Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Four Dead in Five Seconds

My theme for A- Z is the year my book takes place: 1881. I'll be posting about people, places, and random facts about the year as it relates - however distantly - to my book.

Today we have yet another violent episode for the year: Four Dead in Five Seconds, which occurred in El Paso, Texas on April 14, 1881.


This famous gunfight began over the theft of 30 head of cattle, stolen in Mexico and driven into Texas to sell. When two Mexican investigators ended up dead, a posse soon followed and the bodies of the dead men were found at the ranch of Johnny Hale, a local ranch owner and known cattle rustler. An inquest was held with Constable Krempkau acting as interpreter. Marshall Stoudenmire was present during the proceedings and afterwards went across the street for supper. Next door at the saloon Krempkau was confronted by ex-city Marshall George Campbell (a friend of Hale's), regarding his translations and "apparent friendship with the Mexicans." George Hale, drunk and pissed off, grabbed one of Campbell's guns and shot Krempkau.

Marshall Stoudenmire heard the shots and pulled out his pistols, running outside. While running he fired wildly and killed an innocent bystander. A moment later he spotted John Hale peering out from behind an adobe pillar. Stoudenmire shot him between the eyes. Campbell stepped from cover and yelled to Marshall Stoudenmire that this wasn't his fight. Krempkau then fired twice at Campbell, hitting him in the wrist and foot, before passing out. Stoudenmire then fired at Campbell, hitting him in the stomach. Campbell and Krempkau both died within minutes. 

After just a few seconds, four men lay dead or dying

I do love history but I'm not sure I'd want to go back in time like my characters did. 1881 was a dangerous year. 


13 comments:

  1. Yikes!! Talk about wild wild west!! Crikey! But I do love Krempkau's name!

    Take care
    x

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  2. Not when both sides die in the fight - no thanks!

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  3. Yikes! This reminds us of how dangerous those times were. Catchy "F" title to your post.

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  4. Geesh. That is the wild west in all its gory glory.

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  5. Oh, man, I agree with you on not wanting to follow your characters back in time. I don't think I'd have fared well in the good 'ole west. lol

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  6. Gotta love Old West "justice."

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  7. Replies
    1. I wonder how the food was?

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    2. not so good. Food poisoning was fairly common and they cooked the crap out vegetables.

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  8. Wow, what a violent time and a horrible day for that town.

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  9. And that is what happens when you shoot first and ask questions later. Geez!

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