Monday, February 22, 2010

It's All Trew: Law and order used to be so very different

History tells of a time in early Donley County, Texas, when the rustlers and ne'er-do-wells became so numerous, they threatened the outcome of a trial of one of their peers. Rancher Charles Goodnight, tired of suffering cattle losses to the thieves, heard of the threat. He rode into Clarendon with a tough-looking bunch of cowboys wearing sidearms and carrying rifles across their saddles. They took up positions around the courthouse during the night. The next day's trial went off without a hitch, with the thief convicted and sent to prison. One citizen observer commented later as how "the population of Donley County 'dropped considerably' thereafter in a short period of time." A big-time feud between competing free-range ranchers in South Texas once threatened a small community. A plea for help was sent to the Texas Ranger camp located about 100 miles distant. Help came as fast as a horse could travel as one scrawny, big-hatted Ranger rode in and placed his jaded mount in the livery stable. The community groaned as the skinny runt sat down on the courthouse veranda, believing their plea would be in more

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