Broke His Neck

Monday morning our citizens were startled by the news that Peter Birch had been shot. As luck would have it Dr. Robarts happened to come in on the east-bound train and, taking charge of the case, found that the ball had gone through the biceps muscle, entered his side under his arm and going around under the skin to within an inch and a half of the backbone, where it emerged. The account as told by Peter, which as follows, the other participators in the affair having gone to Mandan as witnesses at court, only his side can be learned. Peter states that at about half past twelve o'clock Monday morning he was in Bob. Roberts' saloon, in company with Roberts and Wm. Jones. That Roberts suggested playing a joke on some one in MacDonald's restaurant by cutting down the hammock in which he was sleeping. Peter started with Bob to the restaurant and the hammock was cut down. Bob asked Peter to take the knife back to the saloon and Peter started back in the company with Jones. The latter asked Peter who was running the restaurant now and Peter told him that he had been cooking there for about a week. This led to what Peter thought was playful banter when Jones struck him on the forehead with the but {sp} of his revolver. His eyes were blinded with blood, but he attempted to ward off other blows, when Jones shot. Attempting then to run, he was struck several more times on the back of the head, there being eight gashes extending to the skull. Peter did not know he was shot until the morning when he found his arm covered with blood and examining it, found he was shot. He further added that he was perfectly sober, only having two drinks early in the evening. This is one side of the case and we will gladly publish the other. We have few comments to make, as there were no witnesses. Both men have reputations for peaceable dispositions. Jones is well liked and every one is anxious to heard his side of the story. Peter is as harmless a man as ever lived, he being his own worst enemy. The principal point we make is the one so often mentioned in the Cow Boy, that of carrying revolvers in town. Every shooting affray we know of has been caused by whiskey, coupled with the senseless custom of "packing a gun." We have many times mentioned our opinion and cannot sufficiently condemn a practice that no one can say has ever resulted in good and many times results fatally.

[since writing the above, Sheriff Harmon arrived in Medora with a warrant for the arrest of Peter Birch. Probably for assault and battery. Jones was arrested at Mandan and released on his own recognizance. Sheriff Harmon returned this morning to Mandan. Birch was unable to be moved.]

The Bad Lands Cow Boy, 8/13/1885

Left It There

Posted 08/23/2017