Bob and I had a close call with the St. Louis police in the fall of that year. The bank at Huntington, West Virginia, was robbed the first of September that year, and in the chase of the robbers Thompson McDaniels, who had fought with us in the war, was shot and fatally hurt. In his delirium he called for “Bud,” and many, among whom was Detective Ely of Louisville, thought that he meant me, I having been known familiarly throughout the war as “Bud” Younger. This fact has made careless writers connect Brother Bob with some of my exploits, and in his case it served to throw suspicion on me when in fact it was probably “Bud” or Bill McDaniels, Thompson’s brother, about whom he was raving. Bill was killed shortly before, escaping from arrest for complicity in the Muncie train robbery.
Shortly after this Huntington affair Bob and I were coming north from Florida. We had ridden as far as Nashville, and sold our horses there, carrying the saddle pockets with us. Shortly before we reached St. Louis we met the morning papers, full of the Huntington robbery, and the statement that the robbers Were headed for Missouri. Knowing that we would be watched for in St. Louis, I told Bob we would have to go through anyway. There were some farmers’ families on the train from White county, Tennessee, who were moving to the big bend of the Arkansas river, the men and goods having gone on ahead by freight. We determined to get in with these people and bluff it through. As they always do at St. Louis when on the lookout, a lot of detectives boarded the train at East St. Louis and came through, but I was busy showing one of the small boys the river, and Bob had a little girl who was equally interested in the strange city before her. Gathering up a lot of the baggage of the women folks, we went through the union depot. Chief of Detectives McDonough was standing by the gate and I saw him as I passed within a few feet of him, but he made no sign. We took the women down town to the office where they got their rebates on their tickets, and then we took them back to the depot and left them, very grateful for our considerate attention, although, perhaps, we were under as deep obligations to them as they were to us, if they had known all the facts.
But I was determined to take no further chances, and told Bob to get in a hack that stood outside, and if we were stopped I would get on top and drive.
As we told the driver to go to a certain hotel we allayed the suspicion of a policeman who stood near and he made no effort to molest us. When we got around a corner and out of sight we paid the hackman and skipped out to Union, where we spent the night, and came up to Little Blue, on the Missouri Pacific, the next day.