Fortunately the change to a better state of things is rapid, and none who now walk the streets of Virginia would believe that, within two years of this date, the great question to be decided was, which was the stronger, right or might? And here it must be stated, that the remarks which truth com- pels us to make, concerning the classes of individuals which fur- nish the law defying element of mining camps, are in no wise applicable to the majority of the people, who, while exhibiting the characteristic energy of the American race in the pursuit of wealth, yet maintain, under every disadvantage, an essential mor- ality, which is the more creditable since it must be sincere, in order to withstand the temptations to which it is constantly exposed.
Were it not for the preponderance of this conserv- ative body of citizens, every camp in remote and recently dis- covered mineral regions would be a field of blood ; and where this is not so, the fact is proof irresistible that the good is in suffi- cient force to control the evil, and eventually to bring order out of chaos. Let the reader suppose that the police of New York were with- drawn for twelve months, and then let them picture the wild saturnalia which would take the place of the order that reigns there now.
If, then, it is so hard to restrain the dangerous classes of old and settled communities, what must be the difficulty of the task, when, tenfold in number, fearless in character, generally well armed, and supplied Mdth money to an extent unknown among their equals in the east, such men find themselves removed from the restraints of civilized society, and beyond the control of the authority which there enforces obedience to the law? Together with so much that is evil, nowhere is there so much that is sternly opposed to dishonesty and violence as in the mountains ; and though careless of externals and style, to a degree elsewhere unknown, the intrinsic value of manly unrightness is nowhere so clearly exhibited and so well appreciated as in the Eldorado of the west.
Middling people do not live in these regions. A man or a woman becomes better or worse by a trip towards the Pacific. The keen eye of the experienced miner detects the impostor at a glance, and compels his entire isolation, or his association with the class to which he rightfully belongs. I Thousands of weak-minded people return, after a stay in the mountains, varying in duration from a single day to a year, leav- ing the field where only the strong of heart are fit to battle with difficulty, and to win the golden crown which is the reward of persevering toil and unbending firmness.
The universal license that is, at first, a necessity of position in such places, adds greatly to the number of crimes, and to the facilities for their perpetration. Saloons, where poisonous liq- uors are vended to all comers, and consumed in quantities suf- ficient to drive excitable men to madness and to the commission of homicide, on the slightest provocation, are to be found in amazing numbers, and the villainous compounds there sold, under the generic name of whiskey, are more familiarly distinguished by the cognomens of "Tangle-leg", ''Forty-rod," "Lightning," "Tarantula-juice," etc.
The absence of good female society, in any due proportion to the numbers of the opposite sex, is likewise an evil of great magnitude ; for men become rough, stern and cruel, to a sur- prising degree, under such a state of things. In every frequent street, public gambling houses with open doors and loud music, are resorted to, in broad daylight, by hun- dreds — it might almost be said — of all tribes and tongues, fur- nishing another fruitful source of "difficulties," which are com- monly decided on the spot, by an appeal to brute force, the stab of a knife, or the discharge of a revolver.
Women of easy virtue are to be seen promenading through the camp, habited in the gay- est and most costly apparel, and receiving fabulous sums for their purchased favors. One "institution," offering a shadowy and dangerous substi- tute for more legitimate female association, deserves a more pe- culiar notice.
As soon as the men have left off work, these places are opened, and dancing com- mences. The outer enclosure is densely crowded and, on particular occasions, the inner one also with men in every variety of garb that can be seen on the continent. Beyond the barrier sit the dancing women, called "hurdy-gur- dies," sometimes dressed in uniform, but, more generally, habited according to the dictates of individual caprice, in the finest clothes that money can buy, and which are fashioned in the most attractive styles that fancy can suggest.
On one side is a raised orchestra. The music suddenly strikes up, and the sum- mons, "Take your partners for the next dance," is promptly answered by some of the male spectators, who paying a dollar in gold for a ticket, approach the ladies' bench, and — in style polite, or otherwise, according to antecedents — invite one of the ladies to dance. The number being complete, the parties take their places, as in any other dancing establishment, and pause for the perform- ance of the introductory notes of the air.
Let us describe a first class dancer — "sure of a partner every time" — and her companion. There she stands at the head of the set. She is of middle height, of rather full and rounded form ; her complexion as pure as alabaster, a pair of dangerous looking hazel eyes, a slightly Roman nose, and a small and prettily formed mouth.
Her auburn hair is neatly banded and gathered in a tasteful, ornamented net, with a roll and gold tassels at the side. How sedate she looks during the first figure, never smiling till the termination of "promenade, eight," when she shows her little white hands in fixing her handsome brooch in its place, and settling her glistening earrings.
See how nicely her scarlet dress, with its broad black band round the skirt, and its black edging, sets off her dainty figure. No wonder that a wild mountaineer would be willing to pay— not one dollar, but all that he has in his purse, for a dance and an approving smile from so beautiful a woman. Todav a straneer would never know there had ever been a town. His buckskin leggings are fringed at the seams, and gathered at the waist with a U.
His neck is bare, muscular and embrowned by exposure, as is also his bearded face, whose sombre hue is relieved by a pair of piercing dark eyes. His long black hair hangs down beneath his wide felt hat, and, in the corner of his mouth is a cigar, which rolls like the lever of an eccentric, as he chews the end in his mouth. His fair partner, with practised foot and easy grace, keeps time to the music like a clock, and rounds to her place as smoothly and grace- fully as a swan. As the dance progresses, he of the buckskins gets excited, and nothing but long practice prevents his partner fom being swept off her feet, at the conclusion of the miner's delight, "set your partnei-s," or "gents to the right".
An Irish tune or a hornpipe generally finishes the set, and then the thunder of heel and toe, and some amazing demivoltes are brought to an end by the aforesaid "gents to the right," and "promenade to the bar", which last closes the dance. After a treat, the barkeeper mechanically raps his blower as a hint to "weigh out", the ladies sit down, and with scarcely an interval, a waltz, polka, shottische, mazurka, varsovinne, or another quadrille commences.
All varieties of costume, physique and demeanor can be noticed among the dancers — from the gayest colors and "loudest" styles of dress and manner, to the snugly fitted black silk, and plain white collar, which sets off the neat figure of the blue-eyed, modest looking Anglo-Saxon.
Yonder, beside the tall and tastly clad German brunette you see the short curls, rounded tournure and smiling face of an Irish girl ; indeed, representatives of al- most every dancing nation of white folks may be seen on the floor of the Hurdy-Gurdy house. The earnings of the dancers are very different in amount. That dancer in the low-necked dress, with the scarlet "waist," a great favorite and a really good dancer, counted fifty tickets into her lap before "The last dance, gentlemen," followed by "Only this one before the girls go home," which wound up the performance.
Twenty-six dollars is a great deal of money to earn in such a fashion ; but fifty sets of quadrilles and four waltzes, two of them for the love of the thing, is very hard work. As a rule, however, the professional "hurdies" are Teutons. The dance which is most attended, is one in which ladies to whom pleasure is dearer than fame, represent the female element, and, as may be supposed, the evil only commences at the Dance House. He never ventures further than to engage in conversation with a friend at the door, and while in- tently watching the performance, lectures on the evil of such places with considerable force ; but his attention is evidently more fixed upon the dancers than on his lecture.
Sometimes may be seen gray-haired men dancing, their wives sitting at home in bliss- ful ignorance of the proceeding. There never was a dance house running, for any length of time, in the first days of a mining town, in which "shooting scrapes" do not occur; equal proportions of jealousy, whiskey and revenge being the stimulants thereto. Bil- liard saloons are everywhere visible, with a bar attached, and hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent there. As might be anticipated, it is impossible to prevent quarrels in these places, at all times, and, in the mountains, whatever weapon is handiest — foot, fist, knife, revolver, or derringer — it is usually used.
One marked feature of social intercourse, and after indulgence in strong drink the most fruitful source of quarrel and blood- shed is the all-pervading custom of using strong language on every occasion. Men will say miore than they mean and the un- written code of the miners, based on a wrong view of what con- stitutes manhood, teaches them to resent by force what should be answered by silent contempt.
Another powerful incentive to wrong-doing is the absolute nullity of the civil law in such cases. In after days, when police magistrates in cities can deal with crime, they do so promptly. Costs are absolutely frightful, and fines tremendous. An assault provoked by drunkenness frequently costs a man as much as thrashing forty different policemen would do, in New York. One grand jury that we wot of presented that it would be better to leave the punishment of offenders to the Vigilantes, who always acted impartially, and who would not permit the escape of proved criminals on technical and absurd grounds — than to have justice defeated, as in a certain case named.
The date of that document is not ancient, and though, of course, refused and destroyed, it was the deliberate opinion, on oath, of the Grand Inquest, embodying the sentiment of thou- sands of good citizens in the community. Finally, swift and terrible retribution is the only preventive of crime, while society is organizing in the far West. The long delay of justice, the wearisome proceedings, the remembrance of old friendships, etc. There is something in the excitement of con- tinued stampedes that makes men of quick temperaments, uncon- trollably impulsive.
In the moment of passion, they would slay all around them ; but let the blood cool, and they would share their last dollar with the men whose life they sought a day or two before. Habits of thought rule communities more than laws, and the settled opinion of a numerous class is, that calling a man a liar, a thief, or a son of a b h is provocation sufficient to justify in- stant slaying.
Juries do not ordinarily bother themiselves about the lengthy instructions they hear read by the court. They sim- ply consider whether the deed is a crime against the Mountain Code; and if not, "not guilty" is the verdict, at once returned.
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Thieving, or any action which a miner calls mean, will surely be visited with condign punishment, at the hands of a Territorial jury. In such cases mercy there is none ; but, in affairs of single combats, assaults, shootings, stabbings, and highway robberies, this civil law, with its positively awful expense and delay, is worse than useless. One other main point requires to be noticed. This sin is so general in newly discovered diggings in the mountains that a remonstrance usually produced no more fruit than a few jocular oaths and a laugh. Religion is said to be "played out," and a professing Christian must keep straight, indeed, or he will be suspected of being a hypocritical member of a tribe, to whom it would be very disagreeable to talk about hemp.
Under these eircuniiStances, it becomes an absolute necessity that good, law-loving, and order-sustaining men should unite for mutual protection, and for the salvation of the community. Being united, they must act in harmony; repress disorder; punish crime, and prevent outrage, or their organization would be a failure from the start, and society would collapse in the throes of anarchy. None but extreme penalties inflicted with prompti- tude are of any avail to quell the spirit of the desperadoes with whom they have to contend ; considerable numbers are required to cope successfully with the gangs of murderers, desperadoes and robbers who infest mining countries, and who, though faithful to no other bond, yet all league willingly against the law.
Secret they must be, in council and membership, or they will remain nearly useless for the detection of crime, in a country where equal facilities for the transmission of intelligence are at the command of the criminal and the judiciary; and an organization on this footing is a Vigilance Committee.
In a few short weeks it was known that the voice of justice had spoken, in tones that might not be disregarded. The face of society was changed, as if by magic ; for the Vigilantes, holding in one hand the invisible yet effectual shield of protection, and in the other, the swift de- scending and inevitable sword of retribution, struck from his nerveless grasp the weapon of the assassin; commanded the brawler to cease from strife ; warned the thief to steal no more ; bade the good citizen take courage, and compelled the ruffians and marauder who had so long maintained the "reign of terror" in Montana, to fly the Territory, or meet the just rewards of their crimes.
Need we say that they were at once obeyed? The administration of the lex talionis by self-constituted authority is, undoubtedly, in civilized and settled communities, an outrage on mankind. It is there wholly unnecessary; but the sight of a few of the mangled corpses of beloved friends and valued citizens; the whistle of the desperado's bullet, and the plunder of the fruits of the patient toil of years spent in weary exile from home, in places where civil law is as powerless as a palsied arm, from sheer lack of ability to enforce its decrees — alter the basis of the reasoning, and reverse the conclusion.
In the case of the Vigilantes of Montana, it must be also remembered that the Sheriff himself was the leader of the Road Agents, and his deputies were the prominent members of the band. The question of the propriety of establishing a Vigilance Com- mittee depends upon the answers which ought to be given to the following queries: Is it lawful for citizens to slay robbers or murderers, when they catch them ; or ought they to wait for po- licemen, where there are none, or put them in penitentiaries not yet erected? Gladly, indeed, we feel sure, would the Vigilantes cease from their labor, and joyfully would they hail the advent of power, civil or militaiy, to take their place ; but till this is furnished by Government, society must be preserved from demoralization and anarchy; murder, arson and robbery must be prevented or pun- ished, and road agents must die.
Justice, and protection from wrong to person or property, are the birthright of every American citizen, and these must be furnished in the best and most effectual manner that circumstances render possible. Furnished, however, they must be by constitutional law, undoubtedly, wherever practi- cal and efficient provision can be made for its enforcement. But where justice is powerless as well as blind, the strong arm of the mountaineer must wield her sword; for "self-preservation is the first law of nature. The Sunny Side of Mountain Life. Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel.
Life in the mountains has many charms. The one great blessing is perfect freedom. Untram- melled by the artificial restraints of more highly organized soci- ety, character develops itself so fully and so truly, that a man who has a friend knows it, and there is a warmth and depth in the attachment which unites the dwellers in the wilderness, that is worth yeare of the insipid and uncertain regard of so-called polite circles, which, too often, passes by the name of friendship, and, sometimes, insolently apes the attributes, and dishonors the fame of love itself.
Those who have slept at the same watch-fire, and traversed together many a weary league, sharing hardships and privations, are drawn together by ties which civilization wots not of. Wounded or sick, far from Tiome, and depending for life itself upon the ministration and tender care of some fellow trav- eller, the memory of these deeds of mercy and kindly fellowship often mutually rendered, is as an oasis in the desert, or as a crys- tal stream to the fainting pilgrim. As soon as towns are built society commences to organize, and there is something truly cheering in the ready hospitality, the un- feigned welcome, and the friendly toleration of personal peculiar- ities which mark the intercourse of the dwellers in the land of gold.
Every one does what pleases him best. Forms and cere- monies are at a discount, and generosity has its home in the pure air of the Rocky Mountains. This virtue, indeed, is as insepar- able from mountaineers of all classes, as the pick and shovel from the prospector. When a case of real destitution is made public, if any well-known citizen will but take a paper in his hand and go round with it, the amount collected would astonish a dweller in Eastern cities, and it is a fact that gamblers and saloon keep- ers are the very men who subscribe the most liberally.
Moun- taineers think little of a few hundreds of dollars, when the feel- ings are engaged, and the number of instances in which men have been helped to fortunes and presented with valuable property by their friends is truly astonishing. The mountains also may be said to circumscribe and bound the paradise of amiable and energetic women. For their labor they are paid magnificently, and they are treated with a deference and liberality unknown in other climes.
There seems to be a law, unwritten but scarcely ever transgressed, which assigns to a vir- tuous and amiable woman a power for good which she can never hope to attain elsewhere. In his wildest excitement, a moun- taineer respects a woman, and a. The comparative dispro- portion between the male and female elements of society ensures the possessor of personal charms of the most ordinary kind, if she be good natured, the greatest attention, and the most liberal provision for her wants, whether real or fancied. If two men are friends, an insult to one is resented by both, an alliance, offensive and defensive, being a necessary condition of friendship in the mountains.
A popular citizen is safe every- where, and any man may be popular that has anything useful or genial about him. No one but a person lacking sense attempts it. It is neither forgotten nor forgiven, and kills a man like a bullet. It should also be remembered that no people more admire and respect upright moral conduct than do the sojourners in mining camps, while at the same time none more thoroughly despise hypocrisy in any shape. In fact, good men and good women may be as moral and as religious as they choose to be in the mining countries, and as happy as human beings can be.
Much they will miss that they have been used to, and much they will receive that none offered them before. Money is commonly plentiful ; if prices are high, remuneration for work is liberal, and, in the end, care and industry will achieve success and procure competence. We have travelled far and seen much of the world, and the result of our experience is a love for our mountain home that time and change of scene can never efface.
Settlement of Montana. Early in the spring of the rumor of new and rich dis- coveries on Salmon River flew through Salt Lake City, Colorado, and other places in the Territories. A great stampede was the consequence. Faith and hope were in the ascendent among the motley crew that wended their toilsome way by Fort Hall and Snake River, to the new Eldorado. Others went on to Deer Lodge ; but finding that the diggings were neither so rich nor so extensive as they had supposed, they returned to Grasshopper Creek, afterwards known as the Beaver Head Diggings — so named from the Beaver Head River, into which the creek empties.
Other emigrants, coming by Deer Lodge, stinick the Beaver Head dig- gings ; then the first party from Minnesota arrived ; after them came a large part of the Fisk company who had travelled under Gcvernmient escort, from the same State, and a considerable num- ber drove through from Salt Lake City and Bitter Root, in the early part of the winter, which was very open.
Among the later arrivals were some desperadoes and outlaws, from the mines west of the mountains. These worthies had no sooner got the ' ' lay of the coun- try," than they commenced operations. Here it may be remarked, that if the professed servants of God would only work for their Master with the same energy and persistent devotion as the serv- ants of the Devil use for their employer, there would be no need of a Heaven above, for the earth itself would be a Paradise. Durlev had been a. The Road Agents. It may easily be imagined that life in Bannack, in the early days of the settlement, was anything but pleasant.
The stampede to the Alder Gulch, which occurred early in June, , and the discovery of the rich placer diggings there, attracted many more of the dangerous classes, who, scent- ing the prey from afar, flew like vultures to the battlefield. Between Bannack and Virginia a correspondence was con- stantly kept up, and the roads throughout the Territory were under the surveillance of the "outsiders" before mentioned.
To such a system were these things brought, that horses, men and coaches were marked in some understood manner, to designate them as fit objects for plunder, and thus the liers in wait had an opportunity of communicating the intelligence to the members of the gang, in time to prevent the escape of the victims.
Thus armed and mounted on fleet, well-trained horses, and being dis- guised with blankets and masks, the robbers awaited their prey in ambush. When near enough they sprang out on a keen run. Throw up your hands, you sons of b s! This being done, arid a search for concealed property being effected, away rode the robbers, reported the capture and divided the spoils. The confession of two of their number, one of whom, named Erastus Yager alias Red, was hung in the Stinkingwater Valley, put the Committee in possession of the names of the prominent men in the gang, and eventually secured their death or voluntary ban- ishment.
A list of the place and date of execution of the principal members of the band is here presented. The remainder of the red calendar of crime and retribution will appear after the account of the execution of Hunter: Names, Place and Date of Execution. George Ives, Nevada City, Dec. Judge Smith and J. Thurmond, the counsel of the road agents, were banished. Thurmond brought an action at Salt Lake, against Mr. Fox, charging him with aiding in procuring his ban- ishment.
After some peculiar developments of justice in Uta. Sessions, convicted of circulating bogus dust, and one H. Moyer, who furnished a room at midnight for them to work in, together with material for their labor. A man named Kustar was also banished for recklessly shooting through the windows of the hotel opposite his place of abode. The circumstances attending the execution of J. This ease stands on a footing distinct from all others.
Moore and Reeves were banished, as will afterwards appear, by a miners' jury, at Bannack, in the winter of , but came back in the spring. They fled the country when the Vigilantes commenced operations, and are thought to be in Mexico. First mentione. J by Mark Twain, in "Roug-hing- It. Finding that he was incurable, it is believed that Moore and Reeves shot him, to prevent his divulging what he knew of the band ; but this is uncertain.
The headquarters of the marauders was Rattlesnake Ranche. Two rods in front of this building was a sign post, at which they used to practise with their revolvere. They were capital shots. Plummer was the quickest hand with his revolver of any man in the mountains. He could draw the pistol and discharge the five loads in three seconds. The post was riddled with holes, and was looked upon as quite a curi- osity, until it was cut down, in the summer of Another favorite resort of the gang was Dempsey's Cottonwood Ranche.
The owner knew the character of the robbers, but had no connection with them; and, in those days a man's life would not have been worth fifteen minutes' purchase, if the possessor had been foolish enough even to hint at his knowledge of their doings. By discoveries of the bodies of the victims, the confessions of the murderers before execution, and reliable information sent to the Committee, it was found that one hundred and two people had been certainly killed by those miscreants in various places, and it was believed, on the best information, that scores of un- fortunates had been murdered and buried, whose remains were never discovered, nor their fate definitely ascertained.
All that was known was that they started, with greater or less sums of money, for various places, and were never heard of again. The Dark Days of Montana. Henry Plummer, a sketch of whose previous career will appear in a subsequent part of this narrative, came to Montana Territory from Orofino. He was supposed to have known much of the highway- men, but would not tell. In old age, he was sent to the insane asylum.
Plummer — who, it seems, had for a long time contemplated a visit to the States — made at once for the river, intending to go down by boat ; but finding that he was too late, he came back to Gold Creek, and there met Jack Cleveland, an old acquaintance, and former partner in crime. They made arrangements to pass the winter together at Sun River Farm. Plummer was to attend to the chores about the house, and Jack Cleveland was to get the wood. The worthy couple, true to their instincts, did not long remain in harmony, but quarreled about a young lady, whom Plummer afterwards married.
Wash Stapleton and his party came in a short time after, and were soon joined by others, among whom were W. Dance, S. Thomson, N, P. Hoyt, Chas. Burchett, Morelle, Harby, J. Castner, Pat Bray and brother, Sturges, Col. Knox, and other well known citizens of Montana. The name, ''Bannack," was given to the settlement, from the Bannack Indians, the lords of the soil. It was the first "mining camp" of any importance, discovered on the eastern slope of the Mountains, and as the stories of its won- derful richness went abroad, hundreds of scattered prospectors flocked in, and before the following spring the inhabitants num- bered upwards of a thousand.
It is probable that there never was a mining town of the same size that contained more desperadoes and lawless characters than did Bannack, during the vnnter of Plummer left the Territory, and has been lost— certainly an act of decency on the part of historians. It is very interesting. These men no sooner heard of the rich mines of Bannack, than they at once made for the new settlement, where, among strangers, ignor- ant of their crimes, they would be secure from punishment, at least until their true character should become known.
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During their journey to Bannack, Cleveland often said, when a little intoxicated, that Plummer was his meat. On their arrival at their destination, they were, in mountain phrase, ' ' strapped ; ' ' that is, they were without money or means ; but Cleveland was not thus to be foiled ; the practice of his profession furnishing him with ample funds, at the cost of a short ride and a pistol cart- ridge. In February, , a young man named George Evans, having a considerable sum of money on his person, was hunting stock belonging to William Bates, beyond Buffalo Creek, about eight miles from Bannack, and this man, it is believed, was shot by Cleveland, and robbed, as the murderer — who had no money at the time — was seen riding close to the place, and the next day he had plenty.
Evans' partner, Ed Hibbert, got a horse from J. Castner, and searched for him in vain, returning impressed with the belief that he had frozen to death. In a short time, a herder named Duke, a partner of Jemmy Spence, was also hunting cattle, when he found Evans' clothes tucked into a badger hole. A body, which, however, was never fully identified, was found naked in the willows, with a shot wound in the right armpit.
It seems as if the victim had seen a man about to shoot, and had raised his arm deprecatingly. Shortly after this, Cleveland came in to Groodrich's saloon, and said he was chief; that he knew all the d d scoundrels from the "other side," and would get even on some of them. A diffi- culty arose between him and Jeff. Perkins, about some money which the latter owed in the lower country.
Jeff, assured him that he had settled the debt, and thereupon Jack said, "Well, if it's settled, it's all right;" but he still continued to refer to it, and kept reaching for his pistol. Plummer, who was present, told htm that if he did not behave himself, he would take him in hand, for that Jeff, had settled the debt, and he ought to be satisfied. Jeff, went home for his derringers, and while he was absent, Jack Cleveland boastingly declared that he was afraid of none of them. Plummer jumped to his feet instantly, saying, "You d d son of a b h, I am tired of this, ' ' and drawing his pistol, he com- menced firing at Cleveland.
The bullet, however, glanced on the rib, and went round his body. The next entered below the eye, and lodged in his head. The last missile went between Moore and another man, who was sitting on the bench. As may be supposed the citizen discovered that business called him outside immediately ; and miet George Ives, with a pistol in his hand, followed by Reeves, who was similarly accoutred for the summary adjustment of ''diffi- culties.
Ives and Reeves each took Plummer by the ann, and walked down the street, asking as they went along: ''Will the d d strangling sons of b s hang you now? Daven- port, of Bannack, and was somewhat out of health. His host came into the room, and said that there was a man shot somewhere up town, in a saloon. Crawford immediately went to where the crowd had gathered, and found that such was the fear of the desperadoes, that no one dared to lift the head of the dying man. Hank said aloud, that it was out of the question to leave a man in such a condition, and asked, "Is there no one that will take him home?
The unfortunate man lived about three hours. Before his de- cease he sent Crawford to Plummer for his blankets. Plummer asked Crawford what Jack had said about him; Crawford told him ' ' nothing.
Crawford then in- formed him that, in answer to numerous inquiries by himself and others, about Cleveland's connections, he had said, "Poor Jack has got no friends. He has got it, and I guess he can stand it.
No action was taken about this murder for some time. As an instance of the free and easy state of society at this time may be mentioned a ' ' shooting scrape ' ' between George Carrhart and George Ives, during the winter of ' The two men were talking together in the street, close to Carrhart 's cabin. Gradually they seemed to grow angry, and parted, Ives exclaim- ing aloud, ''You d d son of a b h, I'll shoot you," and ran into a grocery for his revolver. Carrhart stepped into his cabin, and came out first, with his pistol in his hand, which he held by his side, the muzzle pointing downwards.
George Ives came out, and turning his back on Carrhart, looked for him in the wrong direction — giving his antagonist a chance of shooting him in the back, if he desired to do so.
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Carrhart stood still till Ives turned, watching him closely. The instant Ives saw him he swore an oath, and raising his pistol, let drive, but missed him by an inch or so, the bullet striking the wall of the house, close to which he was standing. Carrhart 's first shot was a miss-fire, and a second shot from Ives struck the ground. Carrhart 's second shot flashed right in Ives' face, but did no damage, though the ball could hardly have missed more than a hair's breadth. Carrhart jumped into the house, and reaching his hand out, fired at his opponent.
In the same fashion, his antagonist returned the compliment. This was continued till Ives' revolver was emptied — Carrhart having one shot left. As Ives walked off to make his escape, Carrhart shot him in the back, near the side. The ball went through, and striking the ground in front of him, knocked up the dust ahead of him. Ives was not to be killed by a shot, and wanted to get another revolver, but Carrhart ran off down the street.
Ives cursed him for a coward "shooting a man in the back. Accidents will happen in the best regulated families, and we give a specimen of "casualties" pertaining to life in Bannack during this delightful period. Biddle, of Minnesota, and his wife, together with Mr. Short, and their hired man, were quietly sitting round their camp fire on Grasshopper Creek, when J. Castner, thinking that a lady in the peculiar situation of Mrs. Biddle would need the shelter of a house, went over to the camp, and sitting down, made his offer of assistance, which was politely acknowledged, but declined by the lady, on the ground that their wagon was very comfortably fitted up.
Scarcely were the words uttered, when crack! It is stated that he shifted the position of his head with amazing rapidity. Biddle nearly fainted and became much excited, trembling with terror. Castner went over to the house, and saw Cyrus Skinner in the act of laying his revol- ver on the table, at the same time requesting a gentleman who was playing cards to count the balls in it.
He at first refused, saying he was busy ; but, being pressed, said, after making a hasty inspec- tion, "Well, there are only four. He asked Castner to drink, but the generous offer was declined. Probably the ball stuck in his throat. The Doctor accepted the invitation. These courtesies were like an invitation from a Captain to a Midshipman, "No compulsion, only you must. The sentiment is the Earl of Warwick's. The practical enforcement of the doctrine is to be credited, in this instance, to Haze Lyons, of the Rocky Mountains, a self-constituted and energetic Receiver-General of all moneys and valuables not too hot or too heavy for transportation by man or horse, at short notice.
The ' ' King Maker ' ' says : "When the debt grows burdensome, and cannot be discharged A sponge will wipe out all, and cost you nothing. He replied, "You son of a b h, if you ask me for that again, I'll make it unhealthy for you. The next anecdote is suggestive of one, among many ways of incidentally expressing dislike of a man's "style" in business matters.
Buck Stinson had gone security for a friend, who levanted; but was pursued and brought back. A mischievous boy had been playing some ridiculous pranks, when his guardian. Buck at once interfered, telling the guardian that he should not correct the boy. On receiving for answer that it certainly would be done, as it was the duty of the boy's pro- tector to look after him, he drew his revolver, and thrusting it close to the citizen's face, saying "G d d n you, I don't like you very well, anyhow," was about to fire, when the latter seized the barrel and threw it up.
A struggle ensued, and finding that he couldn't fire, Stinson wrenched the weapon out of his opponent 's hand, and struck him heavily across the muscles of the neck, but failed to knock him down. The bar-keeper interfering, Stinson let go his hold, and swore he would shoot him ; but he was quieted dovoi. The gentleman being warned, made his way home at the double-quick, or faster, and put on his revolver and bowie, which he wore for fifteen days.
At the end of this time, Plummer persuaded Stinson to apologize, which he did, and there- after behaved with civility to that particular man. The wild lawlessness and the reckless disregard for life which distinguished the outlaws, who had by this time concentrated at Bannack, will appear from the account of the first "Indian trou- ble.
In March, , Charley Reeves, a prominent "clerk of St. Reeves went after her, and sought to force her to come back with him, but on his attempting to use violence, an old chief interfered. The two grappled. Reeves, with a sudden effort, broke from him, striking him a blow with his pistol, and, in the scuffle, one barrel was harmlessly discharged.
The next evening, Moore and Reeves, in a state of intoxication, entered Goodrich's saloon, laying down two double-barreled shot- guns and four revolvers on the counter, considerably to the dis- comfiture of the barkeeper, who, we believe, would have sold his position very cheap, for cash, at that precise moment, and it is just possible that he might have accepted a good offer "on time. It was here that the first town was laid out. They returned to the saloon and got three drinks more, boasting of what they had done, and accompanied by Wil- liam Mitchell, of Minnesota, and two others, they went back, de- termined to complete their murderous work.
The three above named then deliberately poured a volley into the tepee, with fatal effect. The Indian chief, a lame Indian boy, and a pap- poose, were also killed; but the number of the parties who were wounded has never been ascertained. John Bumes escaped with a broken thumb, and a man named Woods was shot in the groin, of which wound he has not yet entirely recovered. This unfor- tunate pair, like Brissette, had come to see the cause of the shoot- ing, and of the yells of the savages.
The murderers being told that they had killed white men, Moore replied, with great sang- froid, "The d d sons of b s had no business there. The Trial. Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full. Weak and unmanly, loosens every power. The indignation of the citizens being aroused by this atrocious and unprovoked massacre, a mass meeting was held the following morning to take some action in the premises. Charley Moore and Reeves hearing of it, started early in the morning, on foot, to- wards Rattlesnake, Henry Plummer preceding them on horseback.
Sentries were then posted all round the town, to prevent egress, volunteers were called for, to pursue the criminals, and Messrs. Lear, Higgins, 0. Rockwell and Davenport at once followed on their track, coming up with them where they had ridden, in a thicket of brush, near the creek. The daylight was beginning to fade, and the cold was intense when a reinforcement arrived, on which the fugitives came out, delivered themselves up, and were conducted back to Bannack. Plummer was tried and honorably acquitted, on account of Cleveland's threats.
Mitchell was banished, but he hid around the town for awhile, and never went away. Reeves and Moore were next tried. Rheem announced that he was retained for the defense. This left the people without any lawyer or prosecutor. Judge Hoyt, from St. Paul, was elected Judge, and Hank Crawford, Sheriff. Langford, R. KJiox, A. Godfrey, and others, were engaged in erecting a saw-mill, request- ing them to come down to Bannack and sit on the jury. Langford and Godfrey came down at once, to be ready for the trial the next day.
The assembly of citizens numbered about five or six hundred, and to them the question was put, "Whether the prisoners should be tried by the people en masse, or by a selected jury. Lang- ford and several prominent residents took the other side, and argued the necessity for a jury. After several hours' discussion, a jury was ordered, and the trial proceeded. At the conclusion of the evidence and argument, the case was given to the jury without any charge. The Judge also informed them that if they found the prisoners guilty, they must sentence them. At the first ballot, the vote stood : For death, 1 ; against it.
The question of the prisoners' gxdlt admitted of no denial. Langford alone voted for the penalty of death. A sealed verdict of banish- ment and confiscation of property was ultimately handed to the Judge, late in the evening. Moore and Reeves were banished from the Territory, but were permitted to stay at Deer Lodge till the Range would be passable. In the morning the Court again met, and the Judge informed the people that he had received the verdict, which he would now hand back to the foreman to read.
Langford accordingly read it aloud. From that time forward a feeling of the bitterest hostility was manifested by the friends of Moore, Reeves and Mitchell towards all who were prominently connected with the proceedings. During the trial, the roughs would swagger into the space allotted for the Judge and jury, giving utterance to clearly under- stood threats, such as, "I'd like to see the G d d d jury that would dare to hang Charley Reeves or Bill Moore," etc.. The pretext of the prisoners that the Indians had killed some white friends of theirs, in ' To the delivery of this unfortunate verdict may be attributed the ascendency of the roughs.
They thought the people were afraid of them. Had the question been left to old Californians or experienced miners, Plummer, Reeves and Moore would have been hanged, and much bloodshed and suffering would have been thereby prevented. No organization of the Road Agents would have been possible. Plummer Versus Crawford. Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee. They promised to stand by him in the execution of his duty, and to remunerate him for his loss of time and money.
The arms taken from Plummer, Reeves and Mitchell were sold by Crawford to defray expenses. Popular sentiment is shifting and uncertain as a quicksand. Shortly after this "Old Tex," one of the gang, collected a miners' meeting, and at it it was resolved to give the thieves their arms, Plummer and Tex claiming them as their property. The Sheriff had to go and get them, paying, at the same time, all expenses, including in the list even the board of the prisoners. For his services not a cent was ever paid to him.
Popular institutions are of divine origin. Government by the people en masse is the acme of absurdity. Cleveland had three horses at the time of his death. One was at a ranch at Bannack, and two were down on Big Hole. Craw- ford called two meetings, and was authorized to seize Cleveland 's property and sell it, in order to reimburse himself for his outlay, which was both considerable in amount and various in detail, and repay himself for his outlay and expenses of various kinds.
He went to Old Tex who said that Jack Cleveland had a partner, named Terwilliger another of the gang who was absent, and that he had better leave them, till he came back. Tex said it would be wrong to do so. In a day or two after, Crawford saw the horse in town and asked Tex if it was not the animal.
He said, "No, it was not;" but Craw- ford, doubting his statement, inquired of a man that he knew was perfectly well informed on the subject, and found that it was as he supposed, and that the ranchman had brought it in for Tex to ride during the journey he contemplated, with the intention of meeting of Terwilliger.
Crawford ordered the horse back, and desired that it should not be given to any one. The man took it as directed. When the men were banished, Plummer went to the ranch, took the horse and rode it, when escorting the culprits out of town. He then brought it back. Crawford, who had charge of the horse, asked Hunter if Tex had taken it. He said "No. Hunter being called by Plummer confirmed the statement. He also observed, that he thought that, as Plummer had killed the man, he need not wish to take his money and his goods also.
Plummer then re- marked that Bill Hunter did not stand to what he had said, and left the house. Cl-aw- ford accepted the challenge, and, surrounded by his friends, with their hands on their six-shooters, awaited his coming. If he had moved his hand to his pistol, he would have died on the spot, and knowing this, he cooled off.
The next day he sent word to Crawford, by an old mountaineer, that he had been wrongly informed, and that he wished to meet him as a friend. He replied that he had been abused without cause, and that, if he wanted to see him, he must come himself, as he was not going to accept of such apologies by deputy. Plum- mer sent word two or three times, to Hank, in the same way, and received the same reply ; till at last some of the boys brought them together, and they shook hands, Plummer declaring that he desired his friendship ever after.
In a few days, Hank happened to be in a saloon, talking to a man who had been fighting, when a suspicious looking individual came up to him. He replied that it was none of his business. The man retorted with a chal- lenge to fight mth pistols. Hank said, "You have no odds of me with a pistol. Hank agreed, and seeing that the man had no belt on, took off his own, and laid his pistol in, on the bar.
He instantly leveled a six-shooter at Crawford, which he had concealed; but Hank was too quick, and catching him by the throat and hand, disarmed him. Plummer joined the man, and together they wrested the pistol from his hand, and made a rush at him. Harry fetched his friend out, saying, ''Come on, Hank; this is no place for you; they are set on murdering you, any way.
The owner of the saloon told Crawford afterwards that it was all a plot. That the scheme was to entice him out to fight with pistols, and that the gang of Plummer 's friends were ready vnth double-barreled shot-guns, to kill him, as soon as he appeared. Every thing went on quietly for a few days, when Hank found he should have to start for Deer Lodge, after cattle. Hank asked him to wait a day or two, and he would go with him ; but Plummer started on Monday morning, with George Carrhart, before Hank's horse came in. When the animals were brought in Hank found that private business would detain him, and accordingly sent his butcher in place.
Hank after- wards learned that Plummer went out to catch him on the road, three different times, but, fortunately, missed him. During the week Bill Hunter came to Hank, and pretended that he had said something against him. On the following Sunday, Plummer came into a saloon where Hank was conversing with George Purkins, and addressing the latter, said, "George, there's a little matter between you and Hank that's got to be settled.
Plummer observed, "you needn't laugh, G d d— -n you. It's got to be settled. He was a butcher. Pkimmer gave the same challenge to Hank, and received for a reply, that he was not afraid to go out with any man and that he did not believe one man was made to scare another. Plummer said "come on," and started ahead of Hank towards the street. Hank walked quite close up to him, on his guard all the time, and Plummer at once said, "Now pull your pistol.
Plummer dared not shoot without first raising a fiLss, knowing that he would be hung. During the altercation above narrated. Hank had kept close to Plummer ready for a struggle, in case he offered to draw his pistol, well knowing that his man was the best and quickest shot in the mountains ; and that if he had accepted his challenge, long before he could have handled his own revolver, three or four balls would have passed through his body. The two men understood one another, at parting. They looked into each other's eyes.
They were moun- taineers, and each man read, in his opponent's face, "Kill me, or I'll kill you. Hank went at once to his boarding house, and taking his double-barreled shot-gun prepared to go out, intending to find and kill Plummer at sight. He was perfectly aware that all at- tempts at pacification would be understood as indications of cowardice, and would render his death a mere question of the goodness of Plummer 's ammunition.
Friends, however, inter- fered, and Hank could not get away till after they left, late in the evening. By the way, is it not rather remarkable, that if a man has a few friends around him, and he happens to become involved in a fight, the aforesaid sympathizers, instead of restraining his antagonist, generally hold him, and wrestle all the strength out of him, frequently enabling his opponents to strike him while in the grasp of his officious backers? A change of the usual pro- gramme would be attended with beneficial results, in nine cases out of ten. If two men, also, are abusing one another, in loud and foul language, the way to prevent blows is to seize hold of them and commencing to strip them for a fight, form a ring.
This is commonly a settler. No amount of coin could coax a battle out of them. Such is our experience of all the loud-mouthed brigade.
Men that mean "fight" may hiss a few muttered anathemas, through clenched teeth ; but they seldom talk much, and never bandy slang. Hank started and hunted industriously for Plummer, who was himself similarly employed, but they did not happen to meet. The next miorning.
Hank's friend endeavored to prevail upon him to stay within doors until noon ; but it was of no avail. He knew what was before him, and that it must be settled, one way or the other. Report came to him that Plummer was about to leave town, which at once put him on his guard.
The attempt to ensnare him into a fatal carelessness was too evident. Taking his gun he went up town, to the house of a friend — - Buz Caven. He borrowed Buz's rifle, without remark, and stood prepared for emergencies. After waiting some time, he went down to the butcher's shop which he kept, and saw Plummer frequently; but he always had somebody close beside him, so that, without endangering another man's life.
Hank could not fire. He finally went out of sight, and sent a man to compromise, say- ing they would agree to meet as strangers. He would never speak to Crawford, and Crawford should never address him. Hank was too wary to fall into the trap. He sent word back to Plummer that he had broken his word once, and that his pledge of honor was no more than the wind to him ; that one or the other had to suffer or leave. A friend came to tell Hank that they were making arrange- ments to shoot him in his own door, out of a house on the other side of the street. Hank kept out of the door, and about noon, a lady, keeping a restaurant, called to him to come and get a dish of coffee.
He went over without a gun. While he was drink- ing the coffee, Plummer, armed with a double-barreled gun, walked opposite to his shop door, watching for a shot. A friend, Prank Ray, brought Hank a rifle. He instantly levelled at Plum- mer, and fired. The ball broke his arm. Strange uses the oppurtunity to flee to the exit but the two fighters have recharged their weapons and continue their fight. Strange is caught in the crossfire and starts burning and freezing at the same time as both beams hit him.
Shocked, Freeze and Firefly stop attacking and Gordon rushes to Strange's aid and is able to reanimate Strange. In the resulting chaos, Firefly escapes Arkham and leaves Gotham as well. Having left Gotham, Bridgit finds work in a smelting company and gradually comes to terms with what happened to her. She also realizes that she is not a goddess after all and that she was being manipulated by Strange all along. However, she is eventually visited by Oswald Cobblepot and Ivy Pepper who want to recruit her for their team of freaks.
When talking to Ivy, Bridgit realizes that they have met before. When Ivy reveals her to be Selina's friend and claims that it will be like a family. Oswald offers to kill Bridgit's abusive boss just to sweeten the deal. However, now fully convinced, Bridgit denies the offer and attacks her boss herself, joining up with Oswald and Ivy immediately afterwards.
Enraged, Bridgit argues bitterly with Victor and tries to engage in another fight. However, Ivy immediately calms both of them down before they reluctantly make a truce. Even so, Bridgit warns Victor to stay away from her with menace. Bridgit later accompanies Oswald when he interrogates Jim Gordon for Nygma's whereabouts. When Oswald later finds out that the Court is planning to bomb the First Bank of Gotham, he and Firefly go there and she attacks the Talon guarding the bomb and thus save the party.
Back at the manor, she is tackled by a Talon when the Court comes for Oswald to exact revenge. When Penguin is informed by his accountant Penn about the progress of the Crime License System more than six months later, Cobblepot has only eyes for the 14 percent of crimes that are happening outside of his Pax Penguina. Penguin then orders Penn to get Firefly to make examples on the resisting criminals. But next Sofia Falcone who has listened to their conversation enters Penguin's office at the Iceberg Lounge and tells him that this strategy might help, but if scorching a few idiots was all it took anyone can rule Gotham.
Penn will put you in contact with my Narrows informant. If those three do not have Ed in hand promptly, you will go down there and burn them all to cinders. Some time later, Firefly was present at the Iceberg Lounge when the Sirens and a Demon gangster from whom they stole from gathered there to clear things up with Penguin, since the Demons paid for one of Penguin's licenses.
However, Oswald's bookkeeper Penn entered the room, whispering something in Cobblepot's ear causing him to scream in rage. He then ordered Penn to repeat the information for the guests. It turned out that Edward Nygma, who owes his life to Cobblepot's mercy is repaying that generosity by aping his benefactor in a crude comedy show. Due to Selina Kyle's blankness, Penguin explained her that Nygma is making fun of him in a clown show in the Narrows.
Because of him screaming all the time, Cobblepot turned around and had to calm down, causing Selina to giggle, despite Tabitha Galavan's displeasure. When he noticed Selina's amusement, Oswald started to laugh himself, but as the Demon bandit began to laugh in a artificial way to satisfy Cobblepot and called Nygma "Riddler", Penguin drew a knife hidden in his cane to stab the gangster in the throat. He then told the dying man that this is not his name, instead it is simply plain dumb Ed and explains him that he don't knows him, so he don't gets to laugh.
Barbara Kean then thanked Oswald for solving the problem for the Sirens, but Penguin responded that what they owed the gangster, they now owe him. Cobblepot ordered them to go to the Narrows to see Nygma's act themselves, then bundle him up and bring him back to him by nightfall.
When Selina told him they want something in return, Penguin threatened the Sirens by telling them that in exchange he will not send every criminal in the city after them, not let them cut out their eyes and feed them to them, along with their ears, noses and tongues. Barbara accepted the deal in place of the whole team and left along with Tabitha and Selina.
As soon as they were gone, Oswald explained Firefly that Penn will put her in contact with Cherry , his informant from the Narrows. If the Sirens do not have Ed in hand promptly, she shall go down there and burn them all to cinders. Bridgit then asked Cobblepot what about feeding them their eyes and all that to which he answered her to trust him that even though it is a good idea, it is far too messy to be practical.
Despite Barbara, Tabitha, and Selina getting their hands on Edward Nygma, Firefly showed up to finish the job upon their deadline being up. Before Flrefly can take action, Leslie Thompkins appeared behind her and shot her tank causing Firefly to fly right into the wall. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Villain Overview. Contents [ show ].