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247 CHAPTER 24 AViolent Affray at Flo’s A fter his miraculous escape from Nashville authorities in late October 1901, Orlando Camillo Hanks headed to his nati ve state of Texas. On the way, he stopped long enough in Little Rock, Arkansas , to buy a pair of spectacles.1 Hanks was probably the mysterious visitor that Fannie Porter received in her room one night in No vember, telling her of Annie Rogers’ arrest. He was no doubt well aware of Kid Curry’s urgency in getting Annie some help. However, a visit to his mother and brother near Abilene, Texas, may have taken priority over San Antonio. His mother, Mrs. Laura A. Cox, later made a s worn statement that she had last seen her son Camillo “in the earl y part of November, 1901, when we were together for several days.”2 Mrs. Cox also stated that Camillo had told her of recei ving nearly $11,000 for his share of the Great Nor thern train robbery, and that he had buried about $5,000 of the loot on her son Wyatt’s ranch in Callahan County. Wyatt later told her that, before leaving the ranch for good, Camillo dug up the buried money and took it with him.3 His mother and brother were worried that something bad would happen to him, so it was decided to write his brother Wyatt’s name in ink on the label of O . C.’ s coat. The label read: “O’Dowd [the maker], Little Rock, Arkansas. Mr. Wyatt Hanks, Oct. 1901.”4 The whereabouts of Hanks is uncertain for the next few months. Some sources indicate he tra veled to Calaveras County, California, spending time carousing and brawling in the saloons before retur ning to Texas.5 However, he reappeared in Texas from the east by way of Longview, and then traveled south to Beaumont where he bought a second pair of spectacles .6 It was reported that he was seen boarding a train at Flatonia on about April 10, 1902, headed west to San Antonio. He was remembered because of a pistol he was carrying.7 248 Chapter 24 DeWitt County Sherif f Thomas M. Stell, an old schoolmate of Hanks, estimated the outlaw’s arrival in San Antonio as late March or early April 1902. He checked into a boarding house, regularly keeping to his room during the da y and reading newspapers. The landlady observed his habit of going out in the evening after supper, and returning no later than 10:00.8 Unfortunately for him, he decided to change his routine on Tuesday night, the 15th of April. Instead of returning to his room, at around 10:00 p.m. he entered Flo Williams’ “resort” at the corner of South Laredo and West Nuevo streets and began to drink. A few hours later he became loud and obnoxious, bragging to Flo and the saloon girls that he had recently served time in prison for murder. The women became frightened w hen he displayed two pistols, a Colt .45 six-shooter and a .38 double-action revolver, the latter having a sawedoff barrel protruding only half an inch from the c ylinder. This was to make it extremely difficult for someone to grab the gun from his hand in a close encounter.9 By now it was early Wednesday morning, sometime between 1:00 and 2:00, and Flo decided it w as time to notify the police. She sent her bartender, W. T. Souter, who soon located three officers at the Chapa & Driess drugstore just down the street. Policeman Frank Harvey entered the room first, followed by mounted officer Pink Taylor and policeman D. E. Hughes. Souter pointed out Hanks, and the offi cers were almost upon him before he rose from his seat and fi red a shot into Harvey’s midsection . The bullet was stopped by the policeman’s large belt buckle, saving him from serious injur y or death. Hughes and Har vey grabbed Hanks to stop him from getting off another shot.10 Hanks had used his .38 double-action revolver to shoot Harvey, but in his excitement he had not thought to release the trigger for another shot. He just kept pulling harder on the trigger as he str uggled with the of- ficers. This gave Taylor the opportunity to step forward and shoot Hanks twice in the left breast, the bullets passing through the aorta. A third shot went...


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