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223 CHAPTER 22 Kid Curry Captured K id Curry continued to tra vel through the South, hiding out for a time in late No vember 1901 in the Unaka Mountains, a r ugged region where western North Carolina’s border meets southeaster n Tennessee. He was accompanied by a native of the area named Sam Adkins (or Atkins), who was wanted for murder in Texas. The two fugitives had become acquainted during the time Curry had been in Texas.1 Curry also spent some time in earl y December in Asheville, North Carolina, northeast of the Unakas. He was seen in the company of two men, Luther Brady and Jim Bole y.2 All three of these men w ould figure importantly in Curry’s future during his sojourn in Knoxville, Tennessee. On Monday, December 9, Curry arrived at the Southern Railway Station in Knoxville from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two pieces of his baggage were to be sent later onTrain No. 36, actually arriving on Thursday the 12th .3 By Tuesday he had checked into a room at the Central Hotel where he kept two grips, but he made his headquar ters for the week at Ike Jones’ saloon (known as the Old Central Bar) in the red-light district called the Bowery. Going by the name William Wilson, he was soon seen in the company of two of the better -looking prostitutes in the Bo wery, Mayme Edington and Lillian Sartin (or Sartain). He was especially fond of Lillian, spending the nights in her room upstairs o ver the bar at Ike’s place on CentralAvenue and Commerce Street. He ate man y of his meals at a nearby restaurant run by the wife of Edwin Jackson “Uncle Jack” Harrison.4 Curry took the women out on the town, spending his wad of money on expensive food and drinks in the more high- classed establishments on Gay Street, in the city’s main business district. He liked to window shop at the stores with glittering Christmas displays. The girls thought him rich and generous with his mone y, good looking, but rather v ain 224 Chapter 22 concerning his appearance. At a shooting galler y on Gay Street, he showed off his shooting prowess to Lillian and an approving crowd. He won so many prizes, that the proprietor w as compelled to ask him to stop shooting. He spent much of his time during the w eek at the Central Bar, but also frequented such places as Badgett’ s Saloon, the Climax Saloon, the Custom House Bar, and the Cumberland Pool Room. Many times he was joined by the two men he met earlier in Asheville, Luther Brady and Jim Boley, along with another local small-time crook named John Whipple.5 Curry liked to play pool, always standing treat for the games and drinks. He w as described as “a dr ummer [traveling salesman] type,” friendly but not v ery talkative. He drank apricot brandy e xclusively, smoked expensive cigars, and told his fellow pool players that he made his living as “a railroad man. ”6 He regularly flashed his money roll of twenty-dollar bills and showed off two revolvers. When full of liquor he would tell people he was “something of a man himself,” and boasted of having made three men “bite the dust.”7 On Wednesday evening, Patrolman William M. Dinwiddie paid a visit to Lillian’s room and spok e to Cur ry about the noise the couple was making. Upon his polite assurance of good behavior, the officer left the room. Dinwiddie later sa w Curry at Harrison’s restaurant, and also at J. D. Finley’s bar where they enjoyed a cigar to gether.8 According to Mayme and Lillian, by the end of the week, the man Wilson became quarrelsome, especially when drinking. On F riday night Cur ry was drinking more than usual and was in a sullen mood. His ill temper frightened the girls so much that they became hysterical.9 Curry’s disposition was probably the result of w hatever business he had with Brady and Boley going sour. Curry may have paid the two men to use their connections to exchange the stolen money for good money, and he had realized he was being taken for a ride. The day before, Curry had gone to the Souther n Railway Station to meet the train carrying the rest of his baggage.Witnesses said he was accompanied by a...


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