No. 7 – Sam Bass and His Horse Marines – A Dead Man’s Hand, Aces and Eights

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The first novel in the TEXAS OUTLAW SERIES is the true story of the Robinhood of Texas… Sam Bass. This novel was written in a creative nonfiction genre which adds characterization to the writing so that the reader becomes involved and can more truly relate to the subject. In this case, Samuel Bass. Pure nonfiction focuses on facts. As Sidney St. James says, “If you want to teach young readers, as well as old, about the Alamo, the Runaway Scrape, the Lincoln Assassination or  Mary Elizabeth Surratt, tell them a story. That is exactly what Sidney St. James does, a writer of novels and teller of stories!

A True Story Written in Creative Nonfiction

Sam Bass

A Dead Man’s Hand, Aces and Eights

Book One in the Texas Outlaw Series

$5,000 REWARD. Wanted Dead or Alive. Notorious Badman. SAM BASS, alias Sam Bushon, and Honest Eph. If sighted, immediately call the nearest U. S. Marshall’s Office.

After a month of moving BeeBop Publishing Group to Georgetown, Texas, from Brenham, 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, exited, and followed it to a road sign for A. W. Grimes Boulevard.

I’m not sure why, but I needed to find out who these people were just like I did when I wrote a story about the Runaway Scrape in Texas and discovered Three-Legged Willie’s statue on the town square in Georgetown.

As a legend, as is with all folklore, the account of Sam Bass’s life is as varied as there are books written about him and his exploits in the late 1800s.

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 before being shot in a poker game holding a Dead Man’s Hand, Aces and Eights. Such a hand was said to have been held by Wild Bill Hickok, a lawman and gunfighter and good friend of Sam Bass.

In the fall of 1877, Sam Bass and his Horse Marines 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 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 specialized 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. He also had a major street named after him.

It wasn’t only a few years ago the community got together and named a boulevard after Deputy A. W. Grimes, the man Sam Bass was accused of killing in 1878. Unlike John Wesley Hardin, Bass had no notches on his gun handle and once joked about selling his revolver for money.

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