Tales from the life of Calamity Jane published shortly after her death in 1903

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Tales from the life of Calamity Jane published shortly after her death in 1903 - Cbe Adventurous Career of 44 Calamity Jane...
Cbe Adventurous Career of 44 Calamity Jane Special Correspondence. Dead wood, S. D., August 8. The body of "Calamity Jane" lies in the Alt. Moriah cemetery beside the bones of "W ild Bill" Hickock, her friend of long ago. ' . Though she had 12 husbands, the last still living, it -was one of her "dying requests that she be allowed to sleep by the side of the man she first loved with the love of a wild, animal heart, and whose murder she avenged by a lynch ing 24 years ago. It was loneliness and remorse that shattered her health loneliness for days that could never come again and remorse that she could' not become like the better people about her. Only within a year had she given up at all her wan derings about the West and the reck less life in which alone she could find pleasure. Somewhere in North Dakota lives daughter, her only child, but she was not at the bedside of her mother. It was so because of the wish of "Calamity Jane." who long ago sent away the girl that she might find that culture which she herself could not grasp. It was an outcropping of the real woman that was in her that prompted her to say that her daughter should not be (hurt by looking into the face of her mother. So. when friends begged her to tell her daughter's name and home, during Calamity Jane's sickness, the broken down border woman said, with, the same frankness: "Would yer hev me shame my own daughter?' She'd wish she aedn't seen this ugly old face, Let her be. Shell think the more of me. And indeed there was no trace an her cross-lined, leathern features of the pettiness which it was said belonged to the little Missouri girl who went over im to; tn Nevada 40 Tears ago. It was the mold of circumstance that made of Martha Canary, a proper girl ot i ralimitr Jane, the reckless, oe-har- hardened, generous, but almost vicious man-woman of 25. But in those years ol Wild West wa9 born and died, Its passing made her forlorn and he was not sorry to go after. It was because of desertion by her parents, as has been said, that Martha t' ,.u ;n 4it now to in- canary was ;'" r . ing camp of Virginia City, 2.ev-, in 1862. Shortly after their emigration from Irinceton, Mo, an Indian war separated child from parents. She fell into the hands of an unworthy old woman who allowed her to seleet what she would from the law-free me oi me camj,. v ,,i- r;.nnT and crack pistol shoot- ing that first eame to the girl, and not many years after she was to be found astride saloon bars regaling rough men with songs and stories. It waT about that time that real Indian fighting in the West began, and ?he rirt waeager to display the horsemanship and marksmanship which she regard! as her virtues. She applied It number of posts attired as a man before she found one where she was not known. General Crook accepted hex as a scout, and she was hajspy- .r time f he served under Colonel William F CoS (Buffalo BUI), d that soldier r lifelong friend, recently said of her, 'Though SJSt doa man's aharel of the heavy work, she has gone m places wbereold frontiersmen f willing to trust themselves, and her cour-Tged goodfellowship made her popular with every man in the In her neat scout's uniform Martha Canary made a handsome picture, especially when astride a good horse and d-?iyi:T" m.A ver the plains o ome wild expedition. She waseoeentx ic iten, and she eccentric nowbut some Martha Canary of these days was not the Calamity Jane of todJ- She was at the camp where she bad epent most of her girlhood, near the Ve of Butte, when an appeal Deadwood for troops, She was then 52 years old. When the troop marched to Deadwood to relieve a party of miners j surrounded by Indians the girl eeout was in the van. It was not alone a mater of driving away the Deadwood Indiana, rue wa Northwest was in arms, and every mile of the way to Deadwood ? guarded and many oi i"'"'" "-When at Goose Creek, S. IX, a small detachment under Captain Egaa was sur-llL w large band of Redskins. They had the soldiers at their mercy, with the relieving troops too far in the rear. Martha Canary rode like a spirit of death into the midst of the group of Indians, who were about to make away with the wounded captain. Before the Indians could realize what had happened she had swung the captain to kerj .v.? am ui the patter of lie intt uaaucu mmrwj .. bullets to a place of safety. . When the captain was told by tne troops that he had been saved by a woman, he remarked: "Jane, you're a .good one to have around in times of calamity. And in that hour Martha Canary became Calamity Jane. So, among the miners who came to know her so well, no one of her 12 husbands was allowed the distinction of re-christening his wife. Each one of them was known wherever she was known as Calamity Jane's man. Strangely, many of them met violent death. The first one she killed herself. . She was now in the prune of her wild life. She tramped the whole West; Bhe traversed every part of Wwg, Mo tana and the Dakotas; she hurried to each new mining camp, the more law-less the more attractive; she ranched m Missouri and fought Indians in Kansas. She made her "se" in the mining camps with the rest, and, like the others it went to regale "the boys" m the true Wild West fashion. Her passion for fighting Indians was never satiated, it was she who crossed a wild country in a frightfully cold winter to take important messages to General Custer. The sickness that followed the exposure was all that saved her from being killed with Custer's army, for she had planned to campaign with him. ;-. When Indian fighting was not to be bad Calamity Jane found entertaining employment in carrying government mail end driving stage coaches. She was one of the first of the 3,000 arrivals that caused Deadwood to spring into life in a night, and she never failed to attend a lynching bee if she could be present; neitner did she take a hold at the far end of the rope. She happened to be riding in e stage coach driven by Jack McCaull, a notorious character of Deadwood life, when a band of Indians swooped down from nowhere. McCaull was hit and fell back tt in his seat . the six passengers were paralyzed by fear. Calamity Jane scram bled to the seat as quickly ad she could go there, lashed the horses into a run and escaped with all the passengers. It was this same McCaull who after ward was made the most memorable ex ample of Calamity Jane's vengeance. Mc Caull shot Wild Bill iiickoK from a re treat for a reason never known, and af ter Wild Bill had staked him. Shooting from ambush was the worst crime known in Deadwood in those days, and when Calamity Jane heard of it she started at once to hnd .McvaulL. W ild Kill was her highly esteemed friend, and the mere fact that she had once saved McCauIl's life did not deter her from taking it. "I give it to him onct," she declared. "and 111 take it back now. She came across him unexpectedly in a meat shop. fhe seized a cleaver, and, threatening to brain him if he moved, waited till her friends bound him. She was one of those who tugged hardest to pull him over a cottonwood limb and with grim satisfaction 6he watched him kick his - life away. ' There were two traits of the woman which Calamity Jane always manifested. While she, might be drunk one day and chasing Indians over the prairie anoth er, she never missed an opportunity to assume skirts at a dance. With all the petulant jealousy of feminity she .would strive to outshine all others with silks and glittering diamonds. The next morning she would be ready, if neces sarfory, a trip with the government mail or, perhaps, woulu evidence her return to the lue of independence ' by crack ing all the bottles in a saloon with well aimed bullets. But she would stop abruptly even the incomparable pleasure of shooting up saloon full of miners bristling with guns if someone should call her to sickbed. She never refused to go even great distances to nurse the sick back to health. Here was . to be seen her other woman's trait. And with all the tenderness of the best of her sex she would patiently attend till health had been restored. An old scout said oi her: "The hrst time 1 met Calamity was down in Kansas the vear the cholera was so bad. I was riding along carrying dispatches from Harper to Wallace when I met a woman riding toward Bed Cloud. 'Hello,' I says, 'ain't you afraid of the Indians 'No; Indians be damned,' she yells; Tm going down to the front to take care care of the bovs. I was afterward told she was Calamity Jane. 'I knew her best in Deadwood. first saw her there at the time they strung up Fly-Speck Billy, who had been stealing horses. 'Well, Billy she says, "you're goin' to sure die now and you're goin' to die with your doom on.' "No, I ain't, Jane', he says; 'you take 'em off.' And Jane pulls off his boots and puts 'em,on herself and wears em till they re worn out. ' The only time Jane ever tried a more civilized life was when an enterprising woman, who was anxious to sell a pub lication she controlled, induced her to go to Buffalo to attend the exposition. Jane liked the strat, because-she was initiated by driving an eight-horse team through Buffalo. She weuld sit in a den and sell the books for a commission and her living. She grew suspicious of her share in the profits and accepted a better offer from a man on the .Midway, une night sne resorted to a spree of the Montana va riety, and tried to ehoot up the whole Midway and landed in lad. Buffalo Bill soon met her in Buffalo, a very much disgusted woman. She asked him to stake her for her railroad fare to the West and promised to never again appear in the Eat- He readily did so for his old friend and she returned to Cheyenne, Wyo. Since then she has lived in the most respectable fashion ever attempted by her. Occasionally she resorted to her old-fashioned celebrations, but she was sickened of them because they always ended in jaiL She wandered about for a more congenial locality when she was taken sick here and died. Calamity Jane's fame was world wide. She was exploited by Bret Harte and other writers, and during her illness last winter a fund was raised hy Eastern people for her aid. "Squint" Squires, one ef Calamity Jane's husbands, whose arm was shot off by her in a duel, lives at Salt Lake City. He was not surprised at her request to be buried beside her fourth husband, Wild Bill Hickok, who was murdered in 1876. Squires can neither read or write, and the account of the last illness of the frontier woman was read to him. He was evidently greatly affected by it. In truth, although one of the most hardened men in the world, it brought tears to his eyes. ("What, crying, Mr. Squires, was asked. "Eht No," said he, I ain't crying; the sun in my eyes kinder makes my eyes water." He continued: "That must be the old girl, all right, because she always said Wild Bill was the best man she ever seed, and lowed she would like to be buried beside him. Them were her very words." "How was your life with Calamity Jane, strenuous?" "Strenuous! Well, I should say so! You know what she was strenuous, that's the way it is put now, but we used to call it game, and that's the reason the left sleeve of- my coat is half empty. Well, the old woman's death kinder jars me. That squib says her husband was younger than she was. Why, she never lived with a man more than half as old as she was. That was one of her ways or ideas, that it made her young. The old woman and me had been scraping some most about which was the best shot.' We had practiced together with six-shooters and all kinds of rifles, and then we got chewing the rag over the milk ranch. She claimed that she had made all the money that had bought it, and if she had let me alone I would haTe sent it all for whisky. "We finally got scrapping 'over the divorce law, and she claimed that it was better to shoot a body at once than to drag 'em through the divorce courts and all the newspapers. Anyway, things got from bad to worse and I saw what it was coming to, so I took the cartridges out of her gun and put shells in it. It just come round as I looked for it, and one morning 6he got up and says: 'Squint, we w&l just ehoot it out before breakfast, and see who gets the ranch.' We went out the door and LOU DILLON, THE PET OF C. K. G. , -r f l jrJ Lou Dillon's latest time is: first quarter :30 seconds, the half reached in 2:0234. she walked 20 paces. Then she caught on to the fact that the shells were empty, and said: 'Squint, I never thought you was a coward before. You meant to kill me and get the ranch.' "I kicked like a bay steer and said I didn't intend to shoot her and didn't intend for her to shoot me, only I thought I'd shoot the lobe is that what you call it? of her ear off. - "II mat s so sne says, -xm irom Missouri, and you'll have to prove it.' Now, you know, that's the first time I ever heard that expression. Anyhow, Jane says, while she was loading her gun, 'If you meant to kill me your hand will tremble, and voull miss me sure. and if you meant to shoot the end of my ear off you'll do that, and 111 just "wing" you to show you who is the best shot. ow, back to back, and when x count three wheel around and fire. "When I wheeled around and heard the music,' 'zip, zip, I felt my left arm burn, and I knew what had come. Ca lamity says, 'Nuff V and I said 'Yes.' ell, I had my arm amputated and Kate nursed me tnrough it. But the life was too strenuous is that it T -and I left for new fields and pastures green, "How did I come across Kate? Weil. I had seen her with Wild Bill before when they were hunting buffalo to sup ply the Cnion I'aeinc graders with. meat. I don't know the year, but it must have been around the time of the Chicago nre. Leastwise. I "low it was. But 1 never had nothing to say to her then. About I should say, four years after that, I met her in Deadwood during the excite ment . Then I never saw her for a year or so till she jumped me in Cheyenne. She had a rig and wanted me to go to the big gold excitement in Colorado with her, and I tried to talk her out of it, cos she wore dresses and shoes and a cowboy's hat those days and looked like an ordinary woman. She used to wear ehaps and boots and a man's suit. I told her there was no women there, and she says she'd bet me there was. W e rot scrapping over it, and x bet her $300 against her outfit, and then we had to go to iieadville to eee. "We drove there in four days, and when we was coming into camp there was a long line of men trying to get to a hole they was looking through in a new cabin. That's the postomce says I. Tost nothing, says Jane. And ehe stopped the wagon and went to see what it was. When she got to the hole and peeped in I heard her say, "Hello, Kate!' and I heard another voice holler, "Hello, Calamity! and then I-knowed my money was gone, for that was Kate Jones in that cabin, and I might 'a knowed it, cos I never was in a new place anywhere but what Kate Jenee .Puss-m- Boots tney called ner wag there before I was. " 'Puss' stayed in Leadville and cleaned houses and office buildings and owned two or three there when I last heard of her. All these stories about her bringing bad luck to a place are lies. She and Kate Jones was generally the first two women in all the placer camps. Calamity wouldn't lie; she was true in every way. She was raised rough, among border men, and her manners wasn't fine. She didn't believe in red tape of no kind. Always called things by their right name, and believed in doing what suited her best,' notwithstanding anybody's advice or assistance. She and Wild Bill got along together like two wild cats, but they had a duel a time AMERICAN TEAM The above team of American riflemen that outshot, July 11, the world's cracks the Palma trophy by a score of 1,570 out of a possible 1,800 points, have just Norwegian teams are already planning to come over next year to try to recapture or two. There were worse women and better- women. All this talk about Jane having 40 husbands is lies. I never heard her talk of more'n six. She didn't call it marrying. She looked up on a man gittin' a good woman like git-tin' a good placer claim, and called it jumping" Lef Smith, now a policeman in Cin cinnati, was with Calamity Jane on the plains. Mr. Smith was born in Australia, but came to this country when a boy ' and spent many years as a cowboy in the W est. lie met Calamity Jane at different points in the western country. The first place he saw her was at Port Dodge, Kan., where she was with Billy Littleford, -who was one of Jesse James main men. From Fort Dodge he says she went with the government troops to Cheyenne, Wyo. and then to Fort Federman, in that state, when the treaty was made with Red Cloud. He saw her at both of these places and knew her well. She always called him by the name - of - Three Jacks, because he thought that three jacks were the best hand he could hold in a poker game, and he broke in for her her favorite horse. It was a little spotted horse which she called Calico. At Fort Dodge and other government stations she was a government scout, serving in this capacity for General Cook and for Major Fillmore. She was also engaged as a trader, watching out fot opportunities to make advantageous deals whenever large numbers of cattle were brought in to the government posts for the troops. Other places he met her he said were at Crow Creek, Mont where she was herding cattle and act ing as a general "rooter" at Coyote,on the old Kansas Pacific railroad, when she went down there to see the original Wild Bill Hitchcock ; at Abilene, Kan-, from which place they went to Wichita to some races, where Lef Smith won a race on a horse called Colonel Roit. Lef Smith states that she was like a man in many ways, and did not care for anything. At tunes she would .shoot up" a town, but ehe was always square with anyone who was square with her; she would divide with anyone who need ed anything she had, and would look after with the greatest care any of the boys who were hurt. At one time when Lef Smith was wounded in the arm he wrapped a handkerchief around the end of a gun ramrod and cleaned out the wound. John Avery, who exhibited her aa a curiosity in a museum, said she was the best curiosity that he had. ever handled) and seemed conscientious and anxious to do her work. She was modest, he said. but wore the "pants" that is, he said, she managed her own business and would not let her husband have anything to do with it. But, he says, while she was at the museum she was just, the opposite of what people who had read about her would think. She was, he said, a plain, ordinary looking woman, but with a commanding appearance, with bright eyes, and seemed to have a faculty of reading a person. She did good trick revolver work, and was an expert at throwing the lasso. She received $125 a week, which, was small in comparison to her worth. She was engaged in Chicago by Mr. for the Kohl & Middleton circuit, engagement ended at Cincinnati. Kohl Her No social affair is a function unless something new is introduced for the neighbors to laugh about afterward. WHICH TOOK THE of of a of the a the do, the and to a not eel the

Clipped from
  1. Great Falls Tribune,
  2. 16 Aug 1903, Sun,
  3. Page 7

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  • Tales from the life of Calamity Jane published shortly after her death in 1903

    staff_reporter – 18 Jul 2017

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