Yuma Territorial Prison was the last stop on the train for him, ironic, as in addition to the 37 men he’d killed, he had sent 3 times that number to prison here: bushwhackers, rustlers, and assorted men of low nature. Where did it go wrong? Had he simply become too fond of the killing or had he angered the wrong man with enough power to finally put him down. As the Warden and the Padre walked him down to the gallows he looked back on his life.
Town Marshall of Abilene, Pinkerton Agent, Scout and interpreter for the Geronimo Campaign, charging up Kettle Hill and taking Las Guasimas with Wood, Roosevelt, and Bucky. Hell, he's even knocked out up and coming Jim Corbett in a bar brawl in San Francisco and helped Wyatt and Warren run down the last of the Clanton gang. The West had changed when he came back: the Apaches were gone, Outlaws rounded up, the only work he could find was dry-gulching rustlers and squatters on the Range.
A legend in his own time, no man would dare put the rope around his neck. The rope he braided and knotted with his own hands while sitting in the poke. They even had to call in an engineer from Wisconsin to design the gallows as no man had the heart to pull the lever on him either. He looked at the crowd of 300 who came to watch the spectacle; he saw mounted Gatling guns on the rooftops preventing any of the "Usual Suspects" from a last minute rescue. “No last minute pardon from Colonel Roosevelt, I suppose.” After he stepped on the platform, he'd drop through on his own into eternity, "This all you got, Jack?" were his last words to the Warden with a deadly grin.
As the water tank filled to overcome his bodyweight on the gallows, it was realized the engineering was off. The braided horsehair rope completely tore through his neck and his lifeless body separated and crashed below, leaving his sardonically grinning skull still attached to his own noose, and dropping the note he held in his hands on which were scrawled the words by which he had lived his life:
"With Bad Intent"
Written by: Mike Searson