Beginning October 8, 2018 Sidney St. James will be offering his novel, Sam Bass – A Dead Man’s Hand with Aces and Eights, free on Kindle at Amazon.com. Please be kind enough to come back after reading and leave a review. This is the first novel in the Texas Outlaw Series offered by this prolific author. Oh, and yes, if you share this post on social media, it would be greatly appreciated.
After a month of moving to Georgetown, Texas, I took a ride south on IH-35 from Georgetown to Austin. I couldn’t help but notice a large green and white highway sign that said Sam Bass Road. I became interested where this road went and exited and followed it to where another road sign came into sight, A. W. Grimes Boulevard.
I am not sure why, but I needed to find out who these people were just like I did when I wrote a story about The Rose of Bray’s Bayou – The Runaway Scrape in Texas and discovered Three-Legged Willie’s statue on the town square in Georgetown.
Sam Bass and his gang held up two stagecoaches while in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1877. Sam had a fling with Calamity Jane and sat in the same chair Wild Bill Hickok sat in before being shot in a poker game holding a Dead Man’s Hand.
In the fall of 1877, Sam Bass and his friends robbed the eastbound Union Pacific passenger train and came away with over $60,000 in twenty-dollar gold pieces. After a successful robbery, they split up into pairs and went in all directions. Some were caught. Bass was an excellent Transformist (See novel, The Transformist by St. James) and disguised himself as a poor farmer and made his way back to Denton County, Texas with his share of the gold.
In the springtime of 1878, Sam and his gang robbed four trains within twenty miles of Dallas. Word was sent to Governor Hubbard that something needed to be done. The bandits became the object of a spirited chase across North Texas by reward-seeking citizens and a unique company of Texas Rangers headed by Junius Peak.
Follow the life story of Sam Bass from his childhood days to his last days in Round Rock, Texas on July 21, 1878. Even though this notorious outlaw spent less than a week in this small community, his short visit put the town on world atlases and had a major street named after him. It wasn’t, but a few years ago the community got together and called a boulevard after Deputy A. W. Grimes, the man Sam Bass was accused of killing in 1878. Unlike John Wesley Hardin, he had no notches on his gun handle and once joked about selling his revolver for money.
In death, the Texas Outlaw’s legend grew, helped out by a song entitled, “The Ballad of Sam Bass.” The fame of this outlaw spread as far as England in the 1800’s. There is even a wax statue in Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks in London. In 1964 Frontier Days Celebration was started. In the 1990’s Sidney Struss and the KOOL99 Oldies Road Show would perform for KOOL99 Radio to highlight the event’s entertainment.
Reviews from an Earlier Reviewer, Milton O’Dell:
What a captivating and visual ride following colorful characters through a reenactment of historical acts of crime, escape and capture. This exciting and adventurous journey was a great introduction to me to a fascinating part of Texas history which I had only heard reference growing up. I never realized that Sam Bass’s repeated successful train, stagecoach and bank robberies threatened the reputation of Texas in the eyes of the nation. The facts behind the delay in his capture as well as impetus to resolve touched on commercial, political and social realities that are applicable today. They paint the complex and grey reality that we live in and not the simplistic black and white good guys and bad guys world that doesn’t really exist. Like Sam Bass, I imagine there are more than a few criminals that started out on the very straight and narrow, were cheated by others in some abuse of position or situation, and then turned to crime. The story was easy to follow being complimented with detailed experiences of many real people and historical accounts. The images of the scenes and events form easily and made it less a read and more a journey. It was so easy to immerse into the story when the crap-detectors aren’t firing because of fictitious characters or their actions don’t make sense.
Historical figures in novel: Jack McCall, Wild Bill Hickok, Deadwood, South Dakota, Calamity Jane, Martha Cannary, Joel Collins, Samuel Bass, Henry Underwood, Steeldust, Sheriff Eagan, Sarah Lacey, Kate Leroy, Frank Corley, Maggie MacDonald, Jack Davis, James Berry, Tom Nixon, Bill Heffridge, Jim Murphy, Sheriff Brousaard, Frank Blockey Jackson, Tooney Waits, Tom Gerrin, Billy Everheart, Bob Welch, Elizabethtown, Marshall George Smith, Arkansas Johnson, Charlie Carter, Sawnie Robertson, John Laws John Wesley Hardin, Waco, John Jones, Colonel Richard Hubbard, T. J. Jackson, Judge DuVal, Texas Rangers, Scott Mayes, Judge Jim Hogg, Round Rock, Texas, Brushy Creek, Dick Ware, Chris Connor, George Harrell, Mary Matson, Reverend J. W. Ledbetter, Walter Johnson, Tom Spotswood, Seaborn Barnes, Nubbins Colt, Sheriff George Drennan, Thomas Gerren, Albert Herndon, Sam Pipes, Billy Collins, Will Scott, George Noble, Governor Richard Hubbard, Lieutenant Junius Peak, Frank Finley, James Curry, John Lovejoy, John McKeen, Julius Alvord, Albert Grimes, Judge Jesse Grimes, Captain Lee Hill, Kopperal’s Store, Highsmith’s Livery Stable. Texas Outlaw. Outlaws. Cowboys. Texas History. Historical Fiction. Creative Historical Nonfiction. Thriller. Suspense.
<a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GEW27DA?ref_=assoc_tag_ph_1524210588346&_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=pf4&tag=sidneystjames-20&linkId=424c35eeeabe78147d1f6e97cac3041b”>Fire 7 Tablet – Starting at $49.99</a><img src=”//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=sidneystjames-20&l=pf4&o=1″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />