Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Fountain Buckboard, or, Fountain Buggy?

December 4, 2013
   Getting closer to wrapping up the big Assassination of Pat Garrett—and The Fountain Murder features. I did an FPO (for position only) illustration a couple days ago of the Fountains conveyance on the day they were ambushed. In the court testimony in the court case, Albert Fall uses the term buggy and buckboard to describe the victims ride, sometimes in the same sentence. So what kind of a wagon were they in?

Daily Whipout, "The Fountains On Their Way to Chalk Hill"

   Yes, an Apache at Blazer's Mill gifted Fountain with a pony and the lawyer tied it to the back of the wagon to take home for his kids. He also had 50 pounds of uncut alfalfa in a sack in the back. The two had a blanket draped over their laps to ward off the February cold.

   So I emailed Corey Recko to ask about the buckboard vs. buggy dilemma and here's what he said:

"From what I understand from the Fountain family, it was a buckboard body but covered (which would explain why it is called both a buckboard and buggy in trial testimony).  The Colonel's son Albert (who was part of the search party) did a painting of his father and brother in the buckboard years later, and it showed an uncovered buckboard (a rear view of what you have below), but Albert's granddaughter, Mary Alexander, told me that the buckboard was in fact covered, but Albert wanted to be able to show his father and brother in the panting."
—Corey Recko, author of "Murder On The White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain"

   Ah yes, an artist gumming up the historical record to make it easier to paint. Does that ever sound familiar! Anyway, I also want to illustrate a shooter waiting for his mark (it happened in both cases). Did a sketch of that this morning before I came into work:

Daily Whipout, "Waiting for The Mark"

Uncanny Similarities Between The Fountain and Garrett Murders
• both were ambushed on the same road

• both victims were riding in buggies

• both assassins waited at a preordained spot and smoked cigarettes while they waited (I believe they found two cartridges and cigarette butts at both crime scenes. Checking with Recko and Boardman to confirm this.)

• both killers got away scott free

   I'm sure there are more similarities, but those are the first things that popped out at me.

"How did you first find the trail of Colonel Fountain's buckboard? Did you not testify this morning that it was no trouble for you to find the buggy tracks. . ."
—Attorney Albert Fall, cross examining Antonio Garcia in the Fountain Murder Trial