The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964 Page: 77
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Notes and Documents
In the version as given in the book, John Wesley and Taylor
went to the Hardin home on a cloudy night when a drizzle was
falling. All they could see was a light in the house and a camp-
fire in the yard. But the sound of activity in the yard told them
that at least thirty men and horses were on the place. As Hardin
and Taylor edged closer, Taylor's horse stumbled over the stump
of a tree. At the noise the animal made in regaining its foot-
hold, a man yelled. Then guns roared and bullets whistled close
to Hardin and Taylor, who wheeled their horses and lost no time
in getting away.
In the version related by Sheriff Carnes about a dozen men
were stationed in the Hardin home. They were left without
mounts, the Hardin house occupying a spot where horses could
not be hidden. A slender young chap, wearing a sunbonnet and
dressed in Mrs. Hardin's clothes, acted as a decoy, showing him-
self freely about the house and the yard.
The hours dragged by with no sign of the outlaws. Becoming
bored and impatient, the men stacked their guns in a corner and
were playing cards when Hardin and Taylor rode up. The men
scrambled for their guns, but it was too late. The noise they made
had frightened the two outlaws and they were galloping off,
leaving a group of crestfallen men to fire useless shots after them
and to curse their own stupidity.
An incident that lends humor to the version related to me fifty
or more years ago was told me recently by Mrs. F. L. Little of
Comanche, whose father, Marshal J. W. Greene, acted as the
decoy. Dressed in Mrs. Hardin's clothes, the marshal was at the
well drawing a bucket of water when the sound of footsteps
caused him to look around. Immediately behind him was John
Wesley Hardin. Likely it was a tossup as to which was the more
startled, Greene when he saw Hardin, or Hardin when he saw
under the split sunbonnet a suntanned face with a long, drooping
mustache, instead of the face of his mother.
As gunman and marshal stared at each other, both frozen into
immobility by surprise, two men who had been scuffling inside
the house scuffled out of the back door and into the yard. That
broke the spell. Hardin made for his horse in zero flat, and he and
Taylor were speeding away before the men who had set the trap
for them had time to pick up their guns.
[to be concluded]
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 67, July 1963 - April, 1964, periodical, 1964; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101197/m1/97/: accessed May 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.