The Story of Cole Younger – 27 Horace Greeley Perry

gunbelt When we split up in St. Paul Howard, Woods, Jim and Clell Miller were to go to Red Wing to get their horses, while Chadwell, Pitts, Bob and myself were to go to St. Peter or Mankato, but Bob and Chadwell missed the train and they had me in a stew to know what had happened to them. We watched the papers, but could find nothing about any arrest, and Pitts and I bought our horses at St. Peter. I was known as King, and some of the fellows called me Congressman King, insisting that I bore some resemblance to Congressman William S. King of Minneapolis. I bought two horses, one from a man named Hodge and the other from a man named French, and while we were breaking th5 there at St. Peter I made the acquaintance of a little girl who was afterward one of the most earnest workers for our parole.

A little tot then, she said she could ride a horse, too, and reaching down I lifted her up before me, and we rode up and down. I asked her name and she said it was “Horace Greeley Perry,” and I replied:

“No wonder you’re such a little tot, with such a great name.”

“I won’t always be little,” she replied. “I’m going to be a great big girl, and be a newspaper man like my pa.”

“Will you still be my sweetheart then, and be my friend?” I asked her, and she declared she would, a promise I was to remind her of years later under circumstances of which I did not dream then.

Many years afterward with a party of visitors to the prison came a girl, perhaps sixteen, who registered in full “Horace Greeley Perry.”

I knew there could not be two women with such a name in the world, and I reminded her of her promise, a promise which she did not remember, although she had been told how she had made friends with the bold bad man who afterwards robbed the bank at Northfield.

Very soon afterward, at the age of eighteen, I believe, she became, as she had dreamed in childhood, a “newspaper man,” editing the St. Peter Journal, and to the hour of my pardon she was one of the most indefatigable workers for us.

A few years ago failing health compelled her removal from Minnesota to Idaho, and Minnesota lost one of the brightest newspaper writers and one of the best and truest women and staunchest friends that a man ever knew. Jim and I had a host of earnest advocates during the latter years of our imprisonment, but none exceeded in devotion the young woman who, as a little tot, had ridden, unknowingly, with the bandit who was so soon to be exiled for life from all his kin and friends.

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