Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills. Page: 31 of 163
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FORTY YEARS AT EL PASO.
Finally he took a snap shot at the popular member of
the Legislature, Mr. Jeff Hall, on the main street. This
was too much. In a few moments fifteen or twenty of
the aforesaid "good citizens" were chasing him over
town with shotguns, rifles and pistols. The desperado
was brought to earth in the corral of the old Central
Hotel-"Hell's half acre"-pierced by many missiles.
Then there was an animated dispute among the abovementioned
good citizens as to who had fired the fatal
shot. One claimed to have done the work with his
shotgun. Another said that such small ammunition at
long range could not kill such a man, but that it was
his rifle shot in the neck that did it. A third said that
he had dispatched the deceased with three body shots
from his sixshooter, and so on.
At last "Uncle Ben" Dowell said: "Gentlemen, some
day some judge or other may come along and be holding
court, and some of us may have trouble about this
business." Thereupon they organized a coroner's jury,
composed of the identical men who did the shooting,
and sat upon the corpse and agreed upon a verdict, to
the effect that "Deceased came to his death by gunshot
wounds from the hands of parties unknowon."
It was about this time that an El Paso merchant, still
living in this valley, had a little experience with the
rough Americans here, mostly gamblers. There were
many of the latter class.
At this time the fraternity were broke, and some of
them had pawned their pistols with this merchant for
money. But finally one of them reported to the "boys"
that Mr. had refused to make any more loans on
pistols. "How did you approach him?" was asked.
"Why, I presented the handle of my pistol and asked
him to loan me $25 on it." "Idiot," said "Snap"
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Mills, William W. Forty years at El Paso, 1858-1898; recollections of war, politics, adventure, events, narratives, sketches, etc., by W. W. Mills., book, 1901; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6112/m1/31/?q=Forty%20Years%20at%20El%20Paso,%201858-1898:%20Recollections%20of%20War,%20Politics: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .