Sheriff Tom Gunne and his men were not feeling their most charitable near the end of Summer. After rescuing Miss Sue Ellen from the clutches of the Philadelphia Kid and the rest of the Black Cole Elgin Gang, the Preacher encountered the Kid and some of the Elgin boys on the road outside of town. The Rev’d Hargreaves, ever hopeful of saving any soul in turmoil, tried to reason with the drunken outlaw. Before the others could stop him, the Philadelpia Kid pulled his hogleg and stowed lead right between the preacher’s eyes.
The day after the humble man of God was buried, Major Eustace Pilesforth and his Southern bandits entered the town in obnoxious spirits with weapons drawn.
The Corporal was trading blows with the enraged Sheriff when he noticed that his men were going down and being driven to the woods. The Corporal had no desire to take up residence in the Assumption County Jail and fled as fast as the faithful Traveller would carry him.
When the smoke cleared, Sam and Jake had rounded up two wounded outlaws – Pt. Luke Tate, and more impressively, the infamous outlaw Cpl. Moses Peachtree, Major Eustace Pilesforth’s right-hand man. Reportedly, Sheriff Gunne approached Peachtree and kicked him hard in the face before leaning down on one knee. He looked him in the eye as he spoke in an austere tone.
“The JP’s gone north on business hill-billy. That means I’m actin’ in his place… judge, jury, and exer’cutioner. Yer Moses Peachtree… thievin’, rustlin’, killin’ men. Y’ev kept yerself busy Peachtree.”
“What’s it to ya…BOY!” His reply was less than respectful. Jake Hackett tensed, expecting Sheriff Gunne to beat the outlaw senseless then and there. Instead, the Sheriff turned and walked away. As he parted, his words shocked all those present.
“Lock’em up Sam. They hang in the morning.” The southern men lost their cool at that moment and begged for their lives.
The Sheriff was as good as his word. At sun-up, the charges were formally written-up and read aloud to all present by Deputy Sam Blake:
“Pt. Luke Tate and Cpl. Moses Peachtree. You have both been found guilty of thieving, cattle rustling, and willfull murder. The Assumption Vigilence Committee, under the authority of Sheriff Thomas Hayden Gunne finds you guilty on all counts and orders you hung by the neck until dead.”
The stools were kicked out from under the prisoners, and within seconds, the ordeal was over. Tom Gunne walked away from the gallows saying, “cut em down Sam and get’em outta my sight. Now let’s see what this Pilesforth has to offer.”
Thanks for reading,