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20. “Before He Could Cock His Pistol”

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journeyed to Fort Worth, they probably did not travel in the comfort and style to which their recent access of wealth entitled them. If they had any opportunity to buy new clothing to replace the worn and dirty garments they had worn on their flight from Winnemucca, a heightened sense of caution could have warned them against doing so until they had put a couple of states between Nevada and themselves. Thus they might well have traveled by side-door Pullman, as stated in one early account of their careers, rather than as paying passengers.1

Whether they posed as tramps or as gentlemen, they would have taken the

Colorado & Southern from Denver through Trinidad and Texline to Fort Worth.

They would have arrived during the third week of November, no more than a couple of days before Carver, Logan, and Kilpatrick came in from San Antonio. Carver, whose trip from the north preceded theirs by several weeks, would have taken the same route. Most likely he, Logan, and Kilpatrick knew just when and where to meet

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1. Meet the Gang

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and ballad was fading in Tom

Ketchum’s own lifetime. He will never be one of those folklore villains whose violent and lawless ways have been burnished with an illusive romance. If he is remembered at all, it is mostly for the peculiar circumstances that attended the curtailment of his earthly career. Yet, as a man much noted in his day, who stood out above most others in his profession, he deserves more than passing mention. He and his companions were the boldest and deadliest outlaws ever to ride the Southwest.

Tom Ketchum and his older brother Sam were on the dodge in Texas, New

Mexico, and Arizona for less than four years, and their career in serious outlawry lasted only from the spring of 1897 to the summer of 1899. When it ended, the gang had notched up seven killings—five of them murders in cold blood—and seven train holdups, five of which yielded a dividend. Their story did not end with the death of

Sam and the capture of Tom, for their associates continued to ride, rob, and kill for several years more, usually in the company of some of the principal outlaws from the

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17. Atkins Saddles the Ocean

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at Chimney Wlls, Tom Capehart rode hard across country until he reached the WS ranch in western Socorro County.

At the horse camp, twenty miles from the ranch headquarters, he met Butch Cassidy, who was still in the employ of the WS. Red Weaver was also in the locality, having reappeared in Alma shortly after parting from Marshal Foraker.

For this phase of the story, we are entirely in the hands of William French, uncorroborated but uncontradicted. Since what he has to say is not inherently unlikely, we may reasonably accept it as true in outline.

French states that he left Cimarron to return to Alma several days after the

Turkey Canyon affray. Some three or four weeks afterwards—not quite French’s

“more than a month later”—Cassidy and Capehart came to him with the news that

“Mac” was a prisoner. Capehart gave French a quite extensive but purposely incomplete account of the capture, which the rancher related in his memoirs thirty years after hearing it. Whether errors in French’s version came from failings of memory, or from misunderstanding or misstatement on Capehart’s part, becomes unimportant once we have elected to believe that some such conversation did take place.

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8. The Steins Pass Imbroglio

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A widely publicized statement by Tom Ketchum, in which Ed

Cullen’s surname was sometimes printed as “Bullin” or “Bullen,” gave rise to a belief in some quarters that he was Ed Bullion, a brother of Laura. This theory ought not to have reached the printed page. Recent research has shown that Laura Bullion’s only brother was named Daniel, and that he was living in Brewster County, Texas in 1900, more than two years after Ed Cullen’s premature demise, and in Lincoln County, New

Mexico, when he registered for military service in 1917.1

This much is known. Edwin H. Cullen’s parents, Theodore J. and Nancy Cullen, had been neighbors of Sam and Tom Ketchum in San Saba County, where Ed was born on December 4, 1872. By 1880, the family had moved to Bandera County, close to the farm on which Will and Frances Carver were living with their mother and stepfather. The Cullen household then comprised Theodore, (51); Nancy (36): James O.

(9): Edwin H. (6); Lucy (5): Nellie (4); and Callie (2).2

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18. An Anniversary for George Scarborough

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Assistant Superintendent Frank Murray, of the

Denver office of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, came to Alma to investigate reports that currency obtained in the Wilcox robbery was being passed in the locality. Some of the stolen bills had been placed on deposit at the bank in Silver City by the storekeeper at Alma.1

Murray began his search for information on the Wilcox robbers by looking for cowboy friends of theirs who had changed traceable bills on their behalf or would admit to having spent stolen money. Foremost among these undetected collaborators was Jim Lowe, bartender of the saloon annexe to the Coats and Rowe store. Lowe and

Red Weaver were just back from Solomonville, which they had visited “about the time the races were being run.” Murray became quite friendly with Lowe while he pursued his inquiries. Charles A. Siringo, the “cowboy detective” who followed

Murray to Alma more than a year later, believed that the assistant superintendent never suspected Lowe of being Cassidy.2

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