures--The persons who engaged
    in it--Large amount of gold coin taken--Pursuit
    of the robbers--Death of Collins at Buffalo, Kansas--Jim
    Berry trailed to Missouri--Shot by the sheriff of
    Audrain county,                                            314-325

    JAMES.--A Georgian's experience with the great outlaws--The
    home life of Frank,                                        326-336

    takes his own part with a pen--Some terse specimens of
    Jesse's style,      337-344

    CHAPTER XLVII.--GLENDALE.--The last great train robbery--A
    night ride to a lonely wayside station--How the
    robbery was effected,                                      345-353

    CHAPTER XLVIII.--HUNTING CLUES.--Marshal Liggett--His
    efforts to hunt down the robbers--Jesse James once
    more to the front,                                         354-356

    and youth of Shepherd--His adventures in Utah--Enters
    the Confederate service--Joins Quantrell's band--Gets
    into trouble with the gang at the time of Russellville--Becomes
    inimical to the Jameses--Engages with
    Marshal Liggett--Joins the band--The Short Creek
    fight,                                                     357-367

    goes south with the gang--He plans an ambuscade--Failure
    of his plan--The robbers suspicious
    of Shepherd--The fight in the forest,                      368-374

    CHAPTER LI.--ALLEN PARMER.--Becomes a member of
    Quantrell's band--Takes part in the sack of Lawrence--With
    Quantrell in Kentucky--Marries Jesse James' sister--Accused
    of complicity with the Glendale robbers,                   375-379

    sequel to the fight with Shepherd--Jesse and his wife
    visit relatives and friends in Kentucky--An unsuccessful
    attempt to capture the outlaw,                             380-384


    Jesse James.                                  3

    Frank James.      Jesse James.                4

    Quantrell's Last Fight.                      10

    In The Woods With Their New Shot-Guns.       21

    Girdling A Tree.                             23

    A Moonlight Conference.                      31

    After Lawrence.                              37

    A Deed Of Mercy.                             45

    A Narrow Escape.                             48

    Jesse James' Escape From "Pin" Indians.      59

    A Horrible Deed.                             60

    Death Of Oll Shepherd.                       89

    Fight In A Gambler's Den.                   100

    Whicher Meets His Fate.                     180

    Night Attack On The Samuels Residence.      188

    Death Of Farmer Askew.                      205

    An Alarmed "Cow-Boy."                       303

    After The "Greasers."                       307

    Fight With Mexican Cattle Thieves.          311

    The Home Of Frank James, In Texas.          333

    Geo. W. Shepherd.                           364

    Allen Parmer.                               376

    Wild Bill.                                  384

  [Illustration: Quantrell's Last Fight. [Page 64.]]






              "He was a godly man,
    Gentle and loving. He sought to save
    From mortal shame and eternal death,
    Forms laid in the silence of the grave."

The Rev. Robert James, the father of Frank and Jesse, was a
native of Kentucky. His parents were quiet, respectable people,
belonging to the middle class of society. Their desire was to raise
up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Being themselves persons of intelligence and culture, far above
the average of their neighbors in those days, the parents of Rev.
Robert James resolved to give him as good an education as the
facilities accessible to them would permit. Accordingly, Robert was
early placed in a neighboring school, and made such progress as
to gladden the hearts of his parents, and call forth auguries of
future distinction from the friends and neighbors of the family.
Robert James was a moral, studious youth, much given to reflection
on subjects of a religious character. Before he had attained his
eighteenth year, he had made an open profession of faith in the
Christian religion, and united himself with a Baptist church, of
which his parents were members. After passing through the various
grades of an academic course, young James entered as a student of
Georgetown College, Kentucky. Resolving to follow the profession
of a minister, he commenced the study of Theology, was licensed to
preach, and began his ministry in his twentieth year. Even then he
was regarded as a youth of decided culture and more than ordinary

While yet a young man, Rev. Mr. James decided to remove to the
then new State of Missouri. He settled on a farm in Clay county,
and commenced in earnest the onerous duties of a pioneer preacher.
His labors were not unrewarded. He soon had the satisfaction of
garnering the harvest of his sowing. A congregation was gathered
and a church organized in Clay county, called New Hope, which is
still in existence. For some years the Rev. Mr. James ministered
to the people who had been gathered by his exertions, with great
acceptance. Nor were his labors confined to the spiritual welfare
of the people of New Hope. He visited many distant churches, and
preached with great acceptance in many places.

Old citizens of Clay county still entertain pleasant recollections
of the earnest, God-fearing pastor, who went about only to
do good, by cheering the despondent, consoling the sorrowful,
assisting the needy, upholding the weak, confirming the hesitating,
and pointing the way of salvation to the penitent. Everywhere, in
that region of country, he was held in the very highest esteem. So
the years of his early manhood passed away while he was engaged in
the commendable effort to better the condition, by purifying the
moral nature of his friends and neighbors.

In 1850, following in the footsteps of hundreds of others, Rev.
Robert James bade adieu to his family, friends and neighbors, and
set out for "the golden land" of California, on a prospecting tour.
We do not know what motives actuated him in making this move, nor
is it pertinent to this relation. He went away, and was destined to
return no more. Not long after his arrival in California, whither
he had been preceded by a brother, Rev. Mr. James was stricken by a
mortal disease which terminated his life in a short time. Far away
from home, where the tall sequoias rear their lofty branches above
the plain, on a gentle slope which catches the last beams of the
setting sun, they laid the minister to rest, in a soil unhallowed
by the dust of kinsmen, in a grave unbedewed by the tears of loved
ones left behind.

When yet a young man, Rev. Mr. James was united in marriage to Miss
Zerelda Cole, a native of Scott county, Kentucky. Mrs. James is
a lady of great determination of mind, and a masculine force of
character. Those who knew the couple in the old days seem to think
that the minister and his wife were an ill-assorted pair. He was
gentle and amiable, while, on the contrary, his wife was strong
in passion, and of a very bitter, unrelenting temper--traits of
character prominently developed in her sons, Frank and Jesse. It
is said that the home-life of the minister was not as smooth as
it might have been, had he been united with a companion of a less
passionate and exacting temper. With his domestic life, however, we
have nothing to do, except in so far as the home influences thrown
around his children gave direction to their character, and tinged
their mental disposition. Whatever home-cares he might have had,
the public has little cause to inquire now. He went down to death
with a stainless name long years before his sons entered upon a
career of crime, and made their names a terror to those who care to
obey the dictates of justice, love and mercy.

Mrs. Zerelda James was left a widow, having the responsible charge
of a family of four small children. She was not left unprovided
for, as Mr. James was a prudent, careful man of business, and had
already established a comfortable home. With that courage and
determination which is so prominently manifested in her character,
Mrs. James commenced the battle of life as the head of the family.
With all the favoring circumstances, the task assumed by her was
not a light one. But she was equal to the performance of any
required service.

The years went by, and Frank and Jesse and their sisters were
advancing toward manhood and womanhood. The mother was not
neglectful of their mental training, and the children were very
regular in their attendance at a neighboring district school.

So passed away six years of Mrs. Zerelda James' widowhood, and life
became lonely; the children were growing up, and her cares and
responsibilities seemed to increase as they advanced in age and
stature. Though not of a romantic disposition, the widow James was
yet young enough in years and comely enough in person to attract to
her side more than one substantial citizen on matrimony intent.

Among the number of those who sought to produce a favorable
impression on the widow's susceptible heart, was Dr. Reuben
Samuels, who, like herself, was a native of Kentucky. To him she
was not indifferent. She listened to his plea, and in 1857 they
were united in marriage, near Kearney, Clay county, Missouri. Dr.
Samuels at once undertook to perform the duty of a parent toward
her children.

Thus the career of the noted outlaws, the James Boys, was
commenced, under auspices fully as favorable as fell to the fortune
of any of the boys of their own age, in their country home. And so
the years rolled on, and the boys were approaching the estate of
manhood; while fate was shaping them to perform a part in those
troublous times, of which they dreamed not in the days of boyhood.

One of the sisters of Frank and Jesse died just as she was
approaching the estate of womanhood. She is represented as having
been a beautiful and amiable child, who was called away from the
world while life was still beautiful and all the promises of the
future bright. Miss Susan James was arrested with her mother in the
early part of the war and confined in the jail at St. Joseph for
several months. Afterward she went to Nebraska and remained there
for more than a year. She married a gentleman named Parmer, several
years ago, and with her husband, resided for a time in Sherman,
Texas. From that place she removed to Henriette, and was living
there in 1879.

Mrs. Samuels had an eight year old son killed in January, 1875,
when the detectives attacked the Samuels' house. A daughter, a half
sister of Frank and Jesse, remains unmarried, and resides with Dr.
and Mrs. Samuels.



                  "There will be storms
    In causeless, strange abuse, and the strong breath
    Of busy mouths will blow upon our course."

Of prophecy, many have a doubt. And yet there are prophecies from
simple lips, and warnings from babes and sucklings, which if we
could but interpret aright, might assist us to change the whole
currents of life in a fellow being.

Deeper than fear or doubting men are thrown into the great vortex
of the world's thought and actions. What fortune or fate shall
come to them, no one can tell. Every billow in that maelstrom
seeks its own wild independence; and the shores of that tumultuous
deep--which we call human society--are strewn along with the
dull wrecks of what were once glorious schemes--the bright day
dreams--once borne buoyantly upon the topmost waves. These, and
myriads of other schemes and hopes, are at last remanded to lie
under the dark waters of the Sea of Fate, hidden so completely that
no thought of man shall ever again recall them to memory.

It is perhaps best so. It would be equivalent to the expulsion
of all the joys of life to have opened before us the book of the
future, wherein is recorded the deeds which must be performed, and
the sorrows which shall fall, dark and impenetrable--extinguishing
every scintillation of joyous hope.

It was best for Robert James, the minister, that he was called home
before the shadows fell, before the prophet's voice gave warning
of the things which should come to pass. It was well he was spared
the revelation, so that when the summons came, in peace he drew
around him the drapery of his couch, and while the brilliant sun
of an undimmed faith shone full upon him, he laid aside the load
of life, and went into the presence of the Deity, satisfied with a
career which had more of love toward mankind than displeasure at
the conduct of the world.

When their father was laid away in a far-off grave, Frank was
but a "wee boy," and Jesse still an infant. From him they had
received few lessons to guide them through the thorny ways of
life. Their widowed mother became their counsellor and teacher.
From her they had inherited their most pronounced traits of
character--strong-willed, courageous, self-assertive, and
unrelenting toward those who had given cause of offense.

Those who knew them during the days of their childhood and youth,
differ widely in opinion concerning the character of the promise
they gave of their future course in life. Some say they were "nice,
well behaved boys," others that "they were about like other boys,"
and yet another class say that they were "bad boys, very bad boys
from the beginning." There is no doubt that they were sometimes "a
little wild," as their best friends admit. We have accounts of some
of their childish actions which indicate that even in early life
they manifested a decided inclination to be malicious, not to say
heartless and cruel.

The step-father of the boys seems to be a man of amiable
disposition, and his government over the children was far from
being after the order of the traditional step-father. The
consequence was Frank and Jesse advanced to the years of maturity
without any of those healthful, restraining influences which
moralists assure us are essential to the proper development of
the higher qualities of manhood. Be that as it may, we have
been assured by persons of the highest respectability, who were
acquainted with them long before the commencement of the war
between the States, that "they were their own masters" at a very
early age, save only when their strong-willed mother asserted
her prerogative to dominate over them, which, by the way, she
seldom did. Among the boys of the neighborhood they were not
without friends. But among them, they were leaders. Aside from a
willingness on the part of other boys to accept such leadership,
the Jameses were exceedingly disagreeable, and generally attempted
to enforce a due recognition of their superiority. Such were the
great outlaws as boys.

It is related of them, that when Frank was thirteen, and Jesse
eleven years of age respectively, they met a boy with whom at some
previous time they had engaged in a childish wrangle. The lad who
had incurred their ill-will was thirteen years old, well developed,
and possessed of courage and determination. But he was not able
to engage successfully in a contest with the brothers. It was in
the spring time. The streams were full and deep. The boys met in a
large forest. The Jameses attacked their neighbor, and succeeded
in administering to him a severe beating. Not content with this,
they procured thongs of tough bark, bound their victim securely and
threw him into a deep pool in a neighboring stream. Several times
was this ducking process repeated, to the great terror of the boy,
and the infinite satisfaction of his tormentors. After satiating
their vengeance in this way, until thoroughly wearied, the young
tyrants drew him out and tied him securely to a tree in the midst
of the gloomy forest. It was in the morning when they left him
there, and he was not released until nearly dusk, when a neighbor,
who was out in pursuit of squirrels, heard his cries and went to
his assistance. The boy had suffered so much, that he was thrown
into a fever, from which he did not recover in many weeks. These
tyrant boys were the predecessors of the guerrillas and the outlaws.

It was an early ambition of Frank and Jesse to have and use
fire-arms. Dr. Samuels presented each of them with a small
double-barrel shot-gun, and the accompanying accoutrements of the
sportsman. The day the gift was received was a proud and happy
one to the boys. They soon learned to use them, and in a brief time
they were expert shots, and many feathered songsters ceased to sing
forever before their unerring aim. Rabbits, squirrels and other
small game were their prey.

  [Illustration: In the Woods with their new Shot-Guns.]

But shot-guns lost their novelty after awhile, and they yearned for
pistols. They had read or heard of the skill of the adventurers
away out on the borders, and they dreamed of rivaling them some
day. At last by dint of self-denial and persistent saving, Frank
and Jesse were made glad by an opportunity which was offered to
procure pistols, on the occasion of a visit to St. Joseph, which
they were permitted to make in company with Dr. and Mrs. Samuels.

We may safely conclude that the pistols were not of the pattern
which the outlaws of the present day most esteem. But they had
pistols, and the neighbors in the vicinity of the Samuels'
residence very speedily became painfully aware of the fact, by
the perpetual reports of their weapons while they were out "at
practice," which was nearly every hour of daylight. This constant
practice gave them proficiency in the use of such weapons, and long
before they had arrived at manhood's estate they were masters of
the art of pistol shooting.

They became noted throughout the neighborhood for their skill. So
accurate had become their aim that they would measure a distance of
fifteen paces from a tree standing in an open space, and commence
walking around it, firing glancing shots as they walked, and
so continuing until they had completely girdled the tree. Later
in life they acquired such skill that they would ride at a full
gallop around a circle, with a tree in its center, at a distance
of seventy-five paces, firing as they rode, and entirely girdle
the tree with revolver bullets, never losing a single shot. Thus
Frank and Jesse had become masters of an art which rendered them
dangerous foes when the days of turmoil came.

  [Illustration: Girdling a Tree.]

So the years passed away, and the lads had already grown to be tall
and shapely, when the tocsin of civil war rang throughout the land.
They were not then old enough to enter at once upon the duties
incumbent upon soldiers. But they were growing apace, and the days
of strife and bloodshed were not destined to pass away ere they
grew strong enough to ride with the strongest, and bold enough to
face danger with the most daring.

We may well suppose that all their dreams at that momentous period
were of war, bloodshed, and all the concomitant horrors of warfare.
The shadow of Destiny had fallen athwart their pathway when the
first gun was fired--the pandemonium of passion, still dormant in
their breasts, was ready to be kindled in all its baleful fury.



                "Woe, ah, bitter woe!
    The suffering mother and the moaning babe
    The aged feeling in their veins the blood
    Chilling forever."

At last the war-cloud, which had been hovering for months over
our fair land, burst with a fury that was appalling. Cheeks were
blanched and hearts were made tremulous in agony. Missouri was
destined to realize a season of despair, such as has fallen upon
few people in modern times. It was neighbor against neighbor,
kinsman against kinsman, brother against brother, and vengeful hate
burning up all that was merciful and good in human nature. The
night of woe had descended.

The appearance of the renowned Guerrilla chieftain, Quantrell,
on the border; the stories which were circulated concerning his
achievements; the feverish state of the public mind, and the
circumstances in which the people of this State were involved, all
contributed to exert a large influence over the minds of the youths
and young men just coming upon the stage of life in the Western
counties. Cole Younger, who had not then been regarded as "a wild
lad," equally with Frank James, who had been so regarded, was
attracted to the standard of the daring Guerrilla. In the vortex
of passion which whirled through the land, all principles, love,
justice, mercy and hope were swallowed up. Men were transformed by
the baleful influence.

Previous to the departure of Frank James for Quantrell's camp,
there is no evidence that Dr. or Mrs. Samuels had been mistreated
or in any way insulted by the Federal militia. The Samuels family
were intensely attached to the Southern cause, and the very
appearance of soldiers in the blue uniform of the United States was
not a little galling to the sectional pride and native passion of
Mrs. Samuels, who did not hesitate at any time to abuse the cause
which they represented. In this pleasant pastime she was always
emphatic and unamiable in expression.

It was early in 1862 that Frank James bid adieu to all peaceful
pursuits, and rode away in the dim twilight hour to seek the
camp of the Guerrilla Chieftain. He had made a start toward
becoming an outlaw. It was in the spring-time. Frank was away
with Quantrell's reckless band, and Jesse, who had attained the
age of sixteen years, was ploughing in a field on the Samuels
estate, near Kearney, when on a bright day a band of Federal
militia approached the homestead. They first encountered Dr.
Samuels, and him they laid violent hands upon, bore him away to a
convenient tree, adjusted a rope about his neck and hanged him to a
projecting branch until life was almost extinct, and so they left
him for others to relieve. Not content with this exhibition of
prowess, the valiant warriors proceeded to the field where Jesse
followed his plough, and laid hold upon him, and placed a rope
around his neck and told him his hour had come, and while they
tormented him in this manner, some of them pricked his body with
their bayonet-points or their sabres. The reason assigned by the
militiamen for this exhibition of violence, was that Jesse James
was accustomed to ride fast and far when the shades of night fell
upon the earth, to convey intelligence to the Guerrilla Chieftain
of the movements of the militia. When they had chastised him, and
warned him that if he rode any more to carry the news they would
kill him, they let him go his way.

But Jesse James was not to be intimidated. He rode again and
again to the hidden camp. His bad passions were aroused. The boy
had become a savage. That same week the militia made a descent
upon the farm-house of Dr. Samuels, and finding Mrs. Samuels and
her daughter, Miss Susie James, at home, they were placed under
arrest and conveyed to the jail at St. Joseph, at that time a
place reeking in filth, where they were detained for a number of
weeks, all the while subjected to the coarse jests and cruel jeers
of the unfeeling guards. This last act on the part of the Federal
militia determined the future course of Jesse James. While his
mother and sister languished in jail, Jesse mounted a horse, fleet
of foot, and rode away, nor did he stop until he drew rein in
Quantrell's camp. At this time he was described as not yet sixteen
years of age, with a smooth, handsome face, with deep blue eyes,
and a complexion as soft, as delicate and fair as a school girl's.
But even then the bright blue eyes were never at rest, and about
the mouth were the lines of strong determination, and a certain
expression of countenance that indicated cool courage. He, perhaps,
had the susceptibility of being merciful, but _his mercy_ was a
mere whim--a passing fancy and not a quality.

Frank and Jesse had both entered upon their career--a course in
life destined to blight all that was noble, or susceptible of
becoming noble and grand in character. The old life, with all its
promise, and all its dreams and hopes, was past. Henceforth a new
life, fraught with danger and sufferings, and crimes which should
make their very names a terror, was to animate them. The hard lines
were drawn, and the men who might have served well the interests
of a peaceful society, had more favorable circumstances surrounded
them, cast loose all the restraints of civilized life, and in a
day, as it were, returned to that condition of savage existence
from which the race had been raised by ages of struggle. They were
not long in proving to their comrades that they were worthy to be
numbered among their desperate ranks. Their efficiency as daring
and dangerous partisans was soon made manifest.



    "The presence of soldiers is a wicked thing,
    Bounded in time and circumscribed in space."

The presence of armed men wearing the blue uniform of the Federal
army in the counties of Platte, Clinton and Clay, Missouri, was
commingled gall and worm-wood to the souls of that portion of
the population which was devoted to the Southern cause. These
constituted probably more than two-thirds of the inhabitants. The
passions of the people on both sides were at a white heat. Neighbor
was contending with neighbor, and friends were ready to strike down
the friends who opposed, and old associates divided by politics,
had become the bitterest of foes. Anarchy prevailed. Society was
rent into fragments and the law of hate was triumphant.

Frank and Jesse James were with Quantrell's band, and were
selected to go on an expedition with a scout under Captain Scott,
to the north side of the Missouri river. The town of Richfield
was garrisoned by a company of some thirty men under command of a
Captain Sessions, of the Federal State militia. Scott's command
consisted of only twelve. Yet with this feeble force he determined
to attack Richfield. Frank James was one of the men appointed
to lead the attacking party. A desperate fight ensued. Captain
Sessions and Lieut. Graffenstien, of the Federal garrison, were
killed at the first fire. The Guerrillas gained a complete triumph.
Ten of the militiamen were killed, while Scott did not lose a man.
The survivors of the fray surrendered to the partisan, Captain
Scott, and he paroled them.

After the morning fight, Scott moved about twenty miles that day
to the house of one Pat McGinnis, in Clay county. It was made the
duty of Frank James to scout through the country that night, and he
rode away from the camp of the partisan in the black night--rode
straightway to the home of his mother. That lady was at home. She
had been collecting information for the use of the Guerrillas,
and was pleased to see her son. To him she opened her budget of
intelligence. The movement of Scott on Richfield had startled the
Federal militia. The small bands were rapidly concentrating, and
were strengthening their position every day. Plattsburg, the county
seat of Clinton, had been stripped of its garrison, which had been
sent out to hunt for the bold raiders, and was at that very time
defenseless. Such was the character of the information gathered
by Mrs. Samuels, and imparted to her son, who, in company with a
comrade, Mr. Fletcher Taylor, rode hastily back to Scott's camp to
report the character of the information which he had gained.

  [Illustration: A Moonlight Conference.]

On receiving the information, Scott resolved to make an attempt
upon Plattsburg. During the succeeding day it was ascertained that
Captain Rodgers had left Plattsburg to make an effort to discover
and capture Scott, taking with him most of the garrison. In the
first watch of the second night after the affair at Richfield,
Scott's little band silently deserted their camp and rode rapidly
toward Plattsburg. Two o'clock in the morning found them within
four miles of that place, on Smith's fork of Grand river. Here they
halted and slept until daylight. They were in a deep forest, and
quite secure from observation. Until three o'clock in the evening
they remained quiet, feeding their horses and resting. Then the
scouts brought intelligence concerning the situation at the town,
and the Guerrillas, mounting, set out to capture it. There were a
few men left as a guard at the Court-house, under the command of a
Lieutenant. The officer had been out in town when the Guerrillas
charged into the public square. Before he could rejoin his men
he was cut off by Frank James, to whom he was compelled to yield
himself a prisoner. James at once conducted his captive into the
presence of Captain Scott. The militia in the Court-house, though
taken by surprise, were not disposed to yield without a struggle.
At the time the Lieutenant was brought before Scott, they were
pouring a severe fire among the Guerrillas, and the issue was
in doubt. Pointing to his prisoner, Frank said, "Captain, shoot
that man, unless he delivers up the Court-house." "That I will!"
responded Scott, with a terrible oath as he drew his pistol. The
officer besought his men to yield, which under the circumstances
they consented to do.

Two hundred muskets were captured and destroyed, and $12,000 in
"Union Defence Warrants," of the State of Missouri, were seized and
appropriated. The spoils of victory were divided among the band.
Frank's share was $1,000. It was his first taste of gain through
violent appropriation--an initiative lesson, so to speak. He has
become a proficient since that time. The raiders, whose camps
were usually to be found in forests, far away from the generally
traveled highways, concluded to sup like civilized men that night,
hence they ordered supper at the hotel, and had for their guest the
late Federal commander of the post.

Frank James is a silent man, having little to say, and that little
is brought out in sharp, short sentences. He is not so tall as
Jesse, nor so robust in form. He never laughs, and was never known
to jest with his comrades. In the early days of the war he was
beardless, and the outlines of his features were visible to all.
His face is long, with a broad, square forehead, and a strong under
jaw and heavy chin. His eyes are dark gray and are restless, and
always have a wicked expression about them. In later years Frank
James wears a full beard, and on that account is not so readily
recognizable by those who knew him in the old days.

Jesse James, as a youth, had a round jovial face, and rather a
pleasant expression of countenance. He was then the reverse of
taciturn; had a merry laugh, and was "a fellow of infinite jest"
among his comrades. In all his subsequent career he has been the
Aaron to Frank. Jesse always does the talking yet, when they have
occasion to communicate with strangers. In later years Jesse, too,
has become reserved, not so taciturn as his brother, but still more
silent than the average of men. Neither one of the brothers is
given to boisterous merriment now-a-days, since life's shadows have
fallen so darkly around them.



        "Wherefore this tangle of perplexities,
    The trouble or the joys? the weary maze
        Of narrow fears and hopes, that may not cease,
    A chill falls on us from the skiey ways,
        Black with the night-tide where is none to hear
    The ancient cry, the wherefore of our days."

The years come and go, and they give birth to bright and tender
dreams, as well as to passions dark as Azrael's wing, and fierce as
flames of Tophet. Yes, the years give joy and peace to some, and
hope buds, as in the spring days the lilacs bloom. Yet time digs
deep graves in which to bury our fondest hopes, and obliterates in
indistinguishable night every earthly joy. It is better so. If we
could draw aside the screen which hides from our ken the things of
the future, who of us would enjoy the prospect?

There was a time, perhaps, when Frank and Jesse James would shudder
at the thought that they should become not only soldier-slayers of
men, but robbers and murderers as well. And yet they were drifting
down a rapid tide toward the great black gulf of evil. A few
months calls the leaves from their buds, and dresses the forest in
green--a few months more and the leaves and flowers wither before
the North wind's breath and the beautiful flowers and the gay
leaves become loathesome in the dust of decay.

And so too, we imagine, are the changes of mind and the
transformation of character. The James boys were in a school where
the gentle law of mercy was never imparted; in a school where the
instructors were incarnations of bitterness and hate, and every
pupil devoted to the lessons they gave out. So the months rolled
away and it was not long before they could listen unmoved to the
last sigh of the dying victim, and send a foe before the aim of
their unerring bullets, to challenge the sentinels on the farther
shore of the river of death without a thought or tremor of remorse.
They were fit now to take part in the most sanguinary warfare ever
waged in this country--the Guerrilla warfare along the border of

It was therefore without any twinges of conscience that they heard
the proposition of the revengeful Quantrell, to capture and sack
the city of Lawrence and massacre its male inhabitants. They were
in the transforming stage, the full grown desperadoes were just
coming along the steps of time from the closet of the future.

It was a night in August--the 16th--1863, when the commander of
the fiercest band of Guerrillas that ever marauded in the State
of Missouri, gave the order, "Saddle up, men!" in his camp on the
Blackwater, and unfurling that ominous black banner with the single
relief of the word "Quantrell" in white, the bush-warriors rode
west toward the Kansas border, intent upon a mission which could
neither succeed nor suffer repulse without bringing sorrow to many
hearts. On the way three peaceable citizens beyond the Aubrey, were
pressed into service as guides to the bloody band. They forced
these to lead them until they had reached a part of the country
where their knowledge extended no further, and when they came
to a grove of timber on the margin of a stream, the three poor
inoffensive men were remorsely shot, Frank James being one of the
executioners. They had set out to kill all Kansas men.

  [Illustration: After Lawrence.]

On the morning of the 21st, it was as clear and bright a summer
morning as ever gladdened the earth. Quantrell's band was in full
view of the ill-fated city. There was a charge, women's faces
blanched, and shrieks rent the air. Volley after volley broke the
stillness of the morning. The people saw the sombre black flag, and
knew that the Guerrillas were upon them. On they came, a resistless
tide. Men sank down without a groan. The very streets ran red in
human blood. Women and children, coming before the fatal revolver
bullets which streamed along the street, met their fate as they
fled for the shelter of homes that were destined for the flames to
feed upon. In this pandemonium of war-fiends, Frank and Jesse James
were conspicuous actors. Here, there, everywhere, when opportunity
offered, men either armed or unarmed and defenseless were made
victims of their skill as pistol shooters, and they felt no more
regret than if they had been acting the part of honorable soldiers
and chevaliers. The torch was applied, and the terrors of billowy
flames were added to the horrors of the scene. How many houses they
burned, and how many lives they destroyed that day, they themselves
do not know; of the first there were several, of the second there
were many.

They returned with Quantrell to Missouri. They had learned well.
The lads who are claimed by their friends to have been gentle as
cooing doves in the home nest had been singularly transformed into
merciless eagles, or vindictive kites, rather. They had proved that
human rights and human lives had little to call for their regard,
and so the first stage of a notorious career had been attained by
these brothers ere yet they had reached their majority.



    "Oh, the dread of by-gone days!--
      A fearful tale they tell,
    When rung the woodland echoes round
      To warlike shout and yell,
    When fiercely met the hostile bands,
      And deadly grew the strife,
    And wildly, with the clash of arms,
      Went up the shriek for life."

The cruel strife of the border can never be forgotten. Those were
tragic days, the very remembrance of which comes like a dream of
sorrow and desolation of soul. It is well that such terrible times
have passed away, for to those who were exposed to the fury of
that tidal-wave of passion, which swept over the fair borderland,
physical existence must have been a wheel of pain. But the mighty
procession of the ages, sweeping by, will soon obliterate the
traces of the storm's ravages, and only the dim legends of horrible
deeds will remain.

In that dreadful ebullition of human hatreds, Frank and Jesse James
played no laggard's part. As boys, they accepted service under
Quantrell, and became renowned for caution and daring even in the
days of their youth. Members of a partisan organization, famed even
in the early days of the strife for daring deeds and extraordinary
activity; a band, every man of which was a desperado of great
cunning and prowess, these two callow-youths, taken from a country
farm, speedily rose to the eminence of leading spirits among the
most daring of men. Both sides in the border counties of Missouri
and Kansas prosecuted war with a vindictive fury unparalleled in
modern history. The scene of the operations of the Guerrillas was
at first confined to the limits of Clay, Platte, Jackson, Bates,
Henry, Johnson, and Lafayette counties, in Missouri, and along the
Kansas border.

These men rode far and fast in the night time, and fought their
foes at early dawn. Living in out-of-the-way neighborhoods were
their friends. When pressed hard they disbanded and scattered, and
rendered all pursuit futile.

Frank and Jesse James early discovered those traits of character
which have rendered them famous as the greatest outlaws and
freebooters of modern times. They became scouts and spies for
Quantrell at the beginning of their career, and showed themselves
possessors of remarkable capacity for such service. They were cool
and brave, fertile in resources, and marvelous in cunning.

After Lawrence came the disbandment, and with the disbandment
came that strange training in individual development and personal
reliance which have made the Boys objects of fear to the people of
many regions, and enabled them to plunder at will, baffle pursuit,
and defy the civil authorities of great States.

They had hiding places with friends in Clay, Platte, Jackson,
Johnson, Cass and Lafayette counties, and when the Guerrilla band
to which they belonged scattered in order to evade pursuers, the
Boys retired to the dwellings of their friends and rested in peace
till the time of re-organizing, when an enemy was to be punished.

Perhaps no two individuals ever lived on this continent who have
taken so many lives, as the James Boys. Emerging from the seclusion
which they could always find in the Hudspeth neighborhood, in
the eastern part of Jackson county, in July, 1863, with Captain
George Todd, a redoubtable Guerrilla chieftain, with whose command
Frank and Jesse often fought, they struck the road leading from
Pleasant Hill to Blue Springs. Major Ransom, a Federal officer with
a cavalry force, was traveling that road at the time. A collision
took place. The fighting was savage. The volleys of revolver
bullets fired by the Guerrillas proved awfully destructive to
their opponents. Jesse and Frank James have been credited with a
tremendous destruction of life--Jesse killing seven, and, Frank
eight men in the Federal ranks during that encounter.

One night Frank James and five or six of his comrades were detailed
to capture and kill the militia men who were accustomed to frequent
a bagnio, four miles east of Wellington, in Lafayette county.
Frank James preceded the little band, and, creeping up under
the window, he saw the company inside. There were eleven men in
dalliance with the women. James returned to his comrades, reported
the result of his observations, and the Guerrillas rode to the
house. A peremptory summons brought the militiamen to the yard. The
Guerrillas poured a volley of bullets among them. The ten men fell,
pierced by the deadly missiles. But where was the eleventh man?
There had been that number in the house when James saw the company,
and the man could not have left the place. A search was instituted.
The man could not be found. But there was one woman more in the
party than had been seen before. A candle was procured and a
search instituted among them. They all appeared to be women. Frank
James discovered the man. He was a youth, fair skinned and blue
eyed, with long brown hair. His features were handsome, and in the
garments of a woman he appeared not unlike a fresh country girl.
Of course he expected to die there. His ten companions presented
the spectacle of a ghastly wreck of humanity in the yard as they
lay there cold in death. But he plead for his life. He was so young
to die. "Here, Frank, take him," said the leader. "You discovered
him; he is yours to deal with." It was a sentence of death, they
said. The boy thought so, and hope vanished. "Come," said Frank,
"come along and be shot." The poor youth trembled in every nerve.
He could scarcely walk. His supposed executioner had to assist him
down the steps and out through the yard. They passed the ghastly
heap of corpses, lying there in the dim starlight. They went away,
into the darkness under the sombre trees, down the road. Poor boy,
he thought of his mother. Under the wide-spreading branches of an
ancient oak they halted. "Here! we are far enough," said Frank
James. The poor youth almost fell to the earth from excess of
emotion. To die, and so young, and in such a way, too! "Oh, spare
me for the sake of my mother!" he wailed. "You are free to go! I
give you your life. You are outside of the pickets, outside of
danger. Go, and be quick about it!" And at that moment Frank James
fired a pistol shot upward through the branches of the oak, and
the fair haired boy soldier disappeared in the darkness--spared
for the sake of his mother by the youthful desperado. Frank James
returned to his comrades. They had heard the shot and naturally
concluded that it meant one more life ended. Frank assumed a grave
expression. "Quick work," remarked a comrade. "Yes," returned the
Guerrilla, "babies and boys are not hard to kill." He never spoke
of that better deed he performed out there, with only the stars and
God as witnesses.

  [Illustration: A Deed of Mercy.]

And the border strife went on. Frank and Jesse rode with Quantrell,
sometimes with Todd and Poole, then again they fought at unexpected
times by the side of John Jarrette, and Bill Anderson, and Arch
Clements. One week they would be charging Blunt's Body Guard in
Southeastern Kansas; the next they would ambush a moving column
of Federal militia in Lafayette, or Jackson county, Missouri.
It was fighting--cruel, savage fighting, all the while. In the
bottom lands along the Blue, or among the Sni hills, when hotly
pursued, they would find hiding places, from whence they emerged
only to deal out destruction and death. Down to Texas, marching
with the close of autumn, like migratory birds, they returned
to their old haunts with the bright spring days. Deceiving and
cutting to pieces Lieut. Nash's small command in the road west of
Warrensburg, on a Monday, we hear of their successfully ambushing
a column of Union militia on the banks of the Little Blue on the
succeeding Wednesday, and a few days afterwards we hear of Frank
and Jesse playing "the trumps" of revolver bullets among a squad
of rollicking soldier gamesters at Camden; then again they are
heard of with Todd, riding down the road from Independence toward
Harrisonville, where, seven miles from the former place, they
encounter Captain Wagner, of the Second Colorado Cavalry, and
engage in a terrible hand-to-hand conflict in which Jesse James
takes the life of the Captain, and with his deadly aim sends seven
of Wagner's men to the bourne of the dead. On the same occasion
Frank, riding furiously among the Federal cavalrymen, deals death
to eight of them. So the spring and summer of 1864 was passing with
these men engaged in deeds of blood.

It was in the last days of July of 1864, that Arch Clements and
Jesse James were riding along a country road one evening, when they
discovered four militiamen in an orchard gathering apples. Two of
the men were in one tree and two in another. Without ceremony
the Guerrillas shot them as they would have shot squirrels from a
forest tree, and jested of the deed as they might have jested over
the fall of wild beasts.

It was about this time that Frank James had a thrilling adventure.
He had been ordered out on a scout to ascertain the movements
of the Federals in Jackson and Cass counties. It was a period
of deep anxiety to the Guerrilla leaders, as it appeared that
special efforts were being made by the Federal militia, and several
companies of the Second Colorado Cavalry, to capture all the
irregular Confederates found in the State of Missouri. Frank had
reached the Independence and Harrisonville road at a point about
midway between the two towns. As he passed through the country
he ascertained that a force of infantry and cavalry were at a
house some miles away from the road. How many there were in this
detachment he could not learn. But he resolved to investigate.
Taking a neighborhood path, not much traveled, he rode toward
the Federal encampment. On the roadside was a lonely cabin, now
uninhabited, as he believed. He examined the indications, and rode
on. At the cabin the road made a short turn. When Frank turned
around the corner of the old cabin, two militiamen presented their
muskets and commanded him to halt. In an instant the ready pistol
was snatched from its place by the Guerrilla, and even before
the militiaman could fire, the bullet from Frank's pistol had
penetrated his brain, and he fell in the agonies of death to the
earth. At the very instant of firing, Frank put spurs to his horse
and galloped away, turning and firing at the remaining guard as
he did so, and wounding him unto death just as he was in the act
of firing at the daring rider. The bullet from the militiaman's
gun whistled within an inch of Frank James' ear as it sped on its
harmless mission. The picket post where the firing took place was
within a few hundred yards of a camp where a hundred militiamen,
and half that number of cavalrymen, who rode good horses, were
taking their dinners. Frank, surmising that the two soldiers with
whom he had the combat were on guard duty close to camp, and that
an alarm and pursuit would follow, rode with all speed toward the
Guerrilla camp. He was pursued, as he expected, but he easily
eluded the Coloradoans.

  [Illustration: A Narrow Escape.]

In August--it was the 12th day of that month, 1864, that Jesse and
Frank participated with their comrades, Todd, Anderson and others,
in a desperate conflict in Ray county, Missouri. Again the deadly
revolvers, in the hands of the boys, accomplished fatal results.
Between the two, seven fellow-beings were sent to the silent realms
of death.

Two days afterward they were at the Flat Rock Ford, on Grand river,
and a desperate struggle with some Federal militia and volunteers
ensued. During that fight Jesse was struck by a musket ball which
tore through his breast, cut into and through his left lung,
and caused him to fall. His comrades carried him away. At length
he was transported to the house of Captain John A. M. Rudd. The
wound was a dangerous one, and all expected it would prove fatal.
Jesse believed so himself, and took from his finger a ring which
he charged his friends to carry to his sister, Miss Susie James,
and give her also his dying message, which was, "I have no regret.
I've done what I thought was right. I die contented." This event
occurred August 16th, 1864. By the 7th of September he had so far
recovered as to be able to ride and fight again.

On the 12th of September Jesse and Frank rode away with Lieutenant
George Shepherd, from the Guerrilla rendezvous at Judge Gray's,
near Bone Hill, Jackson county, for a raid into Clay county. At
this time he visited his mother. On the 16th of September Jesse
James killed three militiamen in an encounter near Keytesville,
Chariton county, Missouri. He was now so far recovered as to
perform the services of a scout.

On the 17th he rode twenty-nine miles in the night time, through
a country swarming with militia, to advise Todd concerning the
movements of the Federal forces.

On the 20th of September, 1864, occurred the battle of Fayette,
Missouri. The whole of Quantrell's band was concentrated for the
purpose of making this attack. All the chieftains were present,
Quantrell and Anderson, Poole and Clements. During the assault
on the stockade, Lee McMurtry was desperately wounded close up to
the enemy's position. Jesse and McMurtry were comrades, and he
would not allow his friend to fall into the hands of the Federals
if he could help it. He rushed up to where the wounded man lay,
and though exposed to a terrible fire, he carried away his wounded
friend without receiving any injury. The Guerrillas were driven
from Fayette.

At this time the various bands seemed to accept the leadership of
Bill Anderson, who was then gathering forces for the Centralia
expedition. Quantrell separated from him, and returned to a secure
place of repose in Howard county.

Todd and Poole and the James boys, Pringle, the scalper, the
two Hills and Clements, indeed, all of the most desperate of
the Guerrilla gang followed the black banner of the most savage
Guerrilla that ever trod the soil of Missouri.

The 27th of September, 1864, must ever be a memorable day in the
annals of the civil war in Missouri. On that day, with a flag black
as the raven's wing, and ominous of the coming night of death, Bill
Anderson rode to Centralia, a village in the northeastern part of
Boone county, Mo., on the line of the St. Louis, Kansas City and
Northern Railroad. He was not long idle. A train of cars drew up
to the depot. There were soldiers and citizens on that train. Very
few of the former, however, were armed. Only a few guns, at any
rate, were fired. The train and its passengers were completely
at the mercy of the Guerrillas. The Federal soldiers and citizen
passengers were formed in a line. Then a separation of citizens
and soldiers took place. Twenty-eight soldiers and four citizens
who wore blue blouses were selected, marched out and shot with an
atrocious haste that would make even the cruel Kurds shudder. In
this bloody tragedy, Frank and Jesse James were prominent actors.

Scarcely had this butchery been consummated, when Major Johnson,
in command of about 100 Iowa cavalrymen, came upon the scene.
The force of the Guerrillas under command of Todd numbered more
than two hundred men, and as both were determined, a desperate
fight ensued. But the impetuous charge of the Guerrillas, led by
George Todd, broke the lines of the Iowans, and a panic ensued
among them. Major Johnson made gallant effort to rally his men. It
was in vain. The furious riders dashed among them and shot them
down like so many panic-stricken sheep. Jesse James, mounted on a
superb horse, rode directly at Major Johnson. The issue was not
doubtful. The deadly aim of the Guerrilla soon laid him stark and
still on the prairie. It was all over with him, and also for the
men he commanded that morning. Appeals for mercy were of no avail.
The vanquished Federals were massacred. Frank James was equally
active with his brother. He is credited with having taken the lives
of eight men that day. It was a day of horror, and the partisan
rangers revelled in the carnage.

After Centralia came hard knocks. In one of the fights immediately
succeeding the Centralia holocaust, Dick Kinney, a noted Guerrilla,
received his death wound. He was Frank James' comrade, and he fell
heir to the pistol which Kinney had worn. On the handle of this
weapon were fifty notches, each notch signifying one. He had killed
fifty men. Frank James probably has the pistol yet.

In a corner of Clay county lived an old man named Banes. He was a
staunch Union man, and blessed the Guerrillas with the same kind of
blessing that Balak desired Balaam to bestow upon Israel. Banes was
particularly severe in his condemnation of Jesse and Frank James.
One night the boys went to Bane's house under the guise of Colorado
troopers. The old man received them gladly, and at once unbosomed
himself freely in regard to the Guerrillas. In the course of his
remarks he animadverted on Mrs. Samuels, the mother of the boys, in
bitter terms. He denounced her as being "the mother of two devils,
Jesse and Frank James." The boys secured his confidence, and then
a promise of immediate assistance in hunting up the desperadoes.
Banes got his gun and pistols and saddled his horse, mounted and
rode out to his death, for when the trio had gone about half a mile
away from the house, the pretended soldiers announced themselves as
the James boys, and gave him no space for repentance. Two pistol
shots rang out on the still night, a heavy body fell to the earth,
and then the living men rode away, leaving a cold form of mortality
out under the stars.

With difficulty the Guerrillas made their way to their haunts
on the Blackwater. Fighting was going on constantly. The shadow
of death was gathering over many a bold rider of the Guerrilla
band. Moving out from their camp on the Blackwater, one day, the
Guerrillas fell into an ambuscade, and several received wounds.
Among those thus wounded was Jesse James, who had his horse killed
and received a shot through the leg.

Todd was sent out to skirmish with the advance guard of the
Federal army then following the retiring army of General Price. At
every creek there was a battle, and at every encounter there was
bloodshed. In one of these fights, when the leaves were all falling
on the brown earth, George Todd was killed. In the night time his
followers came to pay the last tribute of respect to his remains.
There were not many who gathered there in the gloom of the midnight
to gaze for the last time on the face of the courageous Guerrilla,
but among them were Jesse and Frank James, and they pointed their
pistols toward the cloud-veiled, teary sky, and swore to avenge his

But the old band was broken up. Late in October, 1864, Jesse and
Frank parted, the former with Shepherd went to Texas, the latter
with Quantrell to Kentucky.

It proved to be the final dissolution of Quantrell's once
formidable force of partisans. George Todd, the Paladine of the
command, the leader who was persistent and daring, slept quietly
after the fierce turmoil of life's battlefield had ended. John
Poole, another hard rider, desperate fighter and dauntless leader,
mouldered in a gory grave. John Jarrette and Cole Younger had
sometime before separated from the band, and were operating in the
far South where the magnolias grow and the moss-bearded live-oaks
stand sentinels in the fever-haunted swamps. Fernando Scott
was dead. Bill Anderson had fallen in a terrible combat while
endeavoring to effect a crossing of the Missouri river in Howard
county. As he had lived for some years, grimly fighting, so in
the last extremity when the odds were all against him and unseen
messengers of death burdened the air with their low-hummed dirges,
his life went out while he still fought in the very shades of
despair. Kinney was dead, and many more had surrendered life in the
hot simoon of battle.

And what a band it had been, which was now broken! Its deeds must
ever remain a part of the history of Missouri, and the chapter
wherein the record is made will always be read with a shudder,
and in years to come men will remember the mournful story of
devastation and death with feelings of painful regret that human
beings could so revel in the miseries and misfortunes of whole

To those who can calmly sit and look down the vista of the dead
years and recall without prejudice the history of men who were
authors of deeds so notable--actions which, performed under other
circumstances, would have made heroes of deathless fame, there must
come a feeling of regret that such men should have been the victims
of a baleful destiny.



The days of Guerrilla warfare were drawing to a close. The retreat
of Price and Shelby from Missouri left the Federals free to operate
against the Guerrillas. The old bands were decimated. Death had
been busy in their ranks; and for the remnants of a once formidable
organization, no Confederate army could extend over them sheltering
arms. The drama was about completed; the curtain was soon to drop.

Jesse James went with Lieutenant George Shepherd to Texas in the
autumn of 1864. During the long march through the Indian Territory,
they met with many stirring adventures. On the 22d day of November,
Shepherd's band encountered the band of Union militia, commanded
by Captain Emmett Goss, which had acquired an unenviable name on
account of the excesses which they had committed. Goss was coming
up from a marauding trip into Arkansas, and had reached Cabin
Creek, in the Cherokee Nation. Goss was "a fighting man," and a
fierce conflict ensued. Jesse James singled out the commander
and rode full at him, firing his pistol and receiving the return
fire of the other. The contest was short; the steady aim of the
Guerrilla secured him a triumph. Goss fell from his horse with
one bullet-hole through his head and another through his heart. On
this occasion there was one other to realize the skill of Jesse
James with the pistol, if indeed he realized anything after his
ineffectual plea for life. The Rev. U. P. Gardiner, chaplain of the
Thirteenth Kansas, rode with Captain Goss' band up from toward the
South. Jesse James pursued him, and came up with him. The chaplain
told his pursuer who he was, and plead for life. The answer he
received to this petition was a bullet through the brain. He fell
from his horse dead.

  [Illustration: Jesse James' Escape from "Pin" Indians.]

Two days afterward, Jesse and a companion were riding over the
prairie, near the bank of a stream. For some cause the comrade of
Jesse left him for a time alone. Not far away was a skirt of heavy
timber. On a sudden, a wild shout burst from the wood, and a party
of Pin Indians--that is, Cherokees, who were friendly to the Union,
came skurrying across the prairie, directly toward the Guerrilla.
His danger was imminent, for the Cherokees were well armed with
long range guns, which they knew well how to use. Safety lay in
retreat, and Jesse turned to flee. He was on the open prairie, and
could not get to the timber. There was a high and steep bank before
him, and the Indians were following close behind. He determined
to leap his horse down the precipice. It happened to be where the
water was deep, and a slight projection and growth of brush broke
the fall. The leap was successfully made, and neither horse nor
rider was badly injured. Jesse, following down the creek, made his
escape, and soon regained Lieutenant Shepherd's camp.

  [Illustration: A Horrible Deed.]

During the winter of 1864-5 Jesse James remained in Texas, leading
quite an inactive life. With the spring, however, that part of
the Missouri Guerrillas which went with Shepherd, began to think
of Missouri again. In April they began the return march. The road
was beset with dangers. The Pin Indians in the Cherokee country
were extremely hostile, and left no opportunity to strike at
them unimproved. By the time the May flowers bloomed, Jesse James
had reached Benton county, Missouri. In that county lived a Union
militiaman named Harkness, who had made himself exceedingly
obnoxious to people of Confederate sympathies. This man was
captured by the returning Guerrillas, and Jesse James and two
comrades held him in a vice-like embrace, while another Guerrilla,
Arch. Clements, cut his throat from ear to ear.

At Kingsville, Johnson county, Mo., lived an old man named Duncan,
who had belonged to the militia, and was very cordially disliked on
account of his bad disposition toward the Southern people. Jesse
James sought him, found him, and slew him. Duncan was a man of 55
years of age.

The Guerrilla career of Jesse James drew to a close. In May, 1865,
all the Confederate bands in the State were coming into the Federal
posts and surrendering. A considerable number of those who had come
up from Texas with Arch. Clements desired to surrender, but several
refused to do so. Among these were Jesse James. But the formality
of a surrender of the others led them all to Lexington, Mo., under
a flag of truce. There were eight unsurrendered Guerrillas to bid
a last adieu to their old comrades. This little band had proceeded
into Johnson county, when suddenly they were met by a band of
Federal troops returning from a scouting expedition. These fired
upon the Guerrillas, and a sanguinary struggle ensued. Jesse
James' horse was killed; he was wounded in the leg and retired into
the woods pursued by the Federals. He fought with desperation,
but received, at last, a shot through the lungs. The wound was
a terrible one, but he escaped, and dragged himself to a hiding
place near the banks of a small stream. Here, for two days and
nights, alone, consumed by a raging fever, the wounded Guerrilla
lay. Finally he crawled to a field where a man was ploughing. This
man proved to be a friend, and took James in, cared for him, and
finally sent him to his friends. The soldier who shot Jesse James
that day was John E. Jones, Company E., Second Wisconsin regiment
of cavalry. The Guerrilla and his antagonist afterward became
acquainted, and were warm personal friends. Jesse James joined his
mother in Nebraska, and returned with her to Clay county, Missouri.

       *       *       *       *       *

Quantrell gathered up a small band of his old comrades in the
Guerrilla warfare, at Wigginton's place, five miles west of the
town of Waverly, Lafayette county. Among those who obeyed the
summons to this rendezvous was Frank James. The Confederate armies
had retreated from Missouri. There was no longer a field in that
State for the exercise of his peculiar talents. He resolved to
go East, to Maryland, and there open up a Guerrilla warfare. It
was on the fourth day of December when Quantrell and Frank James
and about thirty others of their old followers and comrades left
Wigginton's for Kentucky. On the first day of January, 1865, the
dreaded Quantrell's band effected the passage of the Mississippi
river at Charlie Morris' "Pacific Place," sixteen miles above
Memphis. Morris rendered Quantrell valuable service, although at
that time he was a frequent visitor to Memphis, and on excellent
terms with the Federal authorities at that place. After leaving
the river they marched through Big Creek, Portersville, Covington,
Tabernacle, Brownsville, Bell's, Gadsden, Humboldt, Milan,
McKenzie, and on to Paris. Here they had their first difficulty,
and were compelled to mount in hot haste and ride away. From
Paris the Guerrillas proceeded to Birmingham, and crossed the
Tennessee river. Their route then lay through Canton, Cadiz, and
to Hopkinsville. Near this place they came to a house where there
were twelve cavalrymen. Nine of them fled, leaving their horses.
The three men who remained fought the whole of Quantrell's band
for many hours, until preparations were made to burn the house,
and, indeed, until the fire was kindled. They then came out and
surrendered. Quantrell, of course, appropriated the twelve fresh
horses which were in the stable.

There was one Captain Frank Barnette, who commanded a company of
Kentucky militia stationed at Hartford, Ohio county. Quantrell at
that time was playing the role of a Federal captain. As such,
he induced Barnette to go with him on a hunt for Confederate
Guerrillas. Barnette carried with this expedition about thirty of
his men. Quantrell resolved to assassinate them all, and a way was
found to do so during the day. Frank James was made the executioner
of Captain Barnette, and as he rode by him when they entered a
stream of water at a ford, as the sun went down behind the western
hills, Frank James fired the fatal shot, and Barnette fell dead
from his horse, dying the clear waters of the brook red with his

The career of the Guerrillas was drawing to a close in Kentucky
as well as in Missouri. Quantrell, and Mundy, and Marion were
constantly hunted by dashing cavalry officers.

The disguise thrown off, the Federal officers knew that work must
be done in order to stop the Guerrillas, and they were not slow in
engaging in the undertaking. Major Bridgewater and Captain Terrell
were untiring in their pursuit of Mundy, Marion and Quantrell.
Frank James visited an uncle, and was not with Quantrell when that
chieftain fought his last fight at Wakefield's house, near the
little post village of Smiley, Kentucky. That day Quantrell's band
was nearly annihilated. Subsequently, Henry Porter gathered up the
survivors of the once formidable Guerrilla band, and surrendered
with them at Samuel's depot, Nelson county, Kentucky, on the 25th
of July, 1865. Among those who surrendered was Frank James. After
the surrender, Frank remained in Kentucky because of a deed which
he had performed in Missouri about a year before. There lived in
the northeast corner of Clay county a man named Alvas Dailey.
He had made himself very obnoxious to the James Boys, and Frank
resolved to rid the world of his presence. One night he went to
Alvas Dailey's place, and the next morning he was found dead with
two bullet holes through his head. Frank James had assassinated



Frank James went down to Wakefield's house, where the noted
Guerrilla chieftain, Quantrell, lay wounded unto death. Had the
terrible scenes of the hard, cruel Guerrilla warfare through which
he had passed, obliterated from the breast of Frank James every
tender emotion? It appeared not, when he bent over the white face
of the wounded chief with its traces of suffering and anguish. He
shed tears like rain. He loved his leader, and did not hesitate
to manifest that regard. Knowing that the hand of death was upon
him, Quantrell advised his disheartened followers to accept Henry
Porter's leadership and surrender themselves to the Federal
authorities. It might have been because their dying commander
desired it, that such men as Frank James and his companions so
readily consented to lay down the weapons of war. At any rate, the
formal submission of the Guerrillas was made.

In Missouri, the terrible warfare which had been waged had left
scars wide and deep and bloody, and they were yet recent when the
banners of the contending armies were furled. At any rate, it so
appeared to Frank James, and he did not return at once to the State
of his nativity. The part he had played had been a conspicuous
one, and, on account of Centralia, he was on the list of the
proscribed, and when the war ended, so far as actual hostilities
were concerned, it had not ended, so far as Frank James was
interested, because he was not restored to the peaceful pursuits
which he had abandoned when first the war cry arose in the land. He
still lingered in Kentucky.

The conduct of Frank James for some time after the surrender
indicated a desire on his part to become once more a quiet,
peaceable citizen. He was extremely circumspect in behavior, and
demeaned himself in a most unobtrusive way. Such was the promise
of the new life after the years of bitter strife in the late
Guerrilla. But he was not proof against the assaults of passion.
One day the old flame burst out anew with consuming fury. Frank had
started away from the State and stopped at the town of Brandenburg.
It was several months after the remnants of the desperate band
which Quantrell led into Kentucky had surrendered to the Federal
authorities. But the country was still in an unsettled condition.
Bad men who had found occupation in hovering about the verge of
battle and plundering the ghastly victims of war ere the last
feeble breath had departed from their pale lips, were now idle
and had become wandering thugs in the highways of the land. Horse
thieves and bestial monsters were to be found prowling about in
nearly every community, and more especially in the border States.
A large number of people, and those, too, who had served in the
Confederate, as well as those who had been soldiers in the Union
armies, looked upon the men who had been with Quantrell, and Mundy,
Magruder and Marion, Anderson, Farris, Hickman and other noted
Guerrillas, with suspicion. Many persons looked upon them as men of
evil antecedents--as thieves.

Horse stealing was carried on at a lively rate all along the
border. Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky were particularly afflicted
for many months after the surrender by the presence of these
enemies of the farming and stock-raising communities.

Just about the time Frank James was passing through from Nelson
county to Brandenburg, in Meade county, on the Ohio river, on his
way to Missouri, a number of horses were stolen in Larue county.
A posse went in pursuit of the thieves. They traced them to
Brandenburg. There they found Frank James. There were four of them
when they came up with James, and he was alone, sitting in the
office of a hotel. By some means they induced him to come out, and
then they told him he might consider himself their prisoner on a
charge of horse stealing in Larue county.

"By G--d! I consider no such proposition," exclaimed Frank James,
as he drew a pistol and commenced firing. In less time than it
requires to state the fact, two of the posse lay extended in the
embrace of death, and a third was down and writhing in agony. But
the fourth man fired a shot into Frank's left hip, and then ran

The wounded desperado was immediately surrounded by an excited
throng. The ball had taken effect at the point of his hip, and the
wound produced was not only painful but dangerous. Yet the superb
nerve of the man sustained him in the midst of an appalling crisis.
A perfect storm of excitement was raging in the town. Threats
loud and terrible were made, and Frank James coolly presented his
pistols as he stood leaning against a post and ordered the excited
crowd to stand back, and they obeyed him.

Somehow it has always happened that the Jameses never wanted for
friends wherever they have wandered. It was so on this occasion.
Though the great majority of the people of Brandenburg thirsted for
the blood of the slayer of two men in their midst, yet that grim
young man, though wounded and suffering, had friends at that town,
and in the midst of the excitement, these came to his assistance,
and he was borne away to a secure place, where the populace could
not tell, and nursed by tender hands prompted by affectionate
hearts. Attended by a scientific surgeon, the ghastly wound which
had brought him to the very brink of the abyss of death, began to
heal, and in a few weeks the surgeon who had attended the hidden
patient was able to report that he would surely live and might
ultimately recover entirely from the dreadful wound.

When Frank had gained some strength, and it was deemed safe to
remove him, in a quiet and secret manner he was conveyed in a
close vehicle to the house of a staunch friend and relative in
Nelson county, where he remained during many months, suffering
excruciating pain on account of the horrible wound. He did not
entirely recover from the effects of the wound for several years.



Certainly no one could say that Jesse James possessed any of the
qualities which would make him

    "Like one who on a lonely road
      Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round, walks on,
      And turns no more his head,
    Because he knows a frightful fiend
      Doth close behind him tread."

He was constituted of a different element. If he ever felt the
sense of dread, no one ever knew it, for certainly none ever saw
it exhibited in his conduct. Yet he knew that he was hunted, knew
that shrewd, bold men sought to bind him in fetters, to deprive
him of liberty, or, failing in that, rob him of life. And yet this
knowledge did not alarm him, and the very presence of his foes
did not make him afraid, though they numbered "ten strong, brave
men." Perhaps Jesse James never knew what fear meant, having never
experienced the sensation.

It was in 1866, on St. Valentine's day, February 14th, that
an event occurred at Liberty, Missouri, which created intense
excitement in that community, and a profound sensation throughout
the West. The event alluded to was the plundering of the Commercial
Bank of that city of an amount of money said to have been nearly
$70,000. The robbery was not effected in the same bold way as
characterized the raids into Russellville, Gallatin, Columbia,
Corydon and other notable incidents in the career of the James
bandits. But inasmuch as the bank was depleted of its funds, and
that the robbery was unusually bold and audacious, there were many
who secretly believed that Jesse James planned the robbery, if he
did not lead the robbers, and that the treasures of the bank had
been largely diverted to the individual possession of that noted
young man. It will be remembered that the Liberty bank robbery
occurred at a time when the James Boys were regarded only in the
light of "desperate fighters--perhaps sometimes cruel in their
vengeance," but otherwise they were believed to be honest and
honorable men. Hence men were cautious in coupling the name of any
member of the James family with an act of highway robbery.

But the conviction was strong in the minds of many people,
nevertheless, that the funds of the Liberty bank had gone to
minister to the wants and satisfy the desires of Jesse James and
his friends and confederates. No immediate action was taken against
him, but as time passed on, and other acts were committed by Jesse
James and his friends, which were not regarded as either right or
proper, the belief that they had participated in the robbery, if,
indeed, they were not the robbers themselves, became wide-spread in
the community. But in justice to Jesse James, it is but right to
say that no evidence directly implicating him in that affair has
ever been secured.

Cole Younger, when asked by a visitor to the Stillwater
penitentiary concerning the Liberty bank robbery, remarked, "I have
always had my opinion about that affair. If the truth is ever told,
many of the crimes charged to me and my brothers will be located
where they belong." Former friends of Jesse James are firm in the
belief that he was the instigator of the deed, if not the leader
of the brigands who sacked the bank. This belief, at any rate,
influenced the public mind to no small extent, and led eventually
to an effort to arrest Jesse James a year afterward, which attempt
ended in a bloody tragedy, as narrated in the next chapter.



When the war closed, Jesse James was sorely wounded. It was only
by the most persistent and sureful nursing that he could expect to
recover. When he was able to travel he was furnished transportation
from Lexington to go to Nebraska to join his mother, who was then
a fugitive from her home. It does not appear that he lingered very
long in Nebraska, since we are assured that before the brown leaves
had fallen, Mrs. Samuels had returned to her old home near Kearney,
Clay county, Missouri. This point appears to be conceded by all
who have written concerning them. Jesse's wounds healed slowly--so
slowly that after the lapse of a year he was but just able to ride
on horseback a little. During the summer of 1866 Jesse rode around
the country, but there was still considerable feeling against him,
and he went well armed. Indeed, he always had his pistols "handy to
use." Nothing appears to have disturbed the quiet of his life until
the night of February 18, 1867.

It was a cold night. The ground was covered with a thick mantle
of snow, and the wind blew bitterly cold from the north; the full
moon shone brightly on the glittering garments of mother earth.
Jesse James was at his mother's home near Kearney, Clay county,
tossing under the infliction of a burning fever. His pistols
were loaded and rested beneath his pillow. On that night, five
well-armed and well-mounted militiamen rode to the home of the
James Boys. Dr. Samuels heard the heavy tread of the armed men on
the piazza, and demanded their business. He was told to open the
door. He went up to confer with the sick ex-Guerrilla. He asked
Jesse what should be done. The sick man begged his step-father to
assist him to the window so that he might look out upon the crisp
snow out in the moonlight. He looked with a deeper interest at the
five horses hitched in front of the house. They all had cavalry
saddles on their backs. He knew that they were soldiers, and he
well understood the object of their coming. It was a moment when
decisions must be reached quickly. He had never surrendered, and
he never intended to do so. Hastily dressing himself, he descended
to the floor below with his pistols in his hands. The militiamen,
impatient at the delay of Dr. Samuels in opening the door, had
commenced hammering at the shutter with the butts of their muskets,
all the while calling to Jesse to come down and surrender himself.
They swore they knew he was in the house, and vowed to take him
out dead or alive. Jesse crept softly and close to the door, and
listened attentively until, from the voices, he thought he could
get an accurate aim. He raised a heavy dragoon pistol, placed the
muzzle to within three inches of the upper panel of the door, and
fired. There was a stifled cry, and a heavy body dropped with a
dull thud to the floor of the piazza. His aim had been deadly.
Before the militiamen could recover from their surprise, Jesse
James had thrown the door wide open, and, standing on the threshold
with a pistol in each hand, he commenced a rapid and deadly fire.
Another man fell dead, and two more men had received wounds which
were painful and dangerous, and surrendered to the outlaw they
came to capture. The fifth man, terror-stricken, fled, reached his
horse, mounted him, and rode rapidly away in the moonlight.

Thus was commenced that long strife which has gone on year after
year, and the warfare has made Frank and Jesse James the most
renowned outlaws who have ever appeared on the American continent.
All the skill and ingenuity of the shrewdest detectives have been
at various times brought into requisition, but failure has attended
all their efforts to capture the boys.

The scene presented at the Samuels house, after the flight of the
only man of the attacking party who remained unhurt, was indeed a
sad one. Here, in the cold night wind, extended on the open piazza,
with faces ghastly and white in the moonbeams, lay the forms of two
human beings, who but an hour before, in the prime of life and the
full flush of manhood, had ridden to the retreat of the wounded and
sick Guerrilla. They were still in death now. And the next day
friends came weary miles to bear them away.

              "Helpless upon their sable biers,
    They bore them forth with bitter sighs and tears,
    With no gay pageantry they moved along,
    Most silent they, amid a silent throng.
    And there they left them in that drear abode
    Alone with its still tenants and their God."

And there were two more men who had come with brave hearts and
steady hands to capture the weary, feverish ex-Guerrilla, lying
there writhing in agony after the attempt had been made. They had
come with the hope of delivering Jesse James over to the law, and
thus bind him forever. Now they lay completely helpless, and in the
power of the daring outlaw, who had the name of being devoid of the
quality of mercy. And yet they were spared by him.

When a large company of armed men arrived at the house of Dr.
Samuels, the next day, to take Jesse James dead or alive, that
redoubtable adventurer was many miles away. The place that had
proved so disastrous to the five militiamen the evening before, was
quiet enough now, and the militia ranged through the old farm-house
without molestation. Jesse was not at home!



Jesse James, soon after the night attack before related, proceeded
to Kentucky, where Frank was stopping with friends. He had not
recovered from the effects of the terrible wounds which he had
received in the breast just after the close of the war. Frank was
still unable to ride abroad on account of the bullet wound in
his hip received on the day of the Brandenburg tragedy. In the
early part of the summer of 1867, Jesse arrived at the house of a
friend in Nelson county, Kentucky, near the town of Chaplin. Frank
was already there. In this neighborhood dwelt a large number of
people who were either related to them or devoted admirers of the
noted Guerrillas. They had been the friends and entertainers of
Quantrell, Marion, Sue Mundy, and others of the Guerrillas in the
closing days of the war.

Soon after his arrival in Chaplin, Jesse, whose condition seemed to
grow worse instead of better, concluded to place himself under the
surgical care of Dr. Paul F. Eve, of Nashville, Tenn. He proceeded
to Nashville, where he remained for several months, and received
much benefit to his health.

In the beginning of the year 1868 Jesse and Frank were once more
re-united at the house of a relative at Chaplin. From all that
can be learned, the life led by the wounded desperadoes while
with their Kentucky friends was as pleasant as could be expected
under the circumstances. There was a large community of people in
that section who were intensely Southern in feeling, and mourned
the defeat of the cause for which so many noble lives had been
sacrificed, with an intense grief. Every one who had fought for
that cause was dear to them, and when the Missouri youths came
to the homes of the Samuels, and McClaskeys, and Russels, and
Thomases, and Sayers, they were sure to receive a warm welcome.

In that part of Kentucky there were scattered about many of the
adventurous partisans who had followed Sue Mundy, Magruder, Marion
and other Guerrilla chiefs in the days of the war. With some of
these Frank James had served in the closing days of Quantrell's

The Jameses were feted and feasted by the hospitable Kentuckians,
and so tenderly nursed that their wounds had very much improved.
Logan county was also the home of many of their friends, and
numerous relatives of the boys, and between these and those
residing in Nelson county, they passed to and fro at will, and
wherever they might happen to rest, they were honored guests of
families who possessed the pecuniary means to enable them to be
hospitable. Fair ladies smiled on them, and gentle hands were ready
to serve them in the hour of pain. It seems that they should have
been happy, or at least contented.

But the James boys' career had been stormy; they had an active,
restless disposition; they had lost the delicate sensibilities
of well organized members of society, and the rough experiences
through which they had passed had evidently destroyed, in a
measure, whatever of human sympathy had belonged to their nature.

And yet at this time their friends--and they had many--believed
them to be honorable and honest, if desperate in conflict. They
knew that they had killed many men, but this was excused, because
the men killed were enemies, and the killing was done in combats.
So it came about that these most noted of outlaws for many years
had friends who believed in their integrity, and were ready at all
times to engage in the defense of their character.

The times were favorable. There were many desperate young men
turned adrift by the events of the war; men ready to engage in any
undertaking which promised excitement and gain. Over such, Jesse
and Frank James could exercise a large influence, and from among
such they drew allies in the commission of crime.

The individual members of organizations which had hovered along
the borders, and hung on the verge of the great field of warfare,
in character one half soldier and the other half bandit, were
just the kind of men from whose ranks recruits for lawless
enterprises could be enlisted. In Kentucky and Tennessee, Arkansas
and Missouri, there were many such persons--men who, during the
great strife, when mighty hosts clashed against each other, and
tremendous events were taking place, had occupied an anomalous
position which brought upon them the hate of the Federals, and
incurred for them the displeasure of the Confederates, were in a
position where a step further could not materially alter their
relations to society. The men who had fought with regiments,
banded in great armies, whether on the side of the Federals or
Confederates, did not look with any great consideration on those
who had lingered along the borders of war, as independent companies
of scouts and Guerrillas.

There were many men in Kentucky at the time of which we speak who
had been in organizations of the character above described--that
is, Guerrilla bands, both Federal and Confederate. The regular
soldiers of both armies, whose families had suffered in consequence
of the partisan warfare, looked with ill-concealed dislike upon the
free riders of the border, and this fact, no doubt, had a large
influence in driving many of the Guerrillas into downright outlawry
when the war had closed. It was in a community of ex-Guerrillas
that Frank and Jesse found themselves in Kentucky, and among such
"friends," no doubt, their first great project of bank robbing had
its inception and complete maturity.



Russellville is a beautiful village--almost grown to a city--in
a lovely region of country in Logan county, Kentucky. The people
of Russellville are educated and refined. It is the seat of
much wealth and boasts its colleges and academies. In general,
Russellville is a quiet place, and from year in to year out its
quietude is not often broken by any startling incident. But things
will occur everywhere, sometime, to create a profound sensation. It
happened that this quiet, prim old place should have a great and
notable sensation.

It was a bright morning in March. The blue birds had returned and
were singing their matin songs from the budding branches of the
trees. Russellville was as staid and sober as usual. There was not
a single thing to indicate that the old town was about to be shaken
up as it had never been before. The bank doors stood wide open, and
the cashier stood at his desk. An old lady hobbled down the street,
and a fresh school-miss paused to gaze at the early spring flowers
which adorned a neighbor's garden; a kitchen maid was singing a
ditty to her absent swain in the back yard; and a sturdy citizen
crossed the street to inquire if a certain bill which he held in
his hands was good.

Nothing strange in all this? Of course not. People were simply
minding their affairs according to their own inclinations. There
was a sudden clatter of hoofs that morning, the 20th of March,
1868. Terrible shouts and fearful oaths, and the sharp reports
of pistols accompanied the sound of the horses' hoofs. The old
lady suddenly dropped her staff and stood as if petrified; the
young miss ran hastily away; the cashier turned pale, and the
sturdy citizen hastily retreated back across the street. A dozen
horsemen, armed with two pairs of revolvers each, rode furiously
about the streets, and with fearful oaths commanded the people to
keep in their houses. Two of the men rode to the bank, dismounted
and rushed in. One of them presented a pistol at the head of the
cashier, and commanded him, under penalty of instant death, to be
still and make no noise. The other took out the contents of the
safe, amounting to many thousands of dollars; they then remounted
and rode away. In a few minutes the streets of Russellville were
comparatively deserted. The brigands had come in, secured their
plunder, and had as suddenly disappeared; the citizens scarcely
knew what had happened. Surprise prevented immediate pursuit.
The bandits had taken the road toward the Mississippi. They were
traced to that stream and across to the rugged hills of Southeast
Missouri, and then the trail divided up, and all marks of their
passage were lost. They found friends, did these bandits, in West

Who were the bold raiders? Where did they come from and where did
they go when they secured the rich booty from the plundered bank?
The good friends of the James boys declared that it was impossible
that they could have participated in that affair. In substantiation
of this position they pointed to the fact that Jesse James was at
the town of Chaplin, in Nelson county, which is fifty miles or more
from Russellville, and that incomparable raider himself wrote a
letter for publication in the Nashville (Tennessee) _American_, in
which he triumphantly points to the fact that at the very time of
the raid on Russellville, he was at the Marshall House, Chaplin,
and refers to Mr. Marshall, the proprietor of the hotel, for the
truth of the statement, that on a certain day in March, 1868, he
was at his house. But unfortunately the date of the robbery, and
the day which Jesse asserts he spent at Chaplin, were not the same
days. It was no uncommon thing for Jesse James to make more than
fifty miles on horseback in six hours, in those days when the roads
were good. He rode no inferior animals--the best blooded horses of
old Kentucky were bestridden by the daring raider.

Another thing: Jesse James was only seen in Chaplin the day after
the robbery, and in the evening at that; even if he had been seen
late the _same_ evening after the robbery, it would not have
constituted even a presumptive evidence of his innocence, since
after the robbery occurred in the morning he could have ridden to
Chaplin before nightfall. Just previous to the robbery, Jesse had
spent much of his time in Logan county, almost a dozen miles from
Russellville, with relatives, of whom he had a number residing in
that region. As we have before stated, Frank had been severely
wounded while resisting arrest at Brandenburg; but he was then so
far recovered that he had no difficulty in riding on horseback. He
had made a number of journeys between his usual stopping place at
Mr. Sayers' house in Nelson county, and the houses of his kin in
Logan county. The statement made by Jesse that Frank was at the
house of Mr. Thompson, in San Luis Obispo county, California, at
the time of the Russellville bank robbery, is incorrect. Frank had
not then visited California.

The friends of the boys, however, were unable to make a clear
defense for them, and they have been generally credited with being
not only participators, but leaders of the raiders.

At the time of the robbery, Geo. W. Shepherd, Oliver Shepherd, and
several others of "the old Guerrilla guard," as they were called,
had their homes or stopping places in Nelson county. Geo. Shepherd
had married the widow of the noted Missouri Guerrilla, Dick
Maddox, who was a member of the band which Quantrell led out of
that State. This redoubtable warrior, who had assisted at Lawrence
and Centralia, and had participated in many desperate and bloody
affrays, met his fate in a terrible conflict with a Cherokee
Indian. Maddox and Shepherd had been friends and comrades in the
dark days when they rode with Quantrell, and as Mrs. Maddox was
left alone in a strange land, and was yet young in years and comely
in features, George Shepherd readily agreed to console the widow in
her affliction and perform the duty of a faithful comrade to the
memory of his friend by espousing his widow. They were married and
settled in Chaplin before the raid on the bank.

The people of Russellville quickly recovered from their surprise
by the audacity of the robbers. The officers of the law rallied,
and there was mounting in hot haste and an earnest pursuit of the
robbers. Oll. Shepherd had suddenly disappeared from Chaplin;
several of the old Guerrillas had also gone away, and Frank and
Jesse James, too, had quietly departed from that region of country.

The Kentucky blood of the pursuers was up, and they followed
the trail of the robbers with tireless energy. They were traced
west over hills and through valleys. The Cumberland river was
crossed, and through the rugged region between that stream and the
Tennessee, they were tracked as foxes might have been trailed.
But the pursuers were always just too late to come up with the
gang. Still they followed on, and finally reached the banks of the
Mississippi only to learn that the persons they sought had crossed
before their arrival, and plunged into the wilderness regions of
Southeast Missouri. Some effort was made to keep on the track
of the fugitives through the swamps of Missouri, but the traces
became fainter and fainter as the pursuers advanced, until among
the rugged hills of the Southeast they faded out altogether, and
the Kentuckians were forced to give up the chase and reluctantly
returned home after a bootless pursuit.

George Shepherd had married a wife--moreover, he had bought a house
at Chaplin--and therefore he did not travel with his comrades to
the West. The officers of the law soon found him, and as he was one
of the suspected parties, and the bank robbers had taken Shepherd's
horses on which to escape, he was arrested and a thorough search
was made for evidence to convict him. He was taken to Russellville
and placed in jail. The grand jury of Logan county at its next
sitting found an indictment against him, and he was in due time
arraigned before the Logan county circuit court on a charge of
aiding and abetting the robbers. The evidence was deemed conclusive
by the jury before which he was tried, and a verdict of guilty
was returned and the punishment was fixed at three years in the
penitentiary at hard labor.

The other members of the band escaped to Western Missouri. Oll
Shepherd, a cousin of George Shepherd, was found in Jackson county
by the persistent Kentuckians. They desired to arrest him. A
requisition was procured from the Governor of Kentucky, and the
executive order of the Chief Magistrate of Missouri, for the
arrest of the fugitive. But Oll Shepherd was an old Guerrilla, and
he flatly refused to be taken back to Kentucky as a prisoner. The
civil officers were deterred from executing the warrant of arrest.
In those days there were vigilance committees in Missouri. To one
of these the situation of affairs was reported. It was at once
determined by the vigilantes that Oll Shepherd must either submit
to arrest or be killed. The company of vigilantes found him at his
home near Lea's Summit. Would he surrender? they demanded of him.
"Never! death first," he shouted back to them. Then the bloody work
began. But what could one man do against twenty-five? There could
be but one result. The one man must die at last, however bold and
skillful. So it resulted in this case. Oll Shepherd had been an old
Guerrilla under Quantrell, and had learned how to shoot and how
to despise fear. He resisted, and not until he had received seven
bullet wounds did he succumb. In fact, he died fighting.

The other members of the gang implicated in the Russellville
robbery escaped. The Jameses soon after went to the Pacific Coast,
and remained there for quite a while. They were on a tour in search
of health. The hard life which they had led and the desperate
wounds which they had received had sadly impaired their superb
physical systems, and they needed rest and time to recuperate
wasted energies and allow their wounds to heal.

  [Illustration: Death of Oll Shepherd.]

Meanwhile, George Shepherd, shut out from the world, toiled on at
his unrequited tasks in the penitentiary at Frankfort. He who had
been the free rover and wild Guerrilla, the dauntless rider and
relentless foe, in the garb of a convict did service to the State,
and answered not again when ordered to his daily rounds of labor.
And he alone of the survivors of that band of freebooters who rode
so fearlessly and madly into Russellville that morning, bent on
mischief and crime, was made to feel the heavy rod of retributive
justice. Oll Shepherd had perished. Nemesis had overtaken some of
the old Guerrillas.



Immediately after the Russellville robbery, Jesse James appeared
once more in his old haunts in Missouri. But his physical system
had been greatly taxed by the tremendous strain to which it had
been subjected. Twice already had he received bullet wounds through
the lungs which would have killed any man less extraordinarily
endowed with vitality. Scars of twenty wounds were on his person,
and yet the man who had gone out from home as a boy; entered into
close affiliation with a band of the most daring and desperate men
ever organized in America; sustained his part with them, and even
surpassed them all in the daring feats they accomplished ere yet
the "manly beard had shaded his face," after having passed through
more exciting scenes than any living man, and participated in more
terrible encounters than most men, yet survived, and though his
terrible wounds had weakened his frame, yet his wonderful courage
and tremendous reserve of vital forces were such as to insure his
final restoration to complete health.

He had traveled on horseback from the little town of Chaplin, on
the eastern verge of Nelson county, in Central Kentucky, to the
western border of Missouri, in the space of a few days subsequent
to the 20th of March, 1869. Jesse James was seen in Clay county,
Missouri, in the first days of April of that year, and was seen
at Chaplin on the 18th of March. That he was at Russellville the
evidence seems to be clear; and that he led a most exciting retreat
from that place, through the hill country of Kentucky, until he
reached the banks of the Mississippi, is one of the facts of his
history. It was his genius which enabled his confederates to escape
from a determined pursuit of resolute men. Once on the west bank of
the Mississippi, to use a Westernism, "he was on his own stamping
ground." He knew every "trail" across the swamps of Southeastern
Missouri, and every pathway in the tangled brakes over the rugged
hills of the southern counties of that State, were as familiar to
him as the woodlands about the old farm in Clay county. He knew
more--that there were scattered through the country from Chaplin
to Kearney, a route of more than five hundred miles in length, men
with the reputation of respectable members of society, who always
had a warm welcome for him and his daring men. Who, then, could
pursue and capture him? There is no room for wonder that Jesse
James escaped the irate Kentuckians, who followed his trail from
Russellville to the banks of the Mississippi, and finally lost it
among the rugged hills and vast forests west of the river.

Jesse's extraordinary journeys under such circumstances did not
tend to the restoration of his physical system, which had been
greatly shattered by the terrible wounds which he had received at
the close of the war, in an encounter with a company of Federal
soldiers in Lafayette county.

In those days the friends of the Jameses were numerous in the State
of Missouri; for at that time scarcely any one believed that they
had developed into brigands. Among those who advised with Jesse
James at that time was his physician and friend, Dr. Joseph Wood,
of Kansas City. It was the opinion of this physician that the
condition of his patient imperatively demanded a change of scene,
and a more genial climate to insure his restoration.

In accordance with this advice, the patient set about his
preparations for a voyage by sea, and a sojourn on the Pacific

Toward the close of May, 1869, Jesse James left the home of his
mother near Kearney, Missouri, for New York. Here he spent only a
few days. On the 8th of June he embarked on the steamship Santiago
de Cuba, bound for Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus to Panama,
and there again took a steamer for San Francisco. The spoils of
Russellville allowed him means to gratify every desire in the "City
of the Golden Gate," and he remained there for some time.

Meanwhile Frank James, who was not deemed able to make the long
ride, in the flight before the officers at Russellville, was
secluded for a time in the house of a respectable citizen of
Nelson county, Kentucky. But it was not deemed best that Frank
should linger long in that part of the country. A friend provided
a close carriage, and a few weeks after the Russellville robbery
Frank James was very quietly driven northward one evening, passing
by Bloomfield, through Fairfield, by Smithville, and on through
Mount Washington to Louisville. Here he remained a few days, and
then took the cars for St, Louis. Arrived in that city, Frank
put up at the Southern Hotel, registering as "F. C. Markland,
Kentucky." The name was one he had used before when he did not
desire that his real name and character should be known. Here
he met two or three of his old comrades, and he spent several
days very pleasantly with them. Meanwhile he communicated with
his mother and apprised her of his intention to go West across
the Rocky Mountains. Mrs. Samuels met her son at the house of a
relative in Kansas City, where he remained for two days, and then
bidding farewell to those who had always been true to him, he took
passage for California, where he arrived some weeks before the
arrival of Jesse. Frank did not remain long in San Francisco, but
proceeded very soon to San Luis Obispo county, and paid a visit
to his uncle, Mr. D. W. James, who was at that time proprietor of
the Paso Robel Hot Sulphur Springs, a much frequented resort of
invalids in that county. The friends of the Boys, and Jesse James
himself, in a published letter, claim that Frank went by sea to
California, and that he sailed from New York on one of the vessels
belonging to the Pacific Mail Steamship Line. But this story was
doubtless set afloat to mislead the public concerning the movements
of the Boys. The above account we have from a gentleman who was at
that time a friend of the Jameses, and who traveled with Frank from
Kansas City to San Francisco. He knew the desperado well, and had
daily conversations with him on the journey.

After spending some time at the Springs, Frank James proceeded
to the ranche of Mr. J. D. Thompson, with whom he had a previous
acquaintance, gained while that gentleman was visiting in the
States. The noted ex-Guerrilla remained at the Laponsu ranche for
many months, and until after the arrival of Jesse.

The two brothers met at Paso Robel. Here they remained for several
months. In the autumn they went out to the mining districts of

It appears, from information in the possession of the writer,
that the Boys behaved themselves with much circumspection while
they were the guests of their uncle. Their evil propensities were
suppressed, and no one who came in contact with the quiet, sedate
Frank, and the genial, companionable Jesse, during those days,
would have suspected that these brothers were the most daring and
dangerous men who had ever yet defied the powers of the State, and
disregarded the demands of society. Some quiet weeks had been
passed. The weak lungs of Jesse had healed, and the lame hip of
Frank was well again. The climate had wrought a wonderful change in
their physical systems. Jesse had grown robust, and possessed all
the powers of physical endurance which have been since tested and
proved incomparable.

The quiet life at Paso Robel began to be irksome to the men whose
lives had been passed amid the rudest shocks and the wildest storms
of excitement and passion. They would go out among the miners and
have a little fun while prospecting there. In Nevada, society was
in its rudest stages of development. The country was filled with
adventurers from every country under the sun. In the camps of the
miners and prospectors were desperadoes from all regions, and a
visitor to these places who wanted to fight only had to say so, and
there was no delay in getting accommodated. It was then flush times
in the Bonanza State.

Frank and Jesse went up to the mountains to take a look at the
country. They formed some acquaintances among the adventurers, and
they found several old acquaintances from Missouri and Kentucky.
The rude life of the mining camps was more congenial to the
disposition of the men who had rode with Quantrell than the refined
society found about a fashionable resort for invalids; and the
restless raiders liked well to linger in the tents of the miners
among the lofty summits of the Sierras. For a while they passed
their time very pleasantly in such associations. They prospected
some, and played sportsmen in the intervals of time so spent.

But their pleasant days in the Sierras were doomed to draw to
an abrupt close. There was a new camp formed at a place called
Battle Mountain. It will be remembered that we are writing of a
period when the rich mineral discoveries of Nevada had drawn a
miscellaneous population from the four quarters of the globe. Camps
and towns sprang up like Jonah's gourd--in a night, and disappeared
with the noonday sun of the morrow. Battle Mountain was "a rattling
place;" the people who had pitched their tents there had come in
search of gold. Many of them were old pioneers, accustomed to
hard knocks and sudden surprises. Others were "hard visaged men,"
who knew how to flee before the avengers of blood--a knowledge
gained during years of practical experience. They were quick with
the knife, and "lightning shots." They were inured to scenes of
danger, and were not liable to suffer from sudden surprises. Frank
and Jesse James, accompanied by two old Missouri acquaintances,
concluded to pay a visit to Battle Mountain, "to shake up the
encampment," as they said. They found spirits there who were
congenial and some who were uncongenial. At last they brought up
at a shanty where women, whisky and cards united their attractions
to allure the old pioneers and chance visitors. The Jameses do not
drink, but they claim to be "handy with the pasteboard." Here they
engaged in a game of cards with two notorious roughs and blacklegs;
and their companions also found a pair of gamesters, ready and
anxious to join them in a "bout of poker."

For a time the game proceeded without anything occurring to disturb
the amicable relations of the players. At last one of the old
Missouri friends of the Jameses detected his opponent cheating in
the game. He charged him with it, and the other denied the charge
and demanded a retraction. Of course nothing of that sort could
happen. The gambler retorted by drawing a knife, and the other
snatched a pistol from his belt. Jesse James, who was sitting at
a table a little distance away, saw the danger of his friend, and
in an instant, just as the gambler was in the act of striking the
Missourian, he threw his pistol out and shot the blackleg through
the heart. As he turned, the man who had been sitting opposite to
him, engaged in play, had a pistol leveled at his breast. Jesse
brought his pistol around with a swing, and another gambler fell
without a groan to the earth--dead!--shot through the brain. By
this time the utmost confusion prevailed. Lights were overturned,
and the place was shrouded in utter darkness in an instant of time.
There was a crowd of twenty or thirty men in the shanty when the
firing commenced. Every man was armed, and all had their weapons in
hand. Jesse cried out:

"Stand aside! Be ready!" The other three men of the party
understood what he meant. It was for them to get out, and they
rushed for the door. A pistol would flash and a heavy body would
fall with a thud to the ground. When the door had been gained by
his companions, Jesse, who had covered their exit, sprang forward
to escape from that pandemonium of darkness, suffering and death.
Pistols were popping and knives were clashing in a horrid din. The
maimed, writhing in agony, mingled their groans and curses in the
awful uproar. By the flashing of pistols, Jesse saw that Frank
and his two friends had made their exit, and were firing into the
crowd as opportunity offered, taking care to not shoot toward him.
He determined to leave the shanty, but two burly roughs, with huge
knives, stood in the way. A pistol ball quieted one of them, and
almost before the flash of his pistol had faded away, and before
the other could think of using his knife, Jesse sprang upon him and
dealt him a fearful blow on the head with the butt of his pistol.
The gambler sank with a groan to the earth, and with a spring Jesse
joined his friends on the outside. By this time a light had been
placed on a barrel behind the slab which served for a counter.
Three men were seen weltering in their own blood--dead. Four others
were lying writhing in pain, and all were gory from the blood which
flowed from ghastly wounds.

  [Illustration: Fight in a Gambler's Den.]

The crowd saw all this at a glance. The dead and the wounded in the
shanty did not include any of the strangers. The crowd yelled
for vengeance on the authors of the bloody tragedy. There was a
shout that awakened the mountain echoes for miles around, as the
infuriated pioneers and gamblers surged out of the shanty.

Meanwhile the Jameses and their friends had retired a short
distance from the place to ascertain the extent of the injuries
they had received in the melee. It was a cloudless night and the
stars shone brightly. The leaders of the mob soon discovered the
four Missourians, and ran, yelling, toward them.

"Back, you d--d miscreants! Stand back, I say!" cried Jesse James.

But they rushed forward at the top of their speed.

"Boys, we are in for it," said Jesse, quietly. "All right, be
ready." Then he shouted:

"Come on, d--n you! Just come ahead and be killed!" He had no more
than ceased speaking when they had approached near enough to open

"Wait, boys! Steady! Every shot must tell! Now!" And as the sound
of the last word died away, there was the report of four pistols,
almost simultaneously discharged, and four men fell badly wounded;
once more the four deadly pistols were discharged, and two more
of the howling mob sank down in their tracks. The others paused.
But they gave the Missourians a parting salute as the latter moved
rapidly away. That salute seriously wounded one of the friends
of the Jameses, and carried away a portion of Jesse's hat brim.
But they escaped, aided by the night, and hastily returned to
Winnemucca. Here they learned that intelligence of the terrible
dark seance at Battle Mountain had preceded them, and that it was
not a safe place. Aided by friends, they remained in seclusion a
few days, waiting an opportunity to get away. During these days of
retirement they made up their minds to return to the States east
of the mountains, and when they met a favorable opportunity they
embraced it, and in another week after their departure they were
secure among friends near their old haunts in Missouri, ready to
plan still more startling campaigns than any which they had yet



                    "Those misnamed men
    Whom damned custom had brazed so
    That they were proof and bulwark against sense."

Were the James boys driven to outlawry?

A strange question, no doubt, many readers will think, in the light
of the history of their lives. And yet it is a pertinent question,
when we consider the tendency of the human mind and conscience to
deteriorate under the pressure of circumstances. Environments have
much to do in molding character. Perhaps there is not as wide a
space between the natural characteristics of mind and heart in boys
of eight as is generally supposed. But philosophizing aside. Are
there not mitigating circumstances in the case of the James boys?
We do not undertake to defend them--their course is indefensible;
we cannot apologize for them; for outlawry cannot be palliated. But
let justice be done even to these renowned outlaws. Though sinners,
have they not been sinned against? Though slayers of men, have they
had no provocation? Let facts speak.

When the banner, beloved by the Southern people, whether wisely or
unwisely, it matters not, was folded away forever at Appomattox,
that event brought peace and repose to hundreds, nay, thousands of
grim, worn soldiers who had bravely striven to uphold the ensign
they loved so well. The war ended for them, never to be commenced

But all along the bloody borderland there existed a distinctly
different condition of affairs. The warfare was that of community
against community, of neighbor against neighbor, and of relative
against relative. Cole Younger, the Guerrilla, engaged in mortal
combat with Charles Younger, the Union militia officer; it was
kindred blood that strove. In such a warfare the common ties of
humanity are severed, and fury and hate come in where love and
friendship have expired. Such was the situation in Missouri. The
dissolution of the Confederate Government did not restore peace
in such communities. The quarrel was no longer political, and for
principle, but personal, and for vengeance. For others there might
be peace, but for contestants in such a strife there was no peace.

If Jesse James took vengeance on Bond, it must be remembered that
in the dreadful days of the bitter border war, Bond had gone with
his band of militia to the Samuels' place, taken Dr. Samuels,
Jesse's step-father, out, and hanged him by the neck until they
supposed he was dead, and left him there while they went to find
Jesse, who was plowing in the field. He was but a lad then. But
they took him, tied him like a felon, and castigated him like a
slave with a plow line, until faint from loss of blood and crazed
from the agony of the infliction, he fell in a swoon--a mere
quivering mass of flesh and blood. Jesse James was like other
youthful human beings. Could he then forget such treatment? Was
it not natural that he should seek vengeance? And the hour came;
the tormentor fell into his hands; the strong passion overcame
the young man, and he slew his enemy. And so, too, with Banes and
others who fell victims to his relentless purpose. They met a
fate at the hands of the boys which, perhaps, better men than the
Jameses would have connived at under similar circumstances. Thus,
during the long, dark struggle, old scores were paid, but at the
same time new causes of offense were given.

The regularly organized armies of the late contending sections
had been disbanded, and peace ostensibly reigned in the land. But
old wounds had not healed along the border. There were malignant
stars in the zenith of the Guerrillas. Hope animated them for a
space. They sought their childhood's homes. Doubtless they loved
the scenes familiar to them in the old days, before they had
learned to be slayers of men, as well as others of the race do that
anchor-spot of memory. But the bright gleam of hope faded; the
clouds of anguish overspread their sky. The lurid lightning of the
old bitterness flashed athwart their heavens, and the ex-Guerrillas
were pursued and hunted, like felons, beyond the pale of hope or

The resources of the James family had been impaired, absorbed,
wasted, in the crucial time of strife. But they were not permitted
to make a peaceful effort to build up and restore wasted fortunes.
Harassed on every hand, these boys, who were naturally of a strong
temperament, and perhaps of revengeful natures, were yet mere boys
who had learned to be self-reliant; impatient of restraint, bold
in action, and acquainted with the art of slaughter, turned upon
their hunters and revealed the desperate character of the game
they pursued. They were not left in peace after the light of peace
blessed the land and made glad other hearts; and they would have
been more than human not to have undertaken their own protection
under such circumstances. If others attempted to murder them, they
did not hesitate to slay. So their lives have become lurid with

It must be remembered that we are not attempting to justify such a
line of conduct; but there are many things in connection with human
affairs that cannot be defended. We look at things as they are,
and not as they ought to be. Doubtless, it will be admitted on all
hands that the James boys ought not to have led such a wild career
of outlawry; that they ought not to have entered upon such a course
of action; and finally it will be urged that it would have been far
better for them, and everything and everybody connected with them,
to have quietly yielded to the inevitable, and voluntarily exiled
themselves forever from the scenes of childhood and all the dear
associations of their tenderer and more hopeful youth. Certainly,
it would have been best for them. But such a course would have been
contrary to the world's experience of human nature.

So when vigilance committees were hanging their comrades who had
been with them by the camp fires in the deep forests, and in many a
bloody foray; and when armed men, fours and sixes, hunted for them;
when repose was banished from their home, and the phantom shadow of
death peered out at them from every forest thicket, and from the
sombre shades of the silent night, these boys rose up in rebellion
against that society which refused to own them, and that order
which organized the cohorts of vengeance. Jesse W. and Frank James,
the terrible Guerrillas of the war-time, were henceforth to "become
enemies of every man," or at least outlaws from society, and free
companions of the highways. It might have been different with them.
But the long, lingering fires of hate burned after the lurid days
of slaughter, and they were not the persons to refuse the gauntlet
when thrown at their feet. Never too good by nature, circumstances
have made them desperate, and hence, after concluding their bloody
Guerrilla record, we proceed with their history as outlaws and
highwaymen of the most remarkable character of any known in the
annals of history.



The sudden appearance among the people of a peaceful community of
a band of armed men, who whoop like savages, fire off pistols,
swear fearful oaths, and issue sharp commands, is calculated to
produce a feeling of terror, and, for a time at least, to paralyze
the energies of men. By pursuing this kind of tactics, the band of
robbers which commenced at Russellville, Kentucky, in 1868, and
concluded their last exploit at Glendale, in the fall of 1879, have
uniformly, with one single exception, been able to accomplish their
work and make good their escape.

The 16th day of December, 1869, will not be soon forgotten by
the citizens of the flourishing little city of Gallatin, Daviess
county, Missouri, because of an incident which created a thrill of
excitement that extended all over the land. Daylight bank robberies
were not events of frequent occurrence until these later times. The
affair at Russellville had taken place many months before, and it
was thought altogether unlikely that such another audacious robbery
would be soon attempted.

After the Russellville affair, it was known Jesse and Frank James
had made a journey to California, and it was not until late in the
fall that they returned. It was supposed that only the Youngers and
Jameses were capable of doing such deeds, and it was not known that
the Boys were at home by any considerable number of people.

Such conclusions as these proved to be fallacious. On the day
named--a gray, cold December day--the people of Gallatin were
suddenly startled by the presence, in the streets of the place, of
a band of armed men, who rode furiously, shouted loudly, and swore
fiercely at the people, commanding them, in sharp, decisive tones,
to get inside their houses and stay within their own domicils.
While a part of the band remained out in the streets, two of the
robbers rushed into the bank. The cashier, Captain John W. Sheets,
was behind the counter. He was instantly covered by a pistol, and
imperiously commanded to be still. The other robber proceeded to
secure the contents of the safe, placed the bank's assets in a
sack, and walking to the cashier, he placed the muzzle of a pistol
almost against his temple, and fired, the bullet crashing through
the brain, and the unfortunate gentleman fell dead at the foot of
his slayer. The robbers regained their horses, mounted, and the
whole gang rode rapidly away.

The citizens of Gallatin had seen them come and go. They did not
remain long. The whole affair was the work of a few moments. They
soon realized what had been done, and then there was mounting in
hot haste, and almost as quickly as the robbers had come and gone,
a well-armed posse was riding after them in hot pursuit.

Captain John W. Sheets, the murdered cashier of the Gallatin
bank, served as a captain in the Missouri militia, and had often
met parties of Guerrillas in combat during the war. He was
much esteemed, and his wanton assassination created a profound
sensation, and a strong desire to capture his slayers was
manifested throughout the community. The whole country was aroused.
Daviess county had sent many men to the ranks of the militia, and
somehow the impression rapidly went abroad that the robbery had
been committed by the James Boys and their old associates among
the Guerrillas. It stimulated them to greater exertions in the
pursuit. The robbers obtained the start, and the men who had ridden
with Quantrell never made a reconnoissance on indifferent steeds.
Besides, no dashing cavaliers knew better how to ride than they.
It was an exciting chase. The people of Gallatin had been taken
by surprise. The startling suddenness of the appearance of the
robbers; their matter-of-fact attention to the business in hand,
and the terrible tragedy which concluded the drama, were well
calculated to create surprise, not to say astonishment.

The robbers were trailed directly toward Clay county. The Gallatin
posse, after a hot chase, came up with the fleeing bandits. The
latter turned upon their pursuers in so determined a way that they
were compelled to call a halt, and retreat to meet reinforcements.
This gave the robbers time. They continued to retire toward the
Clay county line. It was not difficult to trace them into that
county. But after they had once penetrated well into the territory
of Clay, all traces faded out. No one had seen such a band of men
or any other gang like them, and all efforts to discover their
retreat proved abortive. They disappeared--like the picture thrown
out by the magic lantern when the slide is withdrawn suddenly and
broken--at once and forever.

Hearing that they were accused of the robbery, the James Boys, who
were then at home, mounted their horses and rode to Kearney to file
their protest against the accusation. Their manner convinced the
citizens--that it might be dangerous to insist upon the allegation
that they were the Gallatin robbers.

It was given out, in extenuation of the shooting of Captain Sheets,
that the person who did it believed him to be Lieut. Cox, who, it
is said, claimed to have killed Bill Anderson, when that noted
Guerrilla was attempting to force the passage of the Missouri river
in the face of a superior force of Federal troops. The murder of
the cashier has yet to be avenged. Not a dollar of the money has
been recovered up to this time.



    "The past, we may never forget,
      The present, swift its moments fly,
    The future, we must trust it yet,
      And trusting will not sigh."

After Gallatin, the situation of the boys became perilous, for
although their denials and the affidavits which they were able to
procure, served to convince their friends that they were not at
Gallatin; still the conviction had grown and deepened that they
were concerned in the robbery, and that they had aided and abetted
those who committed the crime, even if they were not present in
person. Immediately after the perpetration of the outrage, Jesse W.
James wrote a letter on behalf of himself and his brother Frank,
offering to surrender to the officers of the law and submit to a
trial, on condition that the Governor should guarantee them against
the chances of mob violence and lynch law in Daviess county.

After examining all the papers in the case, and the facts submitted
to him, Governor McClurg declared that he did not believe the
boys had anything to do with the robbery, and was fully convinced
that they could not have been personally concerned in it. This
had the effect of quieting the suspicions of many persons, but
there were others who still cherished the opinion that they were
the instigators of the robbery, and had aided the perpetrators in
concealing themselves, and had doubtless shared with them the booty
which they had secured. In subsequent years this opinion grew into
a conviction, and now many believe that it was Frank James' pistol
which proved fatal to Captain Sheets.

Be this as it may, the people of Daviess county were aroused, and
many of the citizens of Clay county also, indeed all Northwest
Missouri was excited. This led to a systematic and persistent
attempt to arrest Frank and Jesse James, the generally recognized
leaders of the lawless elements of the State.

Among those who firmly believed in the guilt of the James boys, was
Captain John Thomason, of Clay county, Missouri, a citizen well
known and highly esteemed by the people of the county. Captain
Thomason had served during the war on the Confederate side, and was
known as a man of unimpeachable courage. The war over, he returned
to his home, and settled down to peaceful pursuits, with an earnest
zeal to repair the losses sustained during the war. He had been
sheriff of Clay county at one time, and was an outspoken friend of
submission to law. He disapproved of the conduct of the James boys,
and believed that they ought to be arrested and tried for their

So believing, he had the courage to act. Soon after the Gallatin
robbery, Captain Thomason placed himself at the head of a posse of
resolute men, and started out to execute his purpose--the arrest of
the Jameses. These men have never yet been caught unprepared--they
cannot be surprised. They were aware of Thomason's purposes,
they knew the feelings which he entertained for them, and they
were ready to meet him. That meeting took place near the Samuels
residence in Clay county. Thomason demanded their surrender. They
laughed at the idea. Then firing commenced. The affray lasted but a
few minutes. Several shots were fired, and by one of them Captain
Thomason's horse was killed. The other members of the party did
not care to press upon men so daring, and Frank and Jesse rode
away scathless, and Captain Thomason had to regret the loss of a
valuable horse.

But this little episode did not deter the Captain from freely
expressing his opinion about the boys and those concerned with
them. He had no admiration for the womanly qualities of their
mother, and expressed himself in language much more forcible than
elegant in regard to her.

Some of his harsh sayings about her came to the hearing of Mrs.
Samuels. She was much incensed against him on this account, and
concluded to see him about it. It was ten miles from her residence
to Captain Thomason's house; but she mounted a horse and rode the
distance. She entered the house. The family was dining, and not the
slightest attention was paid to her. She went up to where Captain
Thomason was seated, and said:

"Captain Thomason, I understand that you have called me a----!"

"Yes, I did," replied the sturdy farmer, "and I want you to
understand that if ever I, or any of mine, are injured by you or
yours, in the least thing, I swear before heaven and earth that
there shall not be a stone left of your house."

"Indeed!" was all the reply she made.

"If any killing is to be done," pursued the Captain, "it will be
well for you to kill all my family, and leave none to avenge the

Mrs. Samuels saw that Captain Thomason was in earnest, and that no
compromise or apology could be extorted, and she took her departure.

The efforts of Captain Thomason were not all that were made for
arresting the James boys about the time of the Gallatin tragedy.
The Daviess county officials hunted them. Detectives from Chicago
and St. Louis tracked them and sought an opportunity to entrap
them. But these shrewd men were not so to be caught. All attempts
to capture them proved abortive.



    "Gold begets in brethren hate;
    Gold, in families, debate;
    Gold does friendship separate;
    Gold does civil wars create."

The James Boys were good travelers, and did not confine themselves
to narrow limits. One week they might be in Clay county, Missouri,
and the next in Nelson, or Logan, or Jessamine county, Kentucky,
and then in five days more or less they would be in New York
City, and in another week they might be found in Texas far toward
the Mexican border. The Boys understood the advantages of rapid
movements. When they had "business" on hand, they never appeared in
the vicinity of the scene of their intended operation. Only one or
two of their most trusted friends, under any circumstances, were
allowed to know anything of their presence in the vicinity. When
going to commit a robbery in a strange place, the utmost caution
was used to keep down even the suspicion that anything was wrong.
Thus it was with the band at Russellville, and at Gallatin, Mo.
No one had seen them or even heard of any suspicious characters
around. In both cases the first intimation the citizens had of the
presence of banditti in their streets was the reports of fire-arms
and the shouts of the dashing robbers as they thundered along the
highways. They appeared as suddenly as a meteor, and departed as
quickly as an apparition. Such were their tactics at Northfield,
where the Jameses are known to have taken part in the attempt to
rob the bank. Precisely the same order was observed on the occasion
of the outrage at Columbia, Kentucky, which we shall now proceed to

Columbia is a pleasant village in Adair county, in the middle part
of the State of Kentucky. In the region of country in which Adair
county is included, there are many of the relatives of the Boys
resident, and these were then also friends. Columbia is a quiet
village, except during the terms of the courts which meet there, it
being the seat of justice of the county. At the time which we are
now considering, the courts were not in session, and no more sedate
a town in all Kentucky could be found than Columbia.

It was a lovely afternoon, April 29, 1872. The genial warmth of the
sun had decked the earth in a carpet of green, clothed the trees
in the forest, and called into being the myriad flowers, whose
perfumes scented the breezy air. It was mild, and one of those
lazy, dreamy afternoons, when, from very excess of enjoyment of the
beauties of reviving nature, men are disposed to fall into sweet

But the quietude of Columbia was about to be rudely broken in upon,
the repose of the beautiful spring day disturbed, and the place
swept by a storm of excitement such as Columbia never experienced
before. But we will not anticipate.

At the hour of two o'clock, on the afternoon of April 29th, 1872,
Mr. R. A. C. Martin, cashier of the Deposit Bank at Columbia, and
Mr. Garnett, a citizen, and two friends, were sitting quietly
conversing in the bank office. Neither of the gentlemen was armed,
and no one could have anticipated danger. Everything in the village
was quiet, and the country around was enjoying the blessings of

A half hour later the equanimity of the gentlemen was disturbed by
the entrance of three men, well armed, who, with cocked pistols,
ordered the cashier to surrender up the keys of the safe. Another
one attempted to shoot Mr. Garnett, but that gentleman saved his
life by knocking up the pistol, but was burned slightly by the
flame produced by the discharge. All this was the transaction of a
moment of time.

"Will you give up the safe-key, d--n you?" shouted one of the
robbers, with a cocked pistol presented at Martin's head.

"I will not," was the answer.

"Then, d--n you, will you open the safe? Come, I've no time to
wait. If you don't, I will blow your brains out. Come, will you?"

"I will not. I will d--"

The words were cut short. The sentence was never completed. There
was a loud report, an involuntary moan from lips that would never
speak again, and the lifeless form of R. A. C. Martin, the brave
cashier, fell heavily to the floor. The other three gentlemen were
guarded by one of the robbers, who kept his pistol cocked and
pointed at them, and in view of their dead friend, jested with them
about the facility with which he could dispatch all three of them.
They had witnessed a demonstration of his skill, and they trembled
for their lives.

Having disposed of the cashier, the two robbers who were in the
bank commenced gathering up all the money and other valuables
which were outside the safe. They tried to open the safe, but the
combination was with the dead cashier, and the robbers were baffled.

It was soon known that five men, splendidly mounted, had entered
Columbia, at an hour when very few people were abroad. They were
armed with heavy dragoon pistols, but as they were divided, two
coming in on one road and three on another, the citizens did not
take the alarm until they heard, the firing at the bank. Two men
held the horses of the three who went into the bank, and with
pistols fired at every one who appeared on the street; and by their
savage yells and fearful oaths they alarmed the people to such an
extent that the place soon appeared as if it had been deserted.

Gathering everything they could carry away that had the semblance
of money, placing it in a sack, and, one of them throwing it across
his horse, the three robbers who had gone inside the building came
out, remounted their horses, and with a shout which sent a thrill
of terror to the hearts of the citizens of Columbia, they galloped
away unmolested.

The suddenness of the raid; the terrible character of the men
revealed by the murder of so highly esteemed a citizen as Mr.
Martin; the facility with which they shot a vane off a chimney,
and their declarations that they would murder every man in the
place, which declarations were accompanied by the most terrible
oaths, all had a tendency to demoralize the men of Columbia.
Surprise and consternation prevented immediate action. But when
the cause of their fears no longer remained, they rallied, and
then commenced a pursuit which continued until in the mountains
of Tennessee, in Fentress county, one of the robbers, who went by
the name of Saunders, was wounded and finally captured. This man
was often seen, by their friends, with Frank and Jesse James. This
is conclusive of the fact that the Columbia robbery was committed
by the same gang, who for some years are known to have aided the
James Boys and Younger Brothers in many of their depredations. It
has been asserted by some persons, in a position to obtain reliable
information, that Frank James was the leader in this raid, and
that Bill Longley, the noted Texas desperado, formed one of the
party. At any rate, none of the robbers were ever caught, except
the Texan, who went by the name of Saunders, and he was so fatally
wounded that death closed his existence soon after.

Martin, the murdered cashier, was a gentleman held in high regard
by the people of Adair county, and was a member of the Kentucky
Legislature at the time of his tragic death. The failure to catch
the robbers on this occasion had the effect of creating in the
public mind the belief that an organized band of bank breakers
existed, and sometimes the names of the Jameses and Youngers were
mentioned as leaders of the band.



As Frank and Jesse James, the celebrated outlaws, live separate
and apart from the rest of mankind, they have no confidence in
men, and will not receive the confidence of others. Frank is a
self-possessed, silent man, who cares little for the society of his
fellows. Jesse, on the contrary, under some circumstances, might
have become a rollicking, good-humored citizen, given to "merry
jests and healthy laughter." Both have schooled themselves to
wariness and a caution which keeps guard over their words at all
times. They are temperate to the extent of total abstinence from
every thing which could intoxicate. In brief, the James Boys are
brave as men ever become; they are daring, but not reckless; they
are intrepid to a degree perhaps unexcelled in any who have ever
lived on this globe; no combination of circumstances or conditions
can place them in a position to be surprised. In the midst of
imminent personal danger they are cool and collected as if they
were sitting at a table with a party of friends. They have made
human nature a study, and have noted its every manifestation. They
expect no mercy from a society which has long ago proscribed them,
and they have little emotional regard to waste on that social
organization which spurns them. Brothers in outlawry, separated
from the balance of mankind by an impassable gulf which they have
created themselves, they have learned to hate the representatives
of law and order, and their defiance is not to be despised.

Superadded to physical courage unequalled, they possess cunning and
craft never surpassed. With mental gifts which, properly directed,
might have made them renowned as leaders of men in the better walks
of life, they are no trifling foes to the vindicators of lawful

These brothers, when under their true names, never even associate
together. They do not travel the same road in company, and never
travel the same way on the same day. Though never together, they
are never far apart. If one needs assistance the other is sure to
be near at hand to render it. If one should fall, it is safe to
assume that his fall would be terribly avenged by the other. They
ride at will over the vast plains of Texas, nearly always alone,
unless danger threatens, and neither savage aborigines or wild
borderers can make them afraid. They are veritable roving kings
of the plains. In the haunts of civilization they are no less
men to be dreaded and avoided. The quick pistol and the unerring
aim cannot be despised. Dead men tell no tales, and the man who
would betray will not return to reveal their counsels. Whicher
sought them and Whicher died; Askew would surrender them, and
he, too, perished on his own threshold. They seem to possess the
occult power of reading other men's very thoughts. Such are the
characteristics of the James Boys. Bold, shrewd, cool, deliberate
men, whom no danger can appall; no sudden surprise can disconcert.
They are always ready, and can act instantaneously whatever may be
the emergency.

But it must not be supposed that these men, though outlaws, are
exiles from the haunts of men. As Jameses they are seldom seen,
by even the most intimate of the associates of other days. But
they are not always the terrible outlaws to the seeming of men.
Nor are they condemned to a lonely life away beyond the borders
of civilization among wild herds and roaming savages. They have
travelled much, and have carefully studied; they know the ways of
the world, and avail themselves of that knowledge to enjoy some
of the privileges and pleasures of civilization. Many times when
they were hunted in the out-of-the-way regions of the country, they
have been enjoying life as respectable gentlemen among the citizens
of our Metropolitan centers. While Pinkerton's men have sought
them among the forests of Clay county, Missouri, they have calmly
reposed in the Grand Pacific hotel of Chicago; while McDonough's
"staff" hunted the outlaws in Western Missouri, they were listening
to the soul-stirring strains of Kellogg and Carey in St. Louis.

It must be known that for years they have led a double existence.
They have many names, and are capable of assuming any character.
The same circumspection in speech and action which enables them to
successfully plunder a bank or overhaul an express train is carried
with them into social life, and enables them to make friends and
secure immunity from annoyance, and disarms all suspicion.

The plundered money of an express train permits them to appear as
gentlemen at the Fifth Avenue hotel, New York, and Jesse James as
Charles Lawson, of Nottingham, is not regarded as an outlaw in New
York society. It must be remembered that the James Boys are not
altogether illiterate, nor did they spring from a parentage of
uncouth, unlettered rustics. They have made voyages by sea, and
have been thrown with persons of culture and refinement. Their
father was a man of decided culture, and they have many relatives
of education and refinement. An uncle of theirs is a somewhat
prominent citizen of California, recognized as a gentleman of
intelligence and good breeding. It is, therefore, not so difficult
for them to play the role of gentlemen even in refined society.

The Jameses have various names which they assume as occasion
requires. Another peculiarity of their method is the respectable
character of their friends in their own immediate neighborhoods.
These are respectable farmers and stock-traders, and merchants
and what not. Among their neighbors they are kind and hospitable,
and in every transaction scrupulously honest. On Sunday they are
punctually at church service, and are usually liberal contributors
to all neighborhood charities. No one would for a moment suspect
that such persons could possibly be in league with the most
desperate outlaws who ever lived. Such good neighbors and upright
persons surely can do nothing wrong--so the people think. Among
these, Frank and Jesse are not known under their own proper names,
and if they were it would make no difference. They are circumspect
when with such people, and sometimes can assume the piety of

It is related of the boys that on several occasions after a great
robbery, as known and respectable citizens, they have joined in the
pursuit of the marauders without exciting the least suspicion that
they were concerned in the affair. The following story of Jesse has
been repeated among their acquaintances:

One day--it was the second after the Corydon bank robbery--he was
riding along a not much frequented highway, when he saw two men
in pursuit. Confident that they had not seen him, he turned his
horse's head toward them and rode up the road to meet them. They
were citizens, well mounted and well armed. Jesse wore Grangers'
clothes, and at once assumed a rustic simplicity which comported
well with his garb. When he had approached near enough he quietly
saluted the robber hunters, and in a simple manner began to
converse with them in the following style:

"Well, gentlemen, hev you met anybody up the road ridin' of a hoss
an' leadin ov another one, 'cause you see as how I lives down on
the Noderway, an' some infernal thief has gone off with my best two
hosses. I hearn about two miles furder back at the blacksmith's
shop that er man passed there about a hour an' a half ago with two
hosses, an' they fits the descripshun of mine to a T. Hev you seen

"No. Where are you travelling from?"

"Why, Lord, I've come all the way from the Noderway. The infernal
thieves are just usin' us up that way. I wish I'd come on the
infernal son of a seacook whose taken my hosses. I do, you bet, I'd
go fur him with these 'ere irons. I would that!" And Jesse revealed
his "weepons" as he called them.

"Did you see anybody on the road ahead?"

"Not for sum miles. I met four ugly lookin' customers this mornin'.
They looked like they might 'a been hoss-thieves theirselves. D--n
the hoss-thieves!"

"Thieves are plenty now-a-days. They come into towns and break
banks in open daylight. How far did you say the four men were

"Well, I didn't say, but it must be more'n two hours since I met
'em, an' they were a ridin' purty fast, an' I've rid my hoss almost
down, as you can see."

"What kind of looking men were they?" asked the robber hunters.

"Well, one was a sizable man, with long, red beard, an' a flopped
black hat on, aridin' on a big chesnut sorrel hoss, an' one more
was a smallish man, with very black hair and beard, and sharp black
eyes, an' he was a ridin' on a roan hoss, an' another was an oldish
man, with some gray among his beard, an' he wore a blue huntin'
shirt coat, an' he was a ridin' a gray hoss, and the last feller
was a little weazle-faced chap, with tallowy complexion, who didn't
ware no beard, an' he rode on a dark brown hoss."

The two robber hunters then consulted together. "That's their
description," said one. "Precisely," said the other. "Shall we
follow?" asked one. "I would like to," replied the other. "But
there are four of them," was the remark in rejoinder. "Yes that is
bad. If Ed, Dick and Will would just hurry up. Those fellows are no
doubt very dangerous men," was the comment of one. "You bet they
are," was the response.

All this time Jesse had listened as an interested party. Now he
thought he was privileged to make an inquiry.

"What's up, strangers, anyhow?" Jesse asked.

"You blow it! Don't you know that the Corydon bank, up in Iowa, was
robbed yesterday."

Jesse opened his eyes in well-feigned surprise. "You don't say so!"
he ejaculated.

"Yes, in broad daylight, and the men you met are the robbers, no
doubt. There's a big reward offered to catch them."

"What's this country a comin' to, anyhow? Hoss thieves down on the
Noderway, an' bank rogues up to Iowa. 'Pears like hard workin'
honest folks can't get along much more."

"Could you go back with us?"

"I'd like to, but the cussed hoss thieves will get away. Besides,
you see, my hoss is mighty nigh played out hisself. Howsumever, I
might ride with you as fur as I can. D--n all thieves, say I, don't

And Jesse actually turned around with the two pursuers of the
robbers, in pursuit of another posse of pursuers which Jesse had
been enabled to accurately describe by having seen them pass him
while lying snug in a dense thicket.

"They might catch the robbers, an' as he'd hev a sheer ov the
reward, it would be better'n nothin' at all fur his stolin hosses."

For some miles he kept company with the robber catchers, until his
horse becoming lame, and Jesse getting near a railway station,
rendered further pursuit of bank robbers distasteful to him, and
as his excuse was received as valid, he bid his late traveling
companions an enthusiastic adieu, boarded a night train, and was in
the vicinity of home next morning. Those were Jesse's courting days.

The writer of these pages has been informed by a reputable citizen
of St. Louis, that at a time when the detective forces of both
St. Louis and Chicago were out in the western part of the State,
hunting for the James Boys and Younger Brothers, that he saw and
conversed with Jesse James on the corner of Fifth and Chestnut
streets, St. Louis, and that on that occasion Jesse attended the
opera, Max Strakosch's troupe being then in the city. Of course
Jesse James was not the name the people called him by, but he was
to all seeming Mr. William Campbell, a most respectable shipper
of cattle from Wichita, Kansas. As Mr. Campbell, he had business
relations with many of the citizens, who esteemed him as "a very
clever gentleman." At that time, according to the statement of
the gentleman upon whose authority this incident is given, Jesse
remained in St. Louis a number of days. His associations were
excellent, and he was a visitor on 'Change, and ventured even into
the Four Courts building, in company with a well-known citizen,
who was, of course, ignorant of his true name and character. It
is believed that during this trip he made banking arrangements,
and that the Boys now carry a heavy bank account in some St. Louis
bank. Of course this business is transacted under assumed names.



Thus far no arrests had been made of the plunderers of the banks at
Russellville, Kentucky; Gallatin, Missouri, and Columbia, Kentucky.
Boldly the brigands had ridden, and skillfully they had executed
their purpose, and, we may almost say, peacefully they rode away
when their deeds were done. At first, people knew not what to think
of these daring daylight raids. The best detective skill was placed
at fault in ferreting out the haunts of the robbers. Russellville
and Gallatin are separated by many hundreds of miles. Could the
robbers of the former possibly be the raiders into the last-named
place? And Gallatin is far removed from Columbia; was it possible
that the murderers and robbers at the first-named place were the
same persons who astonished the people, murdered the cashier and
plundered the bank at Columbia? People asked these questions, and
no one was found able to answer them. Scarcely had the people
ceased to talk, and the excitement incident to the bold raid on
Columbia, with its concomitant horror, died away, ere the country
was shaken by the recurrence of a similar daring outrage in another

It was the old story repeated. This time a flourishing town in
Iowa was selected for the scene of exciting events. In Corydon
there was, and there still is, a bank. In that town a considerable
amount of business is transacted, and it was a season of the
year--June 28th, 1873--when much of the capital usually employed in
mercantile transactions--it was reasonable to infer--was held in
reserve by the bank, and the raiders calculated on a large prize
to compensate for the risk taken. Certainly the men who went to
Corydon were trained in the same school in which the Russellville,
Gallatin, Columbia and Northfield robbers were at one time pupils.
Riding into town in daylight, when the inhabitants were out and
abroad pursuing their usual avocations, the thoroughly armed and
well-mounted desperadoes proceeded to the bank. Three of them
dismounted, drew their pistols, and entered the office. Taken
entirely by surprise, the cashier and two other gentlemen who
were present, could offer no resistance. In fact, the memory of
Gallatin, and the fate of poor Captain Sheets, came back to them
with painful distinctness. They were paralyzed before the dark
chambers of the huge dragoon pistols, and could not even so much as
protest against the proceedings. They yielded to the inevitable.

The horsemen who remained in the street ordered all citizens to
retire to their houses, and, with fearful imprecations, threatened
to blow the heads off those who manifested the slightest hesitation
in obeying their commands. Meanwhile, the bandits on the inside
were exercising their pleasure with the assets of the bank. The
safe was opened and its contents raked into a sack which the
robbers carried along. During the progress of their labors in
"taking in" the valuables of the institution, one of them, who
seemed to have been deputied to stand guard over the persons found
in the place, amused himself by jesting at their distress, and
cheerfully asserting his ability to pick the buttons off their
coats with pistol bullets. The robbers remained but a few minutes.
The citizens were becoming aware of what was transpiring in their
midst, and were recovering from their surprise, and rallying to
contest with the robbers. With great oaths they bade the people in
the bank to remain perfectly quiet until they were gone, forced
them to the door while they retired, regained and mounted their
horses, and, shouting loudly, they rode rapidly away, and were out
of town many minutes before any one was ready to go in pursuit.
They were pursued afterward, but none were captured.



Fair time! Kansas City was gay with flags and streamers and
banners. It was a holiday season. The streets were thronged and
trains from Leavenworth and Sedalia, and St. Joseph and Moberly,
and Lawrence and Clinton and regions further removed from Kansas
City, brought crowds of men, women and children to see the show.
It was a lovely October day. The temperature was mild, and the sun
shone through an atmosphere which tinged his rays with gold.

All day the great crowd surged and circled about the grounds and
through the textile hall, and the art gallery, and the agricultural
exhibition, and among the fat kine and the lazy swine, the sheep
and the horses, and the poultry coops. It was a good day, so the
"management" thought, one of the very best they had ever had.
Shrewd mental arithmeticians declared there was not a soul less
than twenty thousand visitors present that day, and an incident
of some importance has placed it forever out of the power of any
one to disprove the statement of the mental arithmetician. The
management, too, from that day to this, have been unable to count
the gate money. Why not we now proceed to tell.

The people visiting the fair were deeply interested in "the speed
and bottom" of sundry "blooded horses" which were making time
around the race track. The sun was getting low in the west. It was
the last "ring" to be exhibited that day. Of course no one would
think of paying their entrance fee and go away without seeing the

While the great multitude was so engaged, there was a commotion
near the entrance gate. The level beams of the declining sun cast
gigantic shadows over the ground. A sudden clattering of horses,
hoofs on the beaten road aroused the guardians at the gate. What
could it mean? The noise came nearer. The guardians looked up. A
strange sight met their gaze. A band of well mounted, well armed,
strange, weird looking men, seven in number, dashed up to the
gate. Among some of the spectators it was supposed that these
singularly brigandish looking men, were simply actors, that they
had been employed by the "management" for the entertainment of
the visitors to the fair--that it was, in short, an irruption of
the "Cowbellions," or some such mystic order of men. Even the
treasurers in their "cuddy boxes" did not comprehend the character
of the movement.

But they were not kept in doubt long. Riding directly to the
receiver of money, who, like Matthew, of saintly memory, was
sitting at the receipt of customs, two of them sprang to the
ground, drew their pistols, and rushed up to the cashier. With a
fearful threat they commanded him to remain quiet, and designate
the money box. What could he do? Instantly the other robber seized
the cash-box. The men who still remained mounted covered the
retreat of the two who did the seizing. They remounted, fired a
volley as a warning, and dashed away with the receipts of the day,
probably $8,000 or $9,000.

There were twenty thousand people, they said, on the ground. And
yet in the sight of all these the brigands had done this thing, and
were galloping away unmolested. There were hundreds who saw them,
and if any old Guerrilla comrade was one of them, and recognized
Frank and Jesse James, and Cole and Bob Younger, they said nothing
about it.

As soon as the "management" of the fair and the police authorities,
and sheriffs, and constables, and marshals had time to think and
consider the necessity for energetic measures in efforts to capture
the brigands, there was mounting in hot haste of police officers,
marshals and other enforcers of the law, and pursuit was commenced
with great vigor. But the pursuers had little better success than
those who went after young Lord Lochinvar when he eloped with the
bride of Netherby Hall, whom "they never did see." The pursuers of
the robbers of the gate did hear of a man who was riding along a
country road in Clay county who looked as if he might have been a
robber, but the robbers they never did see.

The fact of the matter is, the robbers rode away about five miles
over the hills, until they came to a piece of wild forest country,
rode into the woods; came to a sequestered glade; struck a light;
emptied the cash out of the box; counted and divided the spoils;
remounted their horses, and favored by the darkness of the night,
and their thorough knowledge of the country, they went their way,
every man choosing his own route. Jesse and Frank James made a
visit to the east part of Jackson county to see some friends, and
Cole and Bob Younger, passing down to the neighborhood of Monegaw
Springs, to visit Mr. Theodoric Snuffer and others of their friends
and relatives.

A great many people did not believe that the James Boys and Younger
Brothers had anything to do with this robbery, or had ever had
anything to do with any robbery at that time. But there is now no
longer a doubt that the Boys enjoyed the good in this life which
the receipts at the fair ground gate could procure for them.

An incident in connection with the robbery at the fair ground gate
is of sufficient interest to bear reproduction here. As we have
before related, the robbery took place while the attention of the
people was deeply engrossed in the horse races then in progress on
the track. That day Mr. Ford, a well known journalist of Kansas
City, was acting treasurer at "the pool stand." There was a sum of
money in the box amounting to between $8,000 and $9,000. Mr. Ford
was seated upon the box when a couple of strangers came along. One
of them approached the treasurer, and entered into a conversation
about as follows: The stranger remarked,

"You must have considerable money in there?"

"Well, yes," responded Mr. Ford. "There is a considerable amount of
cash in here."

"Suppose the James Boys should come and demand it; what would you
do?" asked the stranger.

"Well, they would have to fight for it," replied Mr. Ford. "They
might kill me, but somebody would have to be killed before they
could get this box away, that is certain."

"You would fight for it, eh?" responded the stranger.

"That I would," said Mr. Ford.

"If you knew it was the James Boys who made the demand?" asked the

"Certainly I would," replied Mr. Ford.

The stranger gazed sharply at the treasurer of "the pool stand" for
an instant, and, turning about, walked away without further remark.

Mr. Ford had met Frank James before, on some occasion, and was
convinced that the person who addressed him was no other than Frank
James. He recognized him beyond a doubt before he had passed out of

That evening the robbery was consummated. Other respectable parties
saw Frank and Jesse James that day about Kansas City, but for a
time they were able to beguile the public into the belief that
they were not present on that occasion. But time has furnished
sufficient evidence to connect them with that daring enterprise.



Ste. Genevieve! To many it calls up sweet memories, and in many
hearts the name is sacred and holy. The very words sound as if full
of gentleness, and love, and purity. And yet, in the very midst
of the Ste. Genevieve of Missouri, acts of wickedness have been
committed which from, their very nature, startled the whole people
of the West.

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, is an old, old town. More than a century
ago it was a beacon light of civilization, in the midst of the
vast wilderness then called the "far West." And the people of
Ste. Genevieve are quiet and sedate, and still preserve, with
the traditions of the venerable past, the grand, courtly ways
inherited from their ancestors from the banks of the Rhone and the
Saone. When spring-time comes, Ste. Genevieve is redolent with the
perfumes of many flowers, and when the sun climbs higher toward the
northern parallel, Ste. Genevieve reposes amid gardens of summer
roses. Why should brigands dare place their unhallowed feet on the
dust in these ancient streets? If they were not brigands, they
would have loved to inhale the perfumed air of the old gardens. But
being brigands, they preferred to handle the gold which the fathers
of some generations of men commenced to hoard. And for this cause
they came to Ste. Genevieve. Brigands are not a sentimental race of

Tuesday morning, May 27th, 1873, was lovely, as such spring days
are, when the sun is bright, and the flowers blooming, and the
air balmy. Mr. O. D. Harris, cashier of the bank known as the
Ste. Genevieve Savings Association, being a gentleman of fine
sensibilities, thought so as he sniffed the delicious aroma of the
perfume-laden air, when he wended his way to the bank, and so he
said to his friends who saluted him by the way. Arriving at the
bank--it was just about the hour of opening--he was joined by young
Mr. Rozier, a son of General Firman A. Rozier, then president of
the bank. As Mr. Harris was about to enter the bank office, his
attention was momentarily engaged by the appearance of two men who
were walking on the street in front of the building, and looking
up at it with an intense interest. They were just passing it,
when suddenly they turned, and came back as though they intended
to enter. They approached the steps and commenced to ascend them,
preceded by Mr. Harris, who, having reached the front office,
started at once to go behind the counter. He had not progressed
half the distance when he was suddenly arrested by a harsh,
authoritative command:

"Stop! Surrender, d--n you!"

Of course Mr. Harris stopped, but could not turn round, because the
fellow who had given the command had two pistols, with muzzles
against his temple.

The other fellow presented a pistol at the head of young Rozier,
and called out:

"You keep still, you d--d little rat, if you don't want to die in
an instant."

"I? for what?"

"Not another word, young chap! That's enough! A blabbing tongue can
be stopped d--d easy."

Fearing to remain, and impelled by a sudden and overpowering desire
to take his departure, young Rozier sprang down the steps, near the
landing of which he was standing, and fled swiftly from the place.
As he ran away, the fellow fired at him, the bullet cutting its way
through his coat on the shoulder, and just grazing his person.

A neighbor across the way saw the robber with his pistols at the
cashier's head, and started to get his gun. Just at that moment the
other robber fired at Mr. Rozier, and the wife of the neighbor,
seeing the predicament of Mr. Harris, dissuaded her husband from
attempting to fight them, because she feared resistance would
inevitably lead to the shooting of Mr. Harris. Young Rozier, after
his escape, gave the alarm to the citizens, who at once began
preparations to make an attempt to capture the bold marauders.

Meanwhile Mr. Harris, without arms, was helpless, and could only
comply with the demands of the robbers.

"Open that safe!" thundered out one of them.

"Certainly, sir. I cannot do otherwise," said Mr. Harris. The safe
was opened.

By this time the other robber, who had pursued young Rozier, joined
his comrade in the bank. A money package, containing upwards of
$3,600, was secured. Then the thief took the coin box, containing
between three and four hundred dollars, principally in gold. By
this time the town was aroused, and men began to move toward the
bank. The robbers had no time to waste. Turning to Mr. Harris, they
emphatically commanded:

"D--n you, come with us!" Mr. Harris obeyed. What else could he do?

When they had gone about fifty yards along the street, they turned
to the little knot of women and boys collecting about the bank
building, and shouted:

"Hurrah for Sam Hilderbrand!" and continued to move rapidly away.
Two hundred yards from the bank they came to two other men equally
well armed, and all having superb horses, who awaited their coming.
Here, perceiving that Mr. Harris wore an elegant gold watch, one of
the robbers took it from him, and transferred it to his own person.

Then all four of the men started to get on their horses. Just at
that time one of the horses got loose and ran off. A German farmer,
in a wagon, happened to be passing. Him they compelled, under the
most dire threats of immediate extermination, to go after the
horse. The German caught the horse and brought him back to where
the robbers still held Mr. Harris. Then they all mounted and rode
rapidly away, not forgetting to fire a salute at the crowd of
citizens who had started in their direction. By this time fully a
dozen citizens had armed themselves, and taking horses, were ready
for pursuit. They followed the robbers rapidly, and soon came
up with them. But it was at once evident that the four men were
desperadoes, who would not submit to arrest. They fired at the
pursuing posse, and compelled them to fall back. Then the whole
population turned out, and went in pursuit. But they never came up
with them, and soon lost even the trail which they followed.

Some miles from Ste. Genevieve the robbers met a farmer going
toward the town. They informed him that he would find something
valuable, which belonged to the bank, in the road ahead of him. In
accordance with their statement, the farmer found the empty coin
box and a lot of papers scattered about. The robbers had taken away
a number of valuable papers belonging to the sheriff and others,
for which they had no use, and these they had considerately thrown

This was one of the boldest robberies which had ever taken place
at that time in the West. The "Ste. Genevieve Savings Association"
building was situated in the most populous part of the town of Ste.
Genevieve, with a population of about three thousand souls. The
street through which they passed to reach the bank was the most
traveled thoroughfare in that part of the country. It happened in
broad daylight, when all the people of the village were engaged
about their ordinary concerns.

Of course a deed like this was calculated to create a sensation.
The citizens of Ste. Genevieve pursued the bandits, but lost them,
and even all traces of the route which they had taken. What could
be done? That was the question.

Mr. Harris went up to St. Louis on the 28th of May to see the
police authorities in that city. General Rozier, at that time
a State Senator, and on duty at Jefferson City, as a member of
the State Board of Equalization, was advised of the robbery, and
went down to St. Louis to confer with Mr. Harris and the Chief of
Police. Then the hunt was commenced, and prosecuted with a great
show of vigor for a time. Theories as to who the robbers were
appeared in the public journals almost every day. Some said it was
Sam Hilderbrand--who was not known to be dead then--and his gang
of desperadoes; some said that it was Cullen Baker's crowd from
Arkansas; others thought it might possibly be the James Boys and
Younger Brothers who "put up the job," but were far from satisfied
that they "were the lads who did it." In those days there were
a vast number of very respectable people who, while admitting
that Frank and Jesse James, and Coleman and James Younger, were
dangerous men, so far as taking the life of fellow-beings was
concerned, would at the same time repel any insinuations that they
might possibly raid a bank or flag a train. No, they were too
honorable and honest for that sort of business. While the people
were discussing these questions, the band, of which the James Boys
were the leading spirits, was enjoying life on the spoils of Ste.



"Robin Hood and his merry men," of Sherwood forest fame, have
left a name indelibly written on the pages of history. In the
days of our youth we have heard or read about Claude Duval and
Jack Shepherd, and their wonderful exploits in old England; and
we have a faint recollection of one John A. Murrell, who obtained
great distinction as an outlaw in the Southern section of our own
country. The Harps who infested the passes of the mountains of East
Tennessee were celebrated robbers in their days. And that shrewd
mongrel of the commingled blood of old Castile and a red daughter
of the western wilds, Agatone, the terror of the Rio Grande border,
made no little noise in his day as a daring brigand. But neither
these nor the celebrated Fra Diavola were like the brigands we are
speaking about.

William de la Marck, the outlawed nobleman of the low countries,
and known in history as "The Wild Boar of Ardennes," plundered by
the wholesale. There was nothing little or mean in his methods. He
would scorn to pounce upon a lonely traveller and demand his purse.
He sacked villages and plundered caravans. In this our Missouri
outlaws resemble "The Wild Boar of Ardennes." They do not wait in
gloomy places to catch a single wayfarer; they do not meet a weary
traveller on the highway and cry out to him, "Your money or your
life!" They would despise such petty meanness.

After Ste. Genevieve they rested. But their season of repose was
not long. A new campaign was planned. Hitherto they had depredated
on the banks. But they were about to commence another line of
business. The whole question was, no doubt, discussed with profound
interest in their secret conclave. Such a thing as plundering a
railway train was something new. The public mind had not become
accustomed to read accounts of the arrest of railway trains and the
robbery of the passengers by a band of armed robbers. The Missouri
bandits thought to create a sensation.

In the early part of July, 1873, Frank James, Cole Younger, Robert
Moore, a desperado from the Indian Territory, Jesse James and
Jim Younger, held a conference in Jackson county, Missouri, when
a scheme was broached to overhaul and rob a railway train. The
first suggestion was to rob a train on the Hannibal & St. Joe.
railway, or some other road in the state of Missouri. But that was
rejected after due deliberation. The plan of going into Iowa was
suggested and met with favor. The plans were matured before the
gang separated. About the 14th of the month the robbers met at
the house of a friend in Clay county, and the final arrangements
were made; a place of rendezvous was appointed, and the gang then
separated into couples. As usual, Frank and Jesse James took the
same route; Cole Younger and Bob Moore another, and Jim Younger and
a Texas desperado who went by the name of Commanche Tony, followed
another route. The robbers leisurely pursued their journey, and
on the 20th of July they were near the line of the Chicago, Rock
Island & Pacific railway, about fourteen miles east of the city of
Council Bluffs. At the appointed place of rendezvous they all meet
after dark, on the night of the twentieth. During that day Jesse
James and Cole Younger made a reconnoissance, and selected the
exact spot to carry out the enterprise in which they were engaged.
It was agreed that they would "throw" the morning train bound east
from Council Bluffs, as it was supposed to carry a large amount of
specie _en route_ east from the Pacific slope. The robbers didn't
care much for silver, but they were willing to accept all the gold
bricks that might fall into their hands. The place selected was
about three miles from the rendezvous, in the edge of a belt of
timber, and where the road bed was in an excavation about four feet
deep. The train was due at that point about three o'clock in the

With deliberate purpose the robbers took their station in the
underbrush near the track. Several cross ties were placed in a
position to be immediately utilized when the time came. Three or
four rails were loosened from the ties, and in silence the bandits
waited for the approach of the train.

In due time the train was descried by the watcher at the upper end
of the curve--the road was very straight for a long distance to the
west of the place selected. At that point there is a rather sharp
curve and an obstruction placed on the track could not be seen by
the engineer until he was within sixty yards of it. As soon as the
train was seen coming down the long straight track, the robbers
suddenly awoke into life and activity. The loosened rails were
thrown apart, and half a dozen cross ties were thrown across the
tracks just above.

The engineer saw the danger when too late. He reversed his engine,
but the momentum was too great. The ponderous locomotive plunged
on, struck the obstruction, and careened on the side of the
track. The shock was terrific. The engineer was killed and the
fireman seriously injured. But the train stood still. The aroused
passengers had no time to inquire the cause of the sudden stoppage.
They knew full soon. The presence of armed men--strange, weird,
desperate--appearing on the platforms of the coaches informed
them concerning the situation. The train passed into the hands of
bandits. The passengers were ordered in a peremptory manner to keep
still. The command was accompanied by dreadful threats of instant
annihilation on the least evidence of disobedience. Surprised and
unnerved by the suddenness of the attack, the passengers obeyed.
Then three of the band proceeded through the train and commanded
the passengers to surrender up their money and their jewelry. They
made a searching examination of each person in the cars. It is
understood that several thousand dollars were obtained in this way.
The express and mail car were searched and rifled. The spoils of
the examination were put into a sack, and the robbers sought their
horses, and mounting, speedily galloped away.

Of course the intelligence of such an occurrence was telegraphed
far and wide. A most determined pursuit of the robbers was at once
organized and set on foot. The sheriff of the county in which the
robbery was committed summoned a large posse of men and started in
pursuit. His theory was that they were Missouri outlaws. He got on
the trail of the robbers, and tracked them through western Missouri
as far as St. Clair county. Here he lost their trail, and efforts
to find the outlaws proved unavailing. The sheriff finally gave up
the chase and returned home.

It is proper to add that friends of Cole Younger denied that he
could possibly have had anything to do with this robbery. They
assert that he was at the Monegaw hotel, St. Clair, on Sunday
morning, the 20th of July, and therefore could not have been in
Iowa the next morning. But there is no doubt that the Youngers--at
least Bob and Jim--were present with the Jameses on that occasion.
At any rate, the bandits escaped with their booty.



    "Their cruel bandits you would climb
    The rungs of the world! oh, curse sublime
    With tears and laughters for all time."

They used to say that the James Boys and the Younger Brothers might
kill men who attempted to impose upon them, but they would not rob
or steal. Those who rob men of life must be the greatest criminals,
and the lesser crimes are included in the greater. The career they
had chosen required the service which money alone can render.
These men had need for money which their legitimate resources were
inadequate to supply. Those who have taken many lives will not
hesitate long to take a few dollars when their necessities require
it. Such are the laws which govern human actions.

Long before many of the very respectable citizens of Clay, Clinton
and Jackson counties believed it, the sons of the excellent
minister whom they had known were the most unscrupulous and daring
highwaymen who had ever followed the roads on this continent. The
Jameses early became the most dangerous outlaws of which history
gives us any account. They were bold, but cautious; skilled in
the school of cunning; trained in the art of killing; shrewd in
planning, and swift in the execution of their designs.

They seldom attempted a robbery except in out-of-the-way places
where the presence of robbers was not expected. Nor did they ever
attempt robberies a second time at the same place. Their plan was
to strike unexpected blows. This week they would rob a train at
Gad's Hill, next week at Muncie, Kansas; again, they would arrest
a stage on the Malvern and Hot Springs road, and then again they
would flag a train at Big Springs, Wyoming Territory, a thousand
miles from the scene of their last exploit.

It was a gray, raw day in January, 1874, when the regular stage
running from Malvern, on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern
Railway, to Hot Springs, pulled out from the little town. Two
ambulances for the accommodation of the afflicted pilgrims bound
for that Mecca of relief, accompanied the stage on the road.
This cavalcade had reached the romantic vale of the Golpha, near
the old Gains' mansion. This is a narrow dell, shut in by abrupt
hills, clad with a dense forest of pine and tangled underbrush and
evergreen vines. At this particular place the valley widens, and
there is a beautiful farm and lovely grounds bordering the roadside
on the east and north side of the stream. West and south the deep,
tangled forest crowns the hills, which rise to a great height.
Here is a favorite halting place for travelers along that way.
The clear waters of the Golpha afford refreshing draughts to the
wearied teams.

We have said it was a gray, raw morning in January. The long
drive from Malvern over the stony roads inclined the passengers,
as well as the horses, to rest. That particular Thursday morning
the drivers had stopped, as usual, directly opposite the Gains
residence, which is about two hundred yards from the road,
toward the northeast. The spot is about five miles southeast
from Hot Springs. A little beyond the stopping place the road
crosses the stream at a ford. Beyond the creek the country is
very rugged, and covered with forest trees. And in those trees a
band of robbers were crouched, waiting the approach of the stage
and ambulances. The unsuspecting pilgrims were soon moving on,
inwardly congratulating themselves on the near termination of their
fatiguing journey.

The stage and ambulances had proceeded well into the wood on the
Hot Springs side of the Golpha, perhaps half a mile from "the
watering place," when a strong, emphatic voice called out from
the borders of the brush: "Stop! d--n you, or I'll blow your head
off!" Thus commanded, of course the driver of the stage brought
his team to a standstill. The passengers naturally threw aside the
flaps of the vehicles and thrust out their heads to ascertain what
the strange proceedings meant. They saw at once. Cocked revolvers
yawned before them, and stern, harsh voices exclaimed in chorus,
"D--n you, tumble out!" "Certainly, under the circumstances, we
will do so with alacrity," replied one of the passengers, a Mr.
Charles Moore. "Raise your hands, you d--d----." Of course every
passenger promptly obeyed the order. One passenger, a rheumatic
invalid, alone, was left undisturbed. Then the leader cried out:

"Come! be quick, form a circle here!"

The order was obeyed. Then two of the robbers, one of whom was
armed with a double-barrel shot-gun and the other with a navy
repeater, mounted guard over the prisoners, and made many sinister
remarks, doubtless intended to be jocose, but which kept the
prisoners in a tremor of apprehension all the while.

Then two of the brigands proceeded to examine the effects and
pockets of the passengers.

When the affable gentlemen of the road had completed their
undertaking, they proceeded in the coolest manner imaginable
to cast up their accounts. They had lost in cash--nothing; in
jewelry--naught; in conscience--well, it happened they didn't have
any to lose. They had gained from sundry passengers as follows:

    Ex-Gov. Burbank, of Dakota,  cash,           $ 850 00
       "      "      "    "      diamond pin,      350 00
       "      "      "    "      gold watch,       250 00
    Passenger from Syracuse, N. Y.,                160 00
    William Taylor, Esq., Lowell, Mass.,           650 00
    John Dietrich, Esq., Little Rock, Ark.,        200 00
    Charles Moore, Esq.,       "       "            70 00

    E. A. Peebles, Hot Springs,            20 00
    Three country farmers,                 45 00
    Southern Express Company,             450 00
    Geo. R. Crump, Memphis, Tenn.,         45 00
               Total,                  $3,090 00

It was a very good morning's work, and the bandits were so well
pleased that they were inclined to indulge in a sort of grim
facetiousness. One of them unharnessed the best stage horse,
saddled him and mounted him, and after trying his gait by riding up
and down the road a few times, called out:

"Boys, I reckon he'll do!"

Another one of the band went to each passenger as he stood in the
circle. John Dietrich was the first to pass through the ordeal of

"Where are you from?"

"Little Rock," replied Dietrich.

"Ah, ha!"

"Yes, have a boot and shoe store there," remarked Dietrich.

"You'd better be there attending to it," was the observation of the
chief of the bandits.

"Are there any Southern men here?"

"I am," replied Mr. Crump and three others.

"Any who served in the army?"

"I did," said Crump.

The leader then asked him what regiment he belonged to, and
what part of the country he had served in. The answers were
satisfactory, and then the robber handed Crump his watch and money,
remarking as he did so:

"Well, you look like an honest fellow. I guess you're all right. We
don't want to rob Confederate soldiers. But the d--d Yankees have
driven us all into outlawry, and we will make them pay for it yet."

Mr. Taylor, of Lowell, Mass., was examined.

"Where are you from?"

"St. Louis."

"Yes, and d--n your soul, you are a reporter for the St. Louis
_Democrat_, the vilest sheet in the land. Go to Hot Springs and
send the dirty concern a telegram about this affair, and give them
my compliments, will you?"

Then Governor Burbank felt encouraged to ask a favor of them.

"Will you please return me my papers?" asked the Governor. "They
are valuable to me, but I am sure you can make no use of them."

"We'll see," said the leader, sententiously, and took the packet
and kneeled down to examine them.

In a few moments he took up a paper with an official seal, that
excited his ire, and before he paused to examine it sufficiently to
enable him to determine its character, he reached the conclusion
that the bearer was a detective, a class which he held in the
utmost hatred.

"Boys, I believe he's a detective--shoot him, at once!" was the
sententious command. In an instant Governor Burbank was covered
by three ready cocked dragoon pistols. The ex-Governor was on the
border of time.

"Stop!" cried the robber, "I reckon it's all right. Here, take your

And the ex-Governor felt that a mighty load had suddenly been
lifted from him, and that a dark cloud, which but a moment before
had enshrouded the world in the deepest gloom of midnight, had
drifted away, allowing the bright sun to shine out on the scenes of

The passenger from Syracuse asked for the return of $5, to enable
him to telegraph home for assistance.

The chief looked at him rather sternly for a few moments, and said:

"So, you have no friends nor money. You had better go and die.
Your death would be no loss to yourself or the country. You'll get
nothing back, at any rate."

All this while one of the robbers, said to have been James Younger,
held a double-barrel shot-gun cocked in his hand, which he pointed
ever and anon at Mr. Taylor, the supposed _Democrat_ reporter,
making such cheerful remarks as these: "Boys, I'll bet a hundred
dollar bill I can shoot his hat off his head and not touch a hair
on it." And the others would respond with a banter of a very
uncomfortable character, while the facetious bandit went on: "Now,
wouldn't that button on his coat make a good mark. I'll bet a
dollar I can clip it off and not cut the coat!" With such grim
jests did he amuse himself and torment the captive.

Having thoroughly accomplished their work, the bandits made the
drivers hitch up their teams and drive away. The whole transaction
was completed in less than ten minutes. The robbers did not linger.
In a few minutes they scattered through the brush. Some "struck
out," as they expressed it, for the Nation, another for Texas, and
one for Louisiana.

Of course, denials of complicity on the part of the Jameses in this
affair were at once entered by their friends. But it has since been
ascertained that the party who did the deed consisted of Frank and
Jesse James, Coleman and James Younger, and Clell Miller, one of
the associates of the daring outlaws.



During the morning of January 31, at the hour of 9:30 o'clock,
the St. Louis and Texas express train, with a goodly number of
passengers, and the mails and valuable express freight, departed
from the Plum street depot in St. Louis, bound for Texas, via the
St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern railroad. Mr. C. A. Alford
was the conductor in charge of the train when it departed, and when
the event which we are about to describe occurred.

Gadshill, a name rich in historical associations, is a lonely
wayside station on the road, situated in the northeast corner of
Wayne county, Missouri, about seven miles from Piedmont, which is
the nearest telegraph station.

The 31st of January, 1874, was a dreary, winter day. The cold gray
clouds veiled the sky, and no ray of sunlight filtered through the
wintry pall.

The day wore away, wearily enough, with the passengers on Mr.
Alford's train. They had not yet been together a sufficient length
of time to assimilate, and each one was left to his, or her, own
device for amusement or entertainment. Slowly the hours passed
away. The landscape was cold, dreary and forbidding; the winds came
blowing from the north with a chill in their breath that made
the passengers think longingly of "sweet home." Iron Mountain,
and Pilot Knob, and Shepherd's Mountain, and the beautiful valley
of Arcadia, in their winter dress, wore anything but a pleasing
aspect. In fact, it was a comfortless sort of day, which made the
passengers feel anything but merry.

Nightfall was approaching. Already the thick atmosphere was
becoming sombre in hue, and it was evident the curtains of darkness
were falling over the earth.

By this time it was about 5:30 o'clock in the afternoon. The
train was approaching the little station dignified by the name
of Gadshill, in honor of the locality where Sir John Falstaff so
valiantly met the Buckramite host, an event graphically delineated
by the historian and poet of all climes and times. As the train
drew near, the engineer saw the red flag displayed, and whistled
"down brakes."

Before proceeding to relate what happened to the train and the
passengers on it, we shall state what had happened at Gadshill
before the train came.

About half-past three o'clock that afternoon, a party of seven men,
splendidly mounted and armed to the teeth, rode to the station,
secured the agent, then took in a blacksmith, and afterwards all
the citizens and two or three countrymen, and one lad, who were
waiting for the arrival of the train. Among the persons so detained
was the son of Dr. Rock, at that time Representative in the
Legislature from Wayne county. The captives were taken to the little
station-house and confined there, under the surveillance of one of
the armed robbers. Then the bandits set about completing their
arrangements for executing the work which they had come to perform.
The signal flag was displayed on the track and the lower end of the
switch was opened, so that the train would be ditched if it attempted
to pass. Then the bandits waited for their prey.

In due time the train came dashing down the road. The engineer
saw the flag and gave the signal for stopping. Mr. Alford, the
conductor, was ready to step upon the little platform as soon as
the train came alongside. The robbers did not show themselves
until the cars were at the station. No sooner had the train come
to a full halt than Mr. Alford stepped off to the platform. He was
instantly confronted by the muzzle of a pistol and greeted with the

"Give me your money and your watch, d--n your soul! quick!"

Mr. Alford had no alternative. He gave up his pocketbook containing
fifty dollars in money, and an elegant gold watch.

"Get in there!" they commanded, and Mr. Alford obeyed.

While this was going on, one of the brigands had covered the
engineer with a revolver, and compelled him to leave his cab.
Meanwhile, part of the band occupied the platforms at the ends of
the passenger coaches, while two of them went through the train
with a revolver in one hand and commanded the passengers to give
up their money. Of course the defenseless travellers yielded their
change to the uttermost farthing into the hands of the robbers.

Mr. John H. Morley, chief engineer of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain
& Southern Railroad, was among the passengers, and was plundered
along with the rest of them. The robbers made a clean sweep, taking
money, watches and jewelry from all. Among the passengers robbed,
were Silas Ferry, C. D. Henry, Geo. G. Dent, Mr. Scott, Sr., Mr.
Scott, Jr., Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Meriam, O. S. Newell and A. McLain.
After having effectually stripped the passengers of worldly wealth,
the robbers proceeded to the express car, broke open the safe, and
secured the contents. The mail bags were next cut open and their
contents rifled of everything of value. The whole amount of money
secured by the robbers was somewhere between eight and ten thousand
dollars. After completing their work the bandits went to Mr. Alford
and remarked that as he was conductor he needed a watch, and they
gave him back his timekeeper.

When they had satisfied themselves that there was no more plunder
to be gained, they released the conductor and engineer, and told
them to draw out at once.

As the robbers, whose part of the business it was to relieve the
passengers of their spare cash, passed through the cars, they
asked each one of the gentlemen passengers his name. One of the
victims, a Mr. Newell, asked the brigands,

"What do you want to know that for?"

"D--n you, out with your name, and ask questions afterward!" was
the profane reply.

"Well, my name is Newell, and here's my money, and now I want to
know why you ask me for my name?" said Mr. Newell, with an attempt
at pleasantry, fortified by a sort of grim smile.

"You seem to be a sort of jolly coon, anyhow," said the robber,
"and I'll gratify you. That old scoundrel, Pinkerton, is on this
train, or was to have been on it, and we want to get him, so that
we can cut out his heart and roast it."

During the time they were in the cars among the passengers, they
mentioned the name of Pinkerton many times, and exhibited the
most intense hatred of the distinguished detective. It was very
fortunate for Mr. Allan Pinkerton that he was not a passenger on
the train that lumbered up to the dreary station of Gadshill that
winter day.

This circumstance is confirmatory of the evidence that Jesse and
Frank James were leaders in the Gadshill affair. They, for years,
have cherished the most bitter animosity toward the detective, and
the very mention of his name was sufficient to render them almost
frantic with rage.

The citizens were released, and the robbers mounted their horses
and rode away in the gathering darkness, over the forest-crowned
hills to the west.

Some of the features of this bold robbery were ludicrous in the
extreme. The trepidation of the passengers made the job a quick
one, because they were ready on demand to give up everything to
the freebooters. One passenger complained at the hardship, and the
following dialogue ensued:

"Give me your money, watch and jewelry, you blamed cur! quick!"

"Now, please, I--"

"Dry up, d--n you, and shell out!" And the robber thrust a pistol
against his temple.

"Oh, yes! Excuse m-m-me, p-p-p-please, d-don't shoot. Here's a-all
I've g-got in t-t-the world." And the poor fellow, all tremblingly,
handed up his wealth.

"I'm a good mind to shoot you, anyhow," remarked the robber, "for
being so white livered."

At this the alarmed traveller crouched down behind a seat.

It was nightfall when the robbers rode away. Gadshill is in the
midst of a wilderness country. There are but few settlements among
the hills, and it was impossible to organize an effective posse at
once for pursuit. At Piedmont, on the arrival of the train, the
news was telegraphed to St. Louis and Little Rock. The citizens of
that vicinity were aroused, and before midnight a well armed posse
of a dozen men were riding over the hills westward in pursuit.

But the robbers, who were all mounted on blooded horses, rode
swiftly away. Before the dawn of day they were sixty miles from
the scene of the crime. They called at the residence of a widow
lady named Cook, one mile above Carpentersville, on the Current
river, to obtain a breakfast. There were but five of them in the
party, and these were each armed with a pair of pistols and a
repeating rifle. They continued on, and passed Mr. Payne's on
the Big Piney, in Texas county, and went to the house of the
Hon. Mr. Mason, then a member of the State Legislature, and who
was at that time absent attending its session, and demanded food
and lodging from Mrs. Mason. They remained there all night, and
proceeded westward in the morning. The same day that the five men
took breakfast with Mrs. Cook, a dozen pursuers from Gadshill and
Piedmont arrived at the same place, having tracked them sixty



The bold act of brigandage at Gadshill aroused the whole country.
The outlaws had become formidable. Missouri and Arkansas were alike
interested, and the citizens of both states were ready to make
personal sacrifices to aid in the capture of such daring brigands.
But who were the robbers? A question not easy to answer with any
assurance of correctness. Some said at once that it was the Jameses
and the Youngers and their associates. Geo. W. Shepherd, one of
Quantrell's most daring Guerrillas in Missouri, and one of those
who separated from him when he went to Kentucky, was an intimate
friend of the Jameses in the old Guerrilla times. After the war
Shepherd emigrated to Kentucky and married at Chaplin, Nelson
county, where he settled down. After Russellville, circumstances
pointed to him as one of the persons implicated in the robbery. He
was arrested, carried to Logan county and tried. The proof was of
such a character that he was found guilty of aiding and abetting
the robbers, and was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of
three years. At the expiration of his sentence he returned to
Chaplin and learned that during his incarceration his wife had
obtained a divorce and married another man. Shepherd had paid
$600 on the house and lot which he found his ex-wife and husband
occupying. But he left them there and took his departure from
Kentucky. At the time of the Gadshill affair he was somewhere in
Missouri. But there is not a particle of evidence to connect him
with the robbery.

Bradley Collins was a noted desperado in those days, who figured in
Texas and the Indian Territory as one of the worst outlaws in the
business. He also rode at times with the Jameses and the Youngers.
John Chunk was another daring outlaw who infested Texas and the
Indian Territory, and often came into Missouri and co-operated with
the brigands of that state.

Sid Wallace, afterwards hanged at Clarksville, Arkansas, was
another noted outlaw between the years 1866 and 1874. He, too, was
a "friend" of the Jameses. Cal Carter, Jim Reed, John Wes. Hardin,
Sam Bass, Bill Longley, Tom Taylor and Jim Clark, all notorious in
Texas and the Nation, often joined the Missouri outlaws and hunted
with them. Indeed, it appears that there was a regularly organized
band of brigands ramifying through the states of Missouri, Kansas,
Colorado, Arkansas, the Indian Territory and Texas. This banditti
was composed of the most desperate and daring men who had ever
placed themselves beyond the pale of the law in this country.

Whatever doubts might once have existed concerning the personality
of the bandits of Gadshill, they have all vanished in the light of
subsequent events. Jesse and Frank James, some of the Youngers and
their associates, were undoubtedly the men who rode to Gadshill.
The fellows seemed to have had a bit of classical humor in their
composition in selecting a place so named as the scene of such an

It seemed to have created a conviction in the minds of those in
authority, also, that the Jameses were the leaders. Governor
Woodson, of Missouri, offered a reward to the full extent of the
law's provisions. Governor Baxter, of Arkansas, communicated to
Governor Woodson his desire to aid in the capture of the outlaws,
and also offered a reward. The express company offered a heavy
reward for the capture of the bandits, and the United States
authorities took an active interest in the movement set on foot
to break up the formidable banditti. Stimulated by the prospect
of gain, the detectives all over the country became active in
the pursuit. The citizens, too, were on the move, and it seemed
that the auguries all pointed to a speedy annihilation of this
formidable gang which infested the West.

Meanwhile another outrage was committed almost on the line of
retreat from Gadshill, which still further agitated the public mind.

During the afternoon of the 11th of February, 1874, five men,
splendidly mounted and well armed, rode into the town of
Bentonville, Benton county, Arkansas. Their entrance was quiet.
They rode to the store of Craig & Son; dismounted and entered the
store; made prisoners of the proprietors and clerks at the muzzle
of pistols, and proceeded to rifle the cash box. Fortunately for
the firm of Craig & Son, they had made a deposit that day and
the robbers only obtained about one hundred and fifty dollars in
money. They helped themselves to about one hundred dollars' worth
of goods; warned the proprietors and clerks not to give the alarm
until they had passed out of town; went out; mounted their horses
and rode away in the most nonchalant manner. In a saloon adjacent,
there were more than twenty men who were uninformed as to what was
taking place in the store of Messrs. Craig & Son, until after the
robbers had departed. Pursuit was made, but the bandits escaped.

The weeks following the Gadshill outrage were busy ones with the
detectives. A carefully planned campaign against the marauders
was at once instituted and prosecuted with great vigor. Allan
Pinkerton, the American Vidocq, was employed by the express company
to hunt the robbers down. The United States Government ordered
the Secret Service force into the field, and the police and
constabulary forces of Missouri and Arkansas, under orders from the
Governors of the respective states, were acting in concert with the
forces of detectives called into service by the General Government
and the express company.

The brigands were successfully tracked through the wilds of
southern Missouri, and their trail led into the hill country of
St. Clair county, and across Jackson county on beyond the Missouri
river. No doubt was left upon the minds of the man-hunters as to
the personalty of the Gadshill robbers. The James Boys and some of
the Youngers were certainly engaged in it. The Youngers, at least
John and Jim, had returned to Roscoe, St. Clair county, "flush
with cash." The detectives were on their tracks. To the force was
added Ed. B. Daniels, a courageous young man of Osceola, who was
thoroughly acquainted with the country. The detective force in St.
Clair county was under the direction of one of Allan Pinkerton's
picked men, Captain W. J. Allen, whose real name was Lull. With him
was a St. Louis "fly cop," well known, and distinguished for his
shrewdness and daring, who for the time had assumed the name of
Wright. Daniels was extremely serviceable as a guide.

One morning, when near the residence of Theodoric Snuffer, a short
distance from Roscoe, these three men were suddenly surprised by
John and James Younger, who rode up behind them in the road. They
were at Snuffer's house, and saw the detectives pass, and started
out with the avowed purpose of capturing them. Approaching the
three men in the rear, they raised their double-barrel shot-guns,
and with an oath commanded them to hold up their hands and drop
their pistols. Taken thus, at a disadvantage, the detectives
complied, and dropped their belts of pistols in the road. James
Younger dismounted to secure them, while John remained on horseback
with a double-barrel gun covering them. For a moment he lowered his
gun. That moment was fatal. Captain Lull drew a concealed Smith &
Wesson revolver from his bosom, and fired. The ball took effect in
John Younger's neck, severing the left jugular vein. In the very
agonies of death, as he fell from his horse to die, John Younger
raised a pistol and fired, the ball taking effect in the left arm
and side of Captain Lull. Two more shots were fired, probably by
James Younger, before Allen, or rather Lull, fell. James Younger
then commenced firing at Ed. B. Daniels. That gentleman also had a
concealed pistol, returned the fire and inflicted a slight flesh
wound on the person of James Younger. But his fate was sealed. A
fatal bullet crashed through the left side of the neck, and Daniels
fell, and soon afterward expired. This tragedy excited and alarmed
the whole country. It was no longer possible for James Younger to
remain in the country. He took the pistols which his dead brother,
John, had worn, and departed for the house of a friend in Boone
county, Arkansas, where he was soon joined by Cole and Bob.

Wright, who was riding a short distance in advance of Captain Lull
and Ed. Daniels, hearing the summons of the Younger Brothers,
turned, and at a glance saw the situation, and, putting spurs to
his horse, dashed away. Although he was fired upon and pursued a
short distance by James Younger, he managed to escape unharmed,
aided as he was by a very fleet horse.

The hunters for the Jameses met with no better luck. One of the
darkest tragedies which ever disgraced the state of Missouri
followed the efforts of the detectives to capture the shrewdest and
most daring outlaws who have yet appeared in this country. There is
an air of mystery about this terrible episode which makes it all
the more thrilling. The full details of this crime are reserved for
another chapter.



The James Boys were believed to have been the projectors and
leaders of the Gadshill enterprise. Soon after that event they
returned to Clay county. Traces of their trail through Southern
Missouri were soon discovered. The description given of two of the
five travellers who took breakfast at Mrs. Cook's on Current river,
and lodged at Mr. Mason's house in Texas county, answered well for
Frank and Jesse James. The detectives caught at every clue. The
James Boys were at Gadshill beyond a doubt. And so the brigand
hunters passed into Clay county.

Meanwhile the James Boys and other members of the gang were resting
in the vicinity of Kearney, in Clay county, at the residence of Dr.
Samuels. Among those known to have been there were Jim Cummings
and Clell Miller, Jim Anderson, a brother of Bill Anderson, of
Centralia notoriety, and Bradley Collins, a Texas desperado. The
sheriff of Clay county thought Arthur McCoy was probably at that
time with the Jameses. On the 9th day of March, Jesse James spent a
portion of the day in Kearney. The gang had several horses shod a
few days before at a country blacksmith shop in that vicinity.

Wednesday, March 10, 1874, arrived at Liberty, the county seat of
Clay county, Missouri, J. W. Whicher, from what place it mattered
not to the citizens of Liberty. This man was in the very vigor of
a matured manhood. He was just twenty-six years of age, lately
married to an estimable and accomplished young lady, a resident of
Iowa City.

Whicher was intelligent, shrewd and daring. He was selected by his
chief, Allan Pinkerton, who is acknowledged as a consummate judge
of human nature, as the fittest instrument to execute the most
dangerous enterprise which he had ever yet undertaken.

Immediately on arriving at Liberty, Whicher called at the
Commercial Savings Bank to see Mr. Adkins, its president. To him
he made known his errand into that section. At the same time he
deposited in the bank some money and papers. Mr. Adkins was not
able to give Whicher all the information which he desired, and sent
him to Col. O. P. Moss, ex-sheriff of Clay county, for further

When he opened his plans to Moss, that gentleman advised him
not to go. He gave him a terrible account of the prowess of the
desperadoes; told him of their shrewdness and of their merciless
nature when excited by the presence of an enemy, and warned him
that he need not hope to secure such wary men by stratagem. Col.
Moss was earnest in his efforts to dissuade Whicher from making the
rash attempt.

But it was of no avail. Whicher had received what he regarded as
positive evidence that the Jameses were the leaders of the Gadshill
bandits, and, further, that they were now at home, near Kearney.
Stimulated by the hope of "catching his game," and securing the
large rewards, Whicher, who seems to have been destitute of any
sense of fear, made his arrangements to go that very evening to the
Jameses' place of retreat. Disguised in the garb of a farm laborer,
with an old carpet bag swung on a stick, Whicher took the evening
train for Kearney, and there made inquiries for work on a farm. He
did not tarry long at the station, but soon started out toward the
Samuels place.

Poor Whicher! he little thought that his fate was already
determined upon by those whose destiny he was seeking to determine.
But so it was.

There was a friend of the Jameses in Liberty that day--a fellow
named Jim Latche, who had been expelled from Texas on account of
his worthless qualities as a citizen and dangerous attributes as
a criminal. Latche had met the James Boys, and had made a raid
with them, on one occasion, down in Texas. He had been resting at
their retreat for a few days, and was probably on a scout for them
that day. At any rate, he was in Liberty when Whicher arrived. He
observed his movements, because Whicher was a stranger; saw him go
to the bank and make a deposit; waited while he conferred with Mr.
Adkins, and then, tracked him to Col. Moss' office. He came to the
conclusion that Whicher was a detective; and when afterward he saw
that the detective had changed his clothes, he was convinced that
he was right. Latche hastened away to give a report of what he had
heard and observed.

When Whicher arrived at Kearney the Jameses knew of it, and
suspected the truth concerning his mission. It was in the evening.
Jim Anderson, Jesse James and Bradley Collins were in waiting on
the roadside, about half a mile from the Samuels residence. Soon
after Whicher came along. He was carrying a carpet-sack. Jesse
James came out of their concealment alone, and met Whicher in the

"Good evening, sir," said Whicher.

"Where in h--ll are _you_ going?" responded the other.

"Well, it's a rude response, but I will not answer as rudely again.
I am seeking work. Can you tell me where I can get some work on a

"No, not much, you don't want any, either, you d--d thief. Old
Pinkerton has already given you a job that will last you as long as
you live, I reckon."

And Jesse laughed a cold, hard laugh that meant death. Of course
Whicher was helpless, for the other had him under cover of a pistol
from the moment he came in sight. But Whicher was dauntless and
wary, and, without exhibiting the least trepidation, he said:

"Who do you take me to be? What have I to do with Pinkerton or his
business? I am a stranger in the country and want something to do.
I don't see why you should keep that pistol pointed at me. I don't
know you, and have never done you any wrong."

"Oh, d--n it, you are the kind of a dog that sneaks up and bites,
are you? You will carry in the James Boys, will you? You are a nice
sneaking cur, ain't you? Want work, do you? What say you, my sneak?

The tantalizing manner of Jesse James did not disconcert the
detective. He answered these taunts with perfect coolness:

"I don't understand you, sir. I am no cur, and know nothing of the
James Boys. I addressed you politely, and you did not return the
same. I said I wanted some employment, and you taunt me for it. I
must bid you good evening."

With this, Whicher made a step forward. His progress was arrested
by the harsh voice of Jesse James.

"You shall die if you move out of your tracks! Keep up your hands!"

Whicher realized by this time that his chance of escape was
small, for he knew that Jesse James stood before him, and he had
quickly made up his mind that he would sell his life dearly. He
was cool, active and expert with the pistol; his right hand was
almost involuntarily seeking to grasp his weapon. But Jesse James
evidently had him at a great disadvantage. Instantly realizing
this, he changed his purpose.

"Well, this is a singular adventure, I declare. Now, why you should
make such a mistake concerning me is more than I can imagine. You
are surely making sport of me. I tell you I know nothing of the
persons of whom you speak, and why should you interrupt me? Let me
go on, for I must find a place to stop to-night, anyhow."

Jesse James laughed outright. "What," said he, "were you doing
at Liberty to-day? Why did you deposit money in the bank? What
business did you have with Adkins and Moss? Where are the clothes
you wore? Plotting to capture the James Boys, eh?" and Jesse
laughed aloud, and Jim Anderson and Fox, another confederate of
the Boys, came from their concealment, with pistols in hand. Poor
Whicher saw this, and for the first time he fully realized the
helplessness of his position.

"Betrayed," he thought, almost said.

Jesse James said, in a cold, dry tone: "Young man, we want to hear
no more from you. We know you. Move but a finger and you die now.
Boys," he said, addressing Anderson and Fox, "I don't think it
best to do the job here. It wouldn't take long, but for certain
reasons I don't think this is the place. Shall we cross the river
to-night?" The others answered they would, if it was his pleasure.

All this time Whicher had stood still; not a muscle moved, and
not a single wave of pallor had covered his features. He knew
what they meant by "the job," and made up his mind to improve any
incident, however slight, to have revenge on his murderers.

But there were no favorable incidents for him. He had been tried
and condemned in a court from which he could not appeal. At what
time the sentence would be executed he could not tell.

"Boys, relieve him of his burden and weapons," said Jesse James.

Quick as thought, Whicher's hand was thrust into the bosom of his
coat. It was too late. Fox and Anderson sprang upon him, while
Jesse James placed the muzzle of his pistol against his temple. To
struggle was useless. He was compelled to yield, for just then Brad
Collins and Jim Latche joined the others. The case of the detective
was hopeless. In an instant they had disarmed him; he had brought
only one Smith & Wesson pistol. Then the desperadoes felt of his
hands, and laughed at his pretensions as a farm-laborer.

  [Illustration: Whicher Meets His Fate.]

Confident in the belief that he had been betrayed by one of the two
gentlemen to whom he had applied at Liberty, Whicher made up his
mind that he would make no whining petition to the murderers. If
he had known the exact state of the case he would not have gone to
Kearney, and if he had gone he would have been better prepared to
encounter the Boys. But fate had ordained it otherwise, and another
victim to the long, long catalogue of names which Jesse James had
written in blood was the outcome of it all.

Darkness had fallen upon the fair scenes of nature while these
things were happening. The cool March winds whistled dismally
through the yet naked forest trees. The stars came out and looked
coldly from the empyrean, but there was purity in their beams,
and no blood marks on their twinkling discs. It was meet that
the tragedy which was about to take place should be enacted in
the hours of gloomy night, and at a time when all without was
comfortless and dreary.

Whicher was bound securely, and a gag was placed in his mouth that
he might call for no aid or deliverance. The desperadoes placed hum
upon a horse, in the still hours of the night, and rode away. His
legs were tied securely under the horse's belly, and his arms were
pinioned with strong ropes. Jesse James, Bradley Collins and Jim
Anderson were the executioners. In silence himself, Whicher, during
that long, lonely ride heard the three discussing their bloody
deeds with a thrill of horror, for they had told him what his fate
was to be.

About three o'clock on the morning of the 11th of March, the drowsy
ferryman at Blue Mills, on the Missouri river, was roused to
wakefulness by the shouts of men on the north side, who signified
their desire to cross over.

"Be in a hurry," cried the belated travelers. "We are after horse
thieves and must cross quick if we catch them."

Thus appealed to the ferryman crossed the river to the northeastern
shore, where the horse thief hunters awaited him.

When they came down to the boat, they said to the ferryman:

"We have caught the thief, and if you want to keep your head on
your shoulders you had better put us across the river very quick."

So persuaded, the ferryman obeyed. They were soon on the south side
of the river. The ferryman observed that one of the men was bound
and gagged. It was poor Whicher on his way to his execution. The
very stars shone piteously through a veil of mist, and the winds
sighed sadly as the strange group moved off on the Independence
road. But neither the helpless condition of their victim, nor the
sad aspect of nature in the solemnity of the hours of darkness
could evoke a spark of pity in the sered hearts of Whicher's

They rode away in the darkness. Just how they executed their
purpose only the red-handed outlaws and the merciful God knows.

The next morning an early traveler on the road from Independence to
Blue Mills, about half way between the places, in a lonely spot,
saw a ghastly corpse with a bullet-hole through the forehead and
another through the heart. It was all that remained of Whicher.



After Whicher's melancholy fate, Allan Pinkerton had motives aside
from those of gain for pursuing to the death the celebrated border
bandits, Frank and Jesse James. In one year, three of the most
courageous and trusted men in the employ of the distinguished
detective had been sent out after the Missouri outlaws, and were
carried back cold in death, after conflicts with the desperadoes.
Whicher and Lull and Daniels were asleep in gory beds. And yet
Frank and Jesse James, and their followers and allies, were free
as the winds that blow, to come and go as interest or caprice
might dictate to them. While this condition of affairs continued,
Pinkerton must have felt that his reputation as a skillful
entrapper of criminals suffered.

About the first of the year 1875, the great detective commenced
a campaign against the renowned brigands which was meant to be
finally effective. The most elaborate and careful preparations were
made. Nothing was left undone which could in any way contribute to
the success of the undertaking. The utmost secrecy was observed in
every movement.

Several circumstances seemed to favor the detectives. Many of
the most respectable citizens of Clay county had grown weary of
the presence in their midst of persons of the evil reputation of
the Jameses, and entered with alacrity and zeal into the scheme
inaugurated for the capture of the Boys. Among those of the
citizens most prominent in the movement which had for its design
the annihilation of the band of which Jesse James was supposed
to be the chief leader, were several of the old neighbors and
acquaintances of the James and Samuels families.

With these citizens, Mr. William Pinkerton, who had gone from
Chicago to Kansas City, to direct the movements of the detective
forces, opened communication. A system of cipher signals was
adopted, and communications constantly passed between the
different persons engaged in the undertaking. The citizens in the
neighborhood of Kearney were watchful, and keenly observed every
movement in the vicinity of the residence of Dr. Samuels, and
daily transmitted the results to their chief, who had established
temporary headquarters at Kansas City.

It was known to some of the immediate neighbors of Dr. Samuels that
Frank and Jesse James were at home. They had been seen occasionally
at the little railway station of Kearney, which is three miles
distant from the residence which had been, and was still claimed,
as the home of the outlaws. Near neighbors, in casually passing,
had seen them about the barnyards. All these things had been
faithfully reported to the chief detective at Kansas City.

At length the opportune time for striking a decisive blow was
deemed to have arrived. Dispatches in cipher were sent to Chicago
for reinforcements, and specific orders touching their movements
after their arrival near the objective point, were given. The
Kansas City division of the forces was held in readiness to
co-operate with the force from the East. The citizens of Clay
county, who had so zealously aided the detectives, received final
instructions as to the part they were to take in the grand _coup_,
by which their county was to be forever relieved of the presence of
the dangerous outlaws.

Extraordinary precautions had been taken to maintain a profound
secrecy as to the movements and purposes of the detectives. No
strange men had been seen loitering about Kearney. Everything
which could possibly be done to allay suspicion on the part of the
outlaws had been done. But the Jameses had friends everywhere in
Western Missouri--keen, shrewd, vigilant men, who noted everything,
and whose suspicions were aroused by the slightest circumstance.
The very quiet which prevailed was ominous of approaching danger.
Somehow, too, they had learned of the sending and receiving of
cipher messages by a Clay county man, at Liberty. This made them
doubly watchful.

The extensive preparations which had been made, and the necessity
imposed upon them of waiting for a suitable opportunity to strike,
had occupied much time, and it was not until the night of the 25th
of January, that the detectives made the final attack.

Jesse and Frank had been seen near the Samuels place that very
evening, and no doubt was entertained that they were at home.

The detective forces destined for the attack on what was
facetiously termed "Castle James," were divided into small squads,
and began to arrive in Clay county on the afternoon of the 24th,
from the East. Coming after night, they were met by citizens of
Clay county and conducted to places of shelter in the most quiet
and secret manner. After nightfall on the evening of the 25th, a
special train came up by Kearney, and on it came another detachment
from Kansas City. These were met by citizens well acquainted, and
conducted to the place of rendezvous.

Secretly as these movements had been conducted, the ever-vigilant
Jesse had his suspicions aroused by some trivial circumstance,
which would have escaped the attention of almost any other man.
Convinced that some formidable movement was going on, designed to
consummate his destruction, Jesse James, his brother, and another
member of the band rode away from the Samuels house after nightfall
that very evening, and at the hour when the detectives arrived in
the vicinity of the place where they expected to capture them, the
Jameses were riding in the cold, well on their way to the house of
a friend, miles away.

The detectives had no intimation that their intended victims had
taken the alarm and departed from the place. They were assured that
the outlaws had been seen in the vicinity of their home at a late
hour in the afternoon, and it was believed that they were there

The night was cold and dark. It was late--perhaps near midnight,
when the detective force arrived at the farm-house. There were nine
men selected from Pinkerton's force because of their shrewdness
and courage, and several citizens of the vicinity who, like the
detectives, were fully armed. The assailing forces took up their
stations completely surrounding the house. Some balls of tow
thoroughly saturated with kerosene oil and turpentine had been
prepared, and the detectives carried with them some formidable
hand-grenades to be used in the assault. Two of the assailants
approached a window at the rear of the house. The slight noise made
in opening the shutters and raising the sash aroused a negro woman,
an old family servant, who was sleeping in the apartment. She at
once set up a shout of alarm which speedily brought to the room
Mrs. Samuels, her husband, and several members of the family, some
of them young children.

  [Illustration: Night Attack on the Samuels Residence.]

Just then a lighted ball of tow and oil was thrown into the room.
The place was instantly brilliantly illuminated. The inmates
of course, having just been aroused from slumber, were greatly
agitated at this unexpected assault. The situation was truly
appalling. Another lighted ball was hurled into the room. The
younger members of the family cried out piteously as they fled
aghast from the lurid flames that shot toward the ceiling. Mrs.
Samuels quickly recovered her presence of mind, and began to
give directions and personally to exert herself in the work of
subduing the flames. She was permitted only a moment to engage in
this employment. There was a sudden crash as a great iron ball
struck the floor, followed in an instant by a terrific explosion.
Instantly the room was filled by a dense cloud of smoke, through
which the white flames of the fireballs gleamed with a lurid red
hue as if tinged with blood. There was a wail of agony from within
that pandemonium of midnight horrors which might well have called
emotion to a heart of stone. The piteous moans of childhood in
dying throes, were mingled with the deeper groans of suffering
age, and the shriller cries of terrified youth. The work of the
assailants in that particular line of attack was complete. And yet
the noted outlaws did not appear. It was at once concluded that
they were not present or they would have shown themselves under
such circumstances. The attacking force did not wait to ascertain
the result of the explosion of their terrible missile. They
realized only that the game they sought had escaped them, and they
retired from the place without caring to learn anything more about
the consequences of their effort. They had failed, and that was all
they felt interested in ascertaining.

When the smoke had cleared away and the fires which had been
kindled about the house were extinguished, the extent of the
execution done by the explosion was fully revealed. The spectacle
presented was awful beyond any power of our pen to describe. There,
lying on the floor, in a pool of blood, poured out from his own
young veins, was the mangled form of an eight-year old son of Mrs.
Samuels, in the very throes of death; Mrs. Samuels' right arm hung
helpless by her side, having been almost completely torn off above
the elbow. Dr. Samuels was cut and bruised; the aged colored woman
was wounded in several places; in fact, every member of the household
was more or less injured. Blood was everywhere. Death was in the room;
and pain and grief combined smote upon every soul in that stricken home.

Whatever the crimes of the boys of ill-favored reputation, they
afforded no justification for this terrible assault in which
innocent childhood was made the victim for the deeds of others. And
the people of the state, without any exceptions, condemned the deed
as wholly unjustifiable. The detectives made haste to leave the
country, and the citizens who had assisted them returned to their
homes and kept counsel with themselves.

The dead boy was taken away, and in his little grave under the snow
they left him lying, the sinless victim of sin, over whose untimely
fate many hearts have swelled with emotions too big for utterance.



There can be no doubt that there was a heavy undercurrent of
popular opinion in favor of the James Boys, generated by a
conviction that they were the victims of cruel and uncalled-for
persecution, brought upon themselves by their adhesion to a cause
which was dear to the hearts of many thousands of the citizens of
Missouri. Their later deeds were forgotten, while their former acts
were remembered with admiration. Though the evidence seemed clear,
which connected the Jameses and Youngers with innumerable daring
robberies, yet many hundreds of good people refused to credit the
reports, and offered their sympathy to the men whom they believed
to be victims of vile slanders and unwarrantable persecutions.

The sympathy openly manifested for the boys came not from the
reckless and vicious elements, but from influential persons
all over the state. As late as 1875, there were thousands of
respectable people in Missouri who had no sympathy with the
movements set on foot by the legal authorities for the apprehension
of the desperadoes, simply because they did not believe them to
be robbers, and that the killing done by them was a justifiable
punishment inflicted on ancient enemies who richly deserved their

The effect of the raid on the residence of Mrs. Samuels, the mother
of Frank and Jesse James, was to create a diversion in favor of
the boys. The tragedy of that event was of so horrible a nature,
that public sentiment set in strongly against any further attempt
to capture the boys by force. There was a strong sentiment in many
quarters of the state in favor of trying a policy of conciliation
toward the desperadoes. The reasons advanced in favor of this
policy were numerous, and some of them possessed some weight.
It was alleged that the state had already suffered the loss of
considerable sums in pursuing them; that it was extremely doubtful
whether their capture could ever be effected; that in consequence
the good name of the state must be tarnished; that while the
Jameses and Youngers were declared to be, and treated as outlaws,
other bad men would commit crimes and shift the responsibility to
the outlawed men; that the course pursued toward the Jameses and
Youngers was a species of persecution, and finally it was plead
that all this persistent hunting of these men was stimulated by
the animosities of enemies, dating from the war time, and inasmuch
as the United States Government had granted amnesty to its enemies
for acts committed during the continuance of hostilities, that it
was not right the state of Missouri should pursue with vindictive
persecution any of its citizens for acts committed during the war,
and their friends contended that the outlawry of these men grew out
of their course in the period between 1861 and 1865.

These views and opinions in respect to the Jameses and Youngers
assumed a formal shape in the early part of March, 1875, by the
introduction in the Legislature of Missouri by the late General
Jeff. Jones, then a member of the House of Representatives from
Callaway county, of a bill, or preambles and resolution, offering
amnesty for all past offenses to Jesse W. James, Thomas Coleman
Younger, Frank James, Robert Younger and James Younger, on the
condition that they should return to their homes and quietly submit
to such proceedings as might be instituted against them for acts
alleged to have been committed by them since the war.

The preambles and resolution offered by General Jones received
the approval of Attorney-General John A. Hockaday, and of many
other lawyers of acknowledged ability. General Jones supported the
measure with great zeal and earnestness, and no little ability and

As this measure was one of great importance to the subjects of this
volume, we deem it necessary to give the essential parts of the
document, as follows:

   WHEREAS, By the 4th section of the 11th Article of the
   Constitution of Missouri, all persons in the military service
   of the United States, or who acted under the authority thereof
   in this state, are relieved from all civil liability and all
   criminal punishment for all acts done by them since the 1st day
   of January, A. D., 1861; and,

   WHEREAS, By the 12th section of the said 11th Article of said
   Constitution, provision is made by which, under certain
   circumstances, may be seized, transported to, indicted, tried
   and punished in distant counties, any Confederate under ban of
   despotic displeasure, thereby contravening the Constitution of
   the United Slates and every principle of enlightened humanity;

   WHEREAS, Such discrimination evinces a want of manly generosity
   and statesmanship on the part of the party imposing, and of
   courage and manhood on the part of the party submitting tamely
   thereto; and,

   WHEREAS, Under the outlawry pronounced against Jesse W. James,
   Frank James, Coleman Younger, Robert Younger and others, who
   gallantly periled their lives and their all in the defense of
   their principles, they are of necessity made desperate, driven
   as they are from the fields of honest industry, from their
   friends, their families, their homes and their country, they
   can know no law but the law of self-preservation, nor can have
   no respect for and feel no allegiance to a government which
   forces them to the very acts it professes to deprecate, and
   then offers a bounty for their apprehension, and arms foreign
   mercenaries with power to capture and kill them; and,

   WHEREAS, Believing these men too brave to be mean, too generous
   to be revengeful, and too gallant and honorable to betray a
   friend or break a promise; and believing further that most,
   if not all the offences with which they are charged have been
   committed by others, and perhaps by those pretending to hunt
   them, or by their confederates; that their names are and have
   been used to divert suspicion from and thereby relieve the
   actual perpetrators; that the return of these men to their
   homes and friends would have the effect of greatly lessening
   crime in our state by turning public attention to the real
   criminals, and that common justice, sound policy and true
   statesmanship alike demand that amnesty should be extended to
   all alike of both parties for all acts done or charged to have
   been done during the war; therefore, be it

   _Resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate
   concurring therein_:

   That the Governor of the State be, and he is hereby requested
   to issue his proclamation notifying the said Jesse W. James,
   Frank James, Coleman Younger, Robert Younger and James Younger,
   and others, that full and complete amnesty and pardon will be
   granted them for all acts charged or committed by them during
   the late civil war, and inviting them peaceably to return
   to their respective homes in this state and there quietly
   to remain, submitting themselves to such proceedings as may
   be instituted against them by the courts for all offenses
   charged to have been committed since said war, promising and
   guaranteeing to them and each of them full protection and a
   fair trial therein, and that full protection shall be given
   them from the time of their entrance into the state and his
   notice thereof under said proclamation and invitation.

The above bill was introduced about the first of March, 1875, and
was referred to the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, of which
its author was a leading member. The bill was fully discussed in
committee, and finally, through the influence of its author, a
majority of the committee agreed to make a favorable report on
the measure to the House of Representatives. Sometime towards the
close of the session of the 28th General Assembly, the bill came up
for its third reading in the House. General Jones made an earnest
speech in advocacy of the measure. A member aroused a strong
opposition to the measure from the very side of the house from
which General Jones had hoped to obtain assistance in carrying it
through. The member simply read a portion of a message transmitted
by Governor Silas Woodson to the 27th General Assembly denouncing
these same outlaws; and the Democratic Legislature of Missouri
refused to pass the bill. Thus the stigma of outlawry remained upon
them, and their hands were turned against every man.



It had been a lovely day. Nature had put on her richest habiliments
of bloom and beauty. The sun shone with a genial warmth, and the
air was soft and perfume-laden from the thousands of wild flowers
exhaling the rich aroma from the wide prairies. It was an eminently
respectable party who travelled from San Antonio on the stage that
day. There were in the company the Right Rev. Bishop Gregg, of
the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and Mr. Breckenridge,
president of the First National Bank of San Antonio; three ladies,
and six other gentlemen, merchants of San Antonio--in all, eleven
travellers, well provided with the means to get through the world
without fear of famishing.

The stage was the regular four-horse, United States mail coach,
running in the line between San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

The respectable party of eleven travellers had as pleasant a time
as the crowded condition of the stage and the monotonous nature of
the scenery could be expected to afford them. Of course the bright
sunlight made the scenery appear at least cheerful.

The stage was bowling along the well-beaten highway, drawn by
four fresh horses, which had been hitched to it about half an hour
before sundown. They had gone from "the stand" perhaps as much as
four miles, and it was getting quite dusky--daylight fading away
in the west. The stage had reached a point about twenty-five miles
west from Austin.

In the gathering gloom, the driver beheld what appeared to be
six rancheros, wearing sombreros, approaching the road just
before him. Such incidents were not infrequent on that part of
the route, and the appearance of the six men did not at first
create any feeling of disquiet in the mind of the Jehu. But as
the party drew nearer, and he discovered that they were mounted
on splendid "American horses," and not "mustangs," he thought it
very singular, to say the least of it. He was an old stager on the
plains, and not inclined to be "panicky," but he muttered, "I'll
sware, them's queer fellers, anyhow." He did not have time to think
very much about them, for in another moment two of the horsemen
rode alongside the stage, with revolvers cocked, and commanded,
with a great oath, "Halt!" Of course there was no alternative,
for two more of the robbers had galloped in front of the foremost
span of horses and checked the further progress of the stage team.
The other two robbers had taken up a position on both sides of
the stage--one at each post, and were pointing pistols at the
passengers, and with horrible oaths telling them to "tumble out"
at once, or die. The astonished passengers--not even the Reverend
Bishop--were just then ready to adopt the latter alternative, and
very gracefully descended from the stage.

The passengers were formed into a group, which included the
driver, and two of the bandits, with drawn revolvers, stood guard
over them. The two horsemen in front dismounted and detached the
lead-span of horses, and with the other two commenced their search
for booty.

The trunks of the passengers were broken open, and every valuable
thing which could be easily carried away was appropriated. The
United States mail bags were then cut and the letters torn open. In
this part of the stage-load they were quite successful, securing a
large amount of bills in registered packages. One of the mail-bags
was appropriated as a receptacle for the plunder. Having gone
through the baggage and mail matter, the bandits turned their
attention to the passengers. There was an animated dialogue carried
on for a time, in the following style:

"Well, gentlemen and ladies, allow us to trouble you for the money
and jewelry which you may have about you."

"Do you mean to rob us?" asked the Bishop.

"Oh, no! Don't use such ugly language. We just want to relieve you
of a burden--that's all, old sock."

"You don't call that robbery?" asked the Bishop.

"Come, now, old coon! Dry up, or you'll not have an opportunity to
ask any more nonsensical questions. Hand out your money!"

The Bishop reluctantly complied.

"Now that watch of yours!" they further commanded.

"What! Will you not allow me to keep my watch. It is a gift and
dearly prized. You would not rob an humble minister of Christ of
his timepiece, would you?" queried the Bishop.

"So, ho! You are a parson then, judging from the cut of your
buckskins--or a priest--it makes no difference. Well, Christ didn't
have any watch, and he didn't ride in stages either. He walked
about to do his Father's will, and wasn't arrayed in fine clothes,
and didn't fare sumptuously every day. What use has a preacher
for a watch? Go and travel like the Master. Out with that watch!
No more words--not one, mind you! We are not Christians, we are

The Bishop was constrained to give up his watch--a valuable and
much prized one.

"Anything more? Out with it."

The Bishop protested that he had nothing more of value about his
person. They, however, made a personal examination before they were
satisfied, one of them remarking:

"You can't depend on many of these long-faced canters, anyhow."

Then the robbers searched Mr. Breckenridge, and from him they
obtained a plethoric pocketbook, containing one thousand dollars,
and an elegant gold watch, and a very valuable diamond pin.

So they went from one to another of the passengers, until the eight
gentlemen of the respectable party of travellers had been politely
plundered. Then the turn of the ladies came.

"Hand out your pocketbook," said the leader to the first lady

"Yes, sir, here it is," replied the frightened lady, handing him
her money.

The robber took it, opened it, and examined the contents by the
light of the stage lantern. Then he came back to the lady, and
asked if that was all the money she had. She replied that it was.
He then inquired where she was going. She told him to Houston.

"Here, madam, take your money. We regret the trouble we have given

So they went to the other two ladies, and from one they got a
watch, some jewelry, and about one hundred dollars in cash. From
another they received some valuable jewelry, and a considerable sum
of money.

Their work was now completed. During the two hours they held the
passengers under guard, they sometimes made jesting remarks, and at
other times threatening ones. The least want of alacrity in obeying
their orders was sure to subject the passengers to the direst
threats. The robbers took with them the lead-span of horses when
they rode away.

The whole amount of cash taken from the passengers exceeded three
thousand dollars, besides several gold watches, and considerable
jewelry of value. The amount taken from the mail bags was several
hundred dollars.

Who were the robbers? This question was inferentially answered
sometime afterward, when, in a conflict with a Texas official, Jim
Reed, a member of the gang, was mortally wounded, and confessed
that he was one of the party, and that his associates were men
from Missouri, noted as "brave boys." Who were so noted on the 7th
day of April, 1874, at which time the stage robbery took place,
but Frank and Jesse James, and the Younger Brothers? It is now the
settled conviction of all who are acquainted with the facts, that
the James Boys were there and "bossed the job."



During the time General Jone's amnesty measure was pending in the
Legislature of Missouri, Jesse and Frank James remained very quiet.
They even opened up communication with Governor Charles H. Hardin
and Attorney-General John A. Hockaday, through Sheriff Groome, of
Clay county. From all the evidence at present available, we are
forced to believe that at this time Jesse and Frank James were
sincerely anxious that the measure should be adopted, and were in
earnest in the desire to conclude a peace with society with which
they had been at war for ten long years.

For a time their vengeance slumbered. It was known to them that
certain neighbors of theirs in Clay county had taken an active
interest in the efforts which had been put forth to accomplish
their arrest, and every one expected that a bloody retaliation
would follow. Their conduct had made for them many enemies in the
community of which their father had been an honored member. Some
of these were open and outspoken in denunciation of their course,
while others were restrained in expressions of hostility by their
knowledge of the desperate and vengeful character of the men.

But the Jameses knew when to restrain themselves, and carefully
abstained from any act that might lose to them the effect of
the slight revulsion in public opinion in their favor caused by
the tragic results of the night raid. But they had marked their
men--vengeance was only delayed. Possibly, if General Jone's
amnesty measure had succeeded, they would have withheld the hand
of destruction, and their intended victims, instead of mouldering
in gory graves, might to-day be alive. It is impossible to even
conjecture what might have been the effect on the future life of
the daring desperado, Jesse James. He might have turned away from
the evil way which he had travelled so long, and atoned by an
upright life for all the past. But it was not to be. For to them--

    "The die now cast, their station known,
    Fond expectation past;
    The thorns which former days had sown,
    To crops of late repentance grown,
    Through which they toil'd at last;
    While every care's a driving harm,
    That helped to bear them down;
    Which faded smiles no more could charm,
    But every tear a winter storm,
    And every look a frown."

They were outlaws still. Hunted as enemies of their kind, they
turned viciously to avenge what they, no doubt, earnestly believed
their wrongs.

Among those who had expressed in strong terms his disapproval
of the conduct of the James Boys, was Mr. Daniel H. Askew, a
well-to-do farmer, and somewhat prominent citizen of Clay county,
whose farm and residence was near the home of the Jameses. The
outspoken opinion of Mr. Askew had given great offense to the
Jameses and their friends, and when the night raid was made
in January they at once suspected that Askew had been partly
instrumental in bringing it about. This belief was strengthened by
some of the scouts in the interest of the Jameses finding a couple
of blankets, and evidences of the late presence of men among Mr.
Askew's haystacks. To still further confirm them in the belief that
Askew assisted the detectives in the attack on the Samuels house, a
young man known as Jack Ladd, who had been in Askew's employ as a
farmer, departed from the country on the night of the assault.

It is but justice to the memory of Mr. Askew, to state in this
place that he frequently and earnestly disclaimed having any
knowledge whatever of the movements of the detectives in the employ
of Mr. Pinkerton. But his denials had no weight with the vengeful
Jameses. They and their friends continued to believe that the
attacking party were sheltered and led by farmer Daniel H. Askew,
and they resolved to execute dire vengeance upon him.

On the night of April 12th, 1875, Mr. Askew went with a bucket to
a spring some distance from his residence, and returned to the
house with the bucket filled with water. He had sat the bucket on a
bench and was standing on his back porch, not having yet entered
the house after returning from the spring. Just in the rear of the
house, and within ten paces of the edge of the porch on which Mr.
Askew was standing, there was a heap of firewood reaching perhaps
to the height of five or six feet. Behind this wood-heap the
assassins found a convenient hiding place. Whoever they may have
been, they had ridden to the rear of a field, hitched their horses,
and walked through the field to their place of concealment.

  [Illustration: Death of Farmer Askew.]

Suddenly the report of a pistol, followed instantaneously by the
report of two shots, rang out on the night air, and Mr. Askew
fell upon the floor of the porch and immediately expired. Some
members of the family, in a great state of alarm, rushed out to
his assistance, but found him already dead. Three shots, evidently
fired from heavy revolvers, had taken effect in the head of the
poor farmer, and one had crashed through his brain.

The murderers had run back across the field, mounted their horses
and departed before the grief-stricken and astonished family could
make any movements toward discovering their identity.

That night at a late hour some men on horseback rode by the house
of Mr. Henry Sears, and summoned him to the door. He saw three men
in the road. One of them called to him and said, "We have killed
Dan Askew to-night, and if anyone wants to know who did it, say

Having thus delivered their terrible message, the men rode away
in the dark. And the friends and neighbors gathered to the Askew
farm-house to console his bereaved and stricken family, and the
coroner came next day, "due inquisition to make into the causes
which led to Daniel H. Askew's death." But from that day to this
no one knows to a certainty who took the farmer's life. The
general belief at the time was, that he had fallen a victim to
the vengeance of the James Boys. The years that have elapsed have
only served to strengthen that belief and deepen the convictions
of those who believed that Askew died at the hands of the vengeful
outlaws. Who can tell? Only Him who knoweth all things, and the
assassins, if still alive, hold the dreadful secret.



    "Scores may be found whose errant-time
      Know not one hour of rest;
    Their lives one course of faithless crime,
      Their every deed--unrest."

Muncie is a little wayside station on the Kansas Pacific Railroad,
not many miles from Kansas City, in Wyandotte county, Kansas. The
situation, surroundings and small importance of the place in other
respects, were not calculated to give it a wide-spread fame; and
yet Muncie has become a place of historic renown, as the scene of
one of the most daring exploits of the most renowned outlaws of
modern times.

It happened one dreary December evening in the year 1875. On that
occasion the programme which had served at Gadshill was carried
out at Muncie. A band of armed men, well mounted, and keen and
alert, had waited until the east-bound passenger train on the great
thoroughfare between the rich mines of the West and the centers of
commerce in the East arrived near their chosen lair. The topography
of the region, and other favorable circumstances, rendered the task
one of easy accomplishment, though it involved an exhibition of
daring which few men care to manifest.

In some way the bandits, of which Frank and Jesse James were
chiefs, had information that a large amount of silver and gold was
in charge of the express messenger on that train. It has been said
that this information was transmitted to them by Jackson Bishop,
who had been a noted Guerrilla in Quantrell's command, and who,
subsequent to the cessation of hostilities, had journeyed to the
"Far West," and entered into business as a mining operator in
Colorado. Be that as it may, one thing is certain, the knights of
the road had information that the express company had treasures in
trust that trip, and these they were ready to appropriate.

In due time the train approached Muncie. There was no sign
of warning, and when the engine came to a standstill at the
wayside station, in obedience to a signal, it was immediately
taken possession of by seven men. The engineer and fireman were
carefully guarded. The passengers were admonished and intimidated
by the presence of armed men on the platforms of the cars, whose
formidable pistols seemed to be pointed at each individual
passenger, and the harsh commands of those men were obeyed with
alacrity by the surprised passengers. But the robbers were generous
that evening. The treasure in the express car was what they sought.
Individual possessions were as "the small dust" compared to that.

The express messenger was immediately confronted. Demands were
made upon him with which he was compelled to comply. The safe was
opened, and then the robbers proceeded to examine the contents of
that treasure box at their leisure. The gain was worth the daring.
Their reward was _thirty thousand dollars in gold dust_. The
contents of the car were further examined, and a large amount of
silver and other valuables were secured.

On this occasion the bandits were content with the spoils of the
express car, which, it is said, amounted to about _fifty-five
thousand dollars_. The passengers were, therefore, not subjected to
the manipulations of the robbers.

As usual, the news of this fresh outrage by bandits was flashed far
and wide. The country was aroused, and in an incredibly short space
of time many bands of men were abroad in all directions, hunting
the robbers. All their efforts proved vain. The shrewd raiders
escaped with their booty.

A few days after the great train robbery at Muncie, a police
officer at Kansas City, in the discharge of his duty, arrested
one Bill McDaniels, charged with being drunk on the street. When
he was brought to the station and searched, articles on his
person were identified as having been taken from the express
car at Muncie. Every possible effort was made to induce Bill
McDaniels to designate his confederates in the train robbery. But
to every proposition he was deaf, and finally, in attempting to
escape, he was shot dead, dying without revealing the name of his
confederates. The bandits escaped.



    "Where I am injured, there I'll sue redress,
    Look to it, every one who bars my access;
    I have a heart to feel the injury,
    A hand to right myself, and by my honor,
    That hand shall grasp what gray beard Law denies me."

The James Boys have always claimed that they were driven into
outlawry by the very instrumentality which organized society has
employed to subserve the ends of justice and afford protection
to the rights and liberties of all--namely, the government. This
claim, made by them, has been partly conceded by a large class of
persons, irrespective of all political affiliations and social
relations. So their wild career was commenced, and so it has
proceeded through many years.

That the Jameses have been accused of crimes which they did not
commit, there is scarcely room for doubt. One of the deeds which
has been laid to their charge was the robbery committed at Corinth,
Alcorn county, Mississippi. This event happened the same day that
the train was robbed at Muncie, Kansas. The two places are many
hundred miles apart, and of course the Jameses could not have been
at both places at the same time. It is possible, indeed probable,
that the robbery at Corinth, which stripped the bank at that
place of a very large sum of money, was the handiwork of some of
the members of the desperate band of men, of which the Jameses
were the acknowledged leaders. The same tactics which had been so
successfully employed at Ste. Genevieve, Russellville, Corydon,
Gallatin, and other points, characterized the raid on the funds of
the bank of Corinth. The spoils obtained were exceedingly valuable,
and although energetic pursuit was made, the robbers succeeded
in making their escape. Their trail, however, was followed into
Missouri, and several circumstances indicate that the successful
bandits were members of the same organization with the James Boys
and Younger Brothers. After this there was a season of quiet.

In the spring of 1876 the robbers renewed the campaign for spoils.
The incidents of the past year had begun to become memories, and
the success which had attended the gang during the past years had
given them confidence in their ability to plunder at will wherever
they might select a field for the exhibition of their prowess and
skill. The trees had assumed their green habiliments, and the
early spring flowers exhaled their choicest perfumes, scenting
the balmy breezes as they blew over hills and through valleys.
The schemers had planned another raid. This time they selected an
objective point remote from the scenes of their former deeds. It
was a romantic expedition away into the mountain regions of Eastern
Kentucky and the state of West Virginia. The spring-birds sang cheery
lays as the brigands marched on to their destined halting place.

Huntington, West Virginia, is a beautiful town of about 3,000
inhabitants, situated on the Ohio river, in Cabell county, and is
on the line of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. In 1876, the advent
of the steam cars had given an impetus to trade, and the old town
had taken a new growth. The bold bandits had selected Huntington as
the scene of a most sensational event. The tactics which had served
so well on many other occasions were once more adopted. On a bright
April day, four men made their appearance at the bank. They had
come through the streets without exciting any suspicion. When they
had arrived at the front of the bank, two of them dismounted, drew
their pistols, rushed into the bank, where they found Mr. Oney, the
cashier, and another gentleman. These they at once covered with
their pistols, and proceeded to overpower the cashier. They then
emptied the contents of the safe into a sack, and leaving Oney and
his friend securely bound, they proceeded to remount their horses.

While the two robbers were engaged inside, the other two, who had
remained in the street, very effectually overawed the citizens
who came that way, by displaying their pistols and occasionally
firing a shot. The whole operation was completed within less than
half an hour from the time the robbers made their appearance
in Huntington. There were not many persons who knew what had
happened until after the marauders had left the place. When the
people awakened to a realization of the true nature of the morning
occurrence, there was at once a storm of excitement raised.
Officers of the law and citizens of Huntington, without official
relations, vied with each other in the alacrity with which they
prepared to pursue the robbers.

As soon as the two robbers who had taken the treasure were mounted,
the whole party galloped away, intimidating the citizens as they
went by firing off their pistols.

A vigorous pursuit was at once commenced. The robbers were a long
way from their base; and the road before them was rugged and
difficult. For days the pursuit was unabated. Bligh, the well-known
detective of Louisville, sent his best men on the road to track the
fugitives. The chase became exciting. Diverted from their intended
line of retreat, the marauders sought refuge among the mountains
of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. The horses of the robbers
failed and were abandoned. Finally the pursuers came up with the
fugitives. A fight ensued, and one of the robbers was killed before
they had left the borders of Kentucky. This person was identified
afterward as Thomason McDaniels, a brother of Bill, who was killed
while attempting to escape from the officers in Kansas City, after
the affair at Muncie. The pursuit was continued. In the hills of
Fentress county, Tennessee, the officers came up with the robbers
again. This time they succeeded in capturing Jack Kean, another
desperado, known in Western Missouri and Kentucky. The others
escaped, and finally made their way into Missouri.

Kean was taken back and lodged in jail at Cabell. The grand jury of
Cabell county returned a true bill against him, and in due time he
was placed on trial, convicted, and received a long sentence in the
penitentiary of West Virginia. The presence of McDaniels and Kean,
both well-known desperadoes of Missouri, at once suggested the
James Boys as leaders in the Huntington robbery. Detective Bligh at
first heralded to the world that Jesse James was captured when Kean
was taken. Statements subsequently made by the convicted robber
left no doubt that certainly Jesse James, and probably Frank, were
parties to the robbery of the bank at Huntington.

It matters not who were the robbers in name. The deed was
undoubtedly committed by members of the organization of which the
James Boys were the most noted leaders. The destiny which seems
to have led them continued to favor them. The leaders of the
Huntington raid escaped, and carried the bulk of the Huntington
bank's funds with them.



    "Oh, say not that my heart is cold
      To aught that once could warm it;
    That Beauty's form, so dear of old,
      No more has power to charm it;
    Or that the ungenerous world can chill
      One glow of fond emotion,
    For those who made it dearer still
      And shared my wild devotion."

Jesse James, the bold raider and dashing outlaw, in love?
Preposterous! And yet why not? Those who have studied the ways of
human nature with most attention, find nothing singular in the
fact that Jesse might prove an ardent lover, or wonderful in the
assumption that he might be beloved in turn. Love is the grand
passion after all, and few persons have lived who did not at some
time in the course of their lives feel the deep chords of their
hearts touched, and realize the tender spell that enchained them.
Why should not Jesse James, the man of splendid physique, the very
embodiment of strong passions, yield to the powerful influence
which so universally sways the human heart? Rather, we might ask,
why should Jesse James not "fall in love," as the expression goes?
It was perfectly natural that he should at some time, somewhere,
find some one endowed with the capability of awakening in him
the tender passion. Was he not human? Were his emotions and
constitution so different from the rest of the children of time?
What if he was outlawed? Had he not eyes to see and ears to hear?
Had all tender feelings found a grave in his heart?

It is true that the nature of his employment and the circumstances
which surrounded him, rendered his life an isolated one to a
certain extent. He was not thrown into the great whirlpool which
the world calls society, and this very isolation of his position
would very naturally prompt him to seek the companionship of one
who could hold a nearer and dearer place in his heart than even his
brother. He might yet retrieve some of the disasters of the past,
and wipe out some of the stains which blurred his character, if
led by the sweet, gentle influence of a true woman. Who can ever
know what hopes animated him; what bright dreams of a better life
cheered him, when he thought of her who would not--perhaps could
not join in the general execration of his name? It may be that at
such times a vision rose before him, of a quiet home with peace
after the strife, where love dwelt, and where the bitter curses of
the past might never come; it may be that he looked forward to the
rest which would come to his tempest-riven breast, when the storm
had passed and the serene sun lighted his pathway through a quiet
land. And at such times it was but natural that he should seek the
presence of the beloved one, and plead with her--

                      "Oh linger yet a moment!
    Is it a sin that I have loved thee so,
    And worshiped thy bright image? If it be,
    Let grief and suffering atone for that,
    Long as this heart can know the power of pain,--
    But let me look on thee and hear thee still."

And what woman ever listened unmoved to such appeals? "The brave
deserve the fair," and the history of the race shows that when the
heart is enlisted, when the tender bloom of love sheds its perfume
around her, woman is careless of the world's opinion, and brave in
daring its frowns.

Jesse had a fair cousin--a handsome young lady, possessed of an
amiable disposition, and a mind well stored with knowledge. This
destined bride of the distinguished outlaw is the daughter of a
sister of the Rev. Robert James, who was married in the days of her
youth to a Mr. Mimms. Miss Zee Mimms was deprived of a mother's
love and guidance at a time when she was just entering the estate
of womanhood. She had a sister older than herself who was united
in marriage with Mr. Charles McBride, a respectable carpenter and
builder in Kansas City, about the year 1869. For several years Miss
Mimms resided with her relatives in Kansas City, and gained the
respect and esteem of a large circle of acquaintances. In the days
of her childhood she had known her cousin Jesse, and his bright
blue eyes and soft, peach-like complexion, and the smile that used
to ripple over his countenance, and his cheery words, may even then
have drawn the little girl toward her cousin. As time went by,
Zee had grown to the condition of womanhood, and Jesse had become
celebrated as a daring soldier, and afterwards a reckless outlaw.
But somehow Miss Zee could never believe her cousin Jesse to be so
bad as he was represented, and when they met--which they frequently
did--she always had a word of gentle affection for cousin Jesse,
who was ever kind in his behavior toward her.

Many times Jesse James was seen in Kansas City, when to be there
was an exposure to imminent peril. When the wild winds swept
across the frozen river, and screamed over the hills, Jesse was
accustomed to dare the fury of the tempest, brave the chill of the
temperature, and seek the cosy fireside which became a shrine, when
blessed by the presence of his fair cousin.

And when it was summer time and the forest pathways were gloomy
in the shadows of night; and the stars in the deep azure vault of
heaven alone lent their feeble rays to illuminate the dark world,
then the outlaw would take his lonely way across the wide prairies,
through the deep-tangled forests where the owls hide by day and
hoot by night, and the wild tenants of the woodlands make their
lair; by lonely streams, murmuring as their waters go on the way to
mingle with the far-wandering tide of the mighty Missouri, to seek
the side of her whose smile was always brighter at his coming.

What mattered it to him if the streets of the city were deserted
by all, save the guardians of the law, who, in the deep shadowed
recesses waited and watched for him? His courage owned no
limitations under ordinary circumstances. What might it become
if stimulated by the all-intoxicating influence of love? If
the watchers saw him under the gaslight in the streets of the
slumbering city, they let him go, and so Jesse's courting days
passed away.

The outlaw's wooing proceeded, and was completed. Who knows
what thoughts were his in those days? Who can ever tell by what
processes of reasoning, or influence of love, Miss Zee Mimms
reciprocated the outlaw's passion? Who knows what earnest councils
she held with her own mind and the processes which ended in the
triumph of the affections, and a perfect yielding to him, and the
development of a devotion which smiled at contumely and consented
to sacrifice all things which had before been pleasing to her, at
the shrine of love? His presence became necessary to her happiness,
and her smile was sunlight poured into the otherwise dark recesses
of the outlaw's heart.

So it came about one pleasant evening in 1874, that Jesse James
and Miss Zee Mimms repaired to the house of Dr. Denham, a mutual
friend, near Kearney, Clay county, Missouri, where they were met
by the Rev. William James, of the M. E. Church, South, an uncle
of Jesse, who proceeded to unite the lovers in the holy bonds of
matrimony. The ceremony was performed in the presence of the
Doctor's family and one or two intimate friends. Jesse James had
won a wife, and Miss Zee Mimms had consented in her devotion to
become an outlaw's bride.

Ostracised by society, proscribed by the law, and hunted by enemies
and the officers of justice, Jesse James took his bride, and they
journeyed away. Across plains, through valleys, over streams toward
"the clime of the sun," the outlaw and his bride sought a place
where they could rest, and in each other's society,

    "Like some vision olden
      Of far other time,
    When the age was golden,
      In the young world's prime.
    Of the future dreaming,
      Weary of the past,
    For the present scheming,
      Happy they, at last."

What cared they for the cold world's scorn? Jesse had provided a
cosy home far away on the borders of civilization, where the names
of mountains, vales, and springs, and streams, are softened in the
musical language of old Castile. But we have heard that even in
that distant land the life of the outlaw's wife is not isolated,
but, on the contrary, under a name which their conduct has made
respectable, they have friends, and she her associates, who are
ignorant of the history of the outlaw, and hold her in esteem.

A little child, born sometime in 1876, has come to bless their
union by its childish prattle, and the daring outlaw has been
seen with the innocent little one mounted on his shoulder engaged
in racing about his ranche. It may be that there are episodes in
the life of Jesse James which are like the green oasis in the
sun-beaten desert--bright moments when the demon is temporarily
vanquished, and the spirit of goodness illuminates the world about
him. The man who can love cannot be wholly the slave of vengeance
and hate, and even Jesse James may possess traits of mind and
qualities of the heart, which point to something higher and better
than what is known of him.



    "Fancies, bright as flowers of Eden,
    Often to his spirit come,
    Winging through the mind's brief sunlight,
    Glad as swallows flying home.
    Love is the true heart's religion!
    Let us not its power deny.
    But love on as flowers love sunshine,
    Or the happy birds the sky."

Frank James was an outlaw. The smooth-faced, beardless youth who
came from the school where he had pondered over the thoughts of
Euripides, who had all Greece for a monument, to unite his fortune
and venture his fate with Quantrell's band, had become a man,
bearded and strong, daring and dangerous to his fellow-men. And
the sprightly intellect that had enabled him to lead his class,
and the youthful ardor which had conjured up classic forms among
"the sacred relics of Almighty Rome," as his mental vision was
turned back through the vista of many departed centuries, were now
floundering in the muddy pools, and reveling in plots and schemes,
sordid and debasing. He was not old in years, and yet he was ripe
in experience. Year after year had chased each other down the
steeps of time since Frank James became a soldier of the highways,
a participant in the well-planned ambushment, and an executioner
in the sudden surprise and fatal catastrophe to the enemy who came
into the well-planned ambuscade, and he had witnessed unmoved the
agony of victims when shaken by the throes of death.

Could this man, whose hands were red with the crimson stains left
there by the blood of victims; whose mind was made harsh and hard
by years of struggle against organized society; whose conscience
must have become seared by the long contact with the rude, rough
elements in human nature; whose heart must have become callous by
reason of the cruel scenes through which he had passed--could such
a one have tender dreams of love? And yet we might ask, why not?
The tender affinities of affection which sprang from psychological
causes is one of the most beneficent schemes of God's benevolence,
which traverses all space in its flights, and lives the visible
token of man's divinity on earth and his hope in heaven. The hand
that would thwart them would interrupt the course of laws based on
eternal verities.

The fact is, neither time, space, conditions, nor the recognized
canons of social life, can induce or hinder the inception, growth,
or maturity of a passion, which is acknowledged to be the most
potent of all to which man is subject. Why, then, should Frank
James not be smitten? In his wanderings he had met many fair
ones. And beauty had smiled on him. But he knew that they were
unacquainted with his name and antecedents, and so he refused to be
led captive by these, whose love might turn to hate when they knew

It is said by those who know Frank James, that he is endowed with
a very superior mind; that his education is very good; that he
is able to read the classics, and can converse fluently in both
the German and Spanish languages. With these accomplishments,
he possesses a handsome person and agreeable features. In
conversation, he speaks in a soft, low tone of voice, and in
private life, among his friends, his manners are pleasing, and well
calculated to produce a favorable impression. Frank has been about
the world a great deal, and has mingled in refined society not a
little. It is his custom to visit New York almost every season, and
sometimes he goes to Saratoga, Newport and Long Branch. Friends of
Frank assume that he is in many respects a superior man to Jesse;
that he has more principle, and that there is far less of the
desperado in his composition. He is cool, cautious, shrewd, and
more manly than the other, and is not so reckless nor so revengeful
in disposition.

Frank James was susceptible to the blandishments of the fair sex
in the days of his youth. In Kentucky, he came near being caught
in the silken meshes spread by a beautiful young lady of the
"Blue Grass" country, who had come to regard him as a hero, whose
adventurous career she longed to share.

But fate interposed for her sake, or against him. Frank found
it for his interest to take his departure from Kentucky, and it
was not convenient for him to return for two whole years. In the
interim, another gallant was attracted to her side, and eventually
won her affections, and the young lady was married.

A story is told, by persons who claim to know much of Frank
James' private affairs, about a love affair between that
redoubtable outlaw and an heiress in New York. She was beautiful
and accomplished, and when she met the handsome and gentlemanly
outlaw, who was not known in that character to her, she conceived
an admiration for him which was fast ripening into affection. They
rode together through the parks, and were soothed by the music of
the waves, when the twilight and shadows fell, as together they
strolled along the lonely shore. But circumstances over which she
had no control summoned her away from the side of the Western
adventurer, and they never met again.

So the years passed away, and Frank James found one being long ago
who inspired his heart with tenderer dreams of love than any which
had ever come to him before. For years the fair face, with its
shadings of glossy brown hair, and eyes of deepest azure, glancing
from beneath their long silken lashes, was imprinted on his mind
and shrined in his heart. Frank James had met her many times, and
no more touching story of woman's devotion has yet been told; than
that of the attachment of pretty Annie Ralston for Frank James,
the bold border bandit. In time to come, the writers of the romance
of the period covered by the career of the James Boys, will recall
the name of the fair girl who became the outlaw's bride, and weave
around it the choicest flowers of literature.



    "The loves and hopes of youthful hours,
      Though buried in oblivion deep,
    Like hidden threads in woven flowers,
      Upon life's web will start from sleep.
    And one loved face we sometimes find
      Pictured there with memories rife--
    A part of that mysterious mind
      Which forms the endless warp of life."

There are many people about the old town of Independence who
cherish pleasant memories of fair Annie Ralston. There are many
who knew and loved her long ago, who will not soon forget the
beautiful face of the outlaw's bride. And long after those who knew
her in the halcyon days of her innocent girlhood shall have passed
to the quiet repose beneath the sod in "the silent cities of the
dead," her story will be repeated. Many a romance has been based on
incidents in lives far less dramatic than has fallen to the fortune
or the fate of Annie Ralston. The years which have rolled their
cycles round to swell the measure of the greedy past, have not been
so many that they have swallowed up the memories which cluster
around the name of the gentle Annie, and bring sighs to the lips of
those who but a few short winters ago conned with her the lessons
of the sages from the dreary pages of text books when they were

People are not all ossified--brain, sense and heart, because
God's Commentary on his written Revelation was given first--was
handed down from a thousand Sinais, and strewed in green, and
golden shadowy lines through all the ages. It yet lives, and is,
from under His own hand, above, around, beneath us; and by it we
may understand that holy mystery--how God is Love, and Love is
God-like. And we feel, and know, that never again to us from out
the shade of the years, can ministers of grace or glad ideals come,
except through such sweet enchantment. Who, then, will condemn
gentle Annie Ralston, the pet of the class, the warm friend, the
glad-hearted girl, if she proved at last to be--like all her
sisters--human? What circumstances conspired to induce her to
become an outlaw's bride? If we could answer all the questions
which might be asked concerning the emotions of the heart, the
freaks of the mind, and other phenomena of human nature, and the
structure of society, then might we be able to answer why fair
Annie Ralston became the wife of Frank James, the proscribed enemy
of society. But we cannot engage in such an undertaking. Her story
is brief, but full of interest.

Before the period of blighting war, which swept like a destructive
tornado over the fairest portions of Western Missouri, Annie's
father, Mr. Ralston, was a wealthy man, and his home was one of
the most pleasant to be found in the vicinity of Independence. He
was a gentleman of culture and refinement, and his wealth gave him
leisure to cultivate all the social graces. His hospitality was
unbounded, and no man was more esteemed than Samuel Ralston.

Annie was a "wee girl" when the thunder peal of war burst in all
its lurid terrors all around and about her. It was no period of
sentimental dreaming, and she was early accustomed to see and hear
of bloodshed and devastation. She must necessarily have grown
familiar with scenes which, under ordinary circumstances, would
have excited her terror, and she had learned to look unmoved on the
bloody corpse of the battle's victim. But no storm can continue
forever; after the convulsion comes quiet; after the night dawns
the day--so, at last, the war-cloud rolled away. Then commenced the
work of collecting fragments of wrecked fortunes and rebuilding
waste places. But some wrecks were complete, and no fragments
remained. In a large measure this was the case with the life-barque
in which Mr. Ralston sailed down the river of time.

Annie grew with the passing years, and stood, as it were, "with
reluctant feet on the boundary where childhood and womanhood meet."
The residence of Mr. Ralston was convenient to the Independence
Female College, and Annie became a student in that institution.
She possessed excellent intellectual gifts, and in her course of
study she led her classes. In due time the prescribed course of
mental training was completed, and "at commencement," fair Annie
carried away the highest honors of her class. She was now a young
lady, accomplished in "all the learning of the school." She sang
delightfully, and could touch and cause to thrill with deepest
harmony, the chords of the harp and other instruments. She was a
favorite in society at once.

And Annie Ralston was handsome--almost beautiful. Her complexion
was fair and soft, her features regular and pleasing, her eyes
were large and azure blue, and these soulful orbs looked out from
curtains of long silken lashes of deep brown, that lent a charm
to their expression, and her long brown tresses well completed
this charming picture. And she possessed a symmetry of form and a
gracefulness of carriage which might well attract the admiration of
those who knew her.

But there came a time when a shadow fell athwart her pathway, and
eclipsed this star in the social firmament. Annie's father had
been ardent in his attachment to the Southern cause, and all who
had contended in behalf of that cause were ever welcome to the
hospitality of his home. He had suffered much from the consequences
of the war, and perhaps more from the genial convivialities in
which he indulged, and which had extended beyond the bounds of
propriety. Frank and Jesse James, with their confederates, became
frequent visitors at the Ralston home. People saw them there often,
and it was whispered softly at first, but shouted aloud later,
that pretty Annie Ralston was an attraction for the outlaws,
and received from them, without rebuke, their openly-expressed
admiration, and then her social star paled, and finally went out.
Frank James became to her a hero worthy of her love--nay, her
heart's deep adoration. She waited with impatience his coming, and
when he was away, and she thought of the hazards which he might
make, and the destruction which might overtake him, she grew faint
through apprehension. To her, he was assiduous and gentle and kind,
whatever might be his disposition toward others, and she gave her
heart to him long before an opportunity was presented to her to
yield to him her hand.

One bright day, in 1875, some friends who had known pretty Annie
Ralston from the days of her childhood, met her at the Union Depot,
Kansas City, with many valises and travelling bags in charge.
"Would she go up in town? Could they render her any service?" were
questions which were asked. No, at another time she would go up
town, there was nothing they could do for her. Soon she was joined
by her outlawed lover. Together they took a train and proceeded to
Leavenworth, Kansas, where the vows which they had made to each
other were renewed and sealed by legal authority, and fair Annie
Ralston became the outlaw's bride, and with him she journeyed
toward the yellow Southern sea, where the sunlight is warm and the
breezes balmy.

It was a sacrifice to thus banish herself from that society in
which she was so well fitted to shine as one of its brightest
ornaments; it was a trial to surrender up the friends and
associates of her girlhood; to bid adieu to those who were near and
dear to her; it was heroic to cast herself upon the care of the man
she loved. On the altar of her affection, therefore, she placed all
the idols of her youth; and in her devotion she proceeded to dig a
wide, deep grave in which to bury forever the images which she had
cherished. And so Annie Ralston became an outlaw's wife.



It had been some weeks since the people of the West had enjoyed a
sensation growing out of the robbery of a train, or the plundering
of a bank. Frank and Jesse James, and Cole, and Jim, and Bob
Younger, with their merry companions, had been unusually quiet
for quite a long season for these restless rovers and adroit
plunderers. The gang was increasing in numbers, and was now really
formidable. Others as daring had joined themselves to the noted
outlaws--the Jameses and the Youngers. Cal Carter from Texas, and
Clell Miller, and Bill Chadwell, Charles Pitts, and Sam Bass,
and Bill Longley, and the Hardins and the Moores of the Indian
Territory and Texas divisions of the clan were frequently with
Frank and Jesse James and the Younger Brothers. In the gang, but
apparently merely as a subaltern, whose principal employment was to
hold the horses of the chief robbers when business required them to
dismount, was a young fellow who went by the name of Hobbs Kerry.

Before Otterville, the protestations and denials of the Jameses
and the Youngers were accepted by many good citizens, and there
were numbers of very honorable persons who believed sincerely that
these men were sadly slandered. The express robbery at Rocky Cut,
near Otterville, served to remove the scales from the eyes of
numbers of these good people, and Frank and Jesse James, and the
three Youngers were revealed before the public as most dangerous

The principals in the Otterville affair were Frank James, his
brother Jesse, Cole Younger, and his brother Bob, Clell Miller,
Charlie Pitts, Bill Chadwell and Hobbs Kerry. These men concerted
the project in Southwest Missouri, in the lead mining districts.
Frequent interviews took place between Frank and Jesse James,
and Cole and Bob Younger in regard to the feasibility of the
undertaking. The Jameses were the original suggestors of the
enterprise, and from what information we have been able to gather,
the Youngers did not at first entertain the suggestion favorably;
indeed, it was some time before it was finally agreed that the
attempt should be made. Then the bandits discussed the route to be
taken, and the place to be selected for the scene of this notable
robbery, on the iron-highway. All these were settled in due time,
and everything was ready to carry out their well-matured plan.

Jesse James was the leader, the others merely acting in concert
with him, and taking their places in accordance with his

The expedition left the scene of their plotting about the first day
of July, 1876.

Before leaving, the band separated into two parties, Jesse and
Frank James, Bill Chadwell and Bob Younger, composed one, and
Cole Younger, Charlie Pitts, Clell Miller and Hobbs Kerry, made
up the other. The journey through the country was made leisurely
enough. The two parties travelled by different routes, and had no
difficulty in securing lodging places. Sometimes they travelled in
the night to make the distance to the house of a friend in good
time the next day.

On Sunday, July 3rd, there were four of the bandits at Duval's
house. Tuesday a part of the band were in California, and after
lingering about the place for a part of the day, they mounted their
horses and rode to a house four miles north of the town, where four
others of the robbers were stopping. A heavy rain came on that
night, and so the robbers stayed nearly all of the day on the 5th,
and remained during the night. There is no evidence that the people
where they stayed had any knowledge of the character of the persons
whom they received under their roof. However, Jesse James and Cole
Younger were acquainted with the gentleman, but not under their

On the morning of the 6th, the raiders mounted their horses and
rode west in pairs. The James Boys travelled together, Clell Miller
and Hobbs Kerry rode by each other, Charlie Pitts and Coleman
Younger formed a pair, and Bill Chadwell and Bob Younger followed
another route in company. These all travelled different roads.

The place of meeting previously agreed upon was a spot about two
miles east from the bridge, across the Lamine river, and the time
appointed was at 3 o'clock Friday evening, July 8th. There were
designated stopping places on all the roads. The Jameses under
assumed names were acquainted personally with a number of very
respectable people along the route travelled by them, and therefore
had no difficulty in obtaining comfortable quarters and receiving a
hospitable welcome. And so of the others of that band--"on mischief
bent"--they all had good quarters on Thursday night, and as only
two travelled together on a road, no suspicion was aroused on
account of their presence.

The robbers came by pairs to the rendezvous. They had all assembled
by 4 o'clock in the evening. Some of them went without their
dinners that day. Here the whole band remained until sundown on the
evening of the 8th.

The place selected was at a deep cut known as Rocky Cut, about
four miles east of Otterville, in Pettis county, Missouri, on the
line of the Missouri Pacific railroad. Three of the band, Bob
Younger, Clell Miller and Charlie Pitts, were detailed to capture
the watchman at the bridge. Bill Chadwell and Hobbs Kerry, it
appears, were assigned the duty of taking care of the horses. A
dense piece of timber land adjacent to a field was selected as
the place of concealment. The express train bound east was due at
that spot about 11 o'clock at night. The robbers did not arrive
at the designated rendezvous until some time after the curtains of
night had been drawn over the scene. At a little after 9 o'clock,
Younger, Miller and Pitts went down to the bridge, and were hailed
by the watchman. They were close upon him, and with drawn revolvers
and fearful oaths they commanded him to surrender. The helpless
watchman could not do otherwise. They took him in charge and
secured his signal lanterns.

"What are you going to do with me?" asked the astonished watchman.

"You keep still," was the reply.

"But you ain't going to hurt me?" he inquired.

"What do we want to hurt you for? We want that money on the train,
that's all we care for," was the reply he received.

The whole party walked up the track to the mouth of the cut. It
was about half past ten o'clock. A heap of rocks and a number
of old cross ties were piled across the rails. Then the cunning
brigands sat down quietly in the darkness to await the coming of
the train. The horses of the robbers were about fifty yards away
ready to be bestridden, and fresh enough to make a long journey if
that should be necessary. Crouched there, they were silent as the
broken fragments of rocks which lay scattered around them. They had
not long to wait. A distant rumbling was heard, like the first low
mutterings of thunder before the storm cloud appears. Then it grew
louder and shriller like the raging wind. It was the train.

The robbers were not asleep. Charlie Pitts had been detailed to
display the red lantern--the danger signal--as the train came
thundering around the curve into the cut. He performed his part of
the programme well. Precisely at the right spot the train came to a
standstill. The engineer had reversed his engine and put on the air

Instantly the train was boarded by a number of masked men, said to
have been twelve at least, all heavily armed. Guards were placed
at each end of the cars, and the leader boarded the express car,
compelled the messenger under threats of immediate death to open
his safe, and then the contents were emptied out into a sack, and
the car was thoroughly searched for valuable packages. The result
was about $17,000 were secured and carried away for the use and
behoof of the robbers.

The whole transaction was completed in less than an hour. The
passengers were greatly alarmed during the time of the detention.
The robbers stationed at the ends of the cars kept their revolvers
bearing upon the passengers, and would not allow them to stir a
finger under threats of death. Every moment they expected their
turn to be robbed would come. But the robbers appeared to be
satisfied with the amount realized from the plundering of the
express car, and when they had accomplished that job thoroughly,
they released the train, sought their horses and rode away. Several
shots were fired during the time the train was standing, for the
purpose of keeping the passengers in a state of alarm.

The news was telegraphed from the next station to St. Louis,
Sedalia, Kansas City and other points. By this event the whole
country was thoroughly excited. The detective forces of St. Louis,
Kansas City, Chicago, and even the cities of the Atlantic seaboard
were taken by surprise, and aroused to make efforts to capture
them. The railroad and express companies offered large rewards, and
the Governor of the state took measures to aid in the pursuit of
the brigands.

Meanwhile, the men who had created all this furore of excitement
rode through the darkness with their treasure bag. When "the first
faint blush of dawn streaked the east," the plunderers of the
express car at Rocky Cut were twenty miles away and just turning
off the main highway into the dim recesses of a large forest.

After travelling more than a mile in the woods, the brigands
came to an open space. Here they dismounted. Jesse James had the
treasure bag. During the journey, Frank James, Cole Younger and
Charlie Pitts had relieved each other alternately in carrying the
precious burden. Now they had reached a safe place, and the spoils
of the adventure were about to be divided. Frank James acted as
master of ceremonies on that occasion. Whether "the divide" was an
equal one we are not advised, and perhaps we shall never know. The
envelopes were torn from the express packages and the money divided
into separate heaps, one of which was given to each of the men who
had participated in the exploit.

The ceremony of dividing the money having been gone through with,
and Jesse James, Cole Younger, Frank James and Charlie Pitts having
parceled out the captured jewelry among themselves, the robbers
remounted and separated into pairs, each pair selecting the route
which pleased them best. In the day time they rode in the woods
and along by-paths; in the night they returned to the highways,
and were soon secure from pursuit because they went at once among
friends who, if they were acquainted with the character of their
guests, "never gave away anything."

An outrage of so daring a character was not slow in producing
effects. The news had been flashed afar on the lightning's track.
The Chief of Police of St. Louis, the marshals and constables,
and county sheriffs were aroused to unusual activity. The people
everywhere were excited by an event of so sensational a character.
A keen pursuit was inaugurated. Watchful eyes and open ears were
in every town and hamlet throughout Missouri, and even in adjacent
states. This time, it appeared, the robbers would be surely
compelled to remain hidden far from the habitations of man.

But secure in their retreats, the shrewd leaders of the raid,
Jesse and Frank James, and Cole and Bob Younger and Charlie Pitts,
laughed at the efforts of the officers of the law to capture them.
They enjoyed reading the newspapers containing accounts of their
daring feat, and made merry at what they were pleased to term "the
stupid work of the d--d detectives."

The robbers had one single thing on their minds which gave them
some concern. The "cub" robber, Hobbs Kerry, was scarcely shrewd
enough to evade capture, and, they feared, not brave enough to
withstand the pressure which they knew would be brought to bear
upon him to "make him squeal on his associates." What if Kerry
should fall into the hands of the hunters? And was it not extremely
probable that he would? These were questions which they asked
themselves, and in time they framed an answer in the form of
another question, "What if he does? We don't know the fellow?"

We have said the passengers and trainmen were passive witnesses
of the proceedings of the robbers. But there was one person on
the train who was not afraid to resist. That individual was the
train newsboy. Johnny, as he was called, had a small pistol, of a
cheap grade, with which to defend himself against all enemies, and
robbers in particular. Now the opportunity had come to display the
latent heroism which he knew he possessed. Johnny did not believe
in being plundered, and, though his weapon was not very dangerous,
he believed he could do some execution with it; at any rate, he
could try. From the car window, where he had taken a position,
he opened fire on the marauders. His first shot was ineffective,
and the bandits derisively encouraged him to try again, when they
discovered the youthful appearance and diminutive size of their
assailant. Johnny took them at their word, and blazed away again.
The robbers were well satisfied and good humored, and they laughed
and jeered at the little hero who had exhibited so much courage.
They told him he would do for a train-robber himself when he was a
little older. Johnny insisted for a time that he knew he had shot
one of the robbers badly.

Charlie Pitts, Bill Chadwell and Hobbs Kerry made a forced march to
Southwest Missouri. Late Saturday night they forded Grand river.
After going a little distance from the river, the three robbers
dismounted, threw themselves on the ground, and slept soundly
until morning. Here Kerry's horse, which was well broken down,
was abandoned. The saddle he hid in the brush in the Grand river
bottom. Kerry at this point separated from Pitts and Chadwell,
they remaining in the Grand river forests, while he proceeded to
Montrose station, on the M., K. & T. railway. He had not long been
there when a train bound south came along. He stepped on the car
and went down to Fort Scott, Kansas. Finding a clothing store open,
he purchased a good suit of clothes, which he donned at once. With
valise in hand, he boldly entered a hotel, called for supper, which
he partook of, and then proceeded on the train to Parsons, took
lodgings there, where he remained until 4 o'clock next morning.
From Vinita, to which he went from Parsons, he proceeded to
Granby, where he had "a good time with the boys." From Granby to
Joplin, and from that place to Granby again, and then away down
in the Indian Territory Hobbs Kerry went, without remaining very
long at one place. Wherever he went he drank, and whenever he drank
whisky he talked, and showed his money and boasted. He was liberal
with the boys, had money for the faro dealer, and was for the time
"a hale fellow well met" with all. But the eyes that were looking,
and the ears that were listening, putting this and that together
by an act of cogitation, concluded that Hobbs Kerry knew about the
Rocky Cut business.

It was not a mistake. The detectives "pulled" Kerry, and when he
had time to reflect, he unfolded his mind, and told of his friends
and their ride at night. He proved to be "a good peacher," as the
police say, and whatever may be the slight inconsistencies of his
narrative of the Otterville affair, the events at Northfield,
Minnesota, a few months later, confirm the truthfulness of Hobbs
Kerry's story in all the main particulars.

Of course the James Boys and their friends were swift to denounce
Hobbs Kerry as a fraud, and his stories of the midnight ride and
the flaring of the "danger signal" before the train, as pure
fabrications of a diseased or wicked brain.

Meanwhile, the Jameses and Youngers had not gone far away. The
former found friends and a safe retreat in the eastern part of
Jackson county, and the latter retired to St. Clair county,
where they rested in contentment for a season. The Jameses have
friends yet in a certain neighborhood in that section of Jackson
county--men and women--who, despite their known character, and
the edict of outlawry against them, would receive them into their
houses and treat them not only with ordinary hospitality, but with
marked consideration.



Hitherto the brigands, led by the Jameses and the Youngers, had
only committed outrages in those countries with the physical
features of which they were well acquainted. They had ridden
through Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky, and Iowa was not
so far away from their haunts in Clay county that they could
not reasonably hope to retreat to their hiding places. The list
of outrages already committed by them was extravagantly long.
Commencing at Russellville, Kentucky, they had ransacked bank safes
at Gallatin, Corydon, Iowa, Columbia, Kentucky, Ste. Genevieve,
Mo., Huntington, West Virginia, and a section of the band had paid
a visit to, and plundered the bank at Corinth, Mississippi. They
had stopped trains in Kansas, Wyoming, Iowa and Missouri, and they
had plundered stages in Arkansas, Texas and Kansas. But over the
whole territory intervening between the widely separated scenes of
their depredations, they had often travelled and were perfectly
familiar with the topography of the country, and had friends in
many places.

Having achieved such remarkable success in their nefarious calling,
the brigand chiefs were emboldened to enter upon new enterprises,
and seek new fields for the exercise of their prowess and genius.
They agreed to go beyond the borders of their accustomed field of

After Otterville, a part of the gang went into St. Clair county,
and the other members of the banditti proceeded to Clay county,
to the vicinity of Kearney, where resided the mother of Frank and
Jesse James, Mrs. Zerelda Samuels. That person was always true to
the interests of her sons, and under no circumstances did she ever
desert their cause or betray their designs. Mrs. Samuels was a very
useful ally of Frank and Jesse, and when hard pressed in other
quarters, they were always sure of a safe retreat and succor in the
vicinity of the Samuels house.

The successful robbery accomplished at Otterville, had created a
profound sensation throughout the southwest, and the law abiding
citizens were vigilant and suspicious, and it was not a pleasant
time to travel in any direction where the least possible suspicion
in regard to the character of the traveller was once aroused.
Therefore, the robbers of the train at Otterville sought their
hiding places and remained quiet for a time.

But idleness under such circumstances became extremely irksome to
the free riders, accustomed as they were to a life of activity and
exciting adventure. The division of the band from St. Clair county,
journeyed into Clay county, Missouri, and then began a series of
conferences in regard to the next campaign which they contemplated

These consultations between the leaders of the banditti were held
in a thick forest near the residence of Mrs. Samuels. The result
of the deliberations was the development of a plan to pay a visit
to Minnesota, and raid some bank there, the exact place of its
situation to be determined when they should have arrived in that

Who originated the scheme is a question which, in all human
probability, will forever remain unanswered. The credit of the
project has been often given to Jesse James. Whether or not he
originated it, we have good reason to know that he was one of the
parties who went to Northfield, and in all probability he was the
leader of the band.

Be that as it may, a plan was concocted to pay a visit to
Minnesota, and plunder as many of the banks in that state as
possible before the beginning of winter, and then retire to winter
quarters on the Texas and Mexican frontiers. The general plans were
finally agreed upon, and about the middle of August, 1876, the
bandit camp in the vicinity of the Samuels house was broken up,
and the brigands, separating in couples, commenced their long ride
through the country to the flourishing villages of Minnesota.

The party which left Clay county was composed of Frank and
Jesse James; Coleman, Robert and James Younger; Clell Miller,
Bill Chadwell and Charlie Pitts. It is related, on what appears
excellent authority, that Cole Younger and Bill Chadwell preceded
the other members of the gang, to fix upon a suitable rendezvous.
Near Mankato, Bill Chadwell had "a friend," a man who had often
before rendered him substantial service. Preconcerted "signs" of
the route to be taken by the main body of the bandits had been left
by the advance guard, Cole Younger and Bill Chadwell. The final
rendezvous selected by these leaders was at Mankato, and the whole
band then proceeded to Chadwell's friend's resting place, where
their final councils were held.

A gentleman of the highest respectability, well known in Central
Missouri, who is in a position to be informed, assures us that Cole
Younger did not favor an attack on the bank at Northfield; indeed,
that he was opposed to raiding any bank in Minnesota, but that he
was overruled in his judgment by the other members of the gang.
It is said that Cole favored a movement into Canada, where the
prospects for a large haul were believed to be very much better.
But whatever might have been his wishes, the other members of the
band did not accede to them, and, after due consideration, it
was determined to strike a Minnesota bank. Cole Younger was too
far committed to recede, and so he submitted to the will of the
majority, and was among the law's victims after Northfield.

Bill Chadwell was for many years a border rough and horse-thief
in Minnesota. He had committed depredations in many parts of that
state, and was perfectly familiar with the geography and topography
of the country. With a vast number of the dishonest and rough class
in that state, he was on terms of intimate personal acquaintance.
To him, as a guide, the other members of the brigand company looked
with confidence to lead them successfully to a handsome deposit
of spoils, and away from pursuers and pursuit. Chadwell's friends
were relied upon to afford them succor in the hour of need, and
Chadwell's skill inspired them with hopes of great gains, at a
small sacrifice of time and little risk of danger.

All these things had been discussed, and the plans of the gang
were well matured before the departure from Clay county. It was
a long expedition, and the principal members of the company were
unfamiliar with the country into which they journeyed. They based
their hopes of success on the conditions which at that time existed
in Minnesota. It was at that season of the year when the grain
growers were disposing of their crops; when it was supposed grain
buyers and shippers would have their heaviest deposits in bank, and
when the farmers were "in funds," which the robbers doubted not
would be placed in the country banks for safe-keeping. Moreover,
they reasoned that inasmuch as the people of Minnesota were
unacquainted with their bold methods, that, as usual, when they
made an onset, the customary panic would ensue, and the risk taken
would be small.

Thus the preliminaries of the celebrated raid into Northfield
were settled. Never before had this gang of desperadoes failed in
accomplishing their object, and when the last council was held, and
it was settled that Northfield should be the objective point of
their great raid into Minnesota, "the signs" were propitious, and
the superstitious element in the character of the outlaws rested

The remainder of the band divided into couples. Jesse and Frank
James, as usual, travelled the road in company. Bob Younger and
Charlie Pitts went together, and James Younger and Clell Miller
bore each other company by the way. These separate detachments
travelled different roads, and kept a good lookout for favorable
places for concealment in case of necessity, and they also noted
the characteristics of the surface of the country over which they

Previous to leaving Missouri, Jesse James wrote, or caused to be
written, two letters for publication in the Kansas City _Times_,
denying the charge of complicity in the Otterville robbery, and
denouncing the statement of Hobbs Kerry as "a villainous pack of
lies." These letters were printed, and lead to the belief that the
Jameses were still in Missouri. The latest one of these letters was
dated "Safe Retreat, August 18th, 1876," and appeared in the Kansas
City _Times_ August 23d, 1876.

Divided as they were, their passage through the country excited
no comment. They travelled as respectable persons might have
travelled. In the evenings they would put up at a respectable
village inn, or country farm-house, and in the mornings they paid
for their accommodations as any other reputable citizens might have
done. They did not hurry, because they did not want to break down
their horses. The distance was great, and they were many days on
the road. It was about the 1st of September, 1876, when the whole
band had arrived in the neighborhood of Mankato. Their advance
agents, having found a suitable place for a rendezvous at the house
of Chadwell's friend, met their comrades, and, without exciting
suspicion among the people, they directed the various detachments
to the designated place of meeting.

The robbers were now in Minnesota, but as yet they had not
determined which of more than half a dozen banks they would rob.
First, the claims of some one of the three banks doing business in
Mankato to the distinction were considered. But the proposition to
rob any one of them met with little consideration in the council of
the brigands. They reasoned that three banks in such a place would
naturally cause the business and investment funds of the community
to be divided into three parts, no one of which could be very
large, and as they "played for high stakes" at a great risk, they
concluded to let Mankato banks alone. Then they considered the
claims of the bank at St. Peter to be plundered. But there was not
enough business done in the place, and it was not surrounded by a
community deemed wealthy, and the brigands concluded to pass St.
Peter, believing that they would not get a large haul in case they
should raid the place. Several other banks were considered, and the
probabilities as to the amount of treasure likely to be obtained
were all considered. Finally, indications pointed to the bank of
Northfield as probably richer in the treasures contained in its
vaults than any other in that region of Minnesota.

Northfield, the place selected by the desperadoes as the scene of
their attempt at plundering, is a nourishing town on the line of
the Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad, situated in the northeast
corner of Rice county, Minnesota. The town is compactly built, and
contains a population of about 2,000 souls. The country around
Northfield is very productive, and there is considerable activity
in commercial pursuits in the village. The bank building is
situated in the very center of the business portion of the town. At
the time the raid was made a large sum of money had accumulated in
the vault of the institution. But Northfield happened to be peopled
by a hardy and courageous race of pioneers who were not made of the
material to submit with a good grace to be plundered by strange
outlaws from another state.

But the leaders of the brigands had selected Northfield, and it
only remained to fix upon a time when the attempt should be made.
That time was set for the afternoon of September 7th, 1876.



Sometime before noon on the 7th of September, four well mounted and
well armed men approached Northfield from the north. They did not
at once enter the town, but remained on that side of the bridge
in the suburbs for the advance of the other division of the band,
which came via Dundas, a small station on the line of the railway
about four miles south of Northfield. The brigands from Dundas were
Cole and James Younger, Bill Chadwell and Clell Miller. On the
north side were Frank and Jesse James, Charlie Pitts and Robert
Younger. About 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Cole Younger and his
party appeared, then the brigands rode into town and directly to
the bank, the exact position of which had been before ascertained.
Jesse and Frank James and Cole Younger dismounted and entered the
bank. The brigands had entered the town at a full charge, shouting
at the top of their voices and firing off their pistols as they
rode. The inhabitants were taken by surprise, but were not at all
panic-stricken. The movement on the bank was noted, and its object
at once comprehended.

The three leading brigands who had entered the bank proceeded to
business at once. They sprang over the counter and confronted the
surprised cashier, Mr. J. L. Haywood, with a huge knife, which they
placed at his throat, and ordered him to open the safe, threatening
him with instant death in case he refused. The knife had already
marked his throat, but the brave cashier refused to comply with
their demands. Again with fearful threats the command was repeated.
But Haywood still persisted in his refusal, when one of them, now
generally believed to have been Jesse James, placed the muzzle of
his pistol to Haywood's right temple, and fired. The cashier fell,
and expired ere he had touched the floor. Besides the cashier,
there were Mr. A. E. Bunker, assistant cashier, and Mr. Frank
Wilcox, clerk. These were ordered to hold up their hands when the
robbers first entered. Of course, under the circumstances, they
could not do otherwise than to obey. After Haywood fell they turned
to Mr. Bunker and ordered him to open the vault. That gentleman
declared that he did not know the combination. Then they thrust a
pistol into his face and made other threatening demonstrations.
Mr. Bunker, acting under an impulse to preserve his own life, fled
out through the back door. As he ran, the robbers fired at him,
the ball taking effect in his shoulder. They seem not to have paid
any further attention to Mr. Wilcox, but occupied the remainder
of the brief time allowed them in efforts to find the cashier's
money drawer. The nickel drawer was found, and they scattered the
contents of that over the floor.

Meanwhile, an exciting scene was transpiring in the street in front
of the bank building. A Mr. Wheeler, a young gentleman who occupied
a second-story room in a building opposite, happened to possess a
gun. Seizing this weapon, he took deliberate aim and fired. The
ball took effect, and Charlie Pitts, a notorious Texas desperado,
fell from his horse, shot through the heart. The shots fired by the
brigands who had remained on the street did not have the desired
effect in intimidating the citizens of Northfield. In a few moments
many citizens who had seized guns and pistols, and whatever other
weapons came in their way, were rushing toward the bank. Mr.
Wheeler having been so successful in his first shot, fired a second
time, and Bill Chadwell fell, mortally wounded, from his horse. By
this time others were firing from windows, and one of the horses
was struck and fell dead. Another horse which had been ridden by
Charlie Pitts ran through the street. Another one of the band was
struck by a bullet, but managed to keep his place.

The situation was desperate. The leaders in the bank had not
succeeded in getting anything, when the events happening in the
street admonished them that their only salvation was in immediate
flight. They rushed out of the bank, mounted their horses, and the
six living bandits galloped away. Indeed, there was need that they
should. Already a band of fifty citizens, well mounted and well
armed, were nearly ready to take the road in pursuit. At the head
of this party rode Wheeler, who had already proved himself to be
cool and daring.

The flight of the discomfited robbers was rapid. These free riders
would never mount an inferior horse. But chances for escape were
very few. The robbery, or rather, bold attempt at robbery, and
especially the death of Mr. Haywood, a gentleman held in the very
highest esteem by the community at Northfield, had created a state
of feeling in the public mind which would not allow the people to
rest satisfied until the murderers were either captured or killed.
In less than twenty-four hours the whole region about was notified
of the occurrence at Northfield, and not less than four hundred
well armed and well mounted men were in hot pursuit of the six
surviving brigands.

The excitement occasioned by the events at Northfield was at fever
heat. Efforts to capture the outlaws were further stimulated by the
proclamation of Governor Pillsbury offering a reward of $1,000 for
the apprehension of each of the robbers, or $6,000 for the capture
of the survivors of the band.

The bandits fled in a southwestern direction, toward the little
hamlet of Shieldsville, situated about 20 miles on an air line,
southwest from the scene of the tragedy at Northfield. The route
taken by the robbers made the distance more than twenty-five miles;
yet they were at Shieldsville before dark. They passed straight
through the place and made no concealment of their identity.
Shieldsville is a small post village, containing a population
of no more than 175 souls. As they passed through the village,
they shouted to the citizens who were on the streets to get into
their houses, and they made such demonstrations by firing off
their pistols that the people were greatly alarmed. The pursuers
meanwhile were gathering about them. Sheriff Davis and posse were
behind them; Sheriff Estes and posse were before them, and there
were officers and armed citizens to the right and to the left of
them. Their situation became extremely critical after leaving

But the indomitable courage of the bandits seemed for a time to
promise them a final escape.

From Shieldsville the bandits travelled in a westerly direction
toward Kilkenny, a post town and railway station in Le Sueur
county. They were now avoiding the towns and travelled highways,
and keeping in the forest, and travelling through the farms. All
the crossing places on the streams were guarded by armed citizens.
The guards at the ford on French creek became alarmed at the
approach of the bandits and fled, so that they met no resistance
at the crossing place. They remained one night for rest in a large
forest near Kilkenny. The next morning they crossed the ford at
Little Canyon. They pressed on toward the west. The route was beset
with difficulties and dangers for them. They were anxious to reach
the borderland, the frontier region, where men are few and wild.

There was no rest for them. It was at length necessary for them
to abandon their horses. They had camped in the depths of a great
forest. The officials had taken to the by-paths and scoured
the woods in search of them. Leaving their horses and some of
their heavier clothing, they trudged on foot, skulking among the
thickets. Their progress was slow. One day they camped on a sort
of a peninsula, about half a mile from a church. They were now
thoroughly exhausted. Their diet had been green corn, potatoes and
watermelons for several days, and they had been constantly on the
move. Here a stray calf came along and they shot it in the head,
but the calf did not fall, on the contrary, it ran away. A small
pig passed by their camp, and one of them shot him in the head. But
the pig refused to succumb, and ran away.

After leaving their isolated camp in the evening, foot-sore and
worn out by reason of the anxiety and fatigue, they pushed forward
in a more southerly direction, leaving Cleveland and the forest
where they had abandoned their horses to the right. At midnight
they had reached Marysburg, a small post village in the southern
part of Le Sueur county. Finding a convenient hiding place they
kindled a fire, and had a meal of roasted potatoes and corn. The
village clock struck six. They heard the bell and judged themselves
to be about a mile from the town. They left the Marysburg camp
somewhat refreshed, and with buoyant hope of an ultimate escape
from impending peril. Thus far they had eluded their pursuers.
Their route from Marysburg lay southwestward through Blue Earth
county, to Mankato. They made good headway during the day, and late
in the evening they found a nice hiding place in a thicket in a
cornfield, and lay very quiet without making a fire. Twice during
the night they were alarmed by persons passing near them. Their
hiding place happened to be near a neighborhood path which ran
through the fields.

Six days after the affair at Northfield, when the worn robbers were
struggling along through a great forest near Shaubut's, a few miles
in a northeasterly direction from Mankato, they came suddenly upon
a man named Dunning, who was one of a posse of citizens in pursuit
of them. They at once captured this man, and a question arose as
to the course to be taken with him. At once it was suggested by
some one of the band to bind him fast to a tree and so leave him.
Dunning pleaded hard for his life, and to be spared the terrible
ordeal of such an uncertainty as that of being left bound in that
great forest. It might be days before he would be discovered,
and it might be that no human being would pass that way until
he would be starved. Finally, from motives of humanity, as they
claim, they administered to Dunning the most terrible oaths that
he would not say one word about having seen them until they had
ample time allowed to get out of the country altogether. Dunning
gladly consented to take upon himself these solemn obligations,
and they let him go. The released citizen sought the haunts of men
and made haste to communicate to others all the particulars of
his adventure with the robbers in the woods; and then the pursuit
was renewed with new ardor and zeal. At midnight, six days after
Northfield, the weary bandits trudged through Mankato in a very
different plight from that in which they had made their entry into
the place but a little more than a week before. As they approached
the town with which they had made themselves familiar as they went
to Northfield, they were alarmed by the shrill whistle of the oil
mill. They concluded that their approach had been noted, and the
steam whistle was the signal agreed upon to call the citizens
together in case the approach of the robbers was noted. They
therefore turned aside from the main streets, and sought the lanes
and alleys back of the oil-mill. Here they hid awhile, but as there
did not seem to be any movement among the citizens, they stealthily
passed on, across the bridge. The guards had retired, or were not
disposed to attack the six desperadoes. At any rate, they were not
interrupted. After crossing, they raided a field of watermelons,
selected four large ones, and under the deep shade of the trees,
at the hour of one o'clock, they had a feast on the melons. They
visited a house near by and got one spring chicken, and would have
secured more had time been allowed. But they heard a great shouting
of people, and saw one man looking for tracks. They fled at once
up a bank, and pushed forward through the woods bordering the Blue
Earth river. During the day they crossed that stream.

It was on the day after they passed Mankato that Frank and Jesse
James, who appeared to have suffered less from the fatigue and
exposure than the others, bid a last adieu to their comrades in
the ill-starred Northfield enterprise. Only Cole Younger and his
brothers, Jim and Bob, and Clell Miller, were left. The pursuers
struck the trail of the Jameses, and these desperadoes now had
a terrible time in eluding those who sought them. They were
repeatedly fired upon, and were both wounded severely several times.

The four men left in the Blue Earth river forest struggled on
toward the west. They had passed through the county of Blue Earth,
and entered Watonwan county, full seventy-five miles on a straight
line from Northfield, and a hundred and twenty-five miles by the
route they had travelled. They had reached the swamps bordering
the Watonwan river. They had been now exposed to untold hardships
from the afternoon of the 7th of September to the 21st of the same
month, a period of fourteen days. They had subsisted on green corn,
potatoes and melons for the most part during that whole time. They
had had but little sleep, and had been constantly harassed by their
pursuers. For nine days and nights they had been compelled to walk
through forests and thickets, and their clothes had been literally
picked from their bodies by the thorns and brambles through which
they had struggled. Their feet were in a most terrible condition.
But their pursuers still followed them with a grim resolve that
nothing could equal.

On the afternoon of the 21st, Sheriff McDonald, of Sioux City,
having tracked the brigands to a swamp a few miles from Madelia,
the county seat of Watonwan county, Minnesota, the final struggle
commenced. The sheriff's forces had surrounded the swamp where the
brigands lay concealed. The armed citizens then began to close
in upon the surrounded men, keeping up a continuous fire as they
advanced. The bandits were not the men to yield, even to a superior
force, without making a desperate resistance.

One of the sheriff's men was severely and another was slightly
wounded as they closed in upon the wearied but still determined
men. The continuous volleys poured into the thicket where the
bandits had concealed themselves were not without effect. First,
Clell Miller fell, moaned once, and then his lips became mute
forever. A heavy rifle ball then crashed through Jim Younger's
jaw, shattering the lower jawbone in a most frightful manner.
Cole Younger received seven wounds, and Bob was shot in the right
elbow. They fought desperately, but what could four men do? Sheriff
McDonald commanded a hundred and fifty courageous men, whose
lives had been spent on the frontiers. Resistance could no longer
be offered, when one of their number had fallen, and the other
three were wounded, two of them nigh unto death. It was the last
struggle of four as daring and dangerous men as ever rode over
the Western prairies. When resistance had ceased, the sheriff's
men gathered around them. They were prisoners; their last hour of
freedom had expired. They were placed in spring-wagons and carried
into Madelia. The people of the whole surrounding regions came
flocking into the town to see the renowned outlaws, for they had
confessed that they were the Younger Brothers, whose fame as daring
freebooters had already been extended over the entire country.

In a few days the wounded robbers--Cole, Jim and Bob Younger--were
carried to Faribault, the county seat of Rice county. They were
closely guarded, as well to prevent excited citizens taking the law
into their own hands as to insure the safe custody of the bandits.
The body of Clell Miller was conveyed to St. Paul to be embalmed.

While confined at Faribault, the Youngers received every attention,
and rapidly recovered from the effects of their long exposure and
the terrible wounds which they had received. During this time a
strong guard was maintained about their prison.

Early in October, the Rice County Circuit Court met at Faribault,
and Thomas Coleman, James and Robert Ewing Younger were arraigned
at the bar to plead to an indictment for murder in the first
degree, and for conspiring to commit murder and robbery. Advised by
counsel that under the laws of the state the death penalty could
not be inflicted in cases when the parties charged entered the plea
of guilty, the three brothers plead guilty, and were sentenced
to the penitentiary at Stillwater for the terms of their natural
lives. A few days afterward they were removed to their life-time
place of abode, and the stormy career of the Youngers closed. Since
their incarceration, it is understood that Jim Younger has died.
Cole and Bob, in their dreary isolation, still survive, without
hope of breathing the air of freedom again.



The most formidable band of robbers in this country had suffered
terribly in consequence of the raid on Northfield. Charlie Pitts,
Bill Chadwell and Clell Miller--the last-named a formidable
lawbreaker, who was raised in Clay county--had lost their lives.
Cole, Jim and Bob Younger had been captured. Jesse and Frank James
were still free, but numerous officers of the law were on their

When the Jameses left the Youngers in the Blue Earth river bottom,
they were on foot. The Youngers and Miller had entrusted to them
their watches and jewelry and most of their money, believing that
there was a possibility for the Jameses to escape. The departure of
Frank and Jesse created a diversion in favor of the Youngers and
Miller. The bands of armed citizens followed the Jameses. For two
days and nights the brothers travelled westward, their footsteps
constantly dogged by wary citizens. The hardships through which
they were passing were almost incredible. The men were sometimes
almost completely surrounded by the citizens.

Three days after they had separated from their comrades, they
came to a wilderness region, where the timber was heavy and the
underbrush thick. Here they proposed to rest for a season. But
they were tracked to their hiding place, and fired upon by a band
of pursuers. Frank James received a wound in the hip. The brush
was so thick that the pursuers, who were on horseback, could make
no headway, and three of them dismounted to continue the chase on
foot. The direction taken by the hunted men led to a swamp, but the
season being dry, there was but little mud in the basin. The bushes
were close together, and aquatic plants were high. The three men
seemed resolved to close up with them. Several times the hunted
bandits could have killed the citizens, but for the fact that their
ammunition was giving out, and they desired to take care of what
remained for the last emergency. It was getting late; the sun was
low in the west, and the shadows were deepening in the forest. The
three pursuers were determinedly following them. Once or twice the
hunted men were tempted to turn and try the issues with their foes.

But they kept on. Just when daylight faded away, they emerged from
the swamp, and found themselves in a travelled highway. They had
lost their determined foes in the darkness of the sombre swamp
behind them. They started down the road, which lay along the
bank of a stream of considerable size. Wearied into a state of
exhaustion, they hoped to find a snug place where they could rest
and take some food. But their trials were not yet at an end. In
the lonely depths of the forest, with the dark, still river on one
side, and the timbered wilderness on the other, they heard the
ominous sounds of horses' hoofs. They listened. There were horsemen
behind and before them. In another moment, sounds came from the
woods, which indicated that they were being surrounded.

The wearied freebooters quickly stepped into the deep shadow of
a great tree which stood upon the bank of the stream, to await
further developments. That the horsemen were gradually closing
around them they were speedily convinced. Their situation was
critical. What could be done? The stream below them was evidently
deep and dangerous to ford. Their plans were quickly formed and
consummated. They quietly dropped down the bank to the margin of
the stream, which at that place flowed close by an abrupt bank.
"They were there by that tree but a moment ago," they heard one man
remark, as a party came up to the spot where the outlaws had stood
but a moment before. It was evident that their numbers must exceed
twenty. Stealthily the hunted brothers moved down the stream along
the margin of the water, and close up under the overhanging bank.
They heard their pursuers discuss the situation. "They are still
near at hand, no doubt," the brothers heard one remark. Then the
movements indicated that they were preparing for a more careful
examination of the situation where they were. Soon several men came
riding down the road just over their heads. They had reached a
place where the river runs under a shelving bank and the brothers
could go no further without taking to the water. Four men came down
the bank above, and came toward them. The brothers were constrained
to take to the stream. The water was about two feet deep. They
clung close to the bank, and silently reached a place they deemed
safe, in a cave-like excavation made by the water under the roots
of a great tree. The hunters came to the place where the bank and
the waters met, and, apparently satisfied, they turned and went
back. The brothers heard the clash of horses' feet on a bridge
below, and then they knew that the crossing below was guarded.
After a time all became still around them. They concluded to swim
or wade the river from the point where they were, and, once on the
opposite side, to strike through the country. Silently as possible,
without any splashing, they came from their place of concealment
and waded out into the stream until they were compelled to swim.
The night was quite dark, and they passed over without being
discovered. Climbing the opposite bank, they found themselves in an
open wood. With all the haste which they could make, they proceeded
westward. A mile away they came to a cornfield, and in the field
there was a thicket. Here they found a hiding-place, and, as wet as
they were, they partook of a repast of green corn, and lying down
on the grass, they slept soundly until the sun was up. Waiting
some time in a sunny place until their clothing had partly dried,
the brothers started on their weary way. All day they travelled
without being molested. In the evening, while travelling along a
country road, they met a man leading two horses, one of which was
saddled. They spoke to him, and from his manner and the answers he
made them, they were convinced that he had not heard anything about
the affair at Northfield. They asked him if he would like to sell
the horses he was leading. He answered that it was his business to
deal in horse-flesh. What would he take for the pair? The man named
the price, and, after some bantering, a trade was effected, and
even the saddle on which he rode was transferred, the horse-trader
declaring that he did not own anything which he would not sell.

Jesse and Frank James were once more mounted. They stopped at
a cabin in a lonely locality and asked for supper. A woman and
two children were apparently the only inmates. They learned from
her that her husband had been summoned to help catch a gang
of horse-thieves, and had not been home for three days. Frank
carefully concealed his wound, and the woman quickly prepared a
good supper for them, and, after settling with her, they mounted
and rode away.

The brothers rode all night, and as their horses were fresh and
good travellers, they traversed many miles. They had already begun
to congratulate themselves on their escape, when one day when
they were in the neighborhood of a town on the western border of
Iowa, they were fiercely attacked by seven men, all well armed,
but, fortunately for the outlaw brothers, not very well mounted.
A running fight ensued, and Frank received a desperate wound. But
the good fortune which had so often attended them came to their
aid, and in the darkness of the night they rode far away, and in
the morning reached a house where the services of a physician were
secured, who dressed Frank's wounds. The physician was afterward
arrested, but no evidence of his having knowledge of the character
of his patient was produced, and he was discharged.

The brothers had reached the borders of Nebraska. Jesse had
a "friend" somewhere on the confines of that state, and they
proceeded to his place by easy stages. Here they rested for some
days while Frank's wounds were attended to by a physician. But
the news of Northfield had reached there, and suspicions of their
friend and his strange guests were aroused. It was deemed best to
take an early departure. An ambulance was procured. One of the
horses was disposed of, and the boys by easy stages drove into
Kansas. Their horse and ambulance was disposed of there. At a
station not a thousand miles west of Kansas City they took the
cars, and were transported to Texas. At Waco, Frank was placed
under the care of a physician, and nursed until restored to health

Thus was terminated one of the most remarkable escapes from
capture ever recorded. None other than men of very superior genius
could have succeeded. As it is, the exploit is one of marvelous
adroitness, one which cannot fail to excite our admiration.



After Northfield, Missouri was deemed an unsuitable field for
operations by the James Boys. Nor did it afford a safe place of
retirement for persons who had engaged in such a desperate warfare
against the established order of society. But they were accustomed
to make long expeditions, and they were at home anywhere. The
shelter of a rock sufficed for them in the wintry nights, and the
branches of a tree, with their spreading leaves, furnished roof
enough for them when the summer nights came. Far away, in that
region of the great state of Texas known for many years as the
Territory of Bexar, where a beautiful stream flows down from the
rugged mountains toward the west, to unite with the Rio Pecos,
Jesse and Frank had established a retreat which they called Rest
Ranche. It is many miles east of Fort Quitman, and a long way from
San Estevan. To the west there are rugged hills and low mountains,
covered with chaparral almost impenetrable to man or beast. Far
away in a southern direction is the little frontier post called
Fort Lancaster. There are no frequented trails near the place which
they had selected. The Rio Grande road, from Fort Quitman to Fort
Lancaster, runs southwest of the rugged region alluded to above,
and the usual line of travel from Fort McKavitt to the military
posts and settlements on the Upper Rio Grande, in New Mexico, was a
long distance from their chosen retreat. Toward the northeast are
the Salt Plains, and, further away still, the Staked Plains, the
dread of all travellers in those regions.

In this retreat they were free from the intrusion of prying
neighbors, and the inquisitiveness of passing travellers. It was
and is a lovely place. There are few traces of the presence of man
in that wilderness land. The Pecos flows miles away from their
place through a valley full of natural beauties. But the region is
lonely--so lonely! There are only trails occasionally followed by
a band of predatory Lipans, or traversed by marauding parties of
Comanches and Kickapoos, on raids to the Mexican border through
that vast region. It was in such a country the daring bandits found
repose; and, when occasion suited, to ride untrammeled by fears.

   "When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,
    With its scenes of oppression, corruption and strife;
    The proud man's scorn and the base man's fear,
    And the scoffer's laugh and the sufferer's tear;
    And malice and meanness, and falsehood and folly,
    Disposed them to musing and dark melancholy;
    When their bosoms were full, and their thoughts were high,
    And their souls were sick with the outlaw's sigh--
    Oh, then there was freedom, and joy, and pride,
    Afar in the broad plains alone to ride!"

Such seasons of reflection concerning that which is, and that which
might have been, come to all mankind, and it came to the outlawed
brothers, because they are members of the great family. It was
doubtless at some such time, when their spirits were subdued by
their lonely communion with the grander mysteries of nature, that
the James Boys plead for pardon of past offences, and promised
future amendment and conformity to the laws established for the
government of society. They have often manifested a desire to be at
peace with the world. But such resting did not wait upon them.

Issuing from their retreat, they dared the danger of the border,
plunged through the chaparral, ascended rugged mountain steeps,
plunged down their western slopes to the sand plains which border
the Rio Grande. Passing through the poor pueblo of San Estevan,
noted as the haunt of cattle raiders and bandits; alarming the
people at early morn by their imperious behavior and skill as
pistol-shooters, exhibited by bringing down a chicken for their
breakfast at a distance of sixty paces, they rode away to the
Grande river, crossed over to the Mexican side, and passed westward
until the adobe walls of Mojmia rose before and around them.

The brothers had grown weary of secluded living. They had now
started on an expedition destined to create a profound sensation
all along the border. They passed on through Santa Rosa, and
through the desert lands, and over the mountains to the westward
of that place. These men never pause before obstacles which would
appall others. Neither the rugged mountain passes where the
Mexican Guerrillas have their hiding places, nor the desolation and
terrors of "the Dead Man's Journey" arrested their course.

Carmen is a village of considerable size and importance in the
northern part of the State of Chihuahua in Mexico. Surrounded on
three sides by rugged hills rising into mountains, it is situated
on a line with an important pass through the Sierra Madres. Carmen
is therefore a halting place for caravans of traders, and through
its plaza passes treasure-conductas from the mines of Chihuahua.
The bold riders from the north of the Rio Grande had an object in
going to Carmen, which was made plain in due time.

Arrived at Carmen, Jesse and Frank, who had been joined by
three other members of the band at Santa Rosa, among them Jack
Bishop, put up at the leading _posado_ of the place. They were
a well-behaved company, and as they paid liberally for all they
desired, the people regarded them as a valuable accession to the
population. The boys had a delicate way of demonstrating their
capacity to shoot, by killing a fowl, or pig, or dog, by shooting
it with a revolver from a great distance, taking care always to
make the exhibition as public as possible. So it happened on
this occasion. The Guerrillas and other rough characters about
Carmen had a very respectful manner toward such persons. The
Mexican, whose pig had been shot, received four times its value
and conceived thereafter a very ardent affection for the American
gentlemen of the north.

It was in the late spring-time and the road through Carmen was
travelled by many traders and miners, bound north through New
Mexico, to the markets of this country.

The adventurers from Rest Ranche noted everything. There were
little parties travelling together with considerable money, on
their way to purchase supplies in the United States.

But it was not for such small profits that they proposed to
practice their profession. One day, six pack mules, each loaded
with 150 pounds of silver, and each with a muleteer to control
him, moved out of the City of Chihuahua. With these rode twelve
men as a guard. They kept on until Carmen was reached, without
anything unusual happening. At this place they halted for a day's
rest. The outlaws went among the guards, sought out the persons to
whose charge the treasures had been committed, and ascertained the
direction of their future movements. Nay, further, they simulated
fears of the lurking Indians and plundering Guerrillas along the
road before them. They claimed to be anxious to get into the
United States, but had heard so many stories of the dangers of
the road that it had deterred them from undertaking the journey.
They professed to be American gentlemen who had been looking over
the mines of Chihuahua. Their manners were affable, and their
story plausible. When they made overtures to the chief of the
conducta, to be allowed to journey with the treasure party for
mutual protection across the dangerous border, their desires were
acceded to, and when the cavalcade moved slowly away from Carmen
the next day, the unsuspecting merchants and treasure-bearers were
accompanied by five men of the most desperate character. For the
first three days of the march the Americans were watched with some
degree of vigilance, and the Mexicans maintained a strict guard
over the treasure-pouches.

But the deportment of the outlaws was such that they soon succeeded
in allaying any suspicion which might have attached to them. Carmen
was a long way from the border, and the bandits did not care to
strike the blow which they had resolved upon when too far away
from their retreat, and that, too, on unfamiliar ground. So they
journeyed on with their intended victims on the most amicable
terms. A suitable opportunity to seize the treasure was now all
that they wanted, for the Mexicans had grown somewhat careless in
consequence of their confidence in the numbers of their party.

One day they halted by a crystal stream which flowed down from a
gorge in the mountains, and where a spring of pure, cold water
gushed from the rocky bank. It was noon time, and the weary
travellers took the burdens from their beasts, and allowed them to
graze in the fresh, tall grass in the valley.

It was a lovely day, and the scenery about them was very charming.
The muleteers and guards, all save two, who stood sentinel over
the treasure-pouches, had thrown themselves on the verdant bank,
and were lazily conversing about the beauty of the situation; the
length of time yet required in which to complete the journey before
them, and like topics of small interest to our readers. There were
in the company a Senor Molines, and another Mexican gentleman,
both merchants of Chihuahua. The American desperadoes stood upon
the bank under the shade of a tree, a little apart from the
group of guards, who were in fact largely owners of the treasure
they watched. The muleteers formed a little group not far away.
The guns which the Mexicans carried had been stacked, or rather
leaned against a tree. Mr. Molines and his friend sat smoking on
a moss-grown rock by the bank of the stream. It was a picturesque
scene, and the surroundings heightened the effect of the picture.

The two guards on duty carried their guns carelessly on their
shoulders. Suddenly, Jesse James called out,

"Let's go, boys!"

There was a sharp report of pistols. The two armed guards sank
quivering to the earth. The outlaws rushed to the tree where the
guards had left their arms, and placed themselves with presented
revolvers between the guardians of the treasure and their weapons.
The two Mexican merchants were ordered to throw up their hands,
and with the forcible argument of leveled dragoon pistols,
presented as an alternative, they yielded, and one of the gang went
and disarmed them. The muleteers were paralyzed with fear, and
remained sprawled upon the grass carpet. The place has been well
named _La Temido_ (the place of fear.)

It had been but a minute since the first act in the drama was
presented, and in that time the whole tragic play had been
completed. What a revolution in the circumstances of the actors had
taken place? Two were dead, and sixteen survivors were prisoners,
and at the mercy of five of the most desperate men who ever played
the part of freebooters on this continent.

They took the horses of the merchants and guards, broke their
guns, forced the muleteers to place the treasure pouches upon the
best and fleetest of the horses; shot the mules and other horses
not required, and threatened the frightened men who were in their
power with death, and finally left them a long way from any human
habitation, without horses and without food, and proceeded to
the Rio Grande at an unfrequented part of its course, many miles
above Fort Quitman, where they had provided a boat before they
ventured on their expedition, ferried the captured treasure and
swam their horses across, and in less than twenty-four hours after
their surprise and capture of the treasures of the caravan, they
had disappeared in the rugged region which lies between the Rio
Grande and the Pecos, in the Territory of Bexar, Texas. They had so
completely hidden their trail that all attempts to follow them were

In a few days after this successful foray into Mexico, Jesse and
Frank were at their ranche enjoying much-needed repose. How the
members of the wealthy party, with which they travelled from
Carmen, managed to get once more into the haunts of civilized men,
we have received no information. The great heap of silver which
they had taken was brought by the outlaws into their retreat in the
mountains, and there divided among the five daring brigands.



    "Wherefore, in the hour of need,
      Shall a people house them?
    Wherefore did our brothers bleed,
      When great wrongs did rouse them?
              Is this the sod,
              So blest by God,
    That slaves swear by its clay, men?
              Or are we still,
              The men of will?
    We ask you that to-day, men!"

Why have the James Boys so many friends? Is it because there are
so many people disposed to lawlessness? Are the friends of the
Jameses, like themselves, all outlaws? If they are not, why do they
yet sympathize with them? How can any honest man succor and shelter
them? Can it be possible that any one can be so impervious to
testimony as to believe these men to be anything but outlaws? These
are the questions asked by those who believe that the Boys ought
to have been caught long ago, and lay a large part of the blame
for their escape from arrest so long on the people of the states
where their most notable deeds have been committed. Some persons
point to the results obtained in Minnesota, after Northfield,
as an evidence that a large part of the population in Missouri,
Arkansas, Texas and Kentucky, where their most successful raids
have been made, must necessarily be in sympathy with them, if,
indeed, they are not in direct collusion with the great outlaws.
Such a charge is evidently made by persons who have not examined
into the circumstances of the case, and the conditions which have
favored them in escaping apprehension by the officers of the law.
It will be remembered that the James Boys have committed successful
robberies in both Iowa and Kansas, and it will not be claimed
by the most prejudiced mind that the people of Iowa and Kansas,
resident in the neighborhood where these exploits were committed,
were more in sympathy with the marauders than were the people of
Northfield and vicinity. And yet the Jameses escaped capture.

Without in any way assuming a defence of the people of the
states named above, on account of their failure to capture the
outlaws--for they need no service of the kind from us--we may be
permitted in this place to state a few facts which may enable
cavilers to form a more rational judgment in this matter.

That the Jameses have friends scattered through many states we
readily admit. That all those who have a friendly feeling toward
them are not in the lower classes of roughs, is undeniable; that
some who move in respectable circles of society, and who are
above reproach, so far as their individual actions are concerned,
are yet disposed to apologize for them, is unfortunately true.
But such "friends" as these have nothing to do with obstructing
the execution of the law. The Jameses have numerous friends in
Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. And
under like conditions they would have equally as large a list
of friends in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota and
Wyoming. Their active, helpful friends are to be found among that
class which the law is ever pursuing but never subduing. They are
called "thugs" in New York and all the other large cities; and on
the border everywhere, the same elements in human nature which
create "the thugs, pariahs and roughs," of the urbane populations,
produce the desperadoes and road agents of the wilderness regions.

Now the fact is, the Jameses have ranged over the entire country,
from the Ohio river to the shores of the Gulf; from the borders of
Iowa to the Sierra Madres, and from the Blue Ridge to the Rocky
Mountains. Their reputation as daring men and skillful leaders has
made them known to all that class of people who are without the
pale of society, as that term is applied--and there are members of
that class in every community--who at once seek an alliance with
such distinguished leaders of their class--the outlaws. The result
is, that these people embrace every opportunity to serve such men
as Frank and Jesse James. Why has not Pinkerton, with all his
ability and resources as a catcher of lawbreakers, caught these

The answer is simple enough. They know the country thoroughly; they
have, not one, but many places to which they can retreat, and when
hard pressed or sorely wounded, they go to their retreats, where
they are nursed and cared for until they choose to go away.

Again, there may be, and doubtless are, a few persons who have
known the Boys from early childhood--knew their father before
them--and afterward remembered the deeds performed by them in a
cause which they regarded as right, who are loth to believe that
the Boys are brigands and robbers. And then it is certain that some
of their "friends" are persons who are free to admit that the Boys
have degenerated into lawless marauders, but excuse them on the
ground that they were driven to it by the terribly bad treatment
which they received at the hands of those who were enemies of the
Southern cause in the struggle of long ago. It is barely possible
that a limited number of people, whose whole mind and strength were
devoted to the success of the South during the great conflict,
yet look back with deep regret at the melancholy failure of their
efforts, and have apotheosized every man who engaged on that side
and fought for the cause which had become sacred in their eyes--a
very few persons who belong to that class, representatives of which
are to be found everywhere, who can neither forgive nor forget--who
only remember that Frank and Jesse James were fighters in that
struggle, and hence all subsequent bad conduct cannot exclude them
from a place in their affections. This is in accordance with the
laws of human nature. All men are not cosmopolitan in their views,
and hence, when disasters fell upon a cause which was believed to
be right and sacred, the little world in which these persons lived
and moved and had their being, suffered a moral convulsion from
which it has not yet recovered, and, in their minds, can never

With the social conditions and mental state which enshrouded people
like those described above, and rendered them insensible to the
requirements of social order, we have nothing to do. Such people
are found in all climes now; and such people have lived in all ages
since the human family commenced the struggle for existence.

But the "friends" of the Jameses are for the most part persons who,
like themselves, have rebelled against the established order of
society. They are scattered all over the country, and among that
class, from the Rio Grande to the Ohio, the Boys have personal
acquaintances and active allies. Even beyond the lofty range of
the Rocky Mountains they have confederates in spirit, if not in
action. These children of an ill-starred destiny roam over a vast
extent of country. And wherever they go, they are likely to find
some one who, from some cause or other, open their houses to them
and willingly afford them succor and shelter. Some of these men
doubtless share with the renowned freebooters the spoils gained in
their daring profession.

The "friends" of the Jameses--even those who are active allies and
participators in their lawless deeds, are many of them respected
in the communities where they belong. Among their neighbors they
are known as liberal-minded men of unquestionably good character.
Some of them have families who are respected and honored by their
associates. Some of them, when at home, are regular in their
attendance at church, and liberal in their donations for the
support of the ministry. Some affect to patronize the educational
interests, while there are others who are promoters of improvements
in horticulture, agriculture, and all other movements intended
to benefit the communities of which they are members. Who would
surmise that these staid and respected members of society are
leagued with outlaws? Generally, their evil deeds are committed far
away from their places of residence. They are not often mixed up in
any affair near by, and when they join the band for the purpose of
committing depredations, they always give out that they are about
to make a journey in a way directly contrary to that in which they
intend to travel.

But the most valuable of the members of the band of friends of the
Jameses are those who never go abroad to depredate. They are of
infinite service to the Boys. In all their relations with their
neighbors and the members of the society with which they are
brought in contact, these allies of the brigands are scrupulously
exact and strictly upright. The consequence is, no suspicion attaches
to their character, and with them the outlaws are safe.

Not only do these "friends" not go abroad to plunder, but when
their confederates who "do the work" commit a deed of outlawry
in their vicinity, they first conceal the robbers, and then turn
out as leaders of the hunters of the outlaws. They are sometimes
loudest in their execration of the plunderers, and strongest in
their expressions of hatred toward all lawless men. Being good
citizens of honorable repute, no one suspects them, and their
friends, the robbers, rest until the storm has swept by, and then
quietly they ride away. Many of these men are well-to-do; have
good farms, live in comfortable houses, and have many fine horses
and fat cattle. Of course these valuable allies have a liberal
allowance of the brigands' spoils set apart for their use and
behoof. It must be borne in mind that these men are residents of
regions of comparatively recent settlement, where the antecedents
of newly-arrived citizens are not strictly inquired into by those
who only arrived yesterday themselves. So long, therefore, as
the citizen deports himself as "a clever man," so long will his
neighbors implicitly trust him.

Such is the character of the men which Jesse James' fertile brain
has called into service; the character of the organization, which
all the devices of the shrewdest detectives, all the bravest
executors of the law have failed in ten long years of effort, to
disintegrate or destroy. The very fact that such an organization
does exist, and that Jesse James furnished the brains which
summoned it into existence, and has maintained it for so long a
time, stamps him as an extraordinary man--one who, under other
circumstances, might have become a leader of men, and passed into
history along with George Cadoudal, Paoli, and other like actors on
the world's wide stage.



The wild, adventurous career of the boys has been wonderful. They
loved the road, loved to ride at will over the land, and set at
defiance the officers of the law.

Nor have they confined their excursions to the American side of the
Rio Grande. Not unfrequently they ride far away over the Sierra
Madres into the valley of the lakes; in Coahuila and San Luis
Potosi, they are known of many. In some of these expeditions they
pass through thrilling experiences and innumerable dangers. Those
border rovers of Mexico who have crossed the path of the boys once
and have escaped with their lives, evince no disposition to renew
hostilities with the "gringo devils," as they affectionately call
the American outlaws.

In this chapter we propose to relate some of "the hair breadth
escapes" of the daring outlaws in the land of the Otomis. These
tales of wild life will not fail to interest the reader.

One time--it was in the spring of 1877--Frank and Jesse James rode
down to the bank of the "River of the North." Piedras Negras is
a favorite crossing place, both for Mexican cattle thieves and
American outlaws. To this point came Frank and Jesse James. The
river was high and the crossing difficult. It was not the season
for successful raiding, and the enterprising Mexican raiders had
turned their attention to the business of revolutionizing their
own country. In this pious undertaking they had not met with that
degree of success which justified them in rejoicing. The lazaroni,
gathered at Piedras Negras, were particularly ill-humored, and the
lonely Texan who came in their way could expect nothing better than
to be plundered.

Such was the situation of affairs when Frank and Jesse James
arrived on the Texas side of the river in front of the wretched
Mexican pueblo. The surly "greaser," who acted as the Charon at
that point, was even more surly than usual. But the boys had passed
that way before, and the ferryman had a vivid recollection that one
Estevan Sandoval, who had molested them on one occasion, was now no
more in the land of the living. He complied with the usual tedious
alacrity of his countrymen to set them across the stream.

There was an unusual number of ill-looking fellows about the place,
a fact which did not escape the immediate attention of the boys.
There were regular brigands from the passes of the Sierra Madres;
thieves from Matamoras, cut-throats from Saltillo; smugglers from
all along the border, and rogues of all grades. The boys knew there
was "fun ahead."

It must be said to the credit of the Jameses that they neither
seek nor run away from a fight. In this case the character of the
boys was sustained. They proposed to pass on without stopping.
In this benevolent intention they were not destined to succeed.
Riding through the square, or plaza, as the Mexicans call it, they
passed on toward the country of woods beyond. They had not got out
of the straggling village, when a mob of half-drunken, howling
Mexicans, mounted on horses, came after them, cursing and firing
off their pistols as they came. It would have been well for some
of them if they had never beheld the face of a gringo. Doubtless
the leaders expected to see the boys use their spurs liberally and
make time out of town. In this they were disappointed. The American
outlaws were not accustomed to flee before such "outfits." Instead
of galloping away, they deliberately halted, and the inevitable
pistols were drawn and "the fun began." The Jameses do not have
occasion to kill unless they desire to do so, as they can easily
disable an enemy without taking his life. In less time than is
required to state the incident, four of the foremost of the rabble
were on the ground, with broken right arms. The remainder of the
crowd turned and rode with all speed through the plaza. Actuated
by some wild impulse which sometimes seems to possess them, the
Jameses turned and rode back again to the square. It came near
proving a fatal ride to Frank. Some of the Mexicans had taken
refuge in an adobe house on one side of the plaza, and seeing the
daring American outlaws sitting on their horses in the very midst
of the place, in an attitude of defiance of all "the brave men" of
Piedras Negras, they mustered courage to open fire upon the boys. A
perfect shower of bullets was discharged, and one of them cut the
brim of the hat worn by Frank James, narrowly missing the side of
his head. Then the boys felt that they were in for "a good deal of
fun," and all scruple as to killing vanished. They shot to kill,
and death was the doom of any greaser who came within their deadly
range. Two were killed outright, and then the ill-natured mob that
had sought to avenge the death of Estevan Sandoval, fled from the
village in terror, leaving the brothers in undisputed possession of
the place.

It was not their purpose to remain, and they rode on in a short
time. That evening, when they were crossing a stream, swollen by
the recent spring rains, a party of brigands in ambush on the
opposite bank opened fire upon them, and Jesse received a slight
wound in the left shoulder. The boys charged the thicket which had
afforded the robbers shelter, and the whole ten broke and fled, not
however, before one of their number was made to atone for the hurt
which Jesse had received.

This journey into San Luis Potosi, was one fraught with many
perils, and only the fate which seems to protect them, enabled them
to return into Texas. They met with a singular adventure on this

They had reached Monclova, a large town in Coahuila. Here they
found an acquaintance--an old comrade of the Guerrilla times.
He had taken up his residence in Mexico, had married a handsome
Mexican girl, and had settled down to a quiet life in a strange
land. Of course he was glad to see the Boys whom he had not met
since they parted in Kentucky, when he was captured and sent to
prison. His home was placed at their disposal, and his Mexican
wife received them with that cordial hospitality which is a
characteristic of her countrywomen. Here they proposed to remain a
day or two and rest.

In accordance with the customs of the country, the Mexicanized
American gave his old comrades a reception on the following
afternoon, or rather evening after their arrival. A reception in
Mexico means a ball or _fandango_. Many of the leading citizens of
Monclova attended the reception, for the friend of the Jameses was
esteemed a very worthy citizen and respectable gentleman.

Among the guests was a young lieutenant of the Mexican army, and an
American long resident in the country, who came from the vicinity
of Matehuala. These two men scrutinized the faces of the Boys in a
very peculiar manner, and a careful observer could have seen the
flushes of anger which ever and anon overspread their countenances.
Jesse had noticed their behavior, and called the attention of his
brother to the strangeness of their conduct. He was sure that he
had seen the American before somewhere, at some time, just when
and where he could not remember.

Frank was enjoying himself in the society of a fair senorita, and
seemed to attach little importance to his brother's suggestions.
But Jesse watched them closely, and became thoroughly convinced
that he had met both men before, and he knew that the meeting had
been that of enemies.

The lieutenant and his companion did not remain long, but took
their departure. There was at that time encamped, in the environs
of Monclova, a brigade of the Mexican army, and the regiment
to which the lieutenant belonged had barracks near the plaza.
On leaving the ball-room, the two men went directly to the
headquarters of the regiment, and found there the colonel and
lieutenant-colonel. The young officer at once laid before them the
knowledge which he possessed concerning the character of the men
who were being entertained in Monclova that night. Both men had a
score to settle with the Jameses. The account of the American dated
back to 1865--that of the young officer only a little more than a
year, at which time, unfortunately, in one of the border broils,
frequent about that time between Mexicans and Texans, the Boys had
killed a brother of the officer.

The superior officers looked with favor on the scheme to arrest the
Boys. The more readily, too, did they agree to the plan of capture
when informed that the American authorities were offering a reward
of $50,000 for the apprehension of these men. It was a bonanza
which the impecunious colonels hoped to gain.

Silently as possible a company of eighty men was mustered, and
marched to the house, and immediately surrounded it. The merry
makers were just in the midst of an evening of enjoyment. Indeed,
"there was a sound of revelry by night," and the fair senoritas
and chivalrous youths of Monclova were animated by high hopes and
dreams of future bliss.

Suddenly there was an interruption. The doors were thrown open,
and an officer, accompanied by a guard, strode into the room. The
violinist dropped his bow; the dancers stood still; the faces of
women blanched, and men quailed before this apparition of war and

The officer stepped briskly to the part of the room where the
Jameses were standing, and addressing them in broken English,
commanded them to surrender in the name and by the authority of
the government of Mexico. Frank and Jesse looked at him with a
disdainful, dangerous smile.

Would they surrender without his being under the painful necessity
of using force, inquired the officer.

"Never!" The answer was firmly delivered.

The officer turned to the guards, and gave a signal of command for
them to move up.

"Stop!" It was Jesse's voice of command. The officer waved the
guards to halt.

"We have a proposition to submit. Will you hear it?"

"If it means surrender, yes," replied the officer.

"It is this:" pursued Jesse, not appearing to notice the purport
of the officer's reply, "allow these ladies here to retire, and we
will discuss the question with you."

"I shall be compelled to take you by force," said the officer.

"Let the ladies retire, I say!" exclaimed Jesse James, in a tone
that betrayed his impatience.

The Boys were not surprised without arms. They never lay aside a
pair of pistols. They are ever at their sides, and always ready for
use. The officer parleyed. He did not desire to begin an affray
in the midst of a company of ladies--his instincts as a gentleman
revolted against subjecting them to alarm and danger. The house
was surrounded; he had ample force to enforce the orders of his
superiors; so he said,

"Let the ladies all retire."

The order was given at the door to the guards to to allow the
ladies to pass through. The ball-room was soon free from their
presence. The men huddled in one corner, and finally were permitted
to retire into another room.

"Now," said the officer, "lay down your pistols. I have an ample
force to enforce these orders. The house is surrounded; you cannot
get away."

The answer he received was a derisive peal of laughter. At the
same moment a pistol flashed before the eyes of the officer as he
raised his sword to signal his guard. He saw it but for an instant,
there was an explosion, and the officer fell dead to the floor. The
guard, amazed, rushed forward to succor their fallen leader. They
were thrown off their guard. One, two, three deafening reports,
and three soldiers lay still, weltering in their gore. Celerity
of execution is safety, was ever the motto of the Jameses. The
guards who had followed their officer into the house, fled when
they saw their comrades fall. The boys rushed out of the house. The
soldiers in the street met them with a volley of balls. But they
were too much agitated to shoot well. The boys escaped with two or
three trifling scratches. They opened fire on the line of guards
around the house. Seized with consternation, the soldiers fled from
their deadly revolvers. The whole town was excited. The streets
began to teem with surging throngs of men, women and children; the
alarm drums were beat in the barracks; the soldiers hastily formed
in line and marched to the scene of the disturbance. Never had
Monclova been so shaken before.

It was too late. The cause of all the hubbub had reached their
horses, hastily saddled them, mounted, and were then thundering far
away through the dark streets. They did not travel the highways
after daylight next morning. But they found a refuge in the
mountains, and when the excitement had subsided they went their



The ranche of the James Boys furnished a temptation to the Mexican
border brigands, which they were in no wise able to resist, even
if they had possessed the least particle of that moral sense which
enables men to withstand temptation. The Jameses were successful
rancheros; they lived out on the confines of the white settlements
in Texas. Their fat herds spread over the valleys and ranged over
many hills. This wealth of cattle excited the cupidity of the
Mexican border banditti. They envied the outlawed boys their goodly
possessions; and they were nerved to undertake to appropriate the
herds, even if the lives of the owners should be taken in order to
compass their wishes.

There was a robber chief of Nueva Leon, who had once been a
faithful lieutenant of Cortinas, "the Robber Governor" of the State
of Tamaulipas. This fellow, whose name was Juan Fernando Palacios,
had achieved a local reputation about Piedras Negras, Eagle Pass,
Mier, and other localities on the upper Rio Grande, as a daring
freebooter and bloody minded murderer. He had gathered about him a
band of men of like disposition with himself--principally fugitives
from justice from the neighboring states. This gang of desperadoes
numbered more than thirty men, and Palacios resolved to lead them
over among the ranches of the Texans. There was much booty to be
gained by a successful raid. It was at a season of the year when
many herds were being pastured in the valley of the Pecos, and with
thirty men and more he fondly hoped that he could come upon, and
discomfit all the "cow boys" in that region, and drive away the
well conditioned herds at his leisure.

It was in the autumn of 1877. The dry season had withered the
grass on the hill slopes and the upland plains. But down in the
valleys the grass was green, and the wild flowers bloomed in all
the freshness of the spring time. Palacios and his brigands made
careful preparations before they set out. There had been a season
of quiet on the border. Several months had passed since the last
raid was made. The Mexican brigand hoped to take the "cow boys"
unawares--surprise them--kill them, and drive away their herds.
This was his hope.

Mexican brigands are good night travellers. Indeed, their most
important movements are made in the night. During the day time,
if possible, they take shelter in the chaparral, and remain
quiet until the shades of night fall over valley and plain, and
then under the starlight they ride--sometimes accomplishing long
journeys in a thinly inhabited country without giving the least
information of their presence, so secretly do they move.

It was a lovely evening in October. There was no moon, but the
stars shone brightly from the cloudless sky. El Paso was unusually
quiet that evening. There was not a fandango in progress in the
place; the sound of the violin was not heard within its borders.
The senoritas sang no vesper hymns. Palacios and his robber band
had gone across the river into Texas, and not many young men
remained in El Paso. All night, beneath the silent stars, the
mongrel band of the bandit chief rode on toward "the settlements"
of the hated, as well as dreaded Texans. Before dawn they found
shelter in a patch of chaparral in the valley of an affluent of
the Rio Pecos. No one had seen them. Thirty miles and more they
had ridden in the direction of the fat herds of the Texans. The
day passed away, and once more the curtain of night fell, and the
Mexican raiders rode in its shadow. By dawn they had reached the
vicinity of a well stocked ranche. A convenient shelter was sought
and found near a little stream. The raiders were many miles from El
Paso now, and the valleys and the hill slopes, and the lower plains
were dotted with great herds of cattle. But the rancheros had not
yet discovered the presence of the enemy, and rested in fancied

  [Illustration: An Alarmed "Cow-Boy."]

Palacios and his band hovered near the herds all day. Men were sent
out to ascertain the number of herdsmen attending the different
droves. All this time the horses of the raiders were carefully
concealed in a thicket by the bank of the stream. When the
evening came on, Palacios was well informed of the locality of all
the herds in his immediate neighborhood. Dividing his men into
two bands, over one of which he appointed a notorious murderer
from Mier, named Jesus Almonte, and assumed command of the other
in person. The time appointed for "the stampede" of the herds was
ten o'clock at night. At that hour the western herdsmen are almost
always sound asleep. Palacios was certain that his presence on the
American side of the Rio Grande was not known. He had met no one,
and his scouts had reported everything quiet among the herdsmen.

Ten o'clock came. The Mexican robbers, well armed and splendidly
mounted, quietly left their covert. Almonte and his band proceeded
two and a half or three miles up the stream where a large herd of
cattle were corraled. Palacios went down the creek to "stampede"
another herd of seven or eight hundred head. The process of
"stampeding" is thoroughly understood by the Mexicans. The herdsmen
were aroused by the approaching horsemen. But it was too late. The
Mexicans were among them, and Almonte's gang killed two of the
"cow-boys" at the upper herd, and Palacios' crowd killed one at
the lower herd. The "stampede" was complete. The herds were turned
toward the Rio Grande, and driven rapidly away. All the remainder
of that night, and all the next day, the robbers pressed forward
toward their place of concealment and shelter beyond the Rio
Grande. As yet, no pursuers had appeared, but Palacios knew well
that they were not safe on this side the river. He knew that the
avengers were on his track, and he cared not to see the face of a
Texan at that time. Coming at night time to the river some distance
below El Paso, he crossed over with all his booty, and speedily
made himself comfortable among his sympathizing countrymen and

It chanced about that time that Frank and Jesse James rode down
toward the Rio Grande to make observations, and enjoy life just
beyond the borders of civilization. Being somewhat in the outlaw
business themselves, they cared very little for "the borders
of civilization," or for that matter, for the interior. While
riding, they met one of the sorely disconsolate herdsmen, who told
the story which we have related, with many embellishments; for
instance, that a band had come out of the south country, killed all
the herdsmen in the valley, driven off _all_ the herds, and that
_he_ only was left alive to tell of their fate.

To this doleful tale Frank and Jesse James gave good heed, for one
of the missing herds had been their property.

The two brothers consulted together as to what could be done under
the circumstances. They had been into Mexico on many occasions
before, and, although the frightened herdsman had magnified the
numbers of the raiders, so that they appeared a mighty host, Frank
and Jesse James were not the men to submit tamely to downright
robbery. The brothers resolved to pursue the raiders. And so they
rode on and on until they came to the Rio Grande.

It was in the early morning. The October sun had not yet appeared
above the horizon, but all the eastern sky was refulgent with the
coming glories of a lovely day. Frank and Jesse James had ridden
far, but their horses were not jaded, and as for themselves,
physical endurance is their normal characteristic. They were ready
for any desperate adventure, such as they were then engaged in.
Only for a moment did they pause when they emerged from the river.
Their fire-arms were carefully examined, and then they urged their
horses onward. El Paso was silent. The inhabitants had not yet
awakened from their slumbers. Palacios and his band, with their
stolen herds, had passed on through the village in the direction of
the mountains. Their trail through the sand was still fresh. The
James Boys rode on. Three miles away they came to the camp. Deeming
themselves safe, the Mexican raiders had taken no precautions
to guard against surprise. The herds had been corraled, and the
bandits, wearied by their long marches, slumbered heavily.

  [Illustration: After the "Greasers."]

Cautiously approaching the Mexican camp, the two brothers, with
that quick perception for which they are distinguished, saw at a
glance the situation of the camp and the position of the sleeping
robbers. The dreamers were suddenly aroused by the reports of the
avengers' pistols. Jesse and Frank James were in their midst, and
dealing death to the miscreants ere they could grasp their weapons.
Some who dreamed were sent to their account before the phantasy
had cleared from their brains. With a death-dealing pistol in each
hand, they fired with incredible rapidity, and at each discharge
an unfortunate wretch fell to rise no more. Terror-stricken, the
robbers fled in every direction. Some were arrested in their
flight by the unerring aim of the outlawed brothers; and some more
fortunate escaped to the mountains with life only, everything being
left behind in order that they might save it.

The corral was broken up. The Boys are skillful herdsmen, and soon
the great tramping drove was turned toward the Rio Grande. Ten dead
robbers, stark and still, among the cactus patches, testified to
the prowess of the American desperadoes. They passed back through
the village. Not a man was visible. They had heard of the fate of
their robber friends. Terror-stricken, they had abandoned their
homes and fled into the chaparral beyond the hills, which at
this point approach the river. The Boys were hungry after their
morning's engagement, and halting at the little adobe _posado_,
they ordered breakfast, taking care that it was prepared under
their personal supervision, in order that no treachery on the part
of their unwilling entertainers should succeed.

The feat which they had accomplished was one of the most daring
ever recorded in the annals of border strife. Then, the nonchalant
way in which they ordered the trembling inhabitants to minister to
their physical comfort, furnished another proof of the admirable
nerve of these remarkable men. After refreshing themselves, the
Boys, at their leisure, recrossed the Rio Grande with nearly the
whole number of cattle which the bandits had driven away.

Desperadoes as they were, Palacios and Almonte were indisposed to
surrender the rich prize which they had secured, as they thought,
without any effort. The two chiefs had stopped in the village the
night previous to the arrival of the Jameses, and were not in the
camp at the time of the attack of the Boys. In El Paso, they lay
hidden in a heap of hay, while Frank and Jesse regaled themselves
with "the best the market afforded." The Mexicans were convinced
that a large force of _Gringo Diablos_ were at hand, and they
feared for their lives. They waited for the appearance of the
squadrons of rangers in vain. Gradually it began to dawn upon their
dull comprehension that the whole force of the _Gringos_ numbered
just two men. Palacios, Almonte, and a few of their followers
rallied some hours after the Boys were on their march over the
rolling plains of Texas. They were furious, and boasted of what
great things they intended to accomplish. Sometime, toward noon,
they cautiously approached the river, reconnoitered, and finally
ventured to cross over. There was no enemy in sight, and the
twenty-five brigands of the border became valiant, and set out
on the trail of the Boys who were marching on with the recaptured

Encumbered as they were, by a vast drove of cattle, their progress
was slow. Toward evening the Mexican bandits came in sight. But
they did not venture to attack. Hovering on the rear, and galloping
along the flanks of the moving herd, the Mexicans made a thorough
reconnaissance of the force of Americans. There were just two men,
and no more. Emboldened by this knowledge, they approached with a
view of "stampeding" the herd. Five well mounted men were sent to
engage the Boys while the others advanced on the left flank of the
herd. But they did not know the character of the men they sought
to kill out there on the plains. Secured to the saddles which they
bestrode, each carried a long range sixteen shot Winchester rifle.
The bandits came within range. If they ever prayed, the time for
prayers had arrived. They were approaching, unwittingly it may be,
the margin of the river of death; the black angel hovered over
them, the sun of time was being surely extinguished. Detaching
their deadly rifles from the fastenings, each singled out his man,
took deliberate aim, touched the trigger, and instantaneously two
Mexican robbers fell to the earth pierced through their hearts.
Their comrades marked their fall, and knew the cause. They turned
to flee. It was too late. Even as they turned two more of them
fell, pierced through and through by the unerring bullets from the
steadily aimed rifles of the American outlaws. The other one of
the five fled, and succeeded in making his escape.

The Boys fully comprehended the designs of the Mexicans, and Jesse
suggested that he would ride to the summit of "the swell" to the
left, to see what "those other devils are about."

  [Illustration: Fight with Mexican Cattle Thieves.]

Riding rapidly up the slope, his horse was soon reined up on the
crest of the ridge. There he discovered on the slope below him a
party of some fifteen armed men. Bringing his rifle to bear, a
Mexican saddle was emptied in an instant. The raiders replied;
but their guns would not send a ball so far. They were not less
than four hundred yards away. Jesse continued to empty saddles
until four men were down. The Mexicans turned and fled, and Jesse
gave them a parting salute, which brought down a horse. When
he rejoined his brother he remarked sententiously, "Well, I've
prepared a feast for the vultures over yonder."

"How many are down?" asked the other.

"Oh, only four men and one horse," he answered, with a grim sort of

The dangerous time for them was the shadowy hours. They knew that
all the brigands of that region would take their trail. They were
a hundred miles from any certain succor. The Mexican raiders are
not to be despised in a night affray. They expected attack, and
it is one of the peculiarities of the Boys, that they never sleep
when there is danger surrounding them. The severe losses which they
had sustained only rendered the pursuers more wary; but they still
hovered around. The Boys expected an attack that night. The sun was
sinking low in the west, and the brothers were earnestly consulting
as to the best means of guarding against the consequences of a
night attack.

"See," said Frank, "away there on that ridge whose top the sun is
gilding! Are those moving objects men on horseback, or a herd of
buffalo? What do you think?"

The brothers halted. Since their removal to Texas they never ride
abroad without carrying with them a field glass each. They now
raised their glasses and looked long and earnestly at the dark
objects moving between them and the horizon.

"They are mounted men," said Jesse.

"Texans, Mexicans, Lipans or Commanches? Which do you say?" asked

Jesse looked again. The mounted men were nearly two miles away--a
long distance to determine the character of men, or designate their
nationality. Long and carefully did he scrutinize the movements of
the horsemen.

"Soldiers--Federal soldiers--by Jehovah!" he exclaimed. "Well, I've
seen the time that I would not like to see such a company, but I'm
confounded glad they've come around this evening. I'll get a nap
to-night, anyway."

It was agreed that Jesse should ride forward and inform the officer
in command of the presence of Palacios' band of raiders. He
spurred his horse forward over the high rolling swells of prairie
toward the horsemen, who were also advancing. The Mexicans saw
this movement, and saw the horsemen. They at once surmised that
a detachment of McKenzie's command was out looking for them, and
turning about, they rode hastily back the way they came.

The Boys were left in peace. The detachment of cavalry swept onward
in pursuit of the fleeing raiders, and the herd, fatigued by long
driving, were indisposed to scatter. The return to the pastures
from whence they had been driven was leisurely made. The Boys
returned safely to their abode, and Jesse was welcomed by one who
worships him as the world's noblest hero.



      "Wide is our home, boys,
      Freely we roam, boys,
    Merrily, merrily, o'er the brown lea;
      Brief though our life, boys,
      With peril rife, boys,
    Oh! it has wildness, and rapture, and glee."

In the mellow days of September, 1877, a party of seven men came to
the neighborhood of Ogallala, Nebraska, and went into camp there.
They were "stockmen," they said, and only wished to rest awhile
before entering upon the long, wearisome march across the plains
to Texas, which lay before them. They had brought droves of cattle
from the pasture-prairies of the "Lone Star" state to supply the
markets of Chicago and other cities to the east, and it was their
intention, according to their statements, to return to Texas to
be in readiness for "the spring drive." There was in this party
Jim Berry, of Portland, Callaway county, Missouri, an old-time
Guerrilla in the days of Anderson; Jack Davis, formerly of the
vicinity of Fort Smith, Arkansas, a man of sinister reputation;
Billy Heffridge, a Pennsylvanian of no good repute; Jim Collins, a
brother of Brad, the well-known Texan desperado, who was killed
in an encounter with a sheriff who attempted his arrest, and Sam
Bass, the somewhat distinguished outlaw, whose name figures so
prominently in the criminal annals of the period between 1865 and
1878. There were two others, the identity of one of whom has never
been discovered. Of these, Berry, Collins, Davis, and one other,
had sometimes ridden with Frank and Jesse James, and exchanged the
civilities of the craft with them. Who the seventh man of the party
of "campers at Ogallala" was, the detectives have never been able
to discover.

The "stockmen," as they styled themselves, remained in camp near
Ogallala for a number of days, and were frequent visitors to the
village. Jim Berry had been in business at Plattsmouth, Nebraska,
and had made some acquaintances along the road. Among the business
men residing at Ogallala, which is the county seat of Keith
county, and a station of some importance on the line of the Union
Pacific railway, was Mr. M. F. Leach, a gentleman of great mental
acuteness, and an excellent judge of men.

One day some of the "cattlemen" came to Leach's store in Ogallala,
among them Jim Berry, and purchased a number of red bandana
handkerchiefs. Of course nothing was thought of the circumstance
at the time, but subsequently the red bandanas afforded "a clue"
to the identity of the robbers of a train on the Union Pacific

Big Springs is a station on the railroad, about twenty-three miles
west of Ogallala, nearly on the line between Keith and Cheyenne
counties, Nebraska. At this place there is an excellent supply of
water, which constitutes its greatest claim to importance, for
on other accounts Big Springs possesses little to interest the
traveller. One evening--it was the 17th of September--the people of
Brule and Ogallala were thrown into a great ferment of excitement
on the arrival of the train from the West, bringing, as the
conductor and passengers did, a full account of the great robbery
of the express car, and all the passengers, at Big Springs station,
which event had occurred just after nightfall that same evening.
It was a great sensation at the time, and interest in it has not
yet ceased to operate on the public mind. A brief account of the
robbery, and pursuit and death of several of the robbers, will not
be regarded out of place in this volume, inasmuch as some of the
robbers had an acquaintance with the principal characters who are
the subjects of this work.

The train from the Pacific slope arrived at Big Springs on the
evening of September 17th, 1877, a little after nightfall. No
sooner had the locomotive come to a standstill at the little
station, than a band of seven men, all of whom wore red bandana
handkerchiefs on their heads, which fell over and concealed their
faces, sprang upon the train with drawn revolvers. Four of the men
guarded the engineer, and entered the express car. Wells, Fargo &
Co.'s safe contained $62,000 in gold. This was opened, and the
contents taken out and deposited in a sack which one of the robbers
carried. Another one kept guard over the train's crew, and two
men, well armed with heavy revolvers, went through the train to
take the purses, watches and jewelry of the passengers. One of the
fellows carried a sack, and whenever the other handed him a watch,
a pocketbook or some jewelry, he thrust it into the receptacle
which he carried along. There were many passengers, and they were
on a long journey. Many fine watches, much valuable jewelry,
and innumerable pocketbooks were collected in the sack, in a
miscellaneous heap. When the golden treasures of the express safe,
and the valuables of the passengers were all secured, the brigands
released the train and rode away over the plains. The train then
proceeded eastward, by Brule and to Ogallala. The particulars of
the robbery were detailed, and the inhabitants of those places were
aroused by the intelligence. It was late and nothing could be done
that night.

The next morning the "stockmen" were in camp as usual, and Mr.
Leach and some others of the inhabitants of Ogallala were preparing
to hunt the robbers.

Mr. M. F. Leach had performed some amateur detective work, and
had exhibited so much acuteness that he was regarded as one of
the ablest catchers of lawbreakers in the West. He was at once
secured to work up the great train robbery. To him is due the
larger share of the credit for tracking down the Big Springs
bandits. And the men Leach had to deal with were keen, adroit, and
endowed with extraordinary effrontery. We cannot enter into detail
concerning his remarkable pursuit of Sam Bass and his companions,
from Ogallala. A full narrative would fill a volume. To show the
character of the men with whom he had to deal, we will relate an
anecdote of a meeting he had with Jim Berry, one of the gang, the
morning after the robbery. As before stated, the "stockmen," who
were no other than the brigands, had returned to their camp at
Ogallala, and were there as if nothing had happened, the morning
after the robbery. Leach was preparing to go after the robbers. He
encountered Jim Berry, who addressed him in a familiar manner:

"Well, are you going out after those fellows?"

"Yes," said Leach, "that's what I am going to do."

"I wonder what they would give me to go along? I might be of
service to them."

"Well, I can say," said Leach, "that you would certainly receive a
liberal compensation for any service you may be able to render."

The two men talked together some time, but Berry did not go on the
hunt for the train robbers. Mr. Leach proceeded out the road to
Sidney, in Cheyenne county, not forgetting on his way to stop off
at Big Springs to find, if possible, some clue to the robbers'
course after leaving that place. He found part of a red bandana
handkerchief, which he secured, and went on to Sidney in a special
train which had been provided for his use. A careful examination of
the situation in that place was barren of results, and Mr. Leach
returned to Ogallala. The "stockmen" had remained in camp two days
after the robbery, and then they had marched away--whither--no one
knew. Leach had brought with him the piece of red bandana from
Big Springs. He was sure the goods had come from his store in
Ogallala. While looking about the deserted camp of the "stockmen,"
Leach discovered the other piece of the bandana which he had
brought from Big Springs. The ragged edges of the two pieces fitted
exactly. The inevitable inference was that the "stockmen" were the
robbers. The direction taken by them was not known, but Leach soon
discovered their trail. Then commenced one of the most remarkable
pursuits ever known. Leach ascertained that the robbers would
probably cross the Kansas Pacific railroad at Buffalo Station, Gove
county, Kansas. He was ever on their track, and on many occasions
he escaped with his life in a marvelous manner. Once he saw them
count the spoils of the robbery, and divide the money, watches and
jewelry among themselves. Then he sent a rancheman a long distance,
a hundred miles or more, with a dispatch to the commandant at Fort
Hayes to have a guard of soldiers at Buffalo. The bandits divided
into couples, and pursued their course. At Buffalo, some of the
robbers and the soldiers had a conflict, and Billy Heffridge and
Jim Collins were killed. Sam Bass, Jack Davis and two others
escaped. Jim Berry made toward Missouri. It was ascertained that he
would probably return to Callaway county, and detectives were at
once hurried into that county and quietly waited around Fulton and
Portland for the appearance of "the game."

One day Jim Berry made his appearance at Mexico, in Audrain
county, Missouri. It was known that he had been in the Black
Hills, and when he went to the bank in Mexico with a large amount
of gold coin, principally twenty dollar pieces, to exchange it
for currency, the circumstance seems to have aroused no suspicion
at the time. Berry then "went on a big bender." While in Mexico
he had ordered a suit of clothes from a tailor there. In a few
days, information was received by Sheriff Glascock that Jim
Berry was known to have been engaged in the Big Springs robbery.
Concerning this nothing was said at the time, but the sheriff
made all necessary preparations, and patiently abided his time
to make an attempt to capture Jim Berry. One day, an old comrade
of Berry made his appearance in Mexico, bearing an order on the
tailor to "deliver to the bearer" the new suit of clothes which
had been ordered by Berry. This fact was at once communicated to
Sheriff Glascock by the tailor. The friend of Berry was seized, and
persuaded in a manner frequently employed by officers of the law,
to reveal the whereabouts of his friend.

The friend of Berry was a man named Bose Kazy. Sheriff Glascock and
John Carter were in company when Kazy was seized. The sheriff then
called to his aid John Coons, Robert Steele, and a young man named
Moore. They then set out, compelling Kazy to act as a guide. It was
on Saturday night, October 14, 1877, when the party rode quietly
away from Mexico, on their way to Callaway county, to find the
lurking-place of Jim Berry, "the best man in Callaway." It was a
long ride. Daylight had not dawned on the landscape Sunday morning
when the officers arrived within a half-mile of Kazy's house.
They did not go to the house to alarm those slumbering there. The
officers took Kazy into the woods and bound him to a tree, leaving
Robert Steele to guard him. They then secreted themselves in
thickets to await results. As the men in the posse were assigned to
their respective stations, the sheriff gave the following command:

"Boys, if you see him, halt him; if he shows fight, shoot him; if
he runs, shoot him in the legs. Catch him, at all hazards."

Half an hour after giving this order, Sheriff Glascock heard the
neigh of a horse about half a mile away, as he judged. The sheriff
and Moore then crept cautiously about three hundred yards down the
course of a branch. They came to a fence, and crossed over it. They
discovered the tracks of a horse, freshly made. They were in a
thicket at this time, and listening intently. In a few moments they
heard the snort of a horse, apparently not more than fifty yards
away. The sheriff then crawled through the thicket about twenty
yards toward the spot from whence the sound had proceeded. He was
on his knees, and, cautiously peering through the autumn-tinted
leaves of the tangled thicket, he saw the back of a horse, about
forty yards away. Laying aside his hat, Sheriff Glascock crept
twenty yards nearer. He then rose to his feet and saw Jim Berry
unhitching the horse, which had been tied to a tree. Berry started
to lead the horse in a direction nearly toward Glascock. The
sheriff cocked both barrels of the breech-loading gun which he
carried, ran about twenty yards and within twenty feet of Berry,
and commanded him to halt. Berry, taken by surprise, started on a
run. The sheriff then fired. The charge of buckshot passed over the
head of the train robber, but in an instant he fired again, and
this time seven buckshot took effect in Berry's left leg, below the
knee, and he fell to the ground. Glascock sprang forward. Berry was
endeavoring to draw a pistol, as he lay writhing on the ground. It
was too late; the sheriff was upon him, and, seizing the pistol, he
wrested it from the grasp of Berry. Finding himself overpowered,
the wounded man, in his helplessness, besought the sheriff to shoot
him, as he did not want to live any longer. The officer told him
that he did not want to kill him, but that he wanted him to have
justice. By this time Moore arrived on the scene. Berry was wounded
and defenseless in the hands of the officers of the law.

Sheriff Glascock then summoned the other members of the posse
to the scene of the conflict. When they had arrived, Berry was
searched. In a belt worn on his person they found five $500
packages of money, and in his pocketbook was found $304; in all,
$2,804 were secured. Berry also had a gold watch and chain, a
dress-coat, three overcoats and a comforter. He had slept there
in the thicket the night before. Afterward, Berry was removed
to Kazy's house, and a messenger was sent to Williamsburg for a

After taking breakfast at Kazy's, Sheriff Glascock and John Carter
proceeded to Berry's house to search for the balance of the money.
Arriving there, they asked Mrs. Berry concerning the whereabouts
of her husband. She did not know; had not seen him for several
days, and she thought he had left the country. The sheriff then
showed her Berry's watch and chain. On seeing it, one of the little
children exclaimed:

"Oh! I thought that was papa's!"

Poor child! Perhaps it was too young to fully comprehend the tragic
meaning of those tokens.

To Mrs. Berry the whole story of the tragedy in the thicket that
Sunday morning was repeated. In response, she said,

"I never thought he would be taken alive. He has said a great many
times that he would never be taken alive."

Then ensued a scene deeply affecting. The robber had those at
home who loved him. The wife and mother began to weep bitterly,
and the wailings of her little boy and five little girls, made a
scene calculated to touch the deep chords of emotion in the breasts
of the stern men, who in the performance of lawful duty had been
compelled to inflict all this misery on the family of the robber.

They searched the house, but they found no hoards of money. Then
Glascock and Carter returned to Kazy's, a conveyance was procured,
and the officer and his posse with their wounded prisoner set out
for Mexico, where they arrived late in the evening. Berry was
placed in a room in the Ringo House, and received the attention of
Dr. Russell, of Mexico. Berry's wounds were painful, and he did
not rally from their effects. On Monday, gangrene supervened, and
a little before 1 o'clock Tuesday, October 16th, 1877, Jim Berry,
one of the robbers of the train at Big Springs, quietly passed over
the dark river, and the records of his stormy career were closed

Sam Bass escaped from Buffalo station, and finally, after many
thrilling adventures, reached his haunts in Texas. A little more
than one year afterward he met his fate in a manner equally as
tragic as the event which closed the career of Jim Berry.

Of the seven men who plundered the train and its passengers at Big
Springs, Billy Heffridge, Jim Collins, Jim Berry, Sam Bass, and one
other, have met violent deaths. The robber who went by the name of
Jack Davis has disappeared. The seventh man--the only one whose
name was never ascertained by the detectives--succeeded in getting
away. Who he was, from whence he came, and whither he went, are,
until this day, unanswered questions.

Much speculation in regard to the identity of the seventh man,
whom we shall call the Unknown, has been indulged in, and the
question has been asked, Was it Jesse James? or was it Jack Bishop,
Dave Pool, John Jarrette or Jim Cummings? We have no means of
answering such interrogatories. Whoever the Unknown is or was, he
has probably not a single comrade of the occasion alive, and is
therefore in little danger of being betrayed.

There are people who believe that Jesse James was with the Big
Springs bandits. Upon what particular grounds such belief is
based, we have been unable to ascertain. He may or may not have
been present. Our readers may well be left free to draw their own
inferences. But certain it is, a mystery, which perhaps may forever
remain such, surrounds the personality of one of the daring raiders
who accomplished one of the greatest robberies which has yet taken
place on any American railroad.



    "In Southern climes where ardent gleams the sun,
      Gilding each rivulet, and tree, and flower,
    With crimson radiance--and gaily flings
      On all around of light a golden shower--
    Where lavish nature mingles in the breeze,
      Refreshing odors with her spicy hand;
    The rare Nepenthes wave their flexile form,
      The floral wonder of that fragrant land."

During the autumn of the year 1878, a young gentleman of the
highest respectability, a citizen of the State of Georgia, being
on a tour through Texas, expressed to his friends a desire to make
the personal acquaintance of the celebrated outlaws, Frank and
Jesse James. His friends endeavored to dissuade him from making the
attempt to see them at their own retreat. They represented to him
that such an undertaking would be fraught with no little personal
danger. The Boys have been hounded and hunted over so large a
territory, through so many years, that they have become extremely
cautious, and very suspicious of all strangers.

But the young Georgian was courageous and determined. There was a
tinge of romance in his composition, and the career of the Boys,
to his mind, was the most romantic in all history. He felt that
he would venture farther to see them than to behold the face of
any living man. The advice of his friends fell unheeded upon his
ear. He resolved to seek their retreat at whatever hazard. He had
learned to admire their cool bravery, indomitable energy, and
shrewd ability to evade the snares laid for them by the officers of
the law.

The Jameses, outlaws as they are, do not want for friends. They
have devoted admirers and staunch friends even in the ranks of
respectable circles--persons who would suffer death rather than
betray them. Such a friend was a Texas relative of the young
Georgian. Finding that his kinsman was resolved upon a visit--that
he would in all probability be able to discover the retreat of
the outlaws, and, believing that he might possibly meet with a
misfortune by venturing to penetrate to their place, the Texan gave
his relative a letter addressed to a certain name--which is not
that of James--described the route to be taken, and gave a minute
description of the personnel of the renowned desperadoes, and with
many admonitions and cautions, after having solemnly pledged his
kinsman to reveal nothing concerning the exact whereabouts of their
home, the Texan bid his Georgia kinsman God-speed, and they parted.

Many days he rode over the plains, and crossed many a limpid
stream, and pushed his way through many a tangled wold before he
approached the retreat of the outlaws. He found it, however, but in
what county or division of the state, he declines to say.

In a letter written to the author, subsequent to that visit, he
gave a most interesting account of his reception and sojourn
with the outlawed brothers on their own ranche. We have obtained
his permission to use that portion of the letter relating to the
Jameses, which we herewith present to our readers:

"It was a lovely afternoon. The grass was brown and sere. A few
late autumn flowers relieved the otherwise monotonous landscape.
The country through which I was passing was high, undulating
prairie. Here and there, from the tops of the long swells in the
surface, the course of streams far away to the right and the left,
were well defined by dark lines of trees from which the foliage had
not yet been cast. The journey had become lonely and irksome. I had
lost interest in the landscape. The faded grass and the golden-hued
flowers no longer possessed charms for me. The limpid brooks and
darting minnows in their clear waters even failed to awaken the
slightest interest. The truth is, I was worn out by the excessive
fatigue of the long journey.

"I had just crossed a small stream, skirted by some wind-twisted
trees, and was ascending a long slope. Looking toward the crest of
the ridge, I saw two horsemen, splendidly mounted, riding rapidly
directly toward me. They wore low-crowned, broad-brimmed felt hats,
looped up at the side. I could see at a glance that they were
heavily armed. A repeating-rifle was swung behind the shoulder
of each, and a holster was attached at the saddle-bow. When the
horsemen had approached within seventy-five yards of me, they
suddenly halted, and each drew a heavy pistol, and simultaneously
presented them at me, calling out at the same time for me to raise
my hands. I confess that I felt a little shaky about that time. I
readily complied with their command, and held up both hands as high
over my head as possible. The horrible thought occurred to me that
I was to be shot, and left out there to make a feast for voracious
vultures and ferocious wolves. A cold shudder thrilled through my
veins. I had dropped the reins, and my horse stopped still. It was
a dreadful moment. There were the two men, grim in features and
steady of hand, with their horrible, yawning repeaters pointed at
my heart. I felt sure they were murderous highwaymen. Strange that
I never once thought of the renowned outlaws! I know not how long
I looked at those dreadful pistols; it seemed half an age. I was
aroused by the voice of one of the men calling out,

"'Why don't you come on?'

"I did go on. Once I let my hands droop slightly, as I advanced up
the slope.

"'Up with your hands, I say!' exclaimed one of them.

"You may readily suppose that I threw up my hands without further

"When I had arrived within fifteen paces of the spot where the men
were sitting on their horses, the thought that these were no other
than the men whom I was seeking, flashed through my brain.

"'What are you doing here?' asked the larger one of the two.

"I must have stammered a little, and appeared awkward and
frightened as I made answer that I had a great desire to meet
Mr. ---- and his brother--naming the person to whom the letter was
addressed--and I have a message for Mr. ---- here with me now.

"One of them--it was Frank--turned to me sharply, and asked me
what I knew about Mr. ----. I told him that I had never met the
gentleman, but that I had a great desire to do so. He then asked
me when I was last in St. Louis. I replied that I had not been in
St. Louis for a period of more than five years. 'What are you doing
here?' he asked. 'Looking about the country,' I replied. 'You like
it, do you?' he inquired. 'Very well,' I said. 'You go to Chicago,
do you?' 'Never was there in my life,' I answered. 'Do you know
Allan Pinkerton?' 'I don't,' I said. 'What state do you hail from?'
'Georgia.' 'A very good state,' he soliloquized. 'From whom did
you say you had a message for Mr.----?' 'From Col.----, of----,'
I answered. 'You know where you can find----?' 'I do not.' 'Give
me the message; I'll see that he gets it.' 'Are you Mr.----?' 'No
matter,' he answered, 'I'll see that he gets the communication.'
'But I've come all the way here to see him myself. I do not want
to go back without seeing him,' I remarked. 'What do you want to
see him for?' 'Well,' I stammered, 'I have heard a great deal about
him and his brother, and I just wanted to visit them at home.'
'You know who he is then?' 'Certainly, he is Jesse James and----.'
'An outlaw!' he interrupted me. 'Mind how you act, young man.'
The tones of his voice were dry and harsh, and the pistol which
had been allowed to droop was once more raised, and pointed at my

"You may be sure I was thoroughly alarmed, and it required some
effort to speak distinctly. At last I managed to say in a tolerably
low tone, 'I wish you would read this letter which I have brought.'
The pistol was lowered and he reached out his hand to take the
letter from the breast-pocket of my coat. Meanwhile, Frank kept me
under cover of a pistol. Jesse secured the letter, and commenced
to read it. I watched his features closely. A change came over his
countenance. The cold, stern look relaxed, and his face put on a
sunny smile as he read on. When he had finished, he turned to Frank
and said, 'I guess this is all right.' Then he turned to me and
said, 'So you are a kinsman of Colonel----?' 'I am,' I replied. He
continued, 'He is a good friend of ours, and I reckon you're all
right. You wanted to see the James Boys. You see before you what is
left of them. I guess you had better give us your pistols to keep
for you until you are ready to leave again, for you know we are the
only armed men allowed around our place. This is a very odd world
anyhow. We do not trust anyone.' 'I have but one, and here it is,'
I said, presenting it to him, while I held the muzzle. He took the
pistol and thrust it into a side-pocket, and turning full toward
me, he said with a smile on his face, and a merry twinkle in his
bright blue eyes: 'So you wanted to see the _notorious_ outlaws?'
'Yes.' 'Well, did you expect we wore horns, and had split feet,
and spouted fire and brimstone, eh? But you see you are mistaken.
There are a hundred, yes, a thousand, worse men along the borders
here than the James Boys. But they have not been lied about as we
have been; they have not been hunted all over the states as we have
been; they have not been so grossly misrepresented and abused, and
we must bear not only our sins, but the sins of many others. It is
a pretty hard fate, young man.' The hard, unpitying expression came
upon his features once more, but it was only for a moment, and the
cloud passed away, and his countenance was illuminated by a smile
that was genial and pleasant, and whoever could have gazed into the
face of Jesse James at that moment, would not have concluded that
he was a desperado and an outlaw.

"'I suppose,' said Frank, 'that you will accept an outlaw's
invitation to his humble retreat?' 'Most gladly,' I said.

  [Illustration: The Home of Frank James, in Texas.]

"They turned their horses' heads, and Jesse taking a position on
one side and Frank on the other, we rode on to the crest of the
ridge. 'There is where we camp,' said Frank, as he pointed away
to the northwest. Camp! Indeed, it seemed more like the residence
of a well-to-do planter in Georgia. The situation which they had
selected was beautiful as any I had yet seen in the West. Before
us a broad, green valley lay spread out in the sunlight, bounded
by a line of high hills toward the northeast, and widening toward
the southwest. A noble grove of timber skirted the margin of the
stream, which appeared to be of considerable size, and meandered
through the valley. Beyond the stream and the grove, situated on
a gentle slope in the midst of gardens and cultivated fields,
and vigorous young trees, rose a pleasant house of two stories
in elevation, with a garden in front. Some distance away were
the barns, stables and other outbuildings. 'A lovely home!' I
exclaimed. Frank smiled at my evident delight, and remarked that he
found it very comfortable, after the exposure and hardships through
which he had passed.

"So we rode on down the slope into the grove, and across a
beautiful broad pebble-bottom stream, and up the slope to the front
of the mansion, talking, by the way, of many things in the past,
and expressing views and opinions concerning the future.

"The James Boys are far from being loquacious. They seem to
maintain a perpetual guard over their words. Sometimes this
reserve is momentarily cast aside, and the brothers will converse
with considerable freedom. But the fits of relaxation do not last
long. They speedily relapse into their accustomed reticent state,
and then they answer questions only in monosyllables.

"It was not long before I discovered that I was at the home of
Frank James, and that Jesse and his family were only visitors. My
peculiar reception was due to the fact that a person supposed to be
a detective, had been making inquiries concerning the Boys at San
Antonio, some weeks before my arrival.

"Arriving at the yard gate, we dismounted, and I was invited
into the house. At the door we were met by a neatly dressed and
handsome lady, whose deep blue eyes and regular features produced
a favorable impression at once, to whom I was introduced. It was
Mrs. Frank James. She received me with much dignity, yet with a
genial cordiality which assured me that I was a welcome visitor.
Her manner toward her husband was trusting and affectionate.
'We welcome you,' said Frank, 'as a relative of one of our best
friends. We hope you will prove as manly as he. Annie, this is
Mr.----, a near relative of Colonel----, who was so kind to you
when you arrived at----, on your way out here.' 'I am very, very
glad to meet you. We all feel extremely grateful to Col.----, for
his kindness toward us, and we are only too glad to serve any of
his friends,' she said.

"Such was the welcome which I received at the home of Frank James.
I felt myself quite at ease very soon, and the four days and nights
which I spent under their hospitable roof gave no occasion for me
to think hard of the outlaws. Indeed, I could not bring myself to
think of them in that light. Mrs. James is a lady who is suited by
education and disposition to grace any circle. And where is this
model home? you ask. Well, it is in Texas--just what part of Texas
I must leave you to find out. I know that I never met with better
treatment in any home, anywhere."



Jesse James is not an educated man in the scholastic sense of that
term. In this respect he differs widely from his brother Frank, who
has a fair knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, and is said
to be able to converse fluently in the Spanish and German tongues.
Frank was a college student when the war was commenced, and Jesse
a school boy in a country place. He had made some progress, had
learned to "read, write and cipher," and was wrestling with
"the knotty intricacies" of English Grammar and Geography, when
his career in school was stopped short by the political events
occurring about him.

It cannot be expected that Jesse's literary performances should
exhibit the classic finish of an Addison or an Irving, and yet
barring his faulty orthography, his style is direct and pointed,
and under other circumstances he might have become a very good
newspaper reporter. Although Jesse is deficient in the command
of language to express his views in accordance with the canons
of literary criticism, yet his letters, if not elegant specimens
of composition, are at least vigorous and clear. It is a matter
of regret that so few specimens of his epistolary ability are
available. We have succeeded in obtaining copies of a few of his
letters, but unfortunately none which reveal the domestic relations
and characteristics of the man. Such of Jesse's letters as we have
been able to secure, which have any interest for the public, we
present in this chapter.

The following note was addressed from Jesse to "a friend" in
Missouri, and came into the hands of a gentleman who, for reasons
which the author is bound to respect, desires his name to be
withheld. The orthography alone is revised. The year, it will be
observed, is not given.

    COMMANCHE, TEXAS, June 10th.


   I hear they are making a great fuss about old Dan Askew, and
   say the James Boys done the killing. It's one of old Pink's
   lies, circulated by his sneaks. I can prove that I was in
   Texas, at Dallas, on the 12th of May, when the killing was
   done. Several persons of the highest respectability know that I
   could not have been in Clay county, Missouri, at that time. I
   might name a number who could swear to this, whose words would
   be taken anywhere. It's my opinion Askew was killed by Jack
   Ladd and some of Pinkerton's men. But no meanness is ever done
   now but the James Boys must bear the blame for it. This is like
   the balance of the lies they tell about me and my brother. I
   wish you would correct the lies the Kansas City papers have
   printed about the shooting of old Askew, and oblige,

    Yours faithfully,


The date of the murder of Askew, given in the above letter, is
wrong. That event occurred on the night of _April_ 12th, and not
_May_, as the writer of the above note assumes.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is a characteristic note. It contains several
allusions unintelligible to the uninitiated. It was written to an
old comrade, who long ago abandoned a "wild life," and is living as
a respectable citizen.

    FT. WORTH, March 10th, 1877.

    DEAR ----:

   The beeves will soon be ready. As soon as the roads dry up, and
   the streams run down, we will _drive_. We expect to take a good
   bunch of _cattle_ in. You may look out. There will be plenty of
   bellowing after the drive. Remember, it is business. The range
   is good, I learn, between Sidney and Deadwood. We may go to
   pasture somewhere in that region. You will hear of it. Tell Sam
   to come to Honey Grove, Texas, before the 'drive season' comes.
   There's money in the stock.

    As ever,

    JESSE J.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter was obtained in Colorado, by a gentleman
who claims to be well acquainted with the handwriting of Jesse
James, and claims that it was dropped by Jack Bishop. As to its
authenticity, we leave the reader to judge. It is in style much
such a letter as Jesse James might have written.

    REST RANCHE, TEXAS, January 23d.


   We had a little fun on the other side of the line lately. A
   lot of Greasers came over and broke up several ranches. Some
   of us were down that way, and "the cow-boys" wanted us to help
   them and we done it. Some of our cattle had been taken, and I
   don't owe the yellow legs anything good anyhow. Well, we left
   some half a dozen or more for carrion-bird meat. We brought
   the cattle back. I was confounded glad we met some cavalry out
   after raiders. There was a big lot of them motley scamps, and
   we would have had a pretty rough time, I expect. But the sneaks
   got back as fast as they could. You would have enjoyed the

    As ever yours,

    J. W. J.

The last letter, to an individual, which we here present, is
vouched for as being in the handwriting of Jesse James, by Marshal
James Liggett. It was written to George W. Shepherd about two weeks
after the Glendale train robbery. In this, as in the other notes
given above, we have revised the orthography, without correcting
the grammatical errors. The letter is without date, and runs as


   I can't wait for you here. I want you to meet me on Rogues
   Island, and we will talk about that business we spoke of. I
   would wait for you, but the boys wants to leave here. Don't
   fail to come, and if we don't buy them cattle, I will come back
   with you. Come to the place where we met going south that time,
   and stay in that neighborhood until I find you.

    Your friend,


On many occasions Jesse has written, or caused to be written,
exculpatory letters for publication in the public journals. We
present a few of these as specimens of Jesse's epistolary style,
and because of the interesting character of their allusions to his
own conduct. It will be observed that the dates of outrages on
banks and railways, are wrong in several instances, as given in
these letters. For instance:

The following communication appeared in the Nashville (Tenn.)
_Banner_, of July 10th, 1875:

    RAY TOWN, MO., July 5th, 1875.


   As my attention has been called, recently, to the notice of
   several sensational pieces copied from the Nashville _Union
   and American_, stating that the Jameses and Youngers are in
   Kentucky, I ask space in your valuable paper to say a few
   words in my defence. I would treat these reports with silent
   contempt, but I have many friends in Kentucky and Nashville
   that I wish to know that these reports are false and without
   foundation. I have never been out of Missouri since the Amnesty
   Bill was introduced into the Missouri Legislature, last March,
   asking for pardon for the James and Younger Boys. I am in
   constant communication with Governor Hardin, Sheriff Groom,
   of Clay county, Mo., and several other honorable county and
   state officials, and there are hundreds of persons in Missouri
   who will swear that I have not been in Kentucky. There are
   desperadoes roving round in Kentucky, and it is probably very
   important for the officials of Kentucky to be vigilant. If a
   robbery is committed in Kentucky to-day, detective Bligh, of
   Louisville, would telegraph all over the United States that
   the James and Younger Boys did it, just as he did when the
   Columbia, Kentucky, bank was robbed, April 29th, 1872. Old
   Bly, the Sherman bummer, who is keeping up all the sensational
   reports in Kentucky, and if the truth was known, I am satisfied
   some of the informers are concerned in many robberies charged
   to the James and Younger Boys for ten years. The radical
   papers in Missouri and other states have charged nearly every
   daring robbery in America to the James and Younger Boys. It
   is enough for the northern papers to persecute us without the
   papers of the south; the land we fought for for four years,
   to save from Northern tyranny, to be persecuted by papers
   claiming to be Democratic, is against reason. The people of
   the south have only heard one side of the report. I will give
   a true history of the lives of the James and Younger Boys to
   the _Banner_ in the future; or rather a sketch of our lives.
   We have not only been persecuted, but on the night of the 25th
   of January, 1875, at the midnight hour, nine Chicago assassins
   and Sherman bummers, led by Billy Pinkerton, Jr., crept up
   to my mother's house and hurled a missile of war (a 32-pound
   shell) in a room among innocent women and children, murdering
   my eight year old brother and tearing my mother's right arm
   off, and wounding several others of the family, and then
   firing the house in seven places. The radical papers here in
   Missouri have repeatedly charged the Russellville, Kentucky,
   bank robbery to the James and Younger Boys, while it is well
   known, that on the day of the robbery, March 20th, 1869, I
   was at the Chaplin Hotel in Chaplin, Nelson county, Kentucky,
   which I can prove by Mr. Tom Marshall, the proprietor, and
   fifty others; and on that day my brother Frank was at work on
   the Laponsu Ranche in San Luis Obispo county, California, for
   J. D. P. Thompson, which can be proven by the sheriff of San
   Luis Obispo county, and many others. Frank was in Kentucky the
   winter previous to the robbery, but he left Alexander Sayer's,
   in Nelson county, January 25th, 1868, and sailed from New York
   City, January the 16th, which the books of the United States
   mail line of steamers will show. Probably I have written too
   much, and probably not enough, but I hope to write much more to
   the _Banner_ in the future. I will close by sending my kindest
   regards to old Dr. Eve, and many thanks to him for kindness to
   me when I was wounded and under his care.

    Yours respectfully,


The following communications appeared in the Kansas City _Times_
during the excitement succeeding the great train robbery at Rocky
Cut, near Otterville, Missouri. The first one appeared in the
_Times_ in its edition of August 14th, 1876, and the second one
came out on the morning of the 23d of the same month.


    OAK GROVE, Kan., August 14, 1876.

   You have published Hobbs Kerry's confession, which makes it
   appear that the Jameses and the Youngers were the Rocky Cut
   robbers. If there was only one side to be told, it would
   probably be believed by a good many people that Kerry has told
   the truth. But his so-called confession is a well-built pack
   of lies from beginning to end. I never heard of Hobbs Kerry,
   Charles Pitts and William Chadwell until Kerry's arrest. I can
   prove my innocence by eight good, well-known men of Jackson
   county, and show conclusively that I was not at the train
   robbery. But at present I will only give the names of two of
   those gentlemen to whom I will refer for proof.

   Early on the morning after the train robbery east of Sedalia, I
   saw the Hon. D. Gregg, of Jackson county, and talked with him
   for thirty or forty minutes. I also saw and talked to Thomas
   Pitcher, of Jackson county, the morning after the robbery.
   Those two men's oaths cannot be impeached, so I refer the
   grand jury of Cooper county, Mo., and Gov. Hardin to those
   men before they act so rashly on the oath of a liar, thief and

   Kerry knows that the Jameses and Youngers can't be taken alive,
   and that is why he has put it on us. I have referred to Messrs.
   Pitcher and Gregg because they are prominent men, and they know
   I am innocent, and their word can't be disputed. I will write
   a long article to you for the _Times_, and send it to you in
   a few days, showing fully how Hobbs Kerry has lied. Hoping
   the _Times_ will give me a chance for a fair hearing and to
   vindicate myself through its columns, I will close,


    J. JAMES.


    SAFE RETREAT, Aug. 18, 1876.

   I have written a great many articles vindicating myself of the
   false charges that have been brought against me. Detectives
   have been trying for years to get positive proof against me for
   some criminal offense, so that they could get a large reward
   offered for me, dead or alive; and the same by Frank James and
   the Younger boys, but they have been foiled on every turn, and
   they are fully convinced that we will never be taken alive, and
   now they have fell on the deep-laid scheme to get Hobbs Kerry
   to tell a pack of base lies. But, thank God, I am yet a free
   man, and have got the power to defend myself against the charge
   brought against me by Kerry, a notorious liar and poltroon. I
   will give a full statement and prove his confession false.

   Lie No. 1. He said a plot was laid by the Jameses and Youngers
   to rob the Granby bank. I am reliably informed that there never
   was a bank in Granby.

   Lie No. 2. He said he met with Cole Younger and me at Mr.
   Tyler's. If there is a man in Jackson county by that name, I am
   sure that I am not acquainted with him.

   Lie No. 3. He said Frank James was at Mr. Butler's, in Cass
   county. I and Frank don't know any man in Cass county by that
   name. I can prove my innocence by eight good citizens of
   Jackson county, Mo., but I do not propose to give all their
   names at present. If I did, those cut-throat detectives would
   find out where I am.

   My opinion is that Bacon Montgomery, the scoundrel who murdered
   Capt. A. J. Clements, December 13, 1866, is the instigator of
   all this Missouri Pacific affair. I believe he planned the
   robbery and got his share of the money, and when he went out
   to look for the robbers he led the pursuers off the robbers'
   trail. If the truth was half told about Montgomery, it would
   make the world believe that Montgomery has no equal, only
   the Bender family and the midnight assassins who murdered my
   poor, helpless and innocent eight-year old brother, and shot
   my mother's arm off; and I am of opinion he had a hand in
   that dirty, cowardly work. The detectives are a brave lot of
   boys--charge houses, break down doors and make the gray hairs
   stand up on the heads of unarmed victims. Why don't President
   Grant have the soldiers called in and send the detectives out
   on special trains after the hostile Indians? A. M. Pinkerton's
   force, with hand-grenades, and they will kill all the women
   and children, and as soon as the women and children are killed
   it will stop the breed, and the warriors will die out in a few
   years. I believe the railroad robbers will yet be sifted down
   on some one at St. Louis or Sedalia putting up the job and then
   trying to have it put on innocent men, as Kerry has done.

   Hoping the _Times_ will publish just as I have written, I will




The eastern part of Jackson county, the western part of Lafayette,
and down southward through Cass county, constitute the very
center of the field of operation chosen by the old Guerrilla
leaders--Quantrell, Todd, Anderson, Younger, Pool, Clements, and
the Jameses--during the war. The Sni hills and the timber-crowned
undulations bordering the Big Blue, afforded them excellent hiding
places when sorely pressed, and from their fastnesses in the
hills they could easily make forays into the very suburbs of the
garrisoned towns of Kansas City, Independence, Lexington, Pleasant
Hill and Harrisonville. They knew every pathway over the hills,
and every crossing place along the streams. Around and among these
forests were the farms and dwellings of their friends, and warm
sympathizers in their cause. Time has wrought some changes in the
country since those days; but the forest-crowned hills and the
deep, tangled thickets, and the sparkling streams still are there.
The face of Nature has changed but little among the hills of the
Sni, or along the banks of the Blue. It was meet that the bandits,
who are believed to be the same men who once were Guerrillas,
should come back to the scenes of their earlier adventures, to
consummate their latest and most daring robbery.

October 7th, 1879, was a beautiful, sunny, warm day. The woods
had not yet assumed the sober brown hues of autumn, but nature
was lovely in the rich ripeness of the summer's close. The great
tide of human life flowed on in its accustomed channels. Some
were engaged in the pursuit of pleasure; some were in search of
gain; others were toiling for bread; some were happy in having
accomplished their designs; others were wretched in realizing the
bitterness of disappointment; some were glad in the knowledge that
they had contributed to the happiness of their fellow-mortals;
others were miserable because they beheld the gladness of their
neighbors, and knew of the triumphs of their rivals; some planned
good deeds; others plotted dark crimes. These all go to constitute
the atoms of the mighty tide of human life; and their plans,
purposes and deeds all contribute to the production of the surges
and swirls of the stream as it flows through time to the gulf of

There were always plotters. Since the world began men have
schemed, and until the end of time there will be the good and the
bad in humanity, sometimes one and sometimes the other quality
predominating. And so, while the autumn sunshine was golden, and
the wood-cricket's chirp was mournful, the schemers were prodding
their brain in the devising of a scheme to commit a grievous crime.

Glendale is a lonely wayside station in the western part of
Lafayette county, Missouri, on the line of the Chicago & Alton
railway, Kansas City branch. There is a water-tank, a little
station-house, and a few houses in a narrow vale, wedged in between
rugged hills, which are covered with lofty trees and tangled
thickets, a fit place for the rendezvous of a banditti.

Glendale is about twenty miles from Kansas City, and on the line of
the road between Independence and Blue Springs, in the very midst
of a region where many of the darkest crimes and deeds of blood
which marked the Guerrilla warfare of the border were committed
both by the Federal militia and the Confederate Guerrillas. The
country about Glendale is one of the wildest regions in Western
Missouri, and the hills and dark ravines afford excellent
opportunities for the concealment of both men and horses. A better
situation for a successful foray by brigands does not exist on the
line of the road between Chicago and Kansas City.

The night express train, bound from Kansas City to Chicago and St.
Louis, left the Union Depot in the first-named city on the evening
of the 7th, at six o'clock, and consequently was due at Glendale at
about seven o'clock--a short time after daylight had faded from the

Now, as we have before intimated, Glendale is a place with a nice
name, but few inhabitants. Though perhaps it is not destined to go
down to history with the historic interest attached to Arbela,
Malplaquet, Shiloh, Kennesaw or Waterloo, yet so early in its
history Glendale has become famous. The incident which contributed
so much to this result occurred on the evening of the 7th of
October, 1879. In addition to the station-house, the business of
Glendale is represented by a post-office and a general store,
kept by the postmaster. The evening in question was very pleasant
outside of houses, and when the curtains of night were drawn,
and the store was lighted, the postmaster and four others, who
constituted the male population of the place, except the station
agent, Mr. McIntire, had gathered in front of the little store to
discuss the neighborhood's affairs. They were quietly interchanging
views. Suddenly a stranger joined the circle, and, walking quickly
to where the proprietor was sitting, he tapped him on the shoulder
and said:

"I want you."

"What do you want?" asked the other.

The new arrival did not deign to answer the question, but quietly
stepped away, and said:

"Here, boys."

In a minute--nay, a moment--half a dozen rough-looking men,
muffled and masked, stood by his side, armed with huge pistols and
wicked-looking knives. Their pistols they held cocked in their
hands. Then the leader, in a harsh, grating voice, said:

"Now, take care, make tracks out of this!"

The terrified citizens started to obey. As they were going, the
leader said:

"To the depot, do you hear!"

In great consternation, the little company of citizens filed
away to the depot. In the depot was the operator and agent, Mr.
McIntire, and Mr. W. E. Bridges, assistant auditor of the Chicago &
Alton railway company, already under duress. When the citizens were
all assembled in the room, the leader said:

"Now, sit down, act clever and keep still, or you will not have
heads left on you."

Of course, obedience to such an order was just then regarded by all
the parties as a great virtue, and they therefore obeyed.

The masked men, who had now assembled to the number of twelve,
according to one account--fourteen by another witness--tore away
the telegraphic instrument and went out and cut the wires. The
instrument was smashed.

"Now," said the leader, whose only mask was a long dark beard, "I
want you to lower that green light!"

"But," said the agent, "the train will stop if I do."

"That's the alum! precisely what we want it to do, my buck, and
the sooner you obey orders the better. I will give you a minute
to lower the light," said the bearded leader, at the same time
thrusting a cocked pistol to the face of the agent.

The operator could see the long, bright barrel of the pistol,
and the dark, cavernous interior of the tube had a forbidding
appearance. He looked up into the face of the long-bearded man. He
saw a cold, fixed look, and every indication, so far as features
could reveal intentions, that the robber chieftain meant just what
he said, and he lowered the light. Of course the position of the
light was an order to the conductor to stop at Glendale and receive
fresh instructions, according to the code of signals in use among
railway men.

But to be perfectly sure of the expected plunder, and in order to
destroy even the possibility of the train passing without making
a stop, the robbers heaped a pile of cross-ties, fence rails and
other lumber across the track. Having completed their preparations,
the robbers quietly awaited the coming of the train.

It was a little after seven o'clock. The prisoners in the
station-house were wondering about what would happen next, and
especially were they concerned and anxious respecting what should
happen to them. Then the distant rumbling of the train was heard;
louder and louder it fell upon the ears of the listeners. The
engineer saw the signal displayed which commanded him to stop. He
sounded the whistle and ordered the brakes on. The train stood
still on the track, with the engine at the tank.

The conductor, with lantern in hand, sprang upon the platform ere
the wheels had ceased to revolve, and was about to proceed to the
little station-house to receive his orders. But he had made little
progress in that direction, when a man rushed up to him with a
cocked revolver, which he held out as if about to fire. This man
was speedily joined by another, who was also armed in like manner.
Both the men wore masks. Mr. Greeman, the conductor, was of course
powerless to resist such odds, and with mingled feelings of alarm
and disgust was compelled to await the pleasure of the strange men
whom he now knew to be robbers. Two men rushed up to the cab of the
locomotive and made prisoners of the engineer and fireman by the
presentation of pistols, and the stern declaration that instant
death would certainly follow a failure to obey, or an attempt at
resistance. One of the robbers, addressing the engineer, called out:

"Hand me that coal hammer of yours!"

"What do you want of it?" asked the other.

"Hand it here very quick, or you'll never have use for another,"
was the emphatic command of the robber, accompanied by a very
significant movement of the pistol arm.

Thus appealed to, the engineer obeyed. The large hammer used by
stokers to break coal was handed to the masked desperado.

Then a group of the masked men, with the long-bearded man at their
head, gathered at the door of the express car. One of the men with
the coal-hammer then commenced beating in the door of the car. The
messenger, who was in charge of a large sum of money--more than
$35,000 in currency, and much other valuable property--was inside,
but had refused to open the door. The messenger, Mr. William
Grimes, could hear the blows of the ponderous hammer, and knew
that his place would soon be open to the marauders. The door was
already yielding--it was falling to splinters, and a minute later
the car was broken into by the masked and armed robbers. Grimes, in
the meanwhile, had formed a hasty plan to escape with the money.
While the robbers were beating in the door, he opened the safe,
took therefrom a large amount of money, hastily deposited it in
a satchel, re-locked the door of the safe, and was in the act of
attempting to escape by the other door.

He was too late. The robbers sprang into the car before he was
ready to leave it. In any event, escape was rendered impossible by
the fact that the other door of the car was guarded. He could only
have escaped a part of the band to fall into the hands of their

When the robbers rushed into the car, after having broken the door
open, one of them cried out to the messenger:

"Here, you! Give me that key!"

"I will not. You may take it," answered the messenger.

The words had no more than escaped his lips, when one of the gang
in the car dealt him a terrible blow with the butt of a heavy
revolver, which felled him to the floor. They took the key, opened
the safe, and rifled it of all its contents which were of value
to them. They then took the packages from the messenger's satchel,
and the great railway and express robbery at Glendale was an
accomplished fact.

During the time occupied by a part of the robber band about the
express car, a patrol was distributed along the sides of the train,
and these were discharging fire-arms at intervals, for the purpose,
as is supposed, of intimidating the passengers.

The whole time occupied in completing this great robbery probably
did not exceed ten minutes. The whole amount of booty secured was
probably fully forty thousand dollars. The passengers were greatly
alarmed during these proceedings. Valuables were hastily concealed
under seats, about the persons of the owners, and wherever else
a place not likely to be examined by the robbers could be found.
After concluding the work which brought them to Glendale, the
brigands, amid the reports of pistol shots, set up a shout which
echoed among the hills for a long distance around, sought their
horses, mounted, and rode away through the gloom. They had locked
the citizens in the little station-house. These waited until
everything seemed still about the place, for the train had moved
on, and then they broke down the door and walked out of their
temporary prison-house.



After the affair at Glendale, the marshal of Kansas City, Major
James Liggett, a cool-tempered, clear-headed man, took charge of
the case and directed all movements intended to result in the
discovery of the robbers. It was soon ascertained beyond a doubt
that Jesse James had been in Kansas City only a few days before the
robbery. Then the inquiry proceeded as to who else had probably
been participants. It came to the knowledge of the marshal that
Jim Cummings, Ed. Miller, and a hard character named Blackamore,
had been moving about the country in a suspicious way. Little
by little, fragmentary scraps of information were secured, and
a generalization of all the facts led to the general conclusion
that the train robbery at Glendale had been effected under the
direction of the James Boys; that certainly Jesse, and probably
Frank, had participated in it, and that Jim Cummings, Ed. Miller
and Blackamore were probable accomplices.

The next important point to gain, was information concerning the
route travelled by the bandits in their retreat from the scene
of their lawless depredation. This was not so easy a task as the
uninitiated might conclude. The character of much of the country
in western Missouri, with the thorough knowledge of the region
possessed by the principals in the outrage, forbade an easy
discovery of the route which they had taken. But the marshal had
called about him men as well acquainted with the country as any
of Quantrell's old raiders could be, and the little information
gathered by each one, finally brought together, led to the
inference that they had gone in a southerly direction toward the
Indian Territory. The inference afterward became a certainty. Their
"trail" was discovered.

Men were at once placed at various points on their probable line of
retreat; men were dispatched on their trail to hunt them to their
places of concealment. There were men in western Missouri who had
ridden with the old Guerrilla band, bold, daring men, who laid
aside the weapons of destruction when the war closed; men who had
never learned the meaning of the word fear, who yet became weary of
turmoil and strife, and settled down in life as quiet citizens, who
long ago ceased to sympathize with their old comrades in their acts
of outlawry, and who, notwithstanding their peaceable demeanor,
were subjected to annoying suspicions at every recurrence of the
visitations of their former associates; who felt when the train
was robbed at Glendale that it was time to take a positive stand
on the side of the law and to co-operate with the officers in
every endeavor to put an end to such depredations for all time by
capturing the depredators. These persons became active allies of
Marshal Liggett in his efforts against the bandits, and materially
contributed to the discovery of the robbers and the line which they
had chosen on their retreat. So the active campaign began. There is
reason to believe that after the robbery was consummated, at least
a part of the band went into Clay county, and remained in seclusion
there for some days. Then they started south.

It was pending these events that Marshal Liggett made an
arrangement with George W. Shepherd, formerly a Guerrilla captain,
under whom Jesse James served near the close of the war, to take
part in the campaign, then about to be prosecuted against the
bandits. As subsequent events have brought Shepherd prominently
before the public, and the mystery which attaches to some of the
proceedings will continue to excite the interest of the public
until it is cleared up, it is deemed best to present a brief
history of the career of George W. Shepherd in this connection.



The name of George W. Shepherd, which attained prominence during
the old Guerrilla times, when he was one of Quantrell's most
trusted lieutenants, had passed out of the public mind, in a
measure, until the events following the Glendale train robbery once
more brought it prominently before the country.

At the time of the affair at Glendale, Shepherd was following a
peaceful avocation in Kansas City. It was known to the marshal
of that place, and other officers of the law, that the relations
subsisting between the James Boys and Shepherd had been rather
unfriendly for several years, and overtures were made looking to
his engaging in the pursuit of the outlaws. Shepherd's reputation
for desperate courage was not inferior to that of any other man in
the days when he led a band of Quantrell's men, and when Marshal
Liggett, of Kansas City, had obtained his consent to engage in
the desperate undertaking, everyone expected some sensational
denouement. A history of the Jameses, after the events which
occurred since Glendale, would be incomplete without some notice
of George W. Shepherd, the man who is credited with engaging in
a terrible conflict with Jesse W. James and his followers, near
Joplin, Missouri, resulting in the alleged death of the outlaw, and
in Shepherd's receiving a severe wound in the left leg.

George W. Shepherd is a son of the late James Shepherd, a
respectable farmer of Jackson county, Missouri. He was born near
Independence, January 17th, 1842, on a farm now belonging to the
Staten heirs. There were two brothers older than George, namely,
John and James M., and one brother his junior, whose name was
William. J. M. Shepherd is now a respectable farmer in Jackson
county. During his boyhood, George resided with his parents on
the farm, and when of sufficient age he attended the neighborhood
school for a few months every summer and winter until he was able
"to read, write and cipher," as he expressed it. In early youth
he manifested an adventurous and somewhat wayward disposition.
In 1857 he left home and proceeded to Utah, where he joined
the army, at that time operating against the Mormons under the
command of General Albert Sydney Johnston. The Shepherd family,
which originally came from Virginia, were a race of pioneers, and
the disposition of the subject of this notice to seek exciting
adventure on the borderland of civilization was legitimately

After a varied experience, and absence of two years, George
returned to Missouri in the autumn of 1859, and resumed farming
operations with his brothers. He continued in this employment on a
farm about one mile and a half distant from Independence, until
the commencement of warlike preparations in 1861. Seized by the
prevailing military fever, and his surroundings being all Southern,
George W. Shepherd was among the first to cast his lot with the
Confederate recruits. He enlisted in company A, Captain Duncan's,
of Rosser's regiment. This command participated in the great
battles fought at Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge, and engaged in many
other skirmishes in Missouri and Arkansas, in all of which he took
a part. When the Confederate army, under the command of General
Sterling Price, was ordered to the east of the Mississippi, young
Shepherd returned to Jackson county, and soon afterward joined
Quantrell's command of Guerrillas.

The war record of Shepherd would fill a volume if written out in
full. For this we have not the space. We can only summarize the
chief events in this part of his career. We first hear of George
Shepherd in a desperate charge made by Quantrell's men on the
garrison at Independence, in February, 1862. On that occasion he
and a comrade, William Gregg, swept down one of the streets of
Independence, causing the greatest consternation, and inflicting no
little damage on the soldiers of Col. Burris' command. From that
day forward Shepherd took rank among the most daring of Quantrell's

When Quantrell's small command of twenty men was surrounded at
night by a large Federal force, while asleep in the Tate house,
near Santa Fe, Jackson county, Missouri, in March 1862, Shepherd
was with the Guerrillas there, and was selected to guard one of the
doors of the house. The conflict which ensued was terrible. After
some minutes' fighting, and when the house had been fired, the
Federals desired a parley with a view of inducing the Guerrillas
to surrender. Shepherd commanded the men who defended the lower
rooms of the house. He asked for twenty minutes time. It could not
be granted. For ten minutes. No. For five minutes then. No, if
the Guerrillas did not yield within one minute, not a man of them
should escape, was the ultimatum of the Federal officer. "Then
count sixty," exclaimed Shepherd, "and take the consequences." The
fight was renewed. That house had become a pandemonium. In it were
such men as Cole Younger, Stephen Shores, John Jarrette, James
Little, Hoy, Haller, and others. The Federal commander permitted
Major Tate and his family to leave the house. Then the fighting
was resumed more fiercely than before. The building was on fire.
It was manifest that the Guerrillas would be forced to evacuate
their fortress. It was resolved to break through the Federal line.
Quantrell led the desperate charge, followed by George Shepherd,
Jarrette, Younger, Toler, Little, Hoy and others. Seventeen men
made the attempt, and succeeded in making their escape. Three had
surrendered before the attempt was made.

Once, in the spring of 1862, George Shepherd, Cole Younger and
Oliver Shepherd were surrounded at the house of John Shepherd,
in Jackson county. Their peril was imminent. The Federal force
numbered ten to their one. Cole Younger was about to lead a
desperate sortie, when Martin Shepherd, Scott, Little and John
Coger came up and attacked the Federals in the rear. The diversion
enabled the Shepherds and Younger to escape from the house.

Soon after the incident noted above, George Shepherd and Cole
Younger were detailed to go into Jackson county for the purpose of
collecting ammunition. They had collected a large amount of the
materials of war which were most needed in Quantrell's command. One
day they went to find a wagon to convey the ammunition to camp.
They were at a house behind which was an orchard, and this had been
sown in rye which was now tall and luxuriant. While at this house
seventy-five Federal troopers surrounded the place, and demanded
their surrender. They refused, and made a rush to the rye-grown
orchard ground, where they had hitched their horses. Beyond the
orchard was a skirt of timber, now clothed in luxuriant green.
They gained the orchard in safety, although followed by a storm of
bullets. Mounting, they made a dash for the forest. But they were
not destined to reach it unscathed. Three buckshot had penetrated
the body of Cole Younger, and George Shepherd was hit hard and
badly wounded. He, however, continued his flight until he reached
a shelter where he could receive surgical attention.

It was about harvest time, 1862, that Major Peabody undertook to
capture Quantrell's band by a vigorous movement with superior
forces. The two joined issue at Swearingen's place, a few miles
from Pleasant Hill, Cass county. A series of desperate encounters
followed. The Guerrillas were forced to seek shelter in the woods.
In the fights which ensued, George Shepherd lost his horse.
The Guerrillas suffered fearfully, both in the neighborhood of
Swearingen's barn, and later in a depression near Fred. Farmer's
house. A number of Quantrell's followers were seriously wounded.
George Shepherd had great difficulty in escaping from this
sanguinary engagement. He was again wounded, though not severely.

Col. Upton Hayes, Col. Gideon Thompson and Col. John T. Hughes,
co-operating, resolved upon attacking Independence, then garrisoned
by a Federal force of about five hundred men, under command of Col.
J. T. Buell, now of St. Louis. The Confederate forces numbered
about seven hundred. Quantrell was requested to aid the enterprise,
and joined his forces with the regular Confederate troops in an
attack on Independence. George Shepherd was there, and fought with
desperate valor. After the battle was over, when Quantrell was
asked to name the men of his command who had most distinguished
themselves for daring courage, George Shepherd was designated as
one among half a dozen others.

In the early days of the autumn of 1862, George Todd, commanding
about fifty men, prepared an ambuscade, with rifle pits, on the
road leading from Kansas City to Harrisonville. The place was
admirably selected, and the utmost caution and vigilance was
observed in guarding it, but it came near being a slaughter-pen
for the Guerrillas. One evening he succeeded in destroying a wagon
train, and scattering the escort which accompanied it. But sometime
afterward, Gregg, Scott, Haller and Shepherd, with a number of
followers, re-occupied the rifle pits. George Shepherd was sent out
on the road toward Harrisonville, south of the ambuscade. It was,
perhaps, past ten o'clock at night. The rifle pits were still, and
the droning hum of insects was the only sound to break the silence.
Shepherd was motionless at his post down the road. Suddenly he was
made conscious of the presence of an enemy, by a tall form which
rose up at his right stirrup--a form which had apparently come
from the shadows around him. But it was no apparition conjured up
by a disordered brain. The leveling of a gun barrel at his breast,
and the sharp utterance of the single word, "Surrender!" convinced
George Shepherd that the form was very real. A glance satisfied
him that crouching forms were all about him, and all were armed.
He threw himself forward, shot the dismounted trooper in the
breast as he whirled his horse around, and received a scattering
volley as he dashed away to arouse his comrades in the rifle
pits. The Federal forces were under command of Major Hubbard, a
gallant officer of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry. He had received full
information about Todd's rifle pits, had dismounted his command,
and but for Shepherd's extraordinary nerve and presence of mind,
he would have made a complete surprise of the Guerrilla garrison.
As it was, a terrible conflict ensued, and a number of Federals
were killed and eight of the Guerrillas were wounded, among them
Shepherd, who received a slight flesh wound.

  [Illustration: Geo. W. Shepherd.]

In August, 1863, Quantrell began to rally around his standard all
the small, detached bands in Western Missouri for his expedition
against Lawrence, Kansas. At this time Shepherd was one of his
confidential advisers. In that grim council of war, summoned by
the Guerrilla chieftain to consider the feasibility of engaging in
such an enterprise, George Shepherd sat among the stern, relentless
warriors of the border.

When Fletcher Taylor returned from Lawrence, whither he had gone
to obtain information concerning the military situation there,
and made his report at Quantrell's headquarters to the assembled
leaders, the Chief spoke:

"You have heard the report. Before you decide, you should know it
all. The march to Lawrence is a long one; in every little village
there are soldiers. We leave soldiers behind us; we march between
garrisons of soldiers; we attack a town guarded by soldiers; we
must retreat through swarms of armed men; and when we would rest
after such an exhaustive march, we must do so with soldiers all
about us, and do the best we can. Come, speak out, somebody! What
is it, Shepherd?"

Thus appealed to, the answer came deliberately and firmly from
George Shepherd:

"Lawrence! I know the place of old. They make no difference there
between negroes and white people. It is a Boston colony, and it
should be cleared out."

And the others gave similar replies, and so the expedition, which
was destined to be fraught with consequences so baleful, was
resolved upon. George Shepherd went with the rest of the command,
and in the terrors and tragedies of that dreadful day, he had his

The winter of 1863-4, Shepherd spent in Quantrell's camp, in the
vicinity of Sherman, Texas, leading a comparatively inactive life;
but the following summer he was engaged in innumerable skirmishes.
At Pink Hill, in Johnson county, at Pleasant Hill, at Keytesville,
and many other places the fighting was severe. Then came the
mustering to aid General Price. In that summer campaign the
Guerrillas took a conspicuous part. Toward the middle of September,
Bill Anderson was carrying destruction to many neighborhoods in
North Missouri. Todd and Anderson combined, had a force of a little
more than two hundred men. In this troop rode George Shepherd. He
was present at Centralia. The particulars of that dreadful day's
work are given in another place in this volume, and need not now
be recited. It may be accepted as a fact that George Shepherd
performed his part in that carnival of Death.

Price and Shelby were compelled to retire from Missouri. In a
desperate encounter with the Federal advance, in pursuit of the
retiring Confederate army, Todd, who was protecting the rear, was
killed. George Shepherd succeeded him in the command, and after
lingering awhile in Missouri, he led the remainder of the once
formidable band of Guerrillas, save about twenty men, who went with
Quantrell into Kentucky--to Texas. The forces under Shepherd had
fighting all the way. The Indians beset their pathway and struck at
them viciously as they marched. Among those who went to Texas with
this force was Jesse James. In the following spring the Guerrillas,
or at least a part of them, returned. The cause of the Confederacy
had suffered. Lee surrendered. Johnston followed. The catastrophe
came; the Confederacy was no more. Then the Guerrillas of Missouri
were permitted to go in and surrender, and all save eight men of
the band which Shepherd had led back from Texas surrendered. His
career as a Guerrilla had ended, and Shepherd went to Kentucky soon
after the close of the war.



During the days succeeding the robbery, the marshal had learned
sufficient to satisfy him that the robbers had gone into retreat
in Clay county; and becoming aware of the fact that Shepherd was
working in Kansas City, the officer sought him out and engaged him
as a detective to assist him in the pursuit. Shepherd consented,
and it was arranged that he should, in some way, place himself in
communication with the gang. The unfriendly relations existing
between Shepherd and the Jameses presented a serious difficulty.
The plan adopted to overcome this was shrewdly devised. A story was
told, and industriously circulated, that it was a matter of little
doubt that George W. Shepherd was engaged in the robbery, and that
in consequence he had fled to parts unknown. This was not all;
Marshal Liggett had printed on a slip of paper, already printed on
one side, an item to the effect that Shepherd was believed to be
implicated in the robbery. It was reported to have been clipped
from one of the Kansas City papers. What follows in relation to
this enterprise is based upon the statements of Shepherd. He
relates that he went to Clay county, visited the residence of Mrs.
Samuels; saw that lady; told her a story about his persecution by
the detectives about the Glendale business; showed her the pseudo
newspaper clipping, and expressed a desire to become a member
of the gang; that he was blindfolded; led a long way, and when
relieved of his eye bandages, he found himself in the midst of the
gang confronted by Jesse James; that his reception was anything
but pleasant, but that finally he was able to convince them that
he, like themselves, was hunted; that he became cognizant of all
their plans, and then sought and obtained permission to go into
Kansas City after having taken a terrible oath to reveal nothing
and act true in every respect with the band. He came into Kansas
City, related all that he had seen and heard to the marshal; was
furnished a fleet horse, pistols and blankets, and returned to the
gang. Liggett was informed by Shepherd that they would leave Clay
county at a certain time; that they would cross near Sibley at a
certain other time, and would be at a certain place at a certain
hour, where he could see them if he so desired. Marshal Liggett,
acting upon this information, proceeded to the point designated,
and at the hour named he had the satisfaction of seeing a party of
armed men cross at the previously announced place, and among them
recognized his chosen detective, Shepherd. The robbers passed on
southward. Rogue's Island is in the river Marais des Cygnes, not
far from Fort Scott. Here the band camped one night. Their plan
was to rob the bank of Street & McArthur at Short Creek, Kansas.
This was to be effected on Sunday evening, Nov. 2d, at 3 o'clock.
When Shepherd arrived in the camp on Shoal Creek, about nine miles
southeast of Short Creek, he exhibited his pseudo news item to
Jesse James, and in other ways succeeded in convincing him that he
was also an outlaw, and Shepherd was thenceforward treated as "a
man and a brother." He states that the party consisted of Jesse
James, Jim Cummings, Ed. Miller, and Sam Kaufman. It has been
ascertained that the person who was supposed to be Sam Kaufman
was one Blackamore. The plan to rob the bank was known to the
authorities, and contrary to the pre-arranged measures for the
capture of the outlaws, the guard of armed men who were to have
been in waiting at the hour appointed for the raid, went on duty
early in the morning. Jesse James that morning went from the Shoal
Creek camp to Short Creek, and was in the town when the guardsmen
assumed their places, and he noted everything. Of course this
mistake on the part of those engaged in the efforts to capture
them, caused a change in the plans of the gang. Shepherd, well
armed and mounted, rode to the camp in the afternoon, after having
been informed by Jesse James of the situation at Short Creek in
the morning when they met. He found the brigands much alarmed,
preparing to break camp. Mike and Tom Cleary, two of Shepherd's
assistants, were to form an ambuscade, but this part of the
arrangement failed because of the sudden movement of the band.
Shepherd was to proceed to camp, provoke a quarrel with Jesse,
shoot him and flee, when of course the other members of the gang
would follow. But the camp was broken up too soon. The ambushers
could not reach their place in time. Shepherd relates that they
were riding scattered out in the woods; that he was riding near,
and a little in the rear of Jesse James; that he suddenly drew a
pistol, called out, "Damn you, Jesse James! thirteen years ago
you killed my cousin, Frank Shepherd." At the first word Jesse
wheeled his horse and sought his pistol. He was too late. Shepherd
fired, the ball taking effect just behind the left ear, and Jesse
James fell heavily to the ground. After firing, Shepherd says
no one moved for a few seconds, when he, suddenly realizing his
position, wheeled his horse around, and driving his spurs deep into
the animal's flanks, dashed away. At the same time Cummings rode
furiously toward him, while Miller went to the assistance of the
fallen chief. The pursuit of Cummings was persistent and rapid.
Blackamore soon fell behind in the chase, but Cummings gained on
Shepherd until at last it became necessary for the latter to make a
stand and fight it out there. As he wheeled his horse to carry out
this resolution, a ball from Cummings' pistol took effect in the
calf of Shepherd's left leg. The firing which had been maintained
during a chase of three miles, now became quick and furious, and
the result for a time was doubtful. At last, Shepherd says, a ball
took effect in Cummings' side, and he turned his horse and rode
back through the woods by the way they came. Shepherd rode into
Short Creek to have his wound attended to.

The foregoing is Shepherd's account of his pursuit of the Glendale
robbers and contest with Jesse James. But developments since do not
sustain the statements in many important particulars. The relation
appears to be correct up to the time of the shooting, but it is now
clear that he did not wound Jesse James.

The truth is, that Jesse James was at all times suspicious of
Shepherd's motives, and from the time he joined them he was watched
with a ceaseless vigilance. The outlaws had little confidence in
his protestations, and his movements were carefully observed. They
went into camp on Shoal Creek, Shepherd being with them. According
to their custom they arranged to remove to another camping place
about three miles away the next day. It was Saturday night, and
Shepherd obtained the consent of his ostensible confederates to
go into Short Creek. One of the brigands, assuming a disguise,
followed him for the purpose of watching his movements.

This man discovered that Shepherd was laying a train for the
capture of the band. During Sunday morning, it appears Shepherd
met Jesse James, who informed him that "the game was up" in Short
Creek, and that they had been given away. Shepherd agreed in this
view of the situation, and the two separated. Later in the day
Shepherd went to the camp, where he had left them. It was deserted,
but he found their trail, and followed it to where the new camp
was established. The fact that it was not the place which had been
selected in Shepherd's presence ought to have warned him that his
situation was one of extreme peril. But it appears that he did not
consider this evidence that he was distrusted, and approached the
camp. The moment he appeared Jim Cummings opened fire upon him,
and mounting his horse gave chase. Both men were well mounted, but
Cummings' horse was the superior one of the two. Shepherd, placing
the reins of the bridle in his teeth, and drawing two revolvers,
the fight commenced. He received a bullet wound in the calf of
his left leg, and in turn shot Cummings in the right side, which
fractured the sixth rib and wounded the intercostal artery. Some
fragments of clothing, driven into the wound, arrested the flow of
blood from the artery, else the probabilities are that the wound
would have proved fatal. As it was, the surgeon, who has furnished
the above facts, removed the foreign matter, took out some
fragments of bone, put a ligature on the artery, and in a short
time the wounded bandit went on his way.

It is asserted as a fact, that Jesse James was neither wounded
nor killed, but rode away a picture of health and vitality. The
peril of Shepherd was imminent. Had he not wounded Cummings, that
desperado would soon have come up with him, when the death of one
or both of them would have been inevitable.

The whole relation but confirms what has been reiterated in the
pages of this volume, that the resources and shrewdness of Jesse
James are truly wonderful; that in all respects he and his brother
are men of extraordinary capacity, and that in courage, skill,
adroitness, and vitality, they are men strangely endowed. What they
may yet accomplish is hidden in the unrevealed future, which to our
questioning returns no answer.



Allen Parmer is a Missourian. His boyhood days were passed
principally in Jackson county. When the late war broke over the
country, Allen Parmer was a youth, little fitted to enter the ranks
with fighting men. Yet he became a member of Quantrell's band. He
first came into prominence among his comrades in August, 1863,
at the capture and sack of Lawrence, Kansas. That day Parmer was
a member of the squad led by Bill Anderson, who murdered without
compunction and destroyed without feeling. He escaped with the rest
of the band. He was at Independence; at Lone Jack; at Camden; at
Weston; in their lairs among the Sni Hills, and along the waters
of the Blues. He was one of the six men who remained with Todd at
Judge Gray's house, near Bone Hill, Jackson county, when Captain
John Chestnut arrived in that neighborhood, in September, 1864,
bearing a communication from General Price to the Guerrillas,
which at once caused a rally of the old partisans. He was selected
by Lieut. Geo. W. Shepherd as one of the picked men ordered on
a dangerous expedition to the north side of the Missouri. The
Guerrilla campaign there was short but bloody. The terrible
massacre and rout at Centralia was the crowning event, and Parmer
performed a conspicuous part in that conflict. All through the
operations of the Guerrillas he was one of the most daring in the
band. He was one of the executioners of Bradley Bond, a militiaman
of Clay county. He and Frank James captured the man, and afterward
he was shot.

  [Illustration: ALLEN PARMER.

  (Williams & Thomson, Photographers, Kansas City, Mo.)]

When Missouri no longer offered a field for operations, and
Quantrell entered upon his last campaign in Kentucky, Allen
Parmer was one of the old Guerrillas who followed him. The Federal
garrison was compelled to surrender at Hustonville, Lincoln
county, Kentucky. Thenceforward Quantrell was known in his true
character. In a fight in Jessamine county, George Roberson and a
member of Quantrell's command, was captured, taken to Louisville,
and confined in prison, but subsequently escaped. Afterward he was
captured again, taken to Lexington, transferred to Louisville once
more, and there arraigned before a court-martial, tried, convicted
and sentenced to be hanged on a charge of murdering the Federal
major at Hustonville, who fell by the hand of Parmer. Roberson was
afterward publicly executed at Louisville.

Parmer took part in all the dreadful frays of Quantrell's little
band in Kentucky.

When peace once more brooded over the land, he returned to
Missouri, and commenced a commission business in St. Louis, with
J. W. Shawhan for a partner, under the style of Shawhan & Co. This
was in 1866. It does not appear that the firm was very successful.
Parmer is said to have lost several thousand dollars in this
venture. Later, the business was closed out. Payne Jones, and some
others, among them Jim White, a friend of Parmer, were implicated
in a bank robbery at Richmond, Mo. Mayor Shaw was killed at that
time. Suspicion attached to Parmer as being one of the robbers, and
he was arrested, but, on examination, discharged. Then he led a
sort of roving life for some years, sometimes in Missouri, then in
Texas, sometimes in Colorado, then in the Indian Territory. Finally
he came to regard Texas as his home. In 1870 he returned to Jackson
county, where his boyhood had been passed. For a long time his
relations with the James family had been friendly, and when he came
to woo Miss Susan James, the sister of Frank and Jesse, she did not
deny his suit, and they were married, and removed to Arkansas the
same year. He remained in that state during the autumn and winter,
and in the spring of 1871 he removed with his family to Texas. For
a time, his wife taught a school at Sherman. Subsequently, Parmer
established a ranche near Henriette, Clay county, Texas, about
120 miles west of Sherman. Clay county lies on the Red river,
directly south of the Kiowa Indian reservation. Here he had all the
freedom he desired, and for some years he tended his herds and was
prosperous. He frequently made trips to Kansas City, St. Louis and
Chicago with droves of cattle.

When the train robbery at Glendale took place, the authorities
sought for clues to the robbers in every direction. Mr. Grimes,
the express messenger who was knocked down by one of the robbers
who wore no mask, was able to give a vivid and minute description
of the features of his assailant, and that description suited the
personnel of Parmer. Deputy Marshal Whig Keshlear was dispatched to
Texas by Marshal Liggett to effect Parmer's arrest. He proceeded
to Sherman, where he met and conferred with Mr. Everhart, sheriff
of Grayson county. That officer readily consented to assist in
the arrest of Parmer, and proceeded at once to his ranche, near
Henriette. The officers effected the arrest without difficulty on
the 2d day of November, 1879, under a requisition from Governor
Phelps, of Missouri.

Parmer was taken by the officers to Sherman. He was followed by
a number of his friends from Clay county. There the prisoner
attempted to regain his liberty by a writ of _habeas corpus_. But
the judge before whom the writ was returned ruled out testimony,
and remanded the prisoner to the custody of the officers from
Missouri, in obedience to the requisition of the governor of that
state. Parmer took exceptions and appealed. Marshal Liggett,
however, had sworn out a warrant for his arrest before a United
States Commissioner, charging him with interrupting the United
States mail. But this was unnecessary, for, on hearing the case,
the state authorities of Texas discharged the writ, and remanded
the prisoner again to the custody of the Missouri officers, who
at once set out for Kansas City, where they arrived with their
prisoner Sunday morning, November 23d, and Parmer was promptly
incarcerated in the Jackson county jail. He emphatically denied all
complicity in the Glendale affair, or any knowledge of the parties
who accomplished the robbery, and after four weeks' imprisonment
he was discharged by the Grand Jury, the authorities failing to
connect him, in any way, with the Glendale affair.



    "Still Fate, regardless of a mortal's woe,
      May have reserved for him a cruel blow--
    A blow more dreaded than the passing breath,
      Of the grim spectre men call gloomy death."

It required no ordinary sagacity to escape the environments
which his daring deeds had created for him, after the robbery at
Glendale. Had Jesse James been other than a man of extraordinary
capacity in great emergencies, his career would have been brought
to an inglorious close before the clock of Time would have
indicated the commencement of the New Year, 1880. But the destiny
which seems to guide him once more manifested itself, and Jesse
James, the bandit, rode through difficulties and dangers, and away
to repose and freedom on the far off plains of Texas. There were
many persons who believed that the reported death of Jesse James
was true; that the account of the bloody duel between George W.
Shepherd and Jim Cummings, was confirmatory of the statement of the
former, that he had shot Jesse James. It is probable after that
fateful Sunday in the deep recesses of a Southwest Missouri forest,
and the terrible peril to which he was there subjected, that
Shepherd really believed he had shot Jesse. But, be that as it may,
there were many people who resolutely insisted upon it, that Jesse
James rode away unscathed. Time has disclosed the fact that they
were correct. Several circumstances combine to show that Jesse went
away from the vicinity of Short Creek, after the Cummings-Shepherd
conflict, in the enjoyment of perfect health.

A few days after Christmas, the newspapers of Kansas City announced
the arrival in that city of Mrs. Jesse James, from what point they
did not say, perhaps because they did not know. Mrs. James visited
relatives and friends in Kansas City for several days, and her
conduct was not at all like that of a recently bereaved widow.
After spending some days pleasantly in the city, she proceeded with
Mrs. Dr. Samuels to the residence of that lady near Kearney, Clay
County, which fact was duly gazetted in the society notes of the
St. Louis and Kansas City journals. Mrs. Samuels herself, though
professing to believe the reports concerning the death of her son,
yet did not act as though the conviction had taken a very firm hold
upon her mind. Mrs. Jesse James remained some days at the residence
of her mother-in-law, and then suddenly she concluded to visit
her relatives and friends in Logan and Nelson Counties, Kentucky.
These movements of the supposed widow of the late dreaded leader of
the Glendale robbers does not appear to have attracted any great
amount of attention from the officers of the law. Indeed it appears
Marshal Liggett had not yet abandoned the opinion entertained by
him, that George W. Shepherd had shot and seriously if not fatally
wounded the noted outlaw.

One day, after the middle of January, 1880, a young man of
respectability, residing in Kansas City, who had been entrusted
with a certain message to deliver at Russellville, Ky., called
upon another young gentleman of his acquaintance, and invited
him to accompany the first-mentioned young man to Kentucky. It
was a mistake on the part of the message bearer, for the young
man was no admirer of the methods of the chief of the Glendale
band, and, after revolving the proposition in his mind, he came
to the conclusion to acquaint Major Liggett with the facts in
his possession. This he did. The marshal urged him to accept
the invitation, and proceed to Kentucky with his friend. It is
intimated that he supplied the necessary funds to enable the young
gentleman to make the journey. The two men started. There lives in
Kansas City a gentleman who has known the James Boys, and who is
not their enemy, even now. This gentleman received an intimation of
what was going on, and learned definitely the aims of the marshal.
In half an hour a message--it matters not what words were employed,
they were significant--was sent to Louisville, to a friend. That
friend received it, understood it, and a message was at once sent
to a person in Russellville. Meanwhile, the conscientious young man
and his friend journeyed in the ordinary course of travel toward
Russellville. Arrived there, the message-bearer cut his companion
of the journey, and the latter could learn nothing to report to
the marshal of Kansas City. The person to whom the message came
understood precisely what it meant, and the person whom Pinkerton
and his employees have often sought, once more found a quiet
retreat, where he cannot be readily discovered.

There are several stories afloat with regard to the course taken
by Jesse James after the Cummings-Shepherd conflict. The following
is understood to be a correct narrative. Sunday night the party of
robbers separated, each man taking a route of his own selection.
Cummings was first cared for and left in a secure place. Jesse
James made a detour toward the east, and then turned northward. He
remained in St. Clair county two days, and came into Jackson county
while the attention of everyone was directed to the marshal's
posse pushing down through the Indian Territory to Texas. In
Jackson county he remained for some days, and when it suited his
convenience he proceeded to Texas by a route of his own selection,
without molestation. Afterward he desired to enjoy a little
civilized life and went to Kentucky, where he was joined by Mrs.
James. But when the marshal's agent arrived in the region he was
not there.

Thus the great outlaw roves at will over the country, and all the
skill of men clothed with authority to entrap him has for so long a
time proved unequal to the task. But it is said by those who are in
a position to know, that he longs to retire from the business of an
outlaw, make peace with society and prove by an exemplary life in
the future that his nature is not wholly bad.

    Life and Marvelous Adventures of





    [Illustration: WILD BILL.]



A marvelously exciting book, full of daring adventures and
wonderful escapes among the Indians and lawless white men of the
Far West.


Sent free to any address on receipt of price.

    W. S. BRYAN, Publisher,
    602 North Fourth Street,      St. Louis, Mo.

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