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The Wild, Wild West

The wild and wooly American West has been fodder for stories, dime novels, comic books,
motion pictures, and television programs. Many fictionalized accounts exaggerate the violence
and lawlessness of the frontier. But there were some circumstances in which the truth was
every bit as fabulous as fiction, as in this account from Fort Robinson:

"The mail carrier brings news from Camp Sheridan of a horrible carnival of blood, in a low den
of iniquity near that place, in which two men were killed, two dangerously, perhaps fatally,
wounded, and several others bruised.

"Last Saturday night there was a large attendance of cowboys and soldiers in the place. Poor
whiskey and lively dancing soon caused bad blood. It began by a drunken Mexican brandishing
a revolver and threatening to shoot the bartender for swindling him. A dozen cowboys drew
revolvers simultaneously.

"A shot was fired, and one of them, Ed Collins, fell mortally wounded, having shot himself
while drawing his revolver. The dance was resumed twenty minutes after his body had been
removed.

"Jim Joyce and a desperado named Page soon got into a rough and tumble fight, however, over
the proprietorship of a girl known as Beaver Tooth Nell, and it ended by Page shooting Joyce
fatally. Sergeant Green of Company M, Fifth Cavalry, attempted to disarm Page, and received
a shot which necessitated the amputation of his leg. He will probably die.

"The soldiers at once retaliated by firing their revolvers into the Page crowd as they rushed out
on the prairie. The women, scantily dressed, here returned from the rooms to which they had
withdrawn, and ran screaming about the place, and the scene that followed baffles description.

"The melee ended in a rough and tumble fight between the cowboys and the soldiers, which
would have resulted in a terrible loss of life but for the timely arrival of the military from the
post.

"One of the females had an eye knocked out during the melee, while two cowboys, whose
names are unknown, were badly wounded. The murderer Page is in the guard house, and the
soldiers threaten to lynch him."

The unfortunate Sergeant Green died of his wounds about a month later. The fate of Page is
unknown, but it seems certain he came to a bad end.

 

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Last updated 14 September 2005

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