The Wildest Of The Wild Bunch
Harvey Logan, alias Kid Curry, one of the most dangerous men in the Wild West, was no tall ruggedly handsome Gary Cooper; photographs taken in the 1880s make him appear to be a mild-mannered man of medium height with melancholy dark eyes and dressed rather formally in a blue suit and wing collar. Lawmen who trailed him across the West - and beyond the grave - credited him with killing fifteen men "on the record"; he once rode hundreds of miles to wait patiently all night to gun down a rancher he held responsible for his younger brother's death.
Despite being less well known than his counterparts, he has since been referred to as "the wildest of the Wild Bunch". He killed at least nine law enforcement officers in five different shootings, and another two men in other instances, and was involved in several shootouts with posses and civilians during his outlaw days.
There was a sense of suppressed violence about him that men never forgot; he was so fast on the draw that witnesses in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was finally captured, testified his shots came so fast it was hard to believe he had drawn his six-shooter and not fired through a coat pocket. He was slight in build but had enormous physical endurance. When he disappeared into the Tennessee wilderness known as "Jeffrey's Hell," mountaineers predicted they would find his bones in the spring but Kid Curry, as Logan was known in the West, appeared a month later in Denver carrying a suitcase of money, probably from a train robbery, generously tipping bellboys like a prosperous drummer and advising old friends he was glad to be back and promising, "I'll cut my way through hell before they'll take me again ..."
He was proud of his reputation as a badman and killer. While the nation eagerly read newspaper accounts of the Northwest manhunt for Harry Tracy, a fellow Wild Bunch rider, Logan wrote a friend in Montana: "If I don't give them a better run for their money than that cub, Harry Tracy, then my name isn't Harvey Logan ..."
Women were attracted to him. They flocked to his Knoxville cell bringing flowers, "fine foods," and bribing guards to deliver their love notes. So many "fine presents from Knoxville women" filled Logan's cell the sheriff cut off all packages to the outlaw.
Logan was always accompanied by attractive women when he was "on the dodge" following a train or bank robbery. They were not all girls from Fanny Porter's Sporting House, the Texas frontier brothel where Logan hid out when he wasn't touring the country on stolen bank notes; Catherine Cross, a member of what the Knoxville newspapers called "a good family," may have helped him to escape from prison. She was later murdered by an infuriated drunk or madman because she insisted on singing a ballad about the Kid and his exploits.
Maud Davis described him as a "gentleman, clean through"; to Annie Rogers, who had her picture taken with one arm around Logan, "he was a fine man who never said a bad or cross word to me ..." Logan not only impressed Fanny Porter's whores and dazzled the matrons of Knoxville, but he also left lasting memories with the cowboys and ranchers who knew him in Montana's beautiful country of the Little Rockies.
As the New York Times said of Harvey Logan's life in the Wild West, "It reads like a dime novel, of the sensational type." His beginnings, however, were quiet and ordinary. The four Logan brothers, Hank, Harvey, John, and Lonny, were born in Rowan County, Kentucky. While very young they came to live with their aunt, Mrs. Hiram Lee, her son, Robert E., and a daughter, Lizzie, in Dodson, Missouri. Mrs. Lee, their father's sister, operated a farm situated on a hill between Dodson Road and Troost Avenue, sixteen miles from Kansas City. Why the boys left Kentucky is not known. In 1900 Justice Douglas, who knew the Lee family, was quoted in the Harlem (Montana) Enterprise: "Not much was known of their background. Even Mrs. Lee did not know a great deal about their parents. They came to live with her at the farm, the main house was a two-story frame house which Mrs. Lee and her husband, Hiram, occupied since the end of the Civil War.
The elder Lee was an invalid, possibly a Confederate war veteran, who could be seen every day sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch while the Logan brothers and their cousin, Bob Lee, worked the farm. Neighbors recalled Harvey as quiet and reserved, Lonny outgoing and mischievous, and Johnny impulsive and owning a quick temper. Hank, the oldest, "kept the boys in hand."
Cherokee blood showed in their thick black hair, black eyes, and dark skin. In their teens the four brothers, accompanied by Bob Lee, "left Dodson for the west to become cowboys." Hank and Harvey joined the Circle outfit in Montana's Little Rockies country in the summer of 1884. As extra riders they were paid off in the fall and spent the winter chopping forty cords of wood, which they sold in the spring before rejoining the Circle.
They were all literate. "Dad" Marsh, a Missouri River trader, taught the young cowboys to read and write. Marsh recalled: "Every moment they had was put to studying and one day Hank brought in an order for some goods at my store, written in his own hand. I was astonished. The boy was very proud of his accomplishment.
Harvey and Hank pooled their savings and with Jim Thornhill, another Circle rider, bought a ranch six miles south from the cow and mining town of Landusky. The town was named after Powell (Pike) Landusky, one of Montana's earliest pioneers. Landusky, who first came to the mining camp of Last Chance in 1872, was a tough Missourian with extraordinary long arms who liked to boast of his physical strength. "If he liked you he would go to the gates of Hell for you," a friend recalled many years later. "If he disliked you, watch out. I don't know if he ever killed any white man, he just beat them until they couldn't fight any more. His hatred for Indians was a mania. No man knows how many he killed."
In 1880, while on a drunken spree, Landusky killed the wife of White Calf, a Blackfoot. The warrior hunted him down and shot him with a Buffalo gun. The blast tore away part of his lower left jawbone. Landusky lived for seventeen days on whiskey while friends took him overland in a wagon to the nearest surgeon. "After that it was hard to tell how good looking he might have been," a pioneer remembered.
In June 1894, the miners and stockmen of Chouteau County officially named Pike's trading post Landusky. It soon became a stopping-off place for gunmen, rustlers, army deserters, fugitives with a price on their heads, along with respectable ranchers and miners. Landusky's partner was Jake Harris, known in the history of Montana's Little Rockies country as "Jew Jake." A saloon occupied the front part of the log building with a counter in the rear where gloves, overalls, and overshoes were sold.
In the early 1880s Harris had lost a leg from wounds he received in a gunfight with the sheriff of Great Falls. He walked with crutches but a Landusky pioneer resident described him: "When Jake had the shift at the bar he used only the left hand crutch, leaving the right hand free to use a No. 8 sawed off shotgun he always kept within reach. If it was an exceptionally lively night in the bar he used the shotgun as a crutch ...
After a year of ranching Hank left Montana, legend has him going to California, "the only honest Logan." Harvey was then joined by John and Lonny, the youngest. About this time, for some reason, the Logans changed their name to Curry; in Montana's frontier history they are known as "the Curry boys."
Their nearest neighbor was Landusky. The Missourian evidently respected Harvey, known as a quiet, almost aloof man, skilled with a six-shooter, "who made few friends and none of the, what you would call intimate friends ... he and his brothers stuck pretty much together. Johnny was the wild one, always carrying a gun and trying to be a desperado ... But it was Harvey the tough boys avoided. There was something about Harvey that made the so-called badmen walk around him ..."
The Currys and Landusky remained friends and neighbors until one day there was a row; legend has it over a plow that Landusky borrowed and refused to return but a more logical reason is Landusky's buxom daughters. Two had been married but Lonny was courting Elfie, single and attractive. Landusky protested to Harvey, then threatened to shoot Lonny. In Jew Jake's saloon Harvey softly replied that if anyone hurt his brothers they would have to answer to him. And that included Pike Landusky.
The feud simmered for a year until Pike had Harvey and Johnny arrested on a rustling charge. The sheriff of Chouteau County put the pair in Pike's custody until a hearing was held in Landusky. Once when Harvey wasn't carrying a gun, the Missourian tied him to a log with a chain and "threatened him with a nameless indignity." He constantly warned the Kid he would shoot him on sight if he ever appeared in Landusky.
Kid Curry calmly accepted the beatings and threats. The younger Johnny insisted they confront Landusky in a stand-up fight but Harvey quietly told him he would settle with Pike in his own way and in his own time. The rustling charge was eventually dismissed.
On December 27, 1894, a light snow fell. About 10:30 A.M. Pike Landusky and a friend stood at the rough bar. Suddenly the door opened and Kid Curry followed by Lonny and Jim Thornhill, walked to where Landusky was standing and slapped him on the shoulder. As the Missourian turned, Curry hit him on the jaw, sending him sprawling on the floor. Lonny and Thornhill drew their guns and waved the crowd back as Curry leaped on Landusky's back. Pike, then about fifty years old and wearing a thick bearskin coat, fought desperately to get to his feet but Kid Curry kept beating him unmercifully. Finally Pike was forced to do what he had never done before: cry out for help.
Tommy Carter, an old prospector, appealed to Lonny and Thornhill to stop the beating but they refused. Curry continued smashing Pike's head against the floor until the older man weakly waved his hand to surrender. As he got to his feet a gun appeared in his hand. However, "it was a new type he found difficult to work." In the second that Pike fumbled with his weapon, Kid Curry drew his single-action Colt .45 and killed him with two shots.
Customers ran out into the street along with Jake Harris who left on one crutch; he knew Thornhill or Lonny would have killed him if he had touched his shotgun. Johnny Curry, who may have been waiting, drove up in a wagon. Kid Curry, Lonny, and Thornhill jumped aboard and were gone within minutes.
Kid Curry's life as an outlaw and gunfighter began with Landusky's death. The Curry brothers had a number of friends who urged the Kid to stand trial but he rode off after a murder warrant was issued for his arrest. Thornhill and Lonny, tried for conspiracy to commit murder, were quickly acquitted by a jury whose members made it plain they considered the fight between Pike and the Kid to have been one of survival; Kid Curry had killed in self-defense.
While Kid Curry rode to Wyoming, Johnny and Lonny continued to operate the ranch. In the summer of 1895 James M. Winters and A. Gill bought the Dan Tessler outfit adjacent to the Curry spread. Shortly after the new owners had moved in, Johnny Curry rode over to tell them he not only owned the ranch but also all irrigation rights. Winters showed him their bill of sale but Curry, in a rage and slapping the gun on his hip, shouted they had only ten days to get off the land or suffer the consequences.
Winters, "who was good with a gun," as the Harlem Enterprise put it, drove him off the ranch. A few weeks later a visitor at the ranch borrowed a horse. As he rode down a road a hidden gunman fired, the bullet going through the crown of his hat. "They're out to get me," Winters was quoted as saying. "If they want me, they know where I am."
On the morning of February 1, 1896, Johnny Curry rode up to the front door of the Winters-Gill ranch. As Winters, armed with a shotgun, stepped out, Curry fired, the bullet narrowly missing the rancher. The blast from Winters's shotgun knocked Johnny out of his saddle; he died a short time later in the Fort Benton hospital. Winters surrendered at the fort where a coroner's jury ruled he had killed Curry in self-defense.
In Wyoming, where he had joined Flat Nose George Currie's gang of rustlers and horse thieves, Harvey sent back word he would never forget it was Jim Winters who had killed his younger brother.
After he had buried his brother John, Lonny Curry sold the ranch and with his cousin, Bob Lee, moved to Harlem where he opened a saloon. Harvey was feared, Johnny despised, but Lonny, handsome and friendly, was well liked in the county. His bar, The Curry Bros. Club Saloon, prospered.
Little is known of Lee who had dropped his illustrious name of Robert E. Lee for Bob Curry. After they had arrived in the Little Rockies from Dodson, Missouri, Bob had become a miner in Last Chance and Cripple Creek, Colorado. He was also a monte dealer and when times were bad, had turned to rustling. He was a stolid, stocky man, dark-skinned like the Logans.
Those who recalled them said Bob did most of the bartending while Lonny courted the widows and young girls of Chouteau County. "Lonny's reputation with women was not enviable," one frontier man recalled."
Lonny was also Harlem's favorite fiddler and supplied the music for the town's dances. After he took over the Club Saloon he decided he looked too youthful and grew a moustache and wore dark business suits instead of puncher's clothes. In the summer of 1894 he had saved enough to contemplate buying the Shufelt works, the largest quartz mill in Lewistown, and made frequent trips into the mining country, "seeking to make investments." "Both Lonny and Bob Curry have conducted themselves in a peaceable law abiding manner, in fact almost exemplary," the Harlem Enterprise commented in 1900. Meanwhile in the Hole in the Wall country, Kid Curry and the other Flat Nose George Currie riders were driving stolen horse herds along the outlaw trail, as far south as Alma, New Mexico.
From stealing horses and steers, the Kid turned to bank and train robbery. On the morning of June 2, 1895, he and Flat Nose George Currie led the gang that held up the Union Pacific's Overland Flyer, east of a bridge and siding known as Wilcox, Wyoming, 113 miles west of Cheyenne. The riders included Lonny and Bob Curry who had left their saloon to join the Kid. The technique was typical Wild West: the engineer eased his train to a stop when he saw the waving red lantern. As he stepped down from his cab, six armed men, faces blackened with burnt cork and wearing bandannas as masks, ran out of the darkness.
Within the next two years the Currie gang had become one of the largest in the West. Using the K-C ranch on Powder River as an operational base, they plundered sheep and cattle ranches, robbed post offices, trains, and banks in Utah, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Currie, as the oldest and most experienced, was nominally in command but it was Kid Curry whom the riders obeyed and followed.
In April 1897, Deputy Sheriff William Deane foolishly tried to capture the gang single-handedly. As he rode up to the front gate of the K-C ranch, he shouted "Hands up" to Curry and two others. Before the echo of his command had died away, the Kid had spun around and shot him out of his saddle. The body was dragged through the brush at the end of a rope and left by a road to be discovered the next day by a passing rancher.
On June 28, that same year, the Kid took part in his first bank robbery. Shortly after the Butte County Bank in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, opened, six masked men walked in and, as one newspaper reported, "cleaned out the money in sight."
A posse finally cornered the gang near Levins, Fergus County, Montana. Flat Nose George and the others were captured but Kid Curry held out; he surrendered only after he was convinced the situation was hopeless. The fugitives were lodged in the Deadwood jail for the Belle Fourche robbery but not for long. Some weeks later Curry overpowered the sheriff, unlocked the cells, and the gang escaped.
Fleeing, they held up post offices, stole horses and supplies, and fought off posses. On April 17, 1900, Flat Nose George Currie was killed while rustling steers at Thompson, Utah. A posse led by Sheriffs William Preece of Uintah County and Jesse M. Tyler of Grand County trapped Currie after they had driven off his horses. He refused to surrender and was killed in a gunfight.
In Brown's Hole, Kid Curry assumed leadership of the gang, later merging with Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch. On July 3, 1901, near Wagner, Montana, almost 200 miles east of Great Falls, the Kid, Cassidy, Harry Longbaugh, the Sundance Kid, Ben Kilpatrick, the Tall Texan, and Camilla Hanks, known as "Deaf Charley," held up the Great Northern, shattering the express car with dynamite and charges of black powder.
They rode off with $65,000 in unsigned bank notes consigned to the Helena, Montana, bank. The gang scattered but the Kid had a mission to finish in Montana: the murder of Jim Winters who had killed his brother Johnny five years before. He arrived at the Winters-Gill ranch late Wednesday, July 25, 1901. All night he patiently waited for Winters to appear. At sunup, the rancher came out on the back porch with a pan of water and started to brush his teeth. As he bent over, Kid Curry, resting his rifle on the bars of the corral, shot him twice. Gill, who ran out, saw a man in a crouching run leap on his horse. He swore it was Kid Curry.
The nearest physician was in Harlem, sixty miles away. Gill and his hands put Winters in a wagon and drove to the town. It was an agonizing journey over the rutted roads in the blazing heat. Winters died shortly after he arrived. The Kid's marksmanship was impressive; two soft-nose.30-caliber bullets were found within an inch of each other near the dead man's navel.
While his brother Harvey was carefully getting Jim Winters in his rifle sights, Lonny was courting Hattie Nichols, daughter of a Lewistown rancher. The Harlem Enterprise noted they had been seen riding together to the ranch of Jim Thornhill, Harvey's old partner.
In Harlem Bob Curry was still behind the bar of the Club Saloon. On November 3, 1899, he made a drastic mistake when he sent five bank notes taken in the earlier Wilcox robbery to the Stockmen's National Bank at Fort Benton for redemption. The notes, torn by the dynamite blast that shattered the express car, still retained their numbers. They were routinely passed on to the bank's Chicago representative, who forwarded them to the First National Bank of Portland, which had been assigned the bank notes by the United States Treasury. The methodical banking process continued. Letters, telegrams, and memoranda passed between Fort Benton, Chicago, Portland, and the United States Treasury, tracing the journey of the bills from Washington to the express car; finally they were pinpointed as part of the Wilcox loot.
The Pinkertons, representing the American Bankers' Association, took over the case. Operatives sent into Montana finally ended in Harlem. Friends warned Lonny Curry that detectives were in town. On January 6 he hastily sold the Club Saloon to a local businessman, George J. Ringwald, and with Bob Curry left on horseback for the Little Rockies country. At Zurich, "a water tank accommodation stop," they boarded the train for Havre. From there they went to Shelby junction, then on to Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Detectives relentlessly followed their trail, finding out where they had stayed in hotels or ranch houses, taken trains or hired horses at livery stables. Lonny shaved off his moustache and substituted "cowboy clothes" for his neat dark suit. In Cripple Creek he visited the post office every morning, asking for a registered package. Finally it came, money from the loyal Jim Thornhill. A few hours after the arrival of the package, Lonny said good-bye to Bob; the only refuge left in his violent world appeared to be Aunt Lee's place in Dodson, Missouri. His cousin decided to stay behind in the mining camps.
Mrs. Lee, that "estimable little old lady who had no knowledge of the sort of life her nephew led," as the Kansas City Post later reported, gave Lonny a prodigal's return. For weeks the outlaw hid out in the frame farmhouse on the hill. In early February, either through carelessness or overconfidence, he spent one of the torn Wilcox robbery bills in Dodson. Routine banking procedures in Kansas City spotted the bill; a message was sent to the Pinkertons in Chicago. Orders were flashed to the Kansas City, Missouri, office. Operatives quickly discovered Lonny Logan, who lived with the Lees, had passed the bill. On the morning of February 28, 1900, a posse of Pinkertons and local police surrounded the farmhouse.
Lonny, who may have wanted to draw fire away from the house, ran out. He was wearing a heavy overcoat and the snow was deep. He tried to reach a strip of timbers but when warning shots whistled about him he dropped behind a mound and returned the fire of the lawmen. After a brief, savage exchange he abruptly rose and stumbled toward the posse, his six-shooter blazing. In moments he was riddled and fell dead in the snow.
A shadow continued to hover over the outlaw brotherhood. A few weeks later Bob Curry, working as a monte dealer in the Antelope Club, Cripple Creek, was arrested. A white-handled, single-action .45, along with a clipping of the Wilcox robbery, was found in his valise. "Not a cent of money was found on his person," the Harlem Enterprise reported.
The Wild Bunch, the largest and most colorful band of outlaws in the Wild West, was broken up by the turn of the century, its riders scattered, resting in Boot Hills or serving long terms in prison like Bob Curry who had been convicted of the Wilcox robbery and sentenced to twenty years in Wyoming's state penitentiary.
Butch Cassidy had begged Kid Curry to come to South America with him, Harry Longbaugh, the Sundance Kid, and Etta Place. Curry declined, refusing to believe the Wild West was finished, that it was nothing but a romantic memory, especially to the large eastern newspapers that periodically published fullpage feature stories about the gang.
The Kid told Butch he intended to travel, leisurely spending his share of the train and bank robberies, then would organize another gang. In the fall of 1901 he began a tour of the South. Apparently he was never without an attractive woman. There was Annie Rogers, a slender redhead, who stayed with him in Nashville and found him always a gentleman; Maudie Davis, who remembered how he bought her a fox skin. The Kid was also attracted to cameras; although he was one of the most wanted men in the country, he posed with Annie for a loving portrait in a Nashville, Tennessee, studio. She draped his arm over her shoulder while the Kid gazed at the lens with a slightly amused expression. His hair and moustache were neatly combed and trimmed. His dark double-breasted suit, polished boots, and wing collar made him appear a mildmannered prosperous drummer.
Curry, who went by the name of William Wilson, settled down to a routine of playing pool, drinking the sweet, syrupy brandy, courting Catherine, and occasionally visiting the hookers. A dark streak of violence ran deep and strong in the Kid, however; it took only an implied insult to turn him homicidal. On the afternoon of December 13, 1901, he was quietly playing pool with two small-time local criminals, Luther Brady and Jim Boley, when an argument started. The Kid put down his cue and walked to the bar. He tossed off a drink, then returned to the table, knocked Brady over a barrel, and started to strangle him. When Boley tried to stop him, the Kid continued to choke Brady with one hand and with the other shot Boley. Bystanders told the police "he fired the shot with such speed he just had to fire the pistol from inside his pocket." Later, when Curry was captured, police could not find a bullet hole in his coat pocket ...
After he shot Boley, the Kid left the gasping Brady on the floor and started to clean out the bar. When Officers Robert Saylor and William Dinwiddle arrived, Curry had reduced the furniture to splinters and had taken on the customers who were fast losing their enthusiasm for battle. When the Kid refused to stop fighting, Saylor broke his billy over the outlaw's head. Curry, with his fast draw, shot Saylor four times and Dinwiddle once before he decided he had enough of Knoxville.
As the Knoxville Journal and Tribune reported, "his face knitted in a demonical fury," he leaped through a back door only to fall twenty feet into an open railroad cut. Battered, bleeding, coatless, and limping from a badly sprained ankle, the Kid dodged the posses and their bloodhounds for three days in subzero temperatures.
On the afternoon of the fifteenth near Jefferson City about twenty miles from Knoxville, this fugitive from the Wild West encountered an enemy he had never faced before - the telephone. A.B. Carey, a Jefferson City merchant, called the Knoxville police to report he had seen a man walking down the road who he believed was the much wanted fugitive. While waiting for the Knoxville posse to appear, Carey and three Jefferson City merchants decided to hunt down the outlaw. They finally discovered Logan huddled over a small fire. "He was slow in putting up his hands," Carey explained, "but he finally surrendered."
Kid Curry, like all other gunfighters of the West, had an enormous ego and tremendous self-confidence. They showed in his bold visits to photography studios when he was nationally hunted with large rewards offered for his arrest, his almost studied indifference to lawmen, and his casual visits to big cities and towns where his wanted posters were prominently displayed.
Although he was never known to brag of his skill with a six-shooter or of his physical toughness, the Kid was quietly proud of his reputation. To his many women visitors he never failed to point out that Knoxville newspapers were calling him "the Napoleon of Crime" and "the noted western desperado."
Confinement in a cell was torture for this man of the open plains. By Christmas 1902, a year after his capture, Curry's "health is fast giving away and his confinement is telling on him very much," the Fort Benton River Press reported. In the beginning the Kid had systematically exercised but as the months passed he did less and less. He constantly paced up and down, the frustrations and tensions slowly building. One day he went into a rage and tried to strangle a fellow prisoner who had taunted him as a "cowboy." It took all the guards on the cellblock to pry him loose from the man's throat.
He also became weary of the crowds that still paraded outside his cell on weekends and once put a blanket over his head "as a protest to being put on display like an animal." By Christmas 1902, the Kid was planning his escape. That month he wrote a revealing letter to his old friend Edward Hanlon, a fellow rancher in the Little Rockies. As Curry explained, to get the letter past the guards he "shot" it out his cell window with a rubber band; on the envelope he had written, "please mail this letter." The outlaw had shrewdly predicted that someone would pass the jail, pick up the letter, and mail it without questioning how it got there or where it was from.
On November 30, 1902, Logan was sentenced to twenty years at hard labor in a federal penitentiary and fined $5,000. Law enforcement agencies warned Sheriff Fox and the president of the Union Pacific - a favorite of the Wild Bunch - that Logan was undoubtedly planning an escape from the Knoxville jail and guards should be doubled. They also insisted Logan should not be imprisoned in the Columbus penitentiary because "his pal, Ben Kilpatrick (the Tall Texan), is imprisoned there after having been convicted of train robbery in the United States court at St. Louis, Missouri ... we think it would be very bad policy to have both these men confined in the same penitentiary ..."
Logan's impressive team of attorneys, which included a former congressman, appealed his conviction. After a lengthy hearing in the spring of 1903, his conviction was upheld by the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Sixth District. In June preparations were made for federal marshals to deliver Logan in irons to a federal penitentiary. But as the lawmen had predicted, Logan broke out of the Knoxville County jail in one of the most bizarre escapes in the nation's history.
Logan lassoed jailer Frank Irwin with a wire he had taken from a broom and tied him with strips of a canvas hammock he had hidden in his cell - which the jailers and sheriff had insisted earlier to the U.S. Attorney's office had been empty of anything, including the outlaw's personal effects. After tying up Irwin and another guard, Tom Bell, Logan took their guns, selected the sheriff's fine bay, and casually rode out of town to disappear in the mountain wilderness.
Although posses searched the mountains with local guides, Logan was never captured. Mountain people in the remote section of the wilderness known as Jeffrey's Hell reported they had seen the outlaw, carrying a small bag of provisions, making his way through the dense undergrowth. They insisted he would lose his way and exhaust his food. "Come spring, we'll look for his skeleton," one mountain man said. "We'll find it like we found the skeletons of those two others who went in that hell last year and never came out ..."
But somehow, Harvey Logan, on foot, in poor physical condition because of his long confinement, and with a small amount of food, made his way across Jeffrey's Hell and eventually reached the West. In the winter of 1904, the Great Falls Tribune reported the Kid had been in Denver's Oxford Hotel carrying two suitcases filled with money that the outlaw insisted on carrying himself.
When a bellboy entered the room with a pitcher of water he saw Logan bending over the opened suitcases. In each were bundles of "new currency and a large revolver beside them." The startled boy notified the desk clerk who contacted the police. When they arrived, the Kid "had made his escape by a side entrance."
There were reports he fled to the Little Rockies country "where he had many friends." One said he had seen him and was told by the Kid, "I'll cut my way through here before they'll take me again." Then on June 7, 1904, three masked men held up the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad at Parachute, Colorado. They dynamited the express car but found the safe empty. A posse trailed them for two days, finally cornering the trio in a gully near Rifle.
In the gunbattle one man was hit. The posse heard his companions call out to ask if he was wounded. "I'm hard hit and going to cash in quick ... you go on," was the reply. At dawn the posse rushed the gully. They found a dead man, six-shooter in hand, and a bullet in his temple. His companions had made their escape during the night. He was identified as Tap Duncan, a cowboy who had worked on local ranches.
I think it is significant that we never heard from Harvey Logan again. Logan or Kid Curry, who I believe was the most dangerous man in the West, had taken his life in that gully because he could not face the possibility of being sent to prison. As he had told his jailers and his defense attorney in Knozville, he would rather die than spen a long time in prison.
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