Chased To Montana

Tiredman

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Oct 15, 2016
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CHASED TO MONTANA
W.O. Sayles, a Pinkerton detective, had been dispatched to investigate the Wilcox, Wyoming, train robbery that had occurred on June 2, 1899. However, he was soon called off that case and sent to Montana to work on a clue as to where some of the stolen money that had been sent to the City of Washington had come from.

According to a telegram from W.O. Sayles to Bat Masterson, his fellow detective, Sayles received orders to return to Denver, “as my services were needed in Montana on the same operation.” He was referring to pursuing train robbers. According to Masterson, he too was called to quit the chase he had been on and return to Denver for another assignment. He goes on to say:
“In Denver, I was informed by Asst. Supt. ‘Rank’ Curran, who had charge of the U. P. Railway train holdup operation, that W. O. Sayles had run into a brother, Lonny Curry, and a cousin, Bob Curry, of the noted outlaw “Kid” Curry, in Harlem, Montana; that Lonny and Bob owned a saloon there; and had sent some of the unsigned bills stolen in the Wilcox, Wyoming, robbery, off to be cashed. In this way, they were located, but sold their saloon and skipped out before Sayles had a chance to arrest them. They had become suspicious of Sayles, so for that reason he could not work on their friends secretly. On quitting the chase, I was about three weeks behind the two train robbers.”
It turns out that this reassignment of Sayles and Masterson became a chase after Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan and his gang. Pinkerton detective, Lowell Spence’s report of this hunt for Harvey Logan follows:
“Sayles had found out that the right names of Kid and Lonny Curry were Harvey and Lonny Logan and that they were born and raised in Dodson, Mo., near Kansas City; and that for years, they had been making their headquarters in the Little Rockies, a small range of mountains 50 miles east of Harlem, the railroad station where Bob and Lonny had owned the saloon. Therefore, I was instructed to meet Sayles in Helena, the capital of Montana, and then buy a horse and saddle at some point and ride into the Little Rockies and get in with the friends of the Logan brothers.
So, finally, with several hundred dollars in my pocket, I started for Helena, Montana. I took along instructions for Sayles to hurry on direct to San Francisco, California, there to start in as Asst. Supt. of the Pinkerton office in that city. There was to be a change of superintendents in the San Francisco office, and they wanted Sayles to learn the office work by starting in as an assistant. He was appointed superintendent soon after arriving in San Francisco. General Supt. of the Western Division, Jas. McCartney, had tried to induce me to accept the position of Asst. Supt. of the San Francisco office before it was offered to Sayles, but I refused it. I told him that if he should ever die and the Pinkertons should offer me his position I might consider it, but wouldn’t promise that I would accept it. The truth is, I didn’t want to be tied down in an office, even with an advance in salary and a chance to swell up with self-importance.
In Helena, Mont., I visited with W. O. Sayles and detective M. B. Wilmers a couple of days. Sayles gave me much information about the Little Rockies, although he had not been there himself; but, he had talked with many men who had. It was thought best for me to outfit in Great Falls and ride about two hundred and fifty miles across the “bad lands,” to Landusky, the small cattle town in the Little Rocky Mountains. Bidding Sayles goodbye, I boarded a train for Great Falls, Mont., where I bought a bucking bronco mare and started east for Lewiston, Mont., about three days’ ride. In Lewiston, a severe blizzard was raging, it being about the latter part of February. I waited two days for it to moderate, but it seemed to grow worse. Therefore, a start was made one morning when the thermometer registered about 20 below zero, with the wind blowing a gale. The people at the hotel advised me not to start, and I wished before night that I had heeded their advice. My route lay over a flat country north to Rocky Point on the Missouri River, a distance of about 80 miles, and only one ranch on the route. It was this ranch that I aimed to reach before night.
After traveling against this cold wind about 15 miles, I could stand it no longer. My mare could hardly be kept headed towards the blizzard. I had a woolen hood over my face and head; and even then, my nose and ears were about frozen. I could see the mountains off to the east where I had been told the mining camp of Gilt Edge was situated, so for there I headed, not caring to return to Lewistown. About night, I struck the wagon road between Gilt Edge and Lewistown—and then I was happy.
A long climb over this mountain range brought me into the live camp of Gilt Edge about four hours after dark. I felt like a half-frozen fool for ever having undertaken such a journey.
But, after I had gotten on the outside of a large porterhouse steak and the trimmings—which included two hot whiskies—I began to thaw out and felt better. Next morning, I concluded to take a different route to the Rocky Point crossing of the Missouri River. There, I obtained a sketch of the route to the “Red Barn” on the south border of the “Bad Lands.” A hard, cold ride brought me to the “Red Barn” ranch, where I found a crowd of cowboys congregated waiting for the weather to moderate. From here it was 30 miles across the “Bad Lands” to Rocky Point, and I was advised to lay over a few days and wait for a “Chinook” wind to melt the snow so that the dim road could be followed. I did so; and, while waiting,
I gained some information about the “Kid” Curry gang. Lonny Curry had stopped here before and after the Wilcox train robbery on the U. P. Railway. I started one morning after a “Chinook” had been blowing all night, so that the snow was almost gone, but the sticky mud on the “Bad Lands” was something fearful. It would stick to the mare’s feet till the poor animal could hardly gallop. I had seen many kinds of sticky mud in my life, but nothing to equal this. The warm wind was blowing a gale, and soon after leaving the “Red Barn” I had a race after my broad brim cowboy hat which made me swear and laugh by turns. The country was level, and when my hat blew off, the wind took it “a sailing” across the country. It went like a wheel, on edge, and I tried to keep up with it, but my mare was handicapped in the race on account of the balls of mud sticking to her hoofs. After a mile and a half run I out-winded the hat and caught it; but in getting off in the mud to pick it up after I had made the mare step on it, I found I couldn’t get my foot in the stirrup, owing to the mud which was stuck fast to it. Here my early cowboy training in the art of fancy swearing came into play, as it seemed to relieve my mind, while the mud was being scraped off my foot with a knife.
I had been told of the many dim wagon roads leading in different directions, which were liable to lead me astray, and this gave me much worry when I came to the forks of a road. The thoughts of a blizzard striking me on these “Bad Lands” where there is no wood or habitation, caused cold shivers to run down my back whenever the dim trail seemed to be bearing away from a north course. It was a cloudy day so that I couldn’t tell for sure which was north. Just as night was approaching, I found a piece of glass from a telegraph pole. This satisfied me that I was on the right road; hence, I was happy. I had been told that, in the early days, the government had a telegraph line on the road to Rocky Point, but that the line had been moved away years before. I still keep that piece of green glass, as it had brought good cheer to my drooping spirits.
I arrived in Rocky Point, on the south bank of the Big Muddy River, three hours after dark. Here, I found old man Tyler and his son running the ferry and keeping a small Indian trading store. My mare had only traveled 30 miles, but she had carried about 75 pounds of mud across the “Bad Lands,” hence she was almost played out on arriving at Rocky Point. I had often heard of the “Bad Lands” and wanted to visit them, but now that desire has vanished. Before reaching the Little Rockies, I learned that outlaw Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry, had a half interest in a horse ranch “with one Jim T.; that they owned about 500 head of good horses which ranged in the Little Rockies. As luck would have it, on reaching Landusky, the small village in the Little Rockies, I made the acquaintance of Jim T. through an accident. In riding by the saloon in front of which were a crowd of rough looking men, my mare shied and I spurred her in the flanks. She began bucking and my old Colt .45 flew out of the scabbard, striking a rock in the street. When the mare quit bucking, Jim T. gave me the pistol, which he had picked up. This meant a treat for the crowd, and I became acquainted with the partner of “Kid Curry,” the slickest and most bloodthirsty outlaw of the age.
To recite all my ups and downs and the valuable information about outlaws and tough characters secured for my agency would take up too much space. Suffice it to say that I played myself off for an old Mexico outlaw and became “Solid Muldoon” with the worst people of the community. I had adopted the name of Chas. L. Carter. Harvey Logan had killed old Pike Landusky, the man for whom this town was named, several years previous, which first started him on the road as a genuine desperado. Jim T. informed me that he advised Harvey to kill Landusky, and for that reason he will always be his friend through thick and thin. Pike Landusky’s widow, Julia, still resided on their ranch two miles out of town. The family consisted of two boys and three girls. One of these girls, Elfie, 20 years of age and good looking, had a three-year-old son by Lonny Logan. They had never been married by law, which seemed no disgrace here. In trying to capture Lonny Logan at Dodson, Missouri, where he was in hiding with his aunt, Mrs. Lee (mother to Bob Lee, alias “Bob Curry,”) by officials of the Pinkerton agency (my friend Tom F. Kipple being at the killing; he was shot through the head and killed.) I had made myself “solid” with Elfie Curry, as she was called, hence read all of her letters and was told all of her secrets. She had stacks of letters from her husband, as she called Lonny, and also from Mrs. Lee and her daughter.
During Bob Lee’s trial in Cheyenne, Wyo., she received letters from the lawyers whom Mrs. Lee had sent from Kansas City, Mo., to defend her son. As I had free access to Elfie’s trunks I could read these letters at any time. The Kansas City lawyer came to Landusky after evidence to prove an alibi for Bob Lee, and while he was working with Elfie and Jim T., I was introduced to him, and learned all of his secrets. Jim T. would meet him at Elfie’s house in town. During the round-ups and horse branding trips, I showed my skill in throwing a rope.
This made me solid with Jim T. who lived with his common-law wife on a ranch a few miles south of Landusky. They had a bright little three-year-old boy named Harvey in honor of the outlaw Harvey Logan. This little fellow felt at home with a small pistol buckled around his waist, and he would go wild. A high picket fence had to be built around the house to keep him from running away.
One evening during the past winter when the thermometer was hovering about zero, little Harvey struck out for “tall timber” with his pet dog, a large yellow cur. They tramped the hills all night. Next morning the whole population of Landusky, in the male line—about twenty-five men—were out searching for the child’s corpse, as it was thought impossible for a boy of his tender age to endure the bitter cold night. But, the little fellow proved to be tough like his daddy. He was found in the afternoon many miles from home, huddled up by the side of his pet dog, fast asleep. The warmth from the dog’s body had no doubt saved his life.
This boy is pretty good material for a future train-robber. He says that will be his occupation; and his father encourages him, as he says he would like to see him prove as brave a man as his namesake, Harvey Logan. “Like begets like” is a true saying.
There is no doubt but that Jim T. was a hard case and landed in Montana under an assumed name. Mrs. Julia Landusky gave me many inside facts of Jim T. and his actions when he first landed in the Little Rockies as a slender young man. Now he is a middle-aged, large, heavy man. Judging from the time he came to the Little Rockies and his description as given by Mrs. Landusky, Mr. W.L. Pinkerton is confident Jim T. is no other than “Dad” Jackson of the noted Sam Bass gang, who robbed the Union Pacific train near Ogallala, Nebraska, in the early 1870’s. Most of this gang were killed or sent to the penitentiary for this hold-up, “Dad” Jackson being the only one who made his “get-away.” Mr. Pinkerton, who was then an operative in the agency, worked on the case. Shortly after my arrival in the Little Rockies I received a ducking in the cold icy waters of a branch of Milk River. I was going to Harlem on the Great Northern railroad, with Puck Powell, the ex-cowboy postmaster of Landusky.
We were the only passengers in the open stage coach drawn by four horses. On reaching the swollen stream which was full of broken ice, we persuaded the kid driver to swim the team across. When out in mid-stream the large chunks of ice struck the stage coach, carrying horses and all downstream. The spring seats were all that showed above water; and Puck, the driver, and I, were upon these. We were having a free ride with the poor horses trying to swim upstream. Something had to be done to save the horses from drowning, so with all my clothes on I jumped into the icy cold water. On reaching the bank in a bend of the creek the driver threw me the lines. The lead horses were pulled ashore and the vehicle swung around against the steep clay bank, so that Puck and the driver could step off without getting wet. Undressing in the cold wind to wring the water out of my clothes gave me a taste of old-time cowboy life. We didn’t reach the stage station until dark.
During the month of June, I came within an ace of losing my breath, which would have put me out of business for all time. I was at Jim T.’s ranch and he got me to drive a bronco team to Rocky Point on the Missouri River twenty-five miles. This team of four-year-old browns had only been hitched up in harness a couple of times. The broncos were hitched to an old buckboard and a bottle of water put under the seat, as the weather was hot and no water enroute. Before starting at 7:30 A. M. Jim T. cautioned me to be careful as this team had run away and smashed up a vehicle the past fall, since which time they had been running wild on the range. The twenty-five-mile drive to Rocky Point was over a broken, rocky country, with a very dim wagon road to follow, and there was not a habitation on the road. Jim T. opened the gate and I started with the browns tugging at their bits. For the first few miles the horses made several efforts to run, though I managed to get them checked up, but when about five miles out, business started. As we flew over the rocky road as fast as the horses could run, I remember seeing something black, which must have been one of the tug-straps, hitting the broncos on the hind legs.
I also remember seeing a deep gully ahead, and to avoid it, I threw my weight onto one line to turn the team around the head of the short gully. I cannot account for my not jumping and letting the outfit go to the devil, for I’ve been in runaways before, and I generally sprout imaginary wings and fly out of the rig. I am all right on a horse’s back, but a rank coward in a vehicle. When I woke up, the sun was about two hours high, it being about 5 P.M. I was lying flat on my back with the hot June sun shining in my face. I couldn’t move or open my eyes, and I wondered what was wrong. Finally, by making a strong effort, I got my right hand up to my eyes; the left arm couldn’t be raised. I discovered that my face and eyes were covered with a baked coating of some kind. This was scraped from my eyes and they opened. Still, I couldn’t think what was wrong.
Soon I became deathly sick at my stomach and started to vomit. I managed to turn over on my left side so as to vomit on the ground. Then I discovered that I was throwing up blood. Raising up my head, I saw the hind wheels and the bed of the buckboard upside down; and only a few yards from me, lay my Colt .45 pistol and the bottle of water which was put in the buckboard on starting. Then it all came fresh to my mind of the runaway, but I didn’t remember of the vehicle turning over. The last that I could recall was turning the team around the head of the gully. As I was dying for a drink of water after lying in the hot sun for eight or nine hours, every nerve in my body was strained to crawl to the bottle of water. A little of the water was used to wash the blood out of my eyes. In vomiting while on my back with my head slightly down hill, the blood had run over my face and eyes; and when dried, had formed a hard crust. The water and the crawling had revived me so that I could sit up.
On feeling the top of my head, I found that my high stubborn bump had overflowed and filled up the hole where the religious bump ought to have been, according to phrenology rules. In fact, the top of my head was badly swollen, which showed that I had landed on the ground wrong end up. My back pained the worst, and it was like pulling a tooth to try to get onto my feet. Therefore, I started out to crawl back to the Jim T. ranch about five miles. After crawling a few hundred yards I managed to gain my feet. Several times enroute I was on the eve of giving up and lying down to rest, but the fear that I wouldn’t be able to get on my feet again, kept me pushing ahead. When within a mile of the ranch, after the sun had set, I saw a man afoot running towards me. I was reeling from one side to the other like a drunken bum, and this had brought Jim T. to my rescue. He saved me from a fall by grabbing me in his strong arms just as I was falling. I had given up and couldn’t have walked another step. I was carried to the house and put to bed. Jim T. kept a good supply of horse liniment in the house and he used this on me with a lavish hand as though it was water. There was no doctor nearer than the railroad fifty miles, so I wouldn’t consent to T. going after one.
Two days later, the bronco team were found, still dragging the front wheels of the buckboard. While recovering, I had a good chance to get information about the “Wild Bunch,” from Jim T.; but he would never give a hint as to where “Kid” Curry was; though I found out enough to convince me that they kept up a correspondence through the post office in the prosperous town of Chinook, on the railroad, not far from Harlem, but under what names, I couldn’t tell. He informed me that his mail addressed to Landusky was watched when it left the railroad station of Harlem. In talking, Jim T. showed a very bitter spirit against the Pinkertons for killing his friend Lonny Logan, and for sending
Bob Lee, alias “Bob Curry” to the pen. Our agency had lately captured and convicted Bob Lee for his connection in the Wilcox, Wyo. U. P. train hold up. He was caught in Cripple Creek, Colo., and convicted and sentenced to the pen for ten years, in Cheyenne, Wyo. Jim T. assured me that Lonny’s brother “Kid Curry” would soon get even with the U. P. railroad company and the Pinkertons by robbing another U. P. train; that the “Kid” was then in the south making preparation for a deal of that kind.
It was three weeks before I had fully recovered from the runaway, and even to this day I can feel the effects of the fall in my head and arm. I had found out many secrets of past crimes in the west, though. We knew that Flat Nose George Currie (who was not related to “Kid” and Lonny “Curry”) was one of the robbers of the Wilcox, Wyo., train hold-up; and deputy U. S. Marshal Joe LaFors of Cheyenne, had written the officials of the U. P. railroad that he had learned through a reliable source that Flat Nose George Currie was with a tough character named Henry Smith, somewhere in the northwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Old Mexico. Therefore, I received orders by mail to meet LaFors in Denver and go with him to Old Mexico in search of Flat Nose George Curry. We had decided that “Kid” Curry, Jim T.’s partner, would steer clear of the Little Rockies where everyone knew him. But in this we were mistaken, for not long after I left, he slipped back and killed Ranchman Winters who had killed his brother Johnny. Winters was a prosperous stock raiser; and he had told me that he expected to be waylaid and killed by “Kid” Curry.
In the latter part of August, I slipped out of the country on my red roan horse for which I had traded the bucking mare. No one knew I was going, but my supposed sweetheart, Elfie Curry. I told her that my partner was to be executed for a crime we had both committed in Old Mexico, and that I feared he would confess and give me away; that if he did, she would never see me again, as I intended to cut my suspenders and go straight up, where my friends would never hear of me. Otherwise, I would return. She was given a certain address in New Mexico from whence letters would be forwarded to me. Nearly a year afterwards, a letter from her reached me through that address. In her letter, she wrote that poor little Lonny, her four-year-old boy, was heartbroken over my long absence, and kept asking: “Mamma when is Mr. Carter coming home?” The little fellow was pretty and bright, and we had become greatly attached to each other. Of course, the letter was not answered, and I heard no more of them.
In Harlem, my horse and saddle were sold and I boarded a train for Denver. On reaching home, Joe LaFors met me and we went to El Paso, Texas, together. In El Paso, LaFors located until I could run down Henry Smith and his chum who was supposed to be Flat Nose George Currie. It had been agreed by Mr. Morris Butt, the president of the West Pacific Railway Company, that LaFors could stay in El Paso until I ran the men down. Then I was to notify LaFors, and he would come to me to identify Flat Nose George Currie, whom he had seen. In El Paso, I boarded a train for Casas Grandes, Mexico, at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. There, I secured a horse and saddle, and the strenuous part of my work began.
About 100 miles northwest of Casas Grandes, in Janos, a large Mexican town, I got on the trail of my men. But in the wind-up two weeks later, I concluded that Henry Smith’s chum was not Flat Nose George Currie. In the Mormon Colony of Bias, I wired to Joe LaFors in El Paso, Texas, that we were on the wrong trail; hence, he could return home to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Soon after this, Flat Nose George Currie was shot and killed in Utah, while trying to resist his capture. This confirmed my decision that Smith’s chum was not the man wanted.
While resting a few days in the Mormon colony of Dias, Mexico, I saw some queer sparking. The pretty eighteen-year-old hired girl at the place I was stopping made love to the sixty-year-old proprietor, and married him. This made his fourth wife, all living within a stone’s throw of each other. On this trip into Old Mexico I recognized several former cowboy chums, but I didn’t make myself known. Among them was one who was outlawed from Texas. He was going under an assumed name and was living with a native woman. They had a house full of little half-breeds of all sizes, from the cradle up into the teens. So why disturb him when he was faithfully assisting Mother Nature to improve the human race? From Dias, I rode on a stage coach to a station on the Sierra Madre railway and arrived back in Denver after an absence of over a month. As the New York Times said of Harvey Logan's life in the Wild West, "It reads like a dime novel, of the sensational type." His beginnings, however, were quiet and ordinary.
The four Logan brothers, Hank, Harvey, John, and Lonny, were born in Rowan County, Kentucky. While very young, they came to live with their aunt, Mrs. Hiram Lee, her son, Robert E., and a daughter, Lizzie, in Dodson, Missouri. Mrs. Lee, their father's sister, operated a farm situated on a hill between Dodson Road and Troost Avenue, sixteen miles from Kansas City. Why the boys left Kentucky is not known. In 1900, Justice Douglas, who knew the Lee family, was quoted in the Harlem (Montana) Enterprise: "Not much was known of their background. Even Mrs. Lee did not know a great deal about their parents. They came to live with her at the farm. The main house was a two-story frame house which Mrs. Lee and her husband, Hiram, occupied since the end of the Civil War. The elder Lee was an invalid, possibly a Confederate war veteran, who could be seen every day sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch while the Logan brothers and their cousin, Bob Lee, worked the farm. Neighbors recalled Harvey as quiet and reserved, Lonny outgoing and mischievous, and Johnny impulsive and owning a quick temper. Hank, the oldest, ‘kept the boys in hand.’ Cherokee blood showed in their thick black hair, black eyes, and dark skin. In their teens, the four brothers accompanied by Bob Lee, left Dodson for the west to become cowboys.”
Hank and Harvey joined the Circle outfit in Montana's Little Rockies country in the summer of 1884. As extra riders, they were paid off in the fall and spent the winter chopping forty cords of wood, which they sold in the spring before rejoining the Circle. They were all literate. "Dad" Marsh, a Missouri River trader, taught the young cowboys to read and write. Marsh recalled: "Every moment they had was put to studying; and one day, Hank brought in an order for some goods at my store written in his own hand. I was astonished. The boy was very proud of his accomplishment. Harvey and Hank pooled their savings; and with Jim Thornhill, another Circle rider, bought a ranch six miles south from the cow and mining town of Landusky.
The town was named after Powell (Pike) Landusky, one of Montana's earliest pioneers. Landusky, who first came to the mining camp of Last Chance in 1872, was a tough Missourian with extraordinary long arms who liked to boast of his physical strength. "If he liked you he would go to the gates of Hell for you," a friend recalled many years later. "If he disliked you, watch out. I don't know if he ever killed any white man, he just beat them until they couldn't fight any more. His hatred for Indians was a mania. No man knows how many he killed." In 1880, while on a drunken spree, Landusky killed the wife of White Calf, a Blackfoot. The warrior hunted him down and shot him with a Buffalo gun. The blast tore away part of his lower left jawbone. Landusky lived for seventeen days on whiskey while friends took him overland in a wagon to the nearest surgeon. "After that it was hard to tell how good looking he might have been," a pioneer remembered.
In June 1894, the miners and stockmen of Chouteau County officially named Pike's trading post “Landusky.” It soon became a stopping-off place for gunmen, rustlers, army deserters, fugitives with a price on their heads, along with respectable ranchers and miners. Landusky's partner was Jake Harris, known in the history of Montana's Little Rockies country as "Jew Jake." A saloon occupied the front part of the log building, with a counter in the rear where gloves, overalls, and overshoes were sold. In the early 1880s Harris had lost a leg from wounds he received in a gunfight with the sheriff of Great Falls. He walked with crutches, but a Landusky pioneer resident described him thus: "When Jake had the shift at the bar he used only the left-hand crutch, leaving the right hand free to use a No. 8 sawed off shotgun he always kept within reach. If it was an exceptionally lively night in the bar he used the shotgun as a crutch.”
After a year of ranching, Hank left Montana. Legend has him going to California, "the only honest Logan." Harvey was then joined by John and Lonny, the youngest. About this time, for some reason, the Logans changed their name to Curry; in Montana's frontier history, they are known as "the Curry boys." Their nearest neighbor was Landusky. The Missourian evidently respected Harvey, known as a quiet, almost aloof man, skilled with a six-shooter, "who made few friends, but none that you would call intimate friends. He and his brothers stuck pretty much together. Johnny was the wild one, always carrying a gun and trying to be a desperado. But it was Harvey the tough boys avoided. There was something about Harvey that made the so-called bad men walk around him."
“The Currys and Landusky remained friends and neighbors until one day there was a row; legend has it over a plow that Landusky borrowed and refused to return but a more logical reason is Landusky's buxom daughters. Two had been married but Lonny was courting Elfie, single and attractive. Landusky protested to Harvey, then threatened to shoot Lonny. In Jew Jake's saloon Harvey softly replied that if anyone hurt his brothers they would have to answer to him. And that included Pike Landusky. The feud simmered for a year until Pike had Harvey and Johnny arrested on a rustling charge. The sheriff of Chouteau County put the pair in Pike's custody until a hearing was held in Landusky. Once when Harvey wasn't carrying a gun, the Missourian tied him to a log with a chain and "threatened him with a nameless indignity." He constantly warned the Kid he would shoot him on sight if he ever appeared in Landusky. Kid Curry calmly accepted the beatings and threats. The younger Johnny insisted they confront Landusky in a stand-up fight but Harvey quietly told him he would settle with Pike in his own way and in his own time. The rustling charge was eventually dismissed.
On December 27, 1894, a light snow fell. About 10:30 A.M. Pike Landusky and a friend stood at the rough bar. Suddenly the door opened and Kid Curry followed by Lonny and Jim Thornhill, walked to where Landusky was standing and slapped him on the shoulder. As the Missourian turned, Curry hit him on the jaw, sending him sprawling on the floor. Lonny and Thornhill drew their guns and waved the crowd back as Curry leaped on Landusky's back. Pike, then about fifty years old and wearing a thick bearskin coat, fought desperately to get to his feet but Kid Curry kept beating him unmercifully. Finally, Pike was forced to do what he had never done before: cry out for help. Tommy Carter, an old prospector, appealed to Lonny and Thornhill to stop the beating but they refused. Curry continued smashing Pike's head against the floor until the older man weakly waved his hand to surrender. As he got to his feet a gun appeared in his hand. However, "it was a new type he found difficult to work." In the second that Pike fumbled with his weapon, Kid Curry drew his single-action Colt .45 and killed him with two shots. Customers ran out into the street along with Jake Harris who left on one crutch; he knew Thornhill or Lonny would have killed him if he had touched his shotgun. Johnny Curry, who may have been waiting, drove up in a wagon. Kid Curry, Lonny, and Thornhill jumped aboard and were gone within minutes.
Kid Curry's life as an outlaw and gunfighter began with Landusky's death. The Curry brothers had a number of friends who urged the Kid to stand trial but he rode off after a murder warrant was issued for his arrest. Thornhill and Lonny, tried for conspiracy to commit murder, were quickly acquitted by a jury whose members made it plain they considered the fight between Pike and the Kid to have been one of survival; Kid Curry had killed in self-defense. While Kid Curry rode to Wyoming, Johnny and Lonny continued to operate the ranch. In the summer of 1895 James M. Winters and A. Gill bought the Dan Tessler outfit adjacent to the Curry spread. Shortly after the new owners had moved in, Johnny Curry rode over to tell them he not only owned the ranch but also all irrigation rights. Winters showed him their bill of sale but Curry, in a rage and slapping the gun on his hip, shouted they had only ten days to get off the land or suffer the consequences. Winters, "who was good with a gun," as the Harlem Enterprise put it, drove him off the ranch. A few weeks later a visitor at the ranch borrowed a horse. As he rode down a road a hidden gunman fired, the bullet going through the crown of his hat. "They're out to get me," Winters was quoted as saying, "If they want me, they know where I am."
On the morning of February 1, 1896, Johnny Curry rode up to the front door of the Winters-Gill ranch. As Winters, armed with a shotgun, stepped out, Curry fired, the bullet narrowly missing the rancher. The blast from Winters's shotgun knocked Johnny out of his saddle; he died a short time later in the Fort Benton hospital. Winters surrendered at the fort where a coroner's jury ruled he had killed Curry in self-defense. In Wyoming, where he had joined Flat Nose George Currie's gang of rustlers and horse thieves, Harvey sent back word he would never forget it was Jim Winters who had killed his younger brother. After he had buried his brother John, Lonny Curry sold the ranch and with his cousin, Bob Lee, moved to Harlem where he opened a saloon. Harvey was feared, Johnny despised, but Lonny, handsome and friendly, was well liked in the county. His bar, The Curry Bros. Club Saloon, prospered.
Little is known of Lee who had dropped his illustrious name of Robert E. Lee for Bob Curry. After they had arrived in the Little Rockies from Dodson, Missouri, Bob had become a miner in Last Chance and Cripple Creek, Colorado. He was also a monte dealer and when times were bad, had turned to rustling. He was a stolid, stocky man, dark-skinned like the Logans. Those who recalled them said Bob did most of the bartending while Lonny courted the widows and young girls of Chouteau County. "Lonny's reputation with women was not enviable," one frontier man recalled. Lonny was also Harlem's favorite fiddler and supplied the music for the town's dances. After he took over the Club Saloon he decided he looked too youthful and grew a moustache and wore dark business suits instead of puncher's clothes. In the summer of 1894 he had saved enough to contemplate buying the Shufelt works, the largest quartz mill in Lewistown, and made frequent trips into the mining country, "seeking to make investments."
"Both Lonny and Bob Curry have conducted themselves in a peaceable law-abiding manner, in fact almost exemplary," the Harlem Enterprise commented in 1900. Meanwhile, in the Hole in the Wall country, Kid Curry and the other Flat Nose George Currie riders were driving stolen horse herds along the outlaw trail, as far south as Alma, New Mexico. From stealing horses and steers, the Kid turned to bank and train robbery. On the morning of June 2, 1895, he and Flat Nose George Currie led the gang that held up the Union Pacific's Overland Flyer, east of a bridge and siding known as Wilcox, Wyoming, 113 miles west of Cheyenne. The riders included Lonny and Bob Curry who had left their saloon to join the Kid. The technique was typical Wild West: the engineer eased his train to a stop when he saw the waving red lantern. As he stepped down from his cab, six armed men, faces blackened with burnt cork and wearing bandannas as masks, ran out of the darkness. Within the next two years the Currie gang had become one of the largest in the West. Using the K-C ranch on Powder River as an operational base, they plundered sheep and cattle ranches, robbed post offices, trains, and banks in Utah, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Currie, as the oldest and most experienced, was nominally in command but it was Kid Curry whom the riders obeyed and followed. In April 1897, Deputy Sheriff William Deane foolishly tried to capture the gang single-handedly. As he rode up to the front gate of the K-C ranch, he shouted "Hands up" to Curry and two others. Before the echo of his command had died away, the Kid had spun around and shot him out of his saddle. The body was dragged through the brush at the end of a rope and left by a road to be discovered the next day by a passing rancher.
On June 28, that same year, the Kid took part in his first bank robbery. Shortly after the Butte County Bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, opened, six masked men walked in and, as one newspaper reported, "cleaned out the money in sight." A posse finally cornered the gang near Lavina, Fergus County, Montana. Flat Nose George and the others were captured but Kid Curry held out; he surrendered only after he was convinced the situation was hopeless. The fugitives were lodged in the Deadwood jail for the Belle Fourche robbery but not for long. Some weeks later Curry overpowered the sheriff, unlocked the cells, and the gang escaped. Fleeing, they held up post offices, stole horses and supplies, and fought off posses.
On April 17, 1900, Flat Nose George Currie was killed while rustling steers at Thompson, Utah. A posse led by Sheriffs William Preece of Uintah County and Jesse M. Tyler of Grand County trapped Currie after they had driven off his horses. He refused to surrender and was killed in a gunfight. In Brown's Hole, Kid Curry assumed leadership of the gang, later merging with Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. On July 3, 1901, near Wagner, Montana, almost 200 miles east of Great Falls, the Kid, Cassidy, Harry Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan, and Camilla Hanks, known as "Deaf Charley," held up the Great Northern, shattering the express car with dynamite and charges of black powder. They rode off with $65,000 in unsigned bank notes consigned to the Helena, Montana, bank.
The gang scattered, but the Kid had a mission to finish in Montana: the murder of Jim Winters who had killed his brother Johnny five years before. He arrived at the Winters-Gill ranch late Wednesday, July 25, 1901. All night he patiently waited for Winters to appear. At sunup, the rancher came out on the back porch with a pan of water and started to brush his teeth. As he bent over, Kid Curry, resting his rifle on the bars of the corral, shot him twice. Gill, who ran out, saw a man in a crouching run leap on his horse. He swore it was Kid Curry. The nearest physician was in Harlem, sixty miles away. Gill and his hands put Winters in a wagon and drove to the town. It was an agonizing journey over the rutted roads in the blazing heat. Winters died shortly after he arrived. The Kid's marksmanship was impressive; two soft-nose .30-caliber bullets were found within an inch of each other near the dead man's navel. While his brother Harvey was carefully getting Jim Winters in his rifle sights, Lonny was courting Hattie Nichols, daughter of a Lewistown rancher. The Harlem Enterprise noted they had been seen riding together to the ranch of Jim Thornhill, Harvey's old partner.
In Harlem, Bob Curry was still behind the bar of the Club Saloon. On November 3, 1899, he made a drastic mistake when he sent five bank notes taken in the earlier Wilcox robbery to the Stockmen's National Bank at Fort Benton for redemption. The notes, torn by the dynamite blast that shattered the express car, still retained their numbers. They were routinely passed on to the bank's Chicago representative, who forwarded them to the First National Bank of Portland, which had been assigned the bank notes by the United States Treasury. The methodical banking process continued. Letters, telegrams, and memoranda passed between Fort Benton, Chicago, Portland, and the United States Treasury, tracing the journey of the bills from Washington to the express car. Finally, they were pinpointed as part of the Wilcox loot. The Pinkertons, representing the American Bankers' Association, took over the case. Operatives sent into Montana finally ended in Harlem. Friends warned Lonny Curry that detectives were in town.
On January 6, he hastily sold the Club Saloon to a local businessman, George J. Ringwald, and with Bob Curry left on horseback for the Little Rockies country. At Zurich, "a water tank accommodation stop," they boarded the train for Havre. From there they went to Shelby junction, then on to Cripple Creek, Colorado. Detectives relentlessly followed their trail, finding out where they had stayed in hotels or ranch houses, taken trains or hired horses at livery stables. Lonny shaved off his moustache and substituted "cowboy clothes" for his neat dark suit. In Cripple Creek, he visited the post office every morning, asking for a registered package.
Finally it came, money from the loyal Jim Thornhill. A few hours after the arrival of the package, Lonny said good-bye to Bob; the only refuge left in his violent world appeared to be Aunt Lee's place in Dodson, Missouri. His cousin decided to stay behind in the mining camps. Mrs. Lee, that "estimable little old lady who had no knowledge of the sort of life her nephew led," as the Kansas City Post later reported, gave Lonny a prodigal's return. For weeks, the outlaw hid out in the frame farmhouse on the hill. In early February, either through carelessness or overconfidence, he spent one of the torn Wilcox robbery bills in Dodson. Routine banking procedures in Kansas City spotted the bill; a message was sent to the Pinkertons in Chicago. Orders were flashed to the Kansas City, Missouri, office. Operatives quickly discovered Lonny Logan, who lived with the Lees, had passed the bill.
On the morning of February 28, 1900, a posse of Pinkertons and local police surrounded the farmhouse. Lonny, who may have wanted to draw fire away from the house, ran out. He was wearing a heavy overcoat and the snow was deep. He tried to reach a strip of timbers but when warning shots whistled about him he dropped behind a mound and returned the fire of the lawmen. After a brief, savage exchange he abruptly rose and stumbled toward the posse, his six-shooter blazing. In moments, he was riddled and fell dead in the snow. A shadow continued to hover over the outlaw brotherhood. A few weeks later Bob Curry, working as a monte dealer in the Antelope Club, Cripple Creek, was arrested. A white-handled, single-action .45, along with a clipping of the Wilcox robbery, was found in his valise. "Not a cent of money was found on his person," the Harlem Enterprise reported.
The Wild Bunch, the largest and most colorful band of outlaws in the Wild West, was broken up by the turn of the century, its riders scattered, resting in Boot Hills or serving long terms in prison like Bob Curry who had been convicted of the Wilcox robbery and sentenced to twenty years in Wyoming's state penitentiary. Butch Cassidy had begged Kid Curry to come to South America with him, Harry Longabaugh, the Sundance Kid, and Etta Place. Curry declined, refusing to believe the Wild West was finished, that it was nothing but a romantic memory, especially to the large eastern newspapers that periodically published full-page feature stories about the gang. The Kid told Butch he intended to travel, leisurely spending his share of the train and bank robberies, then would organize another gang.
In the fall of 1901 he began a tour of the South. Apparently, he was never without an attractive woman. There was Annie Rogers, a slender redhead, who stayed with him in Nashville and found him always a gentleman; Maudie Davis, who remembered how he bought her a fox skin. The Kid was also attracted to cameras; although he was one of the most wanted men in the country, he posed with Annie for a loving portrait in a Nashville, Tennessee, studio. She draped his arm over her shoulder while the Kid gazed at the lens with a slightly amused expression. His hair and moustache were neatly combed and trimmed. His dark double-breasted suit, polished boots, and wing collar made him appear a mild-mannered prosperous drummer. Curry, who went by the name of William Wilson, settled down to a routine of playing pool, drinking the sweet, syrupy brandy, courting Catherine, and occasionally visiting the hookers. A dark streak of violence ran deep and strong in the Kid, however; it took only an implied insult to turn him homicidal.
On the afternoon of December 13, 1901, he was quietly playing pool with two small-time local criminals, Luther Brady and Jim Boley, when an argument started. The Kid put down his cue and walked to the bar. He tossed off a drink, then returned to the table, knocked Brady over a barrel, and started to strangle him. When Boley tried to stop him, the Kid continued to choke Brady with one hand and with the other shot Boley. Bystanders told the police "he fired the shot with such speed he just had to fire the pistol from inside his pocket." Later, when Curry was captured, police could not find a bullet hole in his coat pocket. After he shot Boley, the Kid left the gasping Brady on the floor and started to clean out the bar. When Officers Robert Saylor and William Dinwiddie arrived, Curry had reduced the furniture to splinters and had taken on the customers who were fast losing their enthusiasm for battle. When the Kid refused to stop fighting, Saylor broke his billy over the outlaw's head. Curry, with his fast draw, shot Saylor four times and Dinwiddie once before he decided he had enough of Knoxville. As the Knoxville Journal and Tribune reported, "his face knitted in a demonical fury," he leaped through a back door only to fall twenty feet into an open railroad cut. Battered, bleeding, coatless, and limping from a badly sprained ankle, the Kid dodged the posses and their bloodhounds for three days in subzero temperatures.
On the afternoon of the fifteenth near Jefferson City about twenty miles from Knoxville, this fugitive from the Wild West encountered an enemy he had never faced before - the telephone. A.B. Carey, a Jefferson City merchant, called the Knoxville police to report he had seen a man walking down the road who he believed was the much-wanted fugitive. While waiting for the Knoxville posse to appear, Carey and three Jefferson City merchants decided to hunt down the outlaw. They finally discovered Logan huddled over a small fire. "He was slow in putting up his hands," Carey explained, "but he finally surrendered." Kid Curry, like all other gunfighters of the West, had an enormous ego and tremendous self-confidence. They showed in his bold visits to photography studios when he was nationally hunted with large rewards offered for his arrest, his almost studied indifference to lawmen, and his casual visits to big cities and towns where his wanted posters were prominently displayed. Although he was never known to brag of his skill with a six-shooter or of his physical toughness, the Kid was quietly proud of his reputation. To his many women visitors he never failed to point out that Knoxville newspapers were calling him "the Napoleon of Crime" and "the noted western desperado."
Confinement in a cell was torture for this man of the open plains. By Christmas 1902, a year after his capture, Curry's "health is fast giving away and his confinement is telling on him very much," the Fort Benton River Press reported. In the beginning the Kid had systematically exercised but as the months passed he did less and less. He constantly paced up and down, the frustrations and tensions slowly building. One day he went into a rage and tried to strangle a fellow prisoner who had taunted him as a "cowboy." It took all the guards on the cellblock to pry him loose from the man's throat. He also became weary of the crowds that still paraded outside his cell on weekends and once put a blanket over his head "as a protest to being put on display like an animal."
By Christmas 1902, the Kid was planning his escape. That month he wrote a revealing letter to his old friend Edward Hanlon, a fellow rancher in the Little Rockies. As Curry explained, to get the letter past the guards he "shot" it out his cell window with a rubber band; on the envelope he had written, "please mail this letter." The outlaw had shrewdly predicted that someone would pass the jail, pick up the letter, and mail it without questioning how it got there or where it was from. On November 30, 1902, Logan was sentenced to twenty years at hard labor in a federal penitentiary and fined $5,000. Law enforcement agencies warned Sheriff Fox and the president of the Union Pacific - a favorite of the Wild Bunch - that Logan was undoubtedly planning an escape from the Knoxville jail and guards should be doubled. They also insisted Logan should not be imprisoned in the Columbus penitentiary because "his pal, Ben Kilpatrick (the Tall Texan), is imprisoned there after having been convicted of train robbery in the United States court at St. Louis, Missouri, we think it would be very bad policy to have both these men confined in the same penitentiary." Logan's impressive team of attorneys, which included a former congressman, appealed his conviction.
After a lengthy hearing in the spring of 1903, his conviction was upheld by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Sixth District. In June preparations were made for federal marshals to deliver Logan in irons to a federal penitentiary. But as the lawmen had predicted, Logan broke out of the Knoxville County jail in one of the most bizarre escapes in the nation's history. Logan lassoed jailer Frank Irwin with a wire he had taken from a broom and tied him with strips of a canvas hammock he had hidden in his cell which the jailers and sheriff had insisted earlier to the U.S. Attorney's office had been empty of anything, including the outlaw's personal effects. After tying up Irwin and another guard, Tom Bell, Logan took their guns, selected the sheriff's fine bay, and casually rode out of town to disappear in the mountain wilderness. Although posses searched the mountains with local guides, Logan was never captured. Mountain people in the remote section of the wilderness known as Jeffrey's Hell reported they had seen the outlaw, carrying a small bag of provisions, making his way through the dense undergrowth. They insisted he would lose his way and exhaust his food. "Come spring, we'll look for his skeleton," one mountain man said. "We'll find it like we found the skeletons of those two others who went in that hell last year and never came out."
But, somehow, Harvey Logan, on foot, in poor physical condition because of his long confinement, and with a small amount of food, made his way across Jeffrey's Hell and eventually reached the West. In the winter of 1904, the Great Falls Tribune reported the Kid had been in Denver's Oxford Hotel carrying two suitcases filled with money that the outlaw insisted on carrying himself. When a bellboy entered the room with a pitcher of water he saw Logan bending over the opened suitcases. In each were bundles of "new currency and a large revolver beside them."
The startled boy notified the desk clerk who contacted the police. When they arrived, the Kid "had made his escape by a side entrance."
There were reports he fled to the Little Rockies country "where he had many friends." One said he had seen him and was told by the Kid, "I'll cut my way through here before they'll take me again." Then on June 7, 1904, three masked men held up the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad at Parachute, Colorado. They dynamited the express car but found the safe empty. A posse trailed them for two days, finally cornering the trio in a gully near Rifle. In the gun battle, one man was hit. The posse heard his companions call out to ask if he was wounded. "I'm hard hit and going to cash in quick. You go on," was the reply. At dawn, the posse rushed the gully. They found a dead man, six-shooter in hand, and a bullet in his temple. His companions had made their escape during the night. He was identified as Tap Duncan, a cowboy who had worked on local ranches. I think it is significant that we never heard from Harvey Logan again. Logan or Kid Curry, who I believe was the most dangerous man in the West, had taken his life in that gully because he could not face the possibility of being sent to prison. As he had told his jailers and his defense attorney in Knoxville, he would rather die than spend a long time in prison.
Lowell Spence, Pinkerton Detective
Lowell Spence makes several references to the money Kid Curry and his gang stole, and how little of it was recovered. For example, at the Belle Fourche bank robbery, they had "cleaned out the money in sight." He also mentions a Harlem Enterprise news article about Bob Curry’s arrest at Cripple Creek: “A white-handled, single-action .45, along with a clipping of the Wilcox robbery, was found in his valise. Not a cent of money was found on his person."
Where had the Currys stashed their stolen loot? The detective’s report also states that “Harvey Logan, on foot, in poor physical condition because of his long confinement, and with a small amount of food, made his way across Jeffrey's Hell and eventually reached the West.” This is another instance that begs the question, “Where did the Kid hide the stolen money?” We know that Kid Curry had stolen loot stashed because, like the Pinkerton report said: “In the winter of 1904, the Great Falls Tribune reported that the Kid had been in Denver's Oxford Hotel carrying two suitcases filled with money that “the outlaw insisted on carrying himself.”
When a bellboy entered the room with a pitcher of water, he saw Logan “bending over the opened suitcases. In each, were bundles of new currency; and a large revolver beside them.” The startled boy notified the desk clerk who contacted the police. When they arrived, Kid Curry “had made his escape by a side entrance." That same newspaper story mentions that, “There were reports he fled to the Little Rockies country, where he had many friends."
On June 2, 1899, Kid Curry’s gang robbed the Union Pacific Railroad Overland Flyer passenger train near Wilcox, Wyoming. It was estimated that $36,000 in cash and $10,000 in diamonds were taken; but, like the Wagner Montana train robbery, a number of notes were destroyed in the explosion.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS
Denver, Colorado
January 18, 1900
Further particulars have been received here regarding the Union Pacific train robbers, who have been trailed to Harlem, Mont. A bulletin just sent out by the Union Pacific road says satisfactory evidence has been obtained that the Curry brothers are part of the gang which held up and robbed the train at Wilcox, Wyo., in June last. Each of these men is fully described in the circular.
Their names are Louis or ‘Lonny’ [Logan], ‘Bob’ [Lee] and Harvey [Logan]. Louis has been running a saloon at Harlem. He suddenly sold out January 7 and skipped the town with Bob, both being heavily armed. It is thought they have been joined by Harvey and have possession of a part or all of the $3,400 unsigned bills of the First National bank of Portland, Ore.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
Charlotte, North Carolina
October 16, 1901

BOLDEST ROBBERY EVER
––––––––––––
Just before the bank’s closing on Monday, Oct. 14, 1901, a well-dressed woman walked into The Fourth National Bank of Nashville, Tenn., where she hoped to exchange some crisp new bills for less troublesome currency. She placed a bundle of $10’s on the marble counter and asked bank teller McHenry for $50’s or $100’s in exchange. All may have gone well for this would-be passer of stolen bank notes had McHenry not become suspicious, but he did. And, after consulting a circular detailing the serial numbers of missing notes, he summoned the local police. The stolen notes were from an assault by Kid Curry and two others on Great Northern Transcontinental’s express train No. 3 near Wagner, Mont. on July 3, 1901, as the nation and the train’s passengers anticipated the Fourth of July.
After effecting the robbery, aided by a liberal dose of dynamite, all three disappeared in the ravine and were seen later, one mounted on a bay horse, one upon a white horse, one upon a buckskin, heading southward at a furious gait, the booty being plainly visible in a sack thrown across the saddle bows of the rider upon the buckskin horse.
The gang headed for the Little Rockies range, lying across the Milk River, in an almost inaccessible country, consisting mainly of badlands. Posses were immediately organized in pursuit.
Kid Curry was involved with the gangs that robbed the Butte County Bank at Belle Fourche, South Dakota in 1897; that held up a Union Pacific train at Wilcox, Wyoming, which netted them $36,000 in cash, plus $10,000 in diamonds, and an undetermined amount of bank notes on June 2, 1899; that robbed the First National Bank at Winnemucca, Nevada, of over $30,000 in 1900; and that got $35,000 from a Great Northern train at Wagner, Montana, in 1901.
Could Kid Curry, his brothers, and the other gang members, have loot stashed in the Russell Country region of Montana? They must have hidden the money somewhere, and they did spend a lot of time in the area. Perhaps, someday, the rest Kid Curry’s loot will be found.
 
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Tiredman

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Hope it all popped in ok. This is the last story in our 4th book in the series on the historical lost treasures of Montana.
 

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The Butte inter mountain. (Butte, Mont.), 14 Aug. 1901.

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The Butte inter mountain. (Butte, Mont.) 1901-1912, August 14, 1901, Page 5, Image 5 « Chronicling America « Library of Congress
 
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Remember years ago Jeff, when folks would post things like, ;I wish my wife would get involved with my hobby;. Doing books on lost treasure, she would formate and the cover work and upload them to create space and Kindle. Now I just select the stories to cover and she researches them. Presents her discoveries and I read thru them and decide if they fit the story. After a few proof readings we have another book done.
 
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This Chased To Montana is something she came across. It covers Wyoming, Montana and down into Old Mexico and is the Pinkerton side of the story. Still is was interesting and goes into the book. Since my market is not metal detecting or hard core treasure hunters it works. The real market using lost treasures and regional history is the tourist industry.
 
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Glad you liked it. Thanks for posting your opinion.
 

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