We now join the graphic novel Mickey Free, in progress: when Tom Horn worked at San Carlos in 1888 he was a well known roper of some skill. He is seen here as Freddy Remington sketched him, prior to attending a "Cowboy Competition" in Phoenix:
Horn attended the steer roping held on a ranch north of Phoenix in the open desert (about where Thomas Road and Central Avenue is today). Although there were other Arizona cowboys in attendance, the big money was on Horn and Arizona Charlie, seen here in a rare photo:
Charlie is the tall one with his stirrups practically touching the ground (he was a reported six foot four). The event was a success, and, while Horn turned in a record time (59 seconds), Arizona Charlie was neck and neck in the two day competition. Both finished in the money and a huge celebration followed at the Adams Hotel where everyone got gloriously drunk.
Horn was supposed to have accompanied Sheriff Glenn Reynolds this same weekend, escorting seven Apache prisoners, including The Apache Kid, to the train station at Casa Grande. All the prisoners were headed for Yuma and the territorial prison, known widely as a "hell-hole."
With Horn out of town, Reynolds tapped "Hunkydory" Holmes to ride herd on the In-din prisoners.
This is a gouache mugshot of the Apache Kay-gon-lay who was sentenced to a year in the pen for Grand Larceny. Although Apaches were quite adept at survival in harsh climes, many Apaches died at Yuma.
The Apache Kid would not be one of them.
“Always quit writing for the day when you know what the next sentence is going to be.”
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