No. 9 Molly’s Revenge

capay_valley_manzinta_tree
Chaparral “Manzanita” Shrub

Some folks in town had already taken up a collection to erect a marker on the site. Of course, the Growers Association wanted to call it “The Capay Valley Stand Off.” But, locals who traded at Black’s Station called it a massacre.

Skirmishes over land and water rights in the Sacramento Valley had taken place during the winter of 1868. It was big cattle versus the homesteaders. And, there would be no winners.

Marshal Frank Kegan rode in on that terrible day with seven men to the Dollarhide place, a small farm amid the rolling hills spotted with grand oaks and Manzanitas trees. The marshal was delivering eviction notices petitioned by the Ramage Stock, Land & Water Company. Kegan did not realize that a funeral would be taking place in Hungry Hollow that morning. Mourners from the town of Munchville attended the burial services for ten-year-old Lilly Dollarhide, the daughter of Carl and Molly Rose. Read more

No. 8 To Bedrock Jim’s Surprise

Illustration by Charles M. Russell
Illustration by Charles M. Russell

Western painter and storyteller Charles M. Russell tells a story about a couple of prospectors he knew. Bedrock Jim was working a claim in the Big Horn high country with his partner, Pick Axe Jack. And, it dawned on them that they were out of meat for suppertime. So, they went hunting. Not far from camp, Bedrock caught sight of a fine elk with large, pitchforked antlers. He got off a shot with his Henry and dropped the bull. The two men strode over to admire the prize, leaning their rifles up against a fallen log.

Standing over the 800-pound animal—rolled over on its side—Bedrock Jim could see a spot of blood on its neck. Thinking that the neck was broken, Bedrock grabbed a horn to straighten it out so that he could make a proper cut to the throat with his knife. But the elk got to its feet, still very much alive, and went after Jim. The bull was fighting mad and the two men were at once embroiled in a mighty struggle. To their misfortune, their guns rested on the wrong side of the angry elk.

Exhausted and unable to subdue the beast, Bedrock Jim scampered up a scrub of pine growing near a rocky ledge. The small tree was not tall enough to accommodate both men, so Pick Axe found sanctuary in a paltry hole beneath the ledge. Read more