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- WOLFVILLE - 44/44 -


"Doc Peets an' Enright both trails in on the lope from the New York Store. They hears Moore's gun-play an' is cur'ous, nacheral 'nough, to know who calls it. Well, they turns in an' brings the other inhabitants outen their fits; pendin' which Moore kills off the last remainin' bull-snake in Crawfish's herd.

"Son, I've seen people mad, an' I've seen 'em gay, an' I've seen 'em bit by grief. But I'm yere to remark I never runs up on a gent who goes plumb mad with sadness ontil I sees Crawfish that day Jack Moore immolates his bull-snake pets. He stands thar, white, an' ain't sayin' a word. Looks for a minute like he can't move. Crawfish don't pack no gun, or I allers allowed we'd had notice of him some, while them bullsnakes is cashin' in.

"But at last he sorter comes to, an' walks out without sayin' nothin'. They ain't none of us regardin' of him much at the time; bein' busy drinkin' an' recoverin' from the shock.

"Now, what do you s'pose this old Navajo does? Lopes straight over to the New York Store--is ca'm as a June day about it, too--an' gets a six-shooter.

"The next information we gets of Crawfish, 'bang!' goes his new gun, an' the bullet cuts along over Jack Moore's head too high for results. New gun that a-way, an' Crawfish not up on his practice; of course he overshoots.

"Well, the pore old murderer never does get a second crack. I reckons eight people he has interested shoots all at once, an' Crawfish Jim quits this earthly deal unanimous. He stops every bullet; eight of 'em, like I says.

"'Thar ain't a man of us who don't feel regrets; but what's the use? Thar we be, up ag'inst the deal, with Crawfish clean locoed. It's the only wagon-track out.

"'I shore hopes he's on the hot trail of them bull-snakes of his'n,' says Dan Boggs, as we lays Crawfish out on a monte-table. 'Seems like he thought monstrous well of 'em, an' it would mighty likely please him to run up on 'em where he's gone.'

"Whatever did we do? Why, we digs a grave out back of the dance-hall an' plants Crawfish an' his pets tharin.

"'I reckons we better bury them reptiles, too,' says Doc Peets, as we gets Crawfish stretched out all comfortable in the bottom. 'If he's lookin' down on these yere ceremonies it'll make him feel easier.'

"Doc Peets is mighty sentimental an' romantic that a-way, an' allers thinks of the touchin' things to do, which I more'n once notices likewise, that a gent bein' dead that a-way allers brings out the soft side of Peets's nacher. You bet! he's plumb sympathetic.

"We counts in the snakes. Thar's 'leven of 'em besides Julius Caesar; which we lays him on Crawfish's breast. You can find the grave to-day.

"Shore! we sticks up a headboard. It says on it, the same bein' furnished by Doc Peets--an' I wants to say Doc Peets is the best eddicated gent in Arizona-as follows

SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF CRAWFISH JIM, JULIUS CAESAR AND ELEVEN OTHER BULL SNAKES, THEY MEANT WELL, BUT THEY MISUNDERSTOOD EXISTENCE AND DIED.

THIS BOARD WAS REARED BY AN ADMIRING CIRELE OF FRIENDS WHO WAS WITH DECEASED TO THE LAST.

"An' don't you-all know, son, this yere onfortunate weedin' out of pore Crawfish that a-way, sorter settles down on the camp an' preys on us for mighty likely it's a week. It shorely is a source of gloom. Moreover, it done gives Dan Boggs the fan-tods. As I relates prior, Boggs is emotional a whole lot, an' once let him get what you-all calls a shock--same, for instance, as them bull-snakes--its shore due to set Boggs's intellects to millin'. An' that's what happens now. We-alls don't get Boggs; bedded down none for ten days, his visions is that acoote.

"'Which of course,' says Boggs, while we-all s settin' up administerin' things to him, 'which of course I'm plumb aware these yere is mere illoosions; but all the same, as cl'ar as ever I notes an ace, no matter where I looks at, I discerns that Julius Caesar serpent a-regardin' me reproachful outen the atmospher. An' gents, sech spectacles lets me out a heap every time. You-alls can gamble, I ain't slumberin' none with no snake-spook that a-way a-gyardin' of my dreams.'

"That's all thar is to the death of Crawfish Jim. Thar ain't no harm in him, nor yet, I reckons, in Julius Caesar an' the rest of Crawfish's fam'ly. But the way they gets tangled up with Wolfville, an' takes to runnin' counter to public sentiment an' them eight six- shooters, Crawfish an' his live-stock has to go."


WOLFVILLE - 44/44

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