Saturday, December 04, 2010

Scattershooting While Wondering Whatever Happened To Killin' Jim Miller

Well, Linda Lou is going from the hospital she is in to Medical City, Dallas Monday morning, they will be going in to take out the last piece of metal in there and then, if there is infection found inside, plant more antibiotic beads, leave it with nothing holding the loose bones, close it up and send her back to Triumph Hospital for four to six weeks before the Final Solution. If there is no infection in there they will go for the fix. At any rate she will be back in one of those "boots". I swear, they ought to put her in a plaster walking cast like they did with me back in 1967.

I will go up there Sunday, spend some time with Linda Lou, then pretend I am a kid again and sleep on a couch so I can get there early enough to hold Linda Lou's hand on her way and be there when she comes out. Plus I'll see the three boys and Stephanie and Dean.

It's funny, I hardly ever get comments on my guns and shooting posts but I do get E-mails about them. I just got a nice letter from a feller who was given (!) a Winchester Model 71 in .348 Winchester. I once was given a rusted ol' .22, never a fine levergun. Sigh. Then I got an E-mail from the feller who runs Carolina Cast Bullets. He casts bullets in the Lee molds, the same kind I use for my smokeless loads. He casts in a hard alloy, which is the right alloy for most autoloading rounds and for hot loads in the magnum revolvers. He also casts a softer bullet, mainly for cowboy action shooters. If I was buying cast bullets I'd try his cowboy action bullets for any loads I was loading below say about 1200 feet per second, which is, of course, just about all revolver ammo.

Anyhow, during my conversations with Jerry, the feller that runs Carolina Cast Bullets it turns out that he is a vet from about the same time I wore Uncle's suit, a Navy guy who served on the Tin Cans. If the cold war had turned out differently, he would have been the one in more danger, not that the 'cans are all that safe anytime the cast off the lines and move away from the pier.

While we were writing back and forth I got the thought of why we veterans, as well as most serious Christians and observant Jews, seem to be happier than leftists. Seriously, have we ever seen a happy leftist? This deserves a lot more thought than I have time for now but I believe it's because most lefties are the center of their own worlds. The Armed Services teach us that there are far more important things than us as individuals. Christianity and Judaism teach the same thing. Well, except for that idiot new age type Christianity.

I need to think about this more, when I'm not spending all my time running back and forth about Linda Lou. Or, better yet, you smart readers discuss and I'll write something about the old west or guns or something.

Did I mention that I finally got Bingo T. Pug to the Vet for his basic yearly checkup? When Linda Lou fell in February we got behind on money some and Bingo and Miss Priss lost out on their heartworm pills. Well, I managed to get Bingo in and he is heartworm free, and I have a six month supply of his pills, plus some pills for his skin. Seems he developed a flea allergy and so we now have him on monthly flea pills. It was not cheap. Linda Lou says Bingo is worth it. Funny, by the time I'm done with this, I could have bought a new shotgun or a used lever action. Had to get dogs. Couldn't get a nice pet rock.

Killin' Jim Miller was also known as Deacon Jim. His preferred weapon was a shotgun, sometimes a rifle. He was a killer for hire, being paid anywhere from 150 to 2,000 bucks a kill. He is reputed to have killed Pat Garret, the Sheriff who gunned down Billy the Kid. Born in Arkansas he ranged and killed from there to Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma for sure, perhaps further. He was active in the sheep and fence wars of the turn of the 20th Century southwest.

He always wore a black broadcloth coat. A Sheriff Bud Frazer in Pecos found out why the long, black coat in a gunfight with Miller. Frazer got four shots into Miller's chest and one in his right arm. Miller, thanks to the steel plate under that coat walked away with only bruises from the chest hits. Miller later took Frazer's head off with a double charge of buckshot. Miller beat this, and other murder charges with some fancy lawyers and some artful perjury from friends. Along with a willingness to murder witnesses.

Miller eventually claimed that he killed fifty-one people, not counting Mexicans*. His last killing was in 1909 outside of Ada, Oklahoma. He dispatched a tough rancher and ex-lawman named Gus Bobbitt with his trademark shotgun. Later arrested in the Trinity River bottoms in Fort Worth, TX he was sure of his chances in court as there were no witness to the actual shooting. Gus Bobbitt, being a very popular fellow while he lived, had lots of friends in Ada. Some fifty of them broke into the jail and took Miller and three of the men who had hired him to kill Bobbitt out of that jail and to an abandoned livery stable and hanged them, tried and found guilty by Judge Lynch.

It is popular today to decry lynchings. People back then were somewhat more pragmatic. They had, in their midst, a man who had been tried for murder who had witnesses killed, even a judge died under mysterious circumstances. After that many trials, they took the matter to Judge lynch. Killin' Jim Miller's shotgun was finally quiet.

* Miller had an unusual hatred of Americans of Mexican descent. No one is sure exactly why. Prejudice was more open back then but it didn't usually run to bloodshed. In Miller's case it did. He may have shot them for sport. The West would have been better off had Miller hanged in 1870 or so.

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