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Hunted Down or, Five Days in the Fog   By:

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A Thrilling Narrative





Written by himself while in jail, and respectfully dedicated to Mr. Nicholas Breen.





I write this narrative while confined in the Modesto jail awaiting my trial for the shooting of the defamer of my mother's name on the 7th of December, 1874. It will be seen by reading the following statement, that I gave myself up to the sheriff to be held to await the decision of the law. I will here explain why it was necessary for me to be taken to the Modesto jail. There was no safe jail at Merced, and it had been the custom for several months to take Merced prisoners to Modesto, a town in the adjoining county, and a distance of about forty miles. The cars passed through Merced about noon on the day of the shooting, five hours after the affair happened, and direct to Modesto. Why did not the sheriff improve this opportunity of taking me to a place of safety? Failing in that, a good span of horses could have conveyed us to Modesto during the afternoon. He knew the jail was not safe, and instead of doing what every sensible man would conceive to be a sheriff's duty, he chose rather to send me out handcuffed, with two men, on a public highway, to a lone wayside inn, seven miles from Merced, and ten from Snellings. It seems from my brother's and several other gentlemen's statement, that every horse was engaged at the livery stable in Merced before eight o'clock on that night.

There is another question which will naturally arise in the thinking mind: Where did the sheriff go, and what was he doing that night while the mob was getting ready? The mystery may be solved some day.

I wish to show in this simple statement that I did not flee coward like from justice, but that I was making my escape from a drunken infuriated mob, after being duly liberated by the deputy sheriff. I understand that the mob, or a portion of the mob that night returned and destroyed my step father's printing office, although the sheriff was in town.


Hunted Down; or, Five Days in the Fog.

Oh, why this fog, so thick and dark for five long days and nights? It seems as though kind Providence has veiled the heavenly lights, That he who seeks his life to save shall live the tale to tell Of drunken mobs and demon cries, like legions just from hell.

On Monday morning, at about fifteen minutes to eight o'clock, December 7th, 1874, immediately after the shooting, or as soon thereafter as I could collect my scattered senses, which was in about three minutes, I inquired for the sheriff for the purpose of giving myself up; but he nor any of his deputies were on the spot. After waiting a few minutes longer I began to grow impatient at the delay of the officers, and not wishing to move from the scene of shooting for fear the movement would be misconstrued and I be accused of trying to effect an escape, I sent a messenger in quest of Sheriff Meany (I forget now who the messenger was). In a short time thereafter Sheriff Meany arrived on the spot, and perceiving him, I addressed him thus: "Sheriff Meany, I am your prisoner." He grabbed me in rather a rough manner by the lapel of my coat, took me to the lock up, thence to the El Capitan hotel, and after remaining at the latter place for half an hour (for what reason I know not), he conducted me back to the lock up, thrust me in, and turned the key on me. In a short time thereafter my breakfast was brought to me without knife or fork to eat with... Continue reading book >>

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