Old-West History Massacres at Palisade Nevada Part 2

About the town Palisade, Nevada in the old-west which got a reputation as one of the most violent cities in the west because of the strangely constant massacres.

THE MASSACRES AT PALISADE, NEVADA

Thus a week later, the first of the massacres at Palisade was staged, and even though the nearest theater was Piper's Opera House in Virginia City, and Hollywood was just something to make you sneeze, the acting impressed the audience almost beyond belief.

Frank West, a cowboy from one of the ranches up north, was a tall, well-built redhead. He looked like a hero and he got the "good guy" role, while the part of the villain was acted out by the town dandy, who also happened to be the resident agent and cattle buyer for an outfit back east. His name was Alvin Kittleby, but nobody called him anything but Dandy. He was an immensely popular man. A good family man and a churchgoer, his villainous looks won him the role of bad guy.

They didn't even bother to rehearse, but played it strictly by ear. Frank was lounging near the corrals one day when the noon train shuddered to a stop. As soon as most of the passengers had disembarked, Dandy rounded the corner of the depot and began walking toward the saloon across the dusty main street. Frank stepped quickly away from the corral and yelled loud enough to be heard for 5 mi., let alone the 60 ft. separating him from Dandy: "There ya are, ya low-down polecat. Ah bin waitin' fer ya. Ah'm goin' to kill ya b'cause of what ya did ta mah sister." He paused for a brief moment, then continued in heartrending tones, "Mah pore, pore little sister."

The passengers, who had stopped abruptly as the import of Frank's words hit them, all looked around for a tall, dishonored, redheaded beauty. When they failed to find one, they turned their attention back to the two men.

Dandy had frozen in his tracks and was eyeing West with an apparently panic-stricken look on his face.

The crowd watched in excited fascination as West leisurely drew his gun, cocked it, took careful aim, and fired. The bullet, of course, sped harmlessly over Dandy's head, but Dandy screamed as though in mortal agony and fell to the ground, where he kicked and rolled for a moment, then gave a heartrending sigh and went limp.

For a brief moment the only sound in the warm stillness was the hiss of steam from the engine; then pandemonium broke loose. Women screamed and fainted, and men scattered in all directions as they frantically sought cover.

Several of the townspeople rushed forward, picked up the limp body that was lying in the dust, and carried it into the nearest saloon. Others took the gun away from West and began dragging him, kicking and fighting, down the street, presumably to the jail.

It was over in a second, but to the passengers it seemed like hours, and 10 minutes later, when the train pulled out, there wasn't a head to be seen in the windows of the coaches. The caboose had scarcely left the station when the town began laughing, and they didn't stop laughing for three years.

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