1010 Chapters
Medium 9781523094974

Why Not?

Miller, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

On Monday morning, Blake received a text from Sam. Although he had promised to follow up after their last meeting, Sam thought a nudge was appropriate.

Love to meet—you name the time and place.

Blake was going to be near one of Sam’s hotels later in the week, so they agreed, a short meeting was possible.

When Blake and Sam arrived, the lobby restaurant was empty. After being “greeted” by an indifferent hostess, they were told to pick any seat they wanted. “It’s not like we’re expecting a crowd,” the young lady said. Both men grimaced. Then, rather than escort them to a table, she just pointed to the wide-open dining room.

After finding a table in the corner, Blake was waiting to see what Sam would say about their hostess.

“It’s awful, I know,” Sam said apologetically. “That’s what we get—attitude and a high level of indifference. I told you, this is killing me,” he sat leaning on the table with his face in his hands.

After a moment, Blake asked, “Has it always been this way?”

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Medium 9781609949600

It’s Not About You

Miller, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When Blake got to his office, he already had an email from Debbie with the names of the men and women in his father’s former group. Judging from their titles alone, it looked like an eclectic group—a CEO, a judge, the leader of a large nonprofit, a high school football coach, and a school superintendent.

Blake started making calls and scheduling meetings. He was delighted that everyone he called seemed genuinely interested in meeting with him.

His first meeting was in about a week.

• • •

Monday morning at 7:00, Blake found himself standing on the curb in front of an old building in the heart of the city. He was not alone; a couple of dozen other people waited for the doors to open as well. As Blake looked at his watch, he had a sense that no one else in the group was concerned about the time. Although he was attempting not to be judgmental, he assumed, based on their appearance, that his companions on the curb were all homeless. The crowd had gathered at Heaven’s Kitchen, a nonprofit organization started by Chad Culpepper. Chad was the youngest member of his dad’s small group. He had joined right out of college.

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Medium 9781574413533

Chapter 12. I Will Not Be Captured

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 12

I Will Not Be Captured

Bill Longley’s whereabouts after he left Bell County are unknown, but the best evidence indicates that he returned to his old haunts in what was now Lee County, around Evergreen. Not aware that his brother was in custody and hearing numerous rumors in the neighborhood about his own well-being, Longley wrote a remarkable letter to Jim Brown, likely in September or October of 1875, although it could have been later:

Devils Pass

Hell’s Half Acre

Septober the 41st 7777

Kind friend. This lieves me stil floating through the gentle breeses of misrie and feel just as happy as a big sun flour that boes and bends in the breeses. Well Jim I understand that I have threaten your life and if I done it it must have bin when I was a-sleeping. For I know nothing about it myself. I killed the only one in that country that I had any thing against at that time. now Jim Brow[n] if I ever kill any man in that country it will be eather for killing some of my kinfolks or els it wil be in resisting being captured for if the court knowes its self I will not be captured in that country alive tho I wil come there just when I pleas. I wrode by your house the first Monday night in August 1875. I stoped near the old yard fence and stood for an hour and my mind run back over my whole life and I thought of my childhood and the hapy hours that I had passed in the old cabin home.

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 12 I Will Not Be Captured

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

I Will Not Be Captured

137

Jim Brow[n] if I ever kill any man in that country it will be eather for killing some of my kinfolks or els it wil be in resisting being captured for if the court knowes its self I will not be captured in that country alive tho I wil come there just when I pleas. I wrode by your house the first Monday night in August 1875. I stoped near the old yard fence and stood for an hour and my mind run back over my whole life and I thought of my childhood and the hapy hours that I had passed in the old cabin home.

Oh what dreadful thoughts pierced my hearts intermost core for a little while but I cursed my weekminded soul and treated myself to a drink of good old brandy and wrode on with a bold heart. It hurt me very bad when I heard that Johnson McKeown had bin hunting me with the intention of betraying me and geting me in to a snair to be killed for I loved him like a brother. Oh the hapy hours that I have passed with Johnson but now they are oer.

Two nights before I passed your house I was at home and my own Dear Father told me never to put my foot in his house again. and Brother Jim quit me and said I was too bad for him and my kinfolks is all so D___D cowardly. they don’t want me to come about them so I stil alone tread the living land destitute of friends but G___d the world and every son of a bitch that don’t like me for I am a wolf and it is my night to howl. I expect to get killed sometime but you may bet your sweet life that I will keep the flys off of the son of a bitch that does it while he is at it.

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Medium 9781574413052

Chapter 20 Not Upon His Doomed Neck

Rick Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter

20

Not Upon His

Doomed Neck

B

ill Long­ley quickly passed from the pages of Texas newspapers, and his notoriety with him. Other gunmen, such as Hardin and

Ben Thompson, stepped to the forefront of the public spotlight, their sort continuing to fascinate those who found glamour and excitement in the larger-than-life exploits of an outlaw, as opposed to the humdrum routine of school, farming, or other similar everyday callings. As with Long­ley, the notorious Jesse James also capitalized on the press to insure a place in history, although James took great pains to deny his nefarious deeds.

Only eight months after the hanging, however, stories were already being passed around in Dallas that the execution had been a hoax, thus commencing decades of confusion and speculation about the ultimate fate of Bill Long­ley. “Rich relatives supplied him with a steel corset and neck piece, which prevented the rope from choking him or pulling on his neck at all when the drop fell.” Friends were supposed to have pretended to bury the body, smuggling Long­ley away and “setting him up in business in California, where he now lives a pious and model young man.”1 Although the story was briefly published in 1879, it did

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