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218 chapter 16 “A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel” As 1877 drew to a close, those involved in the feud continued to make news. Caleb Hall, having liberated himself from the jail at Menard, was seen in Mason County in early September.1 A. G. Roberts, accused by Barler of starting the feud, was now serving as a deputy sheriff in Burnet County. In late September, he and J. J. Strickland were in San Antonio “bearing papers for the conveyance of Isbell, charged with murder in Arkansas, to the authorities of that State.”2 In Burnet, the men who had helped free Ringo and Cooley proved equally capable of liberating themselves. On September 23 James Polk Mason and Ed Brown escaped from the Burnet jail. Some believed that the guard allowed the men to escape.3 John Baird was also in the news, having reportedly been arrested in Shackelford County by the Rangers.4 The man proved to be one Crusoe Beard who was wanted in another county.5 John C. Sparks reported in October: On Oct. 11th Sergt. T. M. Sparks with 17 Privates 1 Teamster and 1 guide left Camp for Signal Peak for the purpose of arresting Joe Olney, John Baird, Bill & Sam Redding[,] — Caldwill[,] — Robinson[,] Mike Gardner[,] Wm. Stafford[,] Pete Casner[,] Dave George[,] W. F. McMahon and Mart. Lacy charged with Jail Delivery and supposed to be Camped on Deer Creek at or near Signal Peak. Arrived at Signal Peak on the 18th and sent 8 men in different directions in 219 “A Shocking and Lamentable Sequel” search of their Camp. The men were gone two days without making any discoveries. On the 20th started back to Camp. . . . 6 In early November, Wes Johnson was brought to trial in Kimble County for his role in the killing of Rance Moore.7 Johnson was convicted on May 12, 1880, and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary . He entered Huntsville prison as convict 8804 on June 17. His imprisonment proved brief. Leased out to the work force of John King within weeks of his conviction, Johnson escaped on August 21. He was never recaptured.8 Also in November, Dell Dublin was captured by the Rangers in Kimble County. Gillett reported Dublin’s arrest simply. Arriving in Kimble County, the detail arrested Role and Dell Dublin, Mack Potter, and Rube Boyce. In the running fight that resulted in the capture Role received a bad wound in the hip. The two Dublin brothers and Mack Potter when arraigned in federal court pleaded guilty to stage robbery and were sentenced to fifteen years at hard labor.9 Dell Dublin was captured separately from his brother. Mason News-Item: On the 19th ult. a squad of Rangers, commanded by Corporal Gillet [sic], of Company E, succeeded in rounding up and capturing Dell Dublin, a daring cutthroat and renegade, who had headed Indian raids into Kimble and Menard counties for the past seven years. Dell Dublin has a brother named Dick, and the pair have committed more murders and robberies than any two men who have ever terrorized the Texas frontiers. When captured, Dublin was at a cow pen in Kimble, about four miles from Junction City. He made desperate resistance against the five Rangers, but fortunately was unarmed and easily taken. After the capture of Dell, Dick, unaware of the situation, rode up to the pen, but retreated in 220 Chapter 16 hot haste upon receiving the following warning from his brother: “Get out, you d----d fool, don’t you see the Rangers have got me?” He was closely pursued by two of the Rangers, who emptied their carbines at him, but finally succeeded in making good his escape . Dell Dublin is now in jail at Llano from which place he will probably be taken to Austin.10 Ringo and Gladden were also in the news during this time. Gladden appealed his conviction in the murder of Peter Bader but lost. On December 8 he was taken through Austin on his way to the penitentiary at Huntsville.11 Ringo was still being shuttled back and forth between Austin and Mason, his trial still not having been held.12 It was apparent that Ringo, unlike Gladden, could not be convicted. In late December he was tried in Mason “by virtue of a writ of habeas corpus.” Ringo was placed under bond for $2,500 and released.13 As the year closed, an intriguing letter was written to Jones by one G. H. Johnson...


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