Chapter 10: acceptance
That night Joseph was too restless to sleep, so 'e got up around midnight to have a smoke by the fireplace. Sally was asleep, so ’e slipped out quiet like so as to not wake ’er up. While 'e was smokin, Penelope came out an' sit with ’im. He’d quit lockin ’er door days ago. He knew she wasn’t gonna run away. What’re ya doin up; 'e asked. I couldn’t sleep. I just rolled an' rolled. I smelled yer pipe, so I figured ya was in here smokin. I couldn’t sleep either. Why not; she asked. Not sure. Me an' Peter had an argument today, on the way out here. What about? Well, you. Ya mean, if the judge says hang me? Well, yea. I just have a hard time talkin bout it Penelope. I know ya do Joseph, we all do. But it has to be talked about. I just don’t know which way to go. Well Joseph, I want you to know somethin. I decided that if that jury finds me guilty, an' the judge says hang me, that’s what the good lord wants, so I don’t want you to worry bout it, ok? Penelope, how can I not worry bout it? How can I hang my own sister I love? What am I gonna tell God on my judgment day when 'e asked why I did it? God’ll forgive ya. I ain't so sure bout that. We’re family, I can’t just up an' hang ya. Ya can, an' ya will Joseph Cates. You’re sworn to do it, if the judge tells ya to. An' sides, if I gotta go, it's my time. Didn’t ya teach me that if the lord calls ya, ya can’t wait? Sides, the trial ain't till next Monday. We got a whole week, an' the jury might find me innocent anyway. I don’t think they’ll do that Penelope. There ain't a single person in that town that I know of that thinks ya are, or cares. What does Peter want? He wants me to let 'im take ya an' run away. An' ya said ya wouldn’t let ’im. Cause it's your sworn duty. An' I stand behind ya on that Joseph. I ain't gonna run, no matter what Peter wants. Did ’e ask ya to run with me afore 'e said 'e wanted ya to let me run with 'im? Yea. See? I know you guys better ’n ya know yerselves. Don’t worry brother, I ain't gonna run. I wouldn’t put you, Sally, an' Mandy in that situation. What kinda aunt would I be if I left that little girl without a paw? Ya know if ya let me run, they’ll be wantin to hang us both. I know that, an' that’s what I told Peter, I wouldn’t put ’em in that kinda situation. I knew ya wouldn’t. An' I won't either, now just don’t worry. Do what yer sworn to do, an' if it comes to it, let me go be with papa, an' maw. I don’t know how ya can be so strong when I can’t Penelope. It just hurts so much, an' it's been wayin on me ever since we brought ya back to town. Now I got Peter wantin to run with ya. That makes it even worse. I know ’im too Penelope, an' 'e’ll do somethin, I know ’e will. Then let me talk to ’im. I’ll tell ’im not to do anything if I have to be hanged. It might help. Nothin’ll help when it comes to Peter, you know that. Well, all we can do is try. So let me talk to ’im. Bring ’im out this week. Ok Penelope. I’ll bring ’im out. Ya know, 'e told me ya didn’t send ’im any wire. I know ’e did. That was just a shot in the dark on my part Joseph, an' I really am sorry. But I had to try somethin. Don’t be sorry, I understand. I wouldn’t let anything happen to ya out on that river even if ya didn’t tell me that. But since ya did, ya got to at least stay out here till the trial. I ain't sure bout after it though, if the judge’ll let ya still stay out here. Well, I hope ’e does, but if ’e don’t, I’ll just have to stay in jail till I have the baby. Not if I can help it. I’ll do anything I can to get ’im to let ya stay here. He’s a good man, an' 'e’s my friend. Maybe he’ll let ya stay here, bein with child an' all. She told ’im she could probably sleep now, cause she had some things off 'er mind. You go on back to bed then. I’ll go afore long myself. Good night Joseph. I love ya. I love ya too Penelope. Good night. The conversation was hard, but it took a lot off 'is mind, an' 'is chest. Joseph decided that since Penelope wanted to do what ever the law decided, it was gonna have to be that way, no matter what Peter wanted. He was at least a little bit less tight in ’is gut, so 'e thought 'e might be able to sleep now, an' slipped back in bed. Sally was awake cause she heard ’em talkin out in the living room. She asked what they talked about an' Joseph told her everything that Penelope decided. He had tears streamin an' she comforted 'im best she could, an' they held each other tight till she noticed 'e finally went to sleep.
He slept in the next mornin, an' Sally ordered everybody to be quiet, cause 'e had a rough night. Penelope knew why, but she didn’t say anything. Mandy asked questions, but 'er maw told 'er she didn’t think she’d understand, so she went out to feed, an' gather eggs. Her paw met 'er when she was almost finished with the eggs, an' she told ’im she got the feedin all done for ’im. He thanked 'er, an' told 'er he’d do all the scoopin in the stalls, an' the milkin. She could go on in an' help her maw with breakfast, so they wouldn’t have to eat burnt bacon again. She laughed an' ran in to help, while 'e scooped out the barn, an' did the milkin. When 'e got all done, 'e brought the milk in the house just in time for the ham an' eggs Sally had on the table. Look paw; Mandy said. Ham ain't burnt. Even Josephine laughed this time, an' they all had a fantastic breakfast afore gettin' on with the rest of the day. It was Wednesday afore Peter came back out. When 'e arrived, Penelope told ’im she wanted to go for a ride an' talk with 'im, an' Joseph too. It didn’t have to take long she told ’im. So Joseph hooked up the wagon, an' they struck out for the river. On the way out Penelope told Peter straight up what she intended to do, if the judge told 'er she was to be hanged. If 'e says I gotta hang, I don’t wanna run Peter. I don’t wanna put Joseph or 'is family in any trouble. I got myself in this mess, an' if I gotta hang for it, it’s what the good lord wants. So you don’t do anything, ya hear? Don’t try to get me to run, an' don’t go agin Joseph on this. He’s swore an oath, an' papa wouldn’t want ’im goin back on that. He swore on a bible an' that’s one thing ya can’t lie about, or just not do. If ya swear on a bible, ya gotta go through with whatever that oath is, no matter how much it hurts. Ok Peter? Promise me ya won’t go agin Joseph if the judge tells ’im I gotta be hanged. I can’t; he said. I just can’t stand by an watch my little sister hang, specially if it’s my own brother doin the hangin. Then leave Peter. I told ya what I wanted, an' if ya can’t live with it, just leave. Go away. Alright, I’ll go, but I promise ya this Joseph Cates. If my sister dies, you die. Remember that. I’ll remember Peter. You better. I’ll be watchin the papers. They’ll let me know when ya plan to “murder” our sister. It ain't murder, it's justice. That’s bullshit Joseph. You just remember what I said. I’ll be back. He rides off at a run, an' Joseph an' Penelope sit there for a few minutes in silence. Finally, she asked; ain't that your horse? Yea, but he can have ’im. Better to give ’im a horse than give ’im a fight right now. He’s too mad to think. Bad part is, I understand why, an' I don’t even blame ’im. I know Joseph. But just promise me one thing? Sure sis, what is it? Promise me that it’ll be you that does it, if it has to happen? Damn you Penelope, do you realize what yer askin? Yes, I do. If I gotta be hanged, I want it to be done by someone who’ll be nice about it. I want it to be done by someone that loves me enough to let me go. That’s you Joseph. Nobody else’s strong enough to do it. Joseph, to do it to me, is to do it for me. Remember that. It was hard to tell who had more water flowin. Joseph, Penelope, or the river. They set an' hugged for a few more minutes so they could collect themselves afore headin back to the house. By the time they returned, Sally had dinner on the table. She could tell the two had been cryin, but she didn’t say anything to 'em, so Mandy wouldn’t get suspicious. She just said; let's eat afore it gets cold. They all set down but Joseph, who went out to the back porch to wash up, an' to wash 'is face so it didn’t look like 'e’d been leakin tears. He was a proud man, an' hated it when people seen too much emotion, or it looked like 'e ’as a little soft. Specially if it was Mandy. She was so big hearted, that she would cry at anything. They had dinner, an' the rest of the day was mild around the Cates place.
The rest of the week was in fact. Friday rolled around an' Sally told Joseph they needed flour an' sugar, so 'e decided to take Mandy to town an' sell the eggs, an' get the supplies 'is wife needed, an' also to let Mandy get some more of that hard candy she loved so much. He loved it too, by the way, specially them soft mint sticks.
When they got to town, the man at the livery called for ’im. Hey marshal Cates, your brother left this horse, said it’s yours. Ok Jeb, we’ll pick ’im up on the way out. Ok sir, I’ll have ’im ready. Where’s Uncle Peter; Mandy asked. He went back to Kansas City. Why? I guess 'e had business to tend to. What kinda business? I ain't sure honey. Ya think someone needed killin? Where’d ya hear that kinda talk? From you paw. Ya always chase people that kill other people, an' rob banks an' trains an' stuff. That’s what uncle Peter does, ain't it? What makes ya think 'e kills people Mandy? Well, 'e just kinda looks like someone who does it, don’t ’e? Well, yea, I guess 'e does kinda look like 'e might. Sides I heard Aunt Josephine an' maw talkin when ya was out with Mr. Weston, an' they said 'e does that. Oh, I see. Well, let’s not worry bout that right now, Ok? Maw says Uncle Peter is the only man she knows of that’s faster ’n you. Well, yea, he’s fast, no doubt about that. But let’s not worry bout that right now, ok? How bout we get to that store an' get ya some of that hard candy. Ya mean some of them soft peppermint sticks? She was pointin a finger at 'im an' smilin big when she said this. Yea, those too; 'e said with a grin. She kept grinnin too, cause she loved them peppermint sticks almost as much as 'er paw did. They got all the supplies an' hard candy, an' the horse Peter left, an' headed back to the farm. Mandy had plenty stories to tell when she got there. She told 'er maw all about Uncle Peter leavin a horse, an' how many peppermint sticks she got with her two cents. But I thought ya was only gonna use one cent on candy. Well, um, paw told me since I was so good, I could use two. Penelope an' Josephine were chuckling at Joseph when 'e walked in from the barn, cause they both knew 'e’d have to explain why Mandy used two cents instead of only one on candy. It wasn’t gonna be a problem tho cause Joseph already had it in the bag. He brought home a brand new cast iron skillet. The very one Mandy seen 'er maw eye ballin in the store last month. No explanation was needed this day. Mandy stood there grinning at 'er maw when Joseph handed 'er the package. She knew since Sally was already askin bout the candy, she needed a diversion, so she insisted on 'er maw openin that package right away. Joseph didn’t say a word, except; Mandy wants ya to open that, for some reason. When she stopped askin, an' opened it up, all candy was almost out the window. Oh, it's just what I wanted Joseph. How’d ya know? This little lady told me. Oh Mandy, thank ya dear. I love it, now why did yer paw let ya use two pennies, instead of only one? The other ladies busted out with laughter. They didn’t even expect this one. Mandy even laughed, tryin to get her maw’s attention away from the two pennies. It didn’t work, however. All she could think of to say in 'er own defense was; paw let me. Well “paw” what do ya got to say for yerself? Sorry dear. I let ’er do it. She was really good, an' she rode the extra horse home for me. She carried the eggs into the store. Ok, ok, stop; Sally had 'er hand up. It’s ok Mandy. You surely deserve to use an extra penny now and agin. Mandy was all smiles. So was Penelope, an' Josephine. The rest of the day, an' weekend were good, an' Joseph an' Mandy rode over to the Benton place, to see if Mandy could stay over there on Monday while they all went to the trial. Coarse she can; Deb Benton said. She can play with the young ’ons here, an' I’ll feed ’er well, ya know that Joseph Cates. That I do ma’am, an' thank ya. Anytime neighbor, anytime. Thank ya Mrs. Benton; Mandy said as they were leavin. You’re most welcome little Miss Mandy.
When Monday finally rolled around, the Cates household was all talk about the upcomin trial. Mandy was worried, right along with the rest of the family. She talked with 'er paw when they were doin chores, an' was askin bout the trial, an' what was to happen to 'er aunt Penelope. She wanted to know if she was gonna be allowed to stay an' live with ’em forever or not. Well Mandy; he confided. I just can’t say for sure honey, if she’s gonna be able to stay here with us or not. It’s all up to the judge. Is ’e gonna make ya hang ’er? Where’d ya hear a thing like that? I been hearin ya talk to maw, an' to Aunt Penelope, an' Aunt Josephine. I know some things paw. I see ya do. I’m big paw. I just want Aunt Penelope to stay with us, is all. I know honey. We all do. But right now is a time we all have to be big, an' we all have to be strong too. I know it ain't gonna be easy for ya, cause it ain't even easy for me. Now, let’s get in the house an' have breakfast, so we can get around, an' get to town. Ok paw. He could tell she was really sad, but there wasn’t a thing 'e could do to relieve the sorrow 'is child had, or 'is own self for that matter. They went in an' ate breakfast an' not a word was spoken, for the ladies didn’t know Mandy knew as much as she did. And she didn’t let on that she knew, cause she didn’t wanna upset 'er maw, or her aunts. After breakfast, they took off for the Benton place to drop off Mandy. Mrs. Benton was at the gate to greet ’em, an' she stepped out to the wagon an' put 'er hand on Penelope’s an' said; God be with ya child. We’re all prayin for ya. Then she added; Good luck to ya all Joseph, Sally, an' Josephine. Don’t worry none bout Mandy, she’ll be just fine here till ya need to pick ’er up. Thank ya Mrs. Benton. Afore they left however, Mandy spoke up to 'er maw; maw, I know a lot of what’s goin on, an' I been prayin real hard for god to let Aunt Penelope come back an' stay with us. I love her so much. That was just about enough to break everybody’s hearts, even Mrs. Benton’s. She took Mandy by the hand an' led 'er into the house, an' wiped 'er tears away for 'er, an' did 'er best to help the child’s pain. When the Cates family arrived in town, they went straight to the court house. There was already a crowd there. The whole county knew Penelope was gonna be tried today for murder. An' women an' kids were killed, so it looked to be interestin. Joseph already told ’em what they could expect, so it wasn’t that much of a shock, till people started sayin things about Penelope bein a child killer. That was enough to make Joseph wanna draw down an' start shootin, but 'e held 'is hate for the people. Right now the only people 'e worried about were 'is family, an' the jurors. He only hoped the sheriff could find enough unbiased people to fill the jury boxes to make some difference. He found where the judge wanted Penelope to sit, an' 'e sit with ’er, so she wouldn’t be alone in here amongst all the jibin an' name callin. His wife an' other sister sit right behind ’em. The sheriff came in with the men they brought in with Penelope, an' Bill Green started to say somethin to 'er, but the sheriff knocked ’im to 'is seat afore 'e had any chance to finish it. Sam Smith just sit quiet the entire time. The judge came in an' the bailiff hollered all rise, an' everybody that had seats stood up for 'im to take ’is bench. He told about what was gonna go on. He said that Penelope Cates, Bill Green, an' Sam Smith were all gonna be on trial for murder, horse thievin, an' killin women an' kids. All of which was hangin offenses. An' if found guilty, they’d be sentenced to hang. Now; 'e said. Let's get started. Marshal Cates. I’d like to hear from you first. What’d ya do, an' who’d ya catch. I wanna know your whole story, start to finish.
Well sir. I received a wire from an old friend of mine, Sheriff John Weston, of Bowling Green Kentucky. That’s where my family an' me are from. It said that the Becker place was burnt an' the entire family was murdered, kids an' all. An ’e told me my sister was took, or 'e at least thought she was. Well sir, I lit out an' went right on out there on the red line. When I got there, 'e met me, an' we went to his place for supper, an' to talk bout what 'e thought happened. We had fried chicken, an' tators. The next day, we 'as on our way out there, an' met up with a bunch of riders, an' it come to be Jason Green, His brother, an' 'is bunch, or at least part of 'is bunch. He told us 'e had a posse, an' they was lookin for my sister. Well, we decided it didn’t look right, so we 'as gonna check up on this posse. Then we went on to my folks place, an' then to the Becker farm. We checked down by the river on the way to the Becker place, where John, that's my friend I told ya bout, told me they lost all sign of the killers. Well sir, I slipped over to their camp that night, an' seen eight men, instead of six, like we seen earlier. An' I thought I saw a woman, but I wasn’t sure. An' one of 'em looked like 'e might be black, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, I couldn’t hear much of what they ’as talkin bout, cause they 'as in a place I couldn't get close to. so I headed back to my own camp an' ate pork chops John had cooked, an' biscuits. Next day, we went over to visit this posse, an' I confronted Jason green, an' asked ’im where the other two men were I seen in ’is camp last night. He got testy, an' started to draw down on me, but Bill here stopped ’im. We left, an' later we 'as watchin ’em from the woods. When we seen ’em headed west, instead of east, like it looked like the killers went, we fallowed ’em. Well sir, they seen us, so they lit out on a run. We took chase, an' they ducked in the gully, an' then they split up. Sheriff Weston chased the two that went east, an' I chased the rest, towards town, or west. Well, it didn’t take long, till I figured out where they 'as headed. They 'as goin to Sheriff Weston’s place, instead of town like we thought. I come around a corner, an' someone took a pop shot at me, an' I returned fire, killin' this mans brother, Jason Green.(he was lookin right at Bill Green, to make sure 'e knew 'e killed 'is brother, an' to make 'im as mad as 'e could at the same time.) Well sir, by the time I got to the Weston place, an' I could see the house, I seen ’em shoot Mrs. Weston, an' Peggy, the littlest of three girls. Then I seen some of the other men shoot in the barn. That's where the other two girls were, doin chores, I magine. Well sir, I was shootin to try an' warn Margaret, but it was too late. They done killed 'em all. The men lit out, an' by the time I reached the house, Mrs. Weston an' all three of them little girls was dead. I brought the two girls out of the barn an' laid 'em by their maw an' little sister, an' I covered ’em all up an' went to get Sheriff Weston, an' tell ’im what’d happened. But 'e lit out for the house afore I could stop ’im. Then, well, I asked John if 'e wanted to bury 'is family at the house or take 'em in town top have a proper burial. He said 'e wanted to take 'em in town, so we did, an' then after doin all the funeral business an' talkin to the reverend an' other people, like 'is late wifes maw an' paw, we went back to his place an' loaded up for a long trip, cause we knowed it was gonna be long. Well sir, we struck out, an' headed back west to pick up the trail. We found it an' fallowed it for a ways, an' it turned back east, an' north, an' then we saw where the other two horses came back in with the main bunch. We fallowed ’em clean across Kentucky an' up into Ohio, then in to West Virginia, an' when we saw a town,we went in to get a bite to eat, an' a drink. One o' the men staid in town to see if we 'as still on their trail I guess, an' the sheriff there told us who 'e was, an' that 'e lit out as 'e was comin in the saloon. I guess 'e made it back to their camp an' told the rest, cause they 'as gone when we found the camp site. Well, we trailed 'em on in to Pennsylvania, where we caught up with ’em in Pittsburgh. We waited for ’em to get through town, afore we took up the trail, so it’d keep the ruckus outta town. The sheriff asked us to do that. But John noticed a man stayin back to watch their back trail, an' I ended up killin ’im in a gun fight in the saloon. An' when we ’as headed out of town, a kid said someone killed somebody name of Joe Potter an' 'is whole family. We lit out at a run to 'is farm, an' found 'e’d been killed, along with 'is wife an' five young’ons. We talked to a kid there, an' 'e said the bunch headed south, then turned back west. Well we headed back to town, an' the sheriff told us that the bunch came in, an' told ’im they 'as headed here. He said the woman had kin here, an' the leader said they 'as gonna pay ’em a visit. When I asked 'im how come 'e didn’t try to stop ’em, 'e said they had a gun in 'is face, an' 'e wasn’t gonna argue with that. Well sir, we fallowed them to here, but they didn’t come in town. Instead, they headed towards Kansas City, where my brother Peter lives. We caught up to ’em, cause we dogged ’em till they run their horses to death, an' we slipped right up on ’em, where we arrested ’em with no problems, an' we brought ’em here.
Thanks marshal. Well, let's take a short recess, an' after that, we’ll hear from the prosecutor. Most of the people went outside to smoke, but Joseph stayed in here with 'is family. It wasn’t long afore the judge came back in, an' told the prosecutor to tell what 'e had to say.
He stood up an' walked to the jury box. Gentlemen, I’d like ya to take a look at marshal Cates, if ya would. He’s been a U.S. marshal for some time now, an' 'e’s very respected around this state, an' Kansas, Arkansas, an' pretty much all over. I hear 'is reputation even goes all the way to New York City. Point is men, his reputation is what 'e’s ridin on to save 'is sister from the gallows. Fact is, his sister is just as guilty of murderin them women an' children as these men here, Bill Green an' Sam Smith. They all should hang, an' they all should hang soon. People like this don’t deserve to walk the same street as you an' me. We’ll prove to you men that this woman did in fact kill women an' she killed kids. We have a witness who will testify that 'e seen 'er kill both women an' kids. (There were gasps in the courtroom when 'e said 'e had a witness.) That’s right gentlemen. We have a witness that’ll tell you he saw Miss Penelope Cates point 'er pistol an' shoot it killin' women, an' killin' kids. That’s all judge. Thank you. If the opening statements are done, we’ll get on with the trial.
Who’s gonna be the defender for Miss Cates. I will judge; Joseph stood an' said. Ok, an' how bout the other two. Nobody spoke, so the judge appointed a public lawyer to defend ’em. James Wilkins, you defend these two. Ok judge. Now Dave, you can begin. Thank ya judge. Folks, we have here a clear cut case where two men an' a woman murdered at least three entire families, including women an' kids. I would like to call Sheriff Weston to the stand. Excuse me judge, but sheriff Weston won’t be here till the three o’clock train. Ok marshal, call another witness. But your honor, I really need sheriff Weston's testimony here. It could prove my case… shut up an' call another witness. Yes sir. We call Bill Green to the stand. He takes the stand, an' the prosecutor begins. Mornin Bill. Mornin Dave. I’d like to ask ya Bill, if ya don’t mind. What did ya see at the Becker place? Well, I seen Penelope shoot 'er father in-law. Ya seen it? Yes sir. Are ya sure it was Penelope Cates? Oh yea, she did it. Objection your honor. You know as well as I do, this man is telling this crap so the prosecutor will try to give 'im life in prison instead of a hangin. Over ruled, sorry Joseph. It’s Ok judge. Go ahead Mr. Green. Answer the questions. Just remember, marshal Cates will be cross examining ya. Ok Bill. What was the relationship between Miss Cates an' your brother? They was lovers, an' she wanted us to kill 'er husband an' 'is family so they could run off together. Objection your honor, this is all speculation. It's what 'e wants the man to say, an' it's an opinion, not facts. I agree Joseph. Jury members, disregard what the man said please. Bill Green, you keep your opinions to yourself from here on out or I just might let marshal Cates take ya out back an' shoot ya right here an' now. An' councilor, keep to the subject. Very well your honor. Bill, what did ya see at Sheriff Weston’s place? I seen 'er shoot the two girls in the barn. Thank ya Bill. Now tell me. What did ya see at the Potter farm? She killed the wife there, an' two of the kids. Thank ya Bill, no farther questions. Ok Joseph. Your turn. Thank ya judge.
Mornin Bill. Mornin marshal. So let me get this straight. You saw my sister kill 'er own husband? Yes sir. An' ya seen ’er kill the kids at the farm too. Yep. Then ya seen ’er kill Sheriff Weston’s three girls? That right? No, she only killed one kid there. But ya told the prosecutor she killed two kids there. Oh yea, well, it mighta been two. Ok. That was after I killed your brother, aint it? Objection your honor. He’s haggling the witness. Over ruled. Answer the question. Yea, it was after ya murdered my brother. It wasn’t murder I assure you. He shot at me, so I killed 'im, shot ’im right off ’is horse. He bounced pretty good too. (He could see Bill Green steamin by now) An' tell me bout the Potter place. How many did ya say ya seen ’er kill? I seen ’er kill three kids. Well Bill, you aint a very good liar, now are ya. Ya told the prosecutor ya seen ’er kill two girls at Weston’s place, an' two kids an' the wife at the Potter place. Now yer telling me a different story all together. Your honor, I’d like this mans testimony stricken from the record. Sorry Joseph. Even if I did, they done put it in the minds of the jury. Very well. No farther questions from this murderer. You can step down Mr. Green, an' go back to your seat. Who do ya call next Mr. Baxter? I’d like to call marshal Cates. marshal, please take the stand. Sure judge. When 'e gets in the stand an' takes oath, Dave Baxter asked him. marshal, do ya remember what happened when ya got to bowling green? Yea, I met Sheriff Weston, an' we went to his place, ate supper, “fried chicken, almost as good as my Sally makes” an' went to bed, after a smoke on the front porch. Do you remember 'im telling ya that 'e thought Miss Penelope ran off with the bunch that killed 'er family there? No. He said it looked like she might have, hard as it was to think of. I see. An' when did ya go out to the Becker place? Next day after I got out there. Did ya go anyplace else? Yea, just like I said earlier, we stopped by the ol’ farm place we grew up on. That would be the Cates place? Well, my name's Cates aint it? Why did ya stop there? The sheriff said the tracks led over there, an' disappeared in the hills close by. Down by the river. Did ya find any tracks? No, they 'as washed away. It’d rained afore I went out there. That’s too bad. What did ya find when ya got to the Becker place? I didn’t find anything, no tracks, nothin. What did Sheriff Weston tell ya he found? He told me where they found all the bodies. An' where did 'e say 'e found your sisters body? He didn’t. Did 'e say there was a big ruckus? Or was there a fight? No, 'e said it didn’t look like there was a fight. So it looked very much like she just up an' left with 'er lover, wouldn’t you say so marshal? He wasn’t 'er lover. An' I wouldn’t say nothing of the kind for you or nobody. Now ask something besides questions that make it look like what you want it to look like afore I come outta this chair. Calm down Joseph; judge parker advised. Sorry judge. Are ya done Dave? Not quite. What did Miss Penelope tell ya bout your brother Peter? Joseph didn't want to answer, but 'e knowed 'e had to, an' truthfully. She said she sent ’im a wire, an' 'e could clear 'er name. Well, I don’t see ’im. He’ll be here later today. He couldn’t get a train in time to get here this mornin judge. I see. No more questions judge. You can step down Joseph. Thank ya judge. He went back to 'is seat by Penelope, an' she took ’is hand an' told 'im how much she was beholdin to ’im for bein here for 'er. It’s Ok sis. Let’s just get through this. We will Joseph, we will. Who do ya call now Dave? Well judge, I really need Sheriff Weston, or Peter Cates on the stand. Well, it's almost lunchtime, an' if the sheriff can’t get here till three, an' Peter Cates later too, let's stop for today, an' take up in the mornin, nine o’clock. Court dismissed till nine AM. Tomorrow. The Cates family let the crowd thin out afore even tryin to get out. It didn’t take long. Soon as it was clear, they headed over to the café to get some dinner afore they headed out to the farm. Joseph said someone should be here when Peter an' sheriff Weston got in town, but 'e didn’t want Penelope, Josephine, an' Sally goin out to the farm alone. They all decided to stay, but 'e told 'em it was much too long for 'em to sit on a bench someplace. They’d all go home, an' he’d come back in a couple hours, to be here when Sheriff Weston got in, an' they’d wait together for Peter. The ladies didn’t put up a fuss, cause they didn’t wanna be in town any longer than they had to be. Later when 'e was waitin for John, a couple boys from town stopped by to talk to ’im. Afternoon marshal. Afternoon boys. What can I do for ya? Well sir. We was wanderin. If they find your sister guilty, will it be you that hangs ’er? We hate to be rude, but the town has bets on it. Bets on it? Ya mean, they got bets to see if she’s convicted? Or if I’m the one that hangs her, if an' when they do convict ’er. Well, both sir. Sorry. We don’t think she really killed nobody, but the sheriff wouldn’t let us be on the jury, cause we aint old enough. Well, how old are ya? I’m nineteen, an' Billy here, he’s eighteen. Well, that seems old enough to me. We thought so too sir, but the sheriff didn’t. That don’t sound right to me. Not us either. Well marshal? Will it be you that hangs ’er? I mean, if she does get hanged? Yea, I’ll be the one to do it. Judge already told me I would do it. Sides, she asked me if I'd be the one to do it, even afore the judge told me, no matter how hard it'll be. Thank ya marshal. An' good luck too. We both hope she don’t hang. We like yer family an' all. Thanks boys. The train was just pullin in when they left, an' John stepped off, an' they greeted each other, then went to the café for coffee, an' to wait for Peter. Joseph told ’im bout what the boys was tellin ’im bout the bets in town an' all. That’s crazy, aint it Joseph? Yea, but you know how people get when somethin like this goes on. Anything for a buck, huh Joseph. Yea. Well, Peter should be here soon, an' we’ll go to the house an' eat somethin good, unless yer hungry now, we can eat here. Nah, I can wait till we get out there. Sally decided to let Josephine take a break from cookin since she burnt the bacon that day. John laughed an' said. I hope she fries chicken while I’m here. That girl does make some mighty fine fried chicken. Better than Margaret did even. Bout then they heard the train whistle, an' decided to head for the train station. Peter was on, an' when 'e stepped off, 'e told Joseph 'e’d stay in town again. Just like afore. Well Peter, Penelope asked if we’d ask ya to come out, so that’s why we’re here. Well, I’ll ride out tonight, but I aint stayin. That’s ok Peter. We’ll see ya there. Ok boys, see ya out there. I need to stop off at the store afore I come out, so you two go on ahead.
Later, 'e showed up, an' Sally had supper on, so they all ate hardily. Mandy was gonna stay the night at the Benton place till this trial was over. Joseph asked Peter; did ya get a room ok Peter? Yea, they had one room left. I was lucky, cause some other people came in just after I rented it, wantin a room for the big hangin party they said. I almost shot ’em both. Well, that’d only make more excitement for the towns’ folk. They got plenty of that; Joseph said. You’re still welcome to stay here. No thanks Joseph. I’ll stay in town. Penelope asked Peter if 'e’d walk with 'er afore 'e headed back to town. They went out an' walked down the path, an' she asked him; do ya plan to do anything if they hang me Peter? I don’t plan to let ’em hang ya little sister. But Peter, ya promised to not do anything. All that’s changed. Like I told Joseph. He aint gonna hang ya. Peter, don’t do this. I don’t want you an' Joseph fightin cause of me. I told ’im if it come to it, to just let me go to be with papa an' maw. If I get hanged, it's cause the good lord wants it. Now just please promise me ya won’t start a fight with Joseph. I can’t promise that Penelope. I just can’t. If 'e hangs ya, I full intend to kill ’im, an' I will. That’s final. I’ll be goin back to town now. I’ll be at the trial tomorrow with ya. Thank ya Peter. I’ll see ya then. He left an' she went back in the house, an' told the rest what’d happened. She didn’t know how to tell Joseph that Peter was gonna try to kill ’im. Or even if she should. He was out in the barn with John, doin evenin chores. Sally told 'er not to say anything, that she’d be the one to tell Joseph. She agreed, an' nobody said anything about it when they came in. He asked where Peter was, an' Penelope said 'e went back to town afore it got too late. Was 'e spoilin for a fight? Joseph asked. He might be. He wasn’t very happy with what’s goin on ya know. I know Penelope. He said if I hang ya then 'e’d kill me, didn’t 'e. All three ladies looked shocked. Well, 'e did, didn’t 'e? Well, yea. I figured 'e did. I knew 'e was mad enough to do it afore 'e left last week, I just didn’t know for sure if 'e was still that mad at me. But I guess 'e is, huh. Yea Joseph, 'e sure is. Well, just don’t worry none. It’ll all be ok. Sally stepped in; Joseph Cates. That man wants to kill you. An' we both know 'e’s the only man that ever out drew ya. Yea, we know that Sally. So what are ya sayin, ya want me to take Penelope and run? Just because my life was threatened? I can’t do that Sally. You know it, an' everybody in this room knows it. I know Joseph. I just don’t wanna lose ya. She was cryin by now, an' Josephine was holdin 'er to help 'er keep steady. Joseph looked at 'is sisters an' wife, an' they all had a look of distress in their eyes. I’m sorry ladies, I just can’t walk away from an oath I took years ago. Penelope stood up an' told the other ladies; I told Joseph last week, an' I told Peter tonight, now I’m telling you. If it comes to me hangin, I want ’im to go through with it. I don’t want ’im runnin on my account, an' I won’t put Sally an' Mandy in the situation that they’d be in if 'e helped me run, or let Peter take me away. Cause if 'e does, they’ll hang us both. Sides, if I have to hang, it's cause the good lord wants it. Now just let’s not worry bout it, an' get some sleep for tomorrow’ll be a rough day for all of us. But Penelope; Sally burst out. It aint the law we’re worried about, it’s Peter! If 'e plans to kill Joseph, 'e’ll do it, or Joseph ’ll kill him when 'e tries. But one brother or the other will die. They won’t just shoot each other in the leg, or arm. They’ll shoot to kill Penelope. Don’t ya get it? That’s what we’re worried about. Sally! Don’t ya think I’m worried too? I told Peter to promise me that 'e wouldn’t do anything if they hang me, but 'e said 'e couldn’t. An' 'e wouldn’t. An' it’s all my fault. I told 'im just like I told you just now. If I hang, I hang. That’s all there is to it. Let me go, I wanna be with papa, an' maw. She was shakin so bad she could hardly stand. Joseph carried 'er to 'er bed, an' Sally an' Josephine went in an' sit with ’er till she finally drifted off to sleep. Joseph looked at John an' said; boys if I 'as a drunkard, this is a time I’d be drunk as hell. I know what ya mean Joseph. But that wouldn’t help right now, with somethin like this. If ya ask me, I’d have to say, I’d rather see that girl take off an' live somewhere else than see 'er hang, just like you, an' Peter an' the rest. But on the other hand, I see your point too. An oath is an oath, no matter how it turns out. I just wish everybody understood like we do John. Yea, but sometimes they don’t, an' this is one of ’em. I know it’s a hard spot Joseph. I wouldn’t wish this on any man even if I hated ’im, let alone a good friend like you. I don’t know how ya can take it. I don’t either John, an' I wonder how it's gonna do on my marriage. Am I gonna lose Sally an' Mandy cause of my “oath”? I just don’t know Joseph. I wish I could tell ya. If I could, ya know I would. Yea, I know John. You been the best friend I ever had, ya know? Same with you Joseph.
Next mornin came an' they got up early to get all the chores done, an' breakfast over with so they could be in town by nine o’clock. When they got in the court room, there was already a crowd. The judge got to 'is seat, an' things got underway. The prosecutor started by callin sheriff Weston to the stand.
Good morning sheriff Weston. Mornin. I’d like to ask ya bout the Becker place. Was you the first law-man to arrive on the scene? Yep. What did ya see there? I seen a burnt out house an' barn. They was burnt to the ground. What else did ya see? I seen the kids cut up over by the trees, an' Mrs. Becker layin half burnt by where the porch use to be, an' Mr. Becker layin over by the chicken house. He’d been shot once, in the head. Where did ya find Miss Penelope’s late husband? He was in the house when it burnt. Had 'e been shot? Or did the fire get 'im? He looked to be shot, in the head. An' what did ya see at your house when ya got there? I seen my wife an' three little girls murdered, layin on the porch where Joseph laid ’em together. So 'e moved the bodies? He helped out. That’s what 'e did. Ok. So you weren’t there when they were killed? No, I was chasin the two riders that headed east. But marshal Cates was? Nope. He got there after they 'as killed. Then 'e didn’t see who did it? He seen alright. He told me. I didn’t ask if 'e told you. I asked if 'e’d seen it. Well now, if I was there I could answer that stupid question, but I wasn’t. Very well. What did ya see at the Potter place? All I seen there was the man, his wife, an' five kids layin in the wagons. An' when ya caught up with these killers, what happened. What do ya mean, what happened? How did you an' marshal Cates catch the alleged murderers? We slipped right up on ’em. They was restin under an oak tree. Did they put up a fight? Nope. Well Bill here, he tried for a bit, but when he turned around 'e was lookin at two gun barrels. Sides, they was too tired to fight. We dogged ’em too much. A tactic Joseph an' myself used to make ’em wear down. It worked good too. Yes, I hear 'e does that a lot. He does 'is job, an' better ’n you do, from what I see. No more questions. Joseph, your turn.
Hi john. Hi Joseph. I just wanna ask ya a few questions, if it’d be ok. Sure. What did ya say ya seen at the Becker place? Just like I said, the house an' barn was burnt to the ground. An' ya found Jack Becker where? In the house. An' it looked like 'e’d been shot? Yep. Did ya see any sign of a fight? None Joseph. What about your place, what’d ya see there? I seen Margaret, an' the girls where ya laid ’em for me. I never said thanks for coverin ’em up like ya did Joseph. It's Ok John, I already knew. Ya said ya fallowed two riders east? What happened? Two of ’em lit out from the gully an' headed east. I chased ’em while you took out after the main bunch that went to my place. Then two of ’em weren’t at yer place when yer family was killed, right? That’s right. Where did ya fallow the bunch after ya left your place? They went west for a ways, then turned back east, an' north. We fallowed ’em clean all the way up into Ohio, then over to West Virginia, then on into Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh. Then where did ya go? To the Potter place. Why? Cause a kid was yellin bout somebody killed ol’ Joe Potter an' 'is whole family. What did ya see there? The family was laid out in wagons, an' the house an' barn was still smokin, almost burnt to the ground by the time we got there. Did ya talk to anyone? Yea, a boy, bout sixteen I guess. What’d 'e say? He told us the gang just rode in an' started shootin. Killed the whole family. Did 'e say anything bout a woman? Objection, leading. Sustained. Word it better Joseph. Ok judge. Did 'e describe any of the people in the gang? Well, 'e said there was a woman, an' she was mighty pretty from what 'e could see. Did 'e say if she shot anybody? He said she had 'er gun out, but 'e didn’t see her actually shoot it. An' was 'e sure this was a woman? Yep, he said 'e heard 'er holler to shut them kids up. Thank ya John. No more questions judge. You can step down sheriff. Thank ya judge.
Dave? Who do ya wanna talk to now? I call Peter Cates to the stand. The mumbling grew when 'e said Peters name. Everybody knew of 'im, but not all of the people actually knew the man. Good morning Mr. Cates. Mornin. I only have a few questions. Ok. Mr. Cates, did your sister send ya a wire telling you she’d been abducted by these two men? Yes, she did. I see. Where did she send it from? Somewhere in Ohio. You’re not sure where it came from? No, all I know is she sent me a wire, an' what it said. Well Mr. Cates, it seems very strange to me that you wouldn’t bother to find out where she was when she sent you such a disturbing wire. She said Joseph was on 'er trail, an' that she’d surely be caught, knowin our brother like we do. So I didn’t worry bout where she was. I knew she’d end up here. Thank ya Mr. Cates. No more questions. Your turn Joseph. Joseph had no idea what to ask 'is own brother, an' 'e knew the man lied on the witness stand. I have no questions that would help my case your honor. It looks like 'e’s done all 'e can do to help. He can step down. You can step down Mr. Cates. Thanks judge. Mr. Baxter, do ya have any more witnesses? No judge. I have none. How bout you Joseph. Do ya have any witnesses you’d like to bring to the stand? No judge, I aint got any more. Well, what about you Mr. Wilkins? Would you like to ask anybody any questions? Well sir, only one. I’d like to ask if Miss Penelope Cates would be willing to take the stand. Penelope Cates ya say? Yessir. Miss Cates, would you consider takin the stand for Mr. Wilkins? Joseph told 'er she didn't have to take it if she really didn't want to. She was hesitant, but she took the stand anyway.
Good morning Miss Cates. Good mornin Mr. Wilkins. I’ll try to make this as pleasant as possible Miss Cates. When did ya meet Mr. Green ma’am? Which one? Bill. Well, we kinda grew up close to each other. Did ya have an affair with 'is brother, Jason, ma’am? No. Then you an' he were not lovers. No. Miss Cates, did ya see Jason Green prior to the incident at the Becker place? Yes, about a week or two afore it happened. An' what did you two talk about? Well, my husband an' me, we ’as havin some troubles, an' I told Jason bout it, that’s pretty much it. He was a good friend to me. We could talk easy. Did 'e say anything in reference to “getting you out”? He said 'e could, yes, but I told ’im I was married, an' it was my duty to stay that way till death. What happened at the Becker place Miss Cates? Well, they all rode in, an' shot my father in-law an' husband, an' then just killed everybody else, even the kids. I was in shock. Jason told me to git on a horse, an' I didn’t know what to do. Then Bill here, he pointed ’is gun at me an' told me I could die just as easy as them kids. So I got on the horse ’n left with ’em. An' what happened at Sheriff Weston place? I don’t know, I wasn’t there. Where were you Miss Cates? I was on one of the two horses that went east outta that gully. What about the Potter place, in Pittsburgh? We rode in, an' Bill told Mr. Potter to give ’im the strong box. When 'e refused, Bill shot ’im, an' the others pitched in an' they killed everybody, kids an' all, while Bill went in an' got the strongbox out'a the house. Did ya shoot your gun miss Cates? No, I didn’t. Did ya pull it out? Yes. Why? I was scared. It just happened. Thank you Miss Cates. I have no more question judge. Thank ya Mr. Wilkins. Dave, any questions? When 'e seen Joseph lookin his way, he decided 'e didn’t have any worth askin. No judge, I think it’ll work out. How bout you Joseph? Well judge, I think Mr. Wilkins did a fine job of askin what needed to be asked, an' if I knowed she coulda took the stand, I’d asked them same questions earlier. No questions judge. You can step down Miss Penelope. Thank ya judge. Ok then, we’ll have a short recess for a smoke, an' be back in here in fifteen minutes.
Joseph sit with Penelope while the crowd went out for a smoke. What do ya think Joseph? Doesn’t look good, does it. I can’t say just yet Penelope. We still got closin arguments, an' then it’s all up to the jury. She laid 'er head on 'is shoulder, an' partly slept, an' partly wept. He held 'er best 'e could to comfort ’er till the crowd came back in. The judge told the jury they had one more thing afore they left to decide whether they were all found guilty or not, an' that’s closing arguments. Dave Baxter went first.
Gentlemen, as you can see, we have three people that obviously stole horses an' murdered several people, including women an' children. This woman was one of the three. She killed right along with 'er cohorts. She was just as vicious, an' vile as the others who murdered them women an' them kids. Kids that hadn’t even got old enough to go to school. She shot three of the sheriff’s children, two at the home that she actually lived at, an' two more in Pennsylvania. Then tried to get 'er own brother mixed up in it, by beggin' 'im to say she sent 'im a message while she was out killin innocent women an' children. I ask you men to find this woman guilty right along with these two men, an' I also ask for them all to hang by the neck until dead. An' I ask you twelve men to ask the same thing. Thank you Dave. Mr. Wilkins, would you like to give a closing statement? Yes sir, I would. Go ahead. Thank you judge.
Gentlemen of the jury, as I stand before you today, I would like to say only a few things. I been in here listenin to the statements of all these people. I heard what they said. An' from what I gather this woman was abducted from 'er home in Bowling Green Kentucky. It looks to me like a smitten friend wanted 'er so bad that 'e was willin to kill to get 'er. When she told 'im she was havin marital problems but refused when 'e offered to “get her out”, because she has “good morals”, an' she's a good person, not a cold blooded killer, like these two men are, he took it on 'imself to get 'is band of men, an' go kill 'er husband. Hence “till death do us part” was at closure. Then 'is gang decided they needed to kill the entire family so as to leave no witnesses. They took this lady with 'em, an' then killed Sheriff Weston’s family, to keep the two law-men off their trail an' give 'em distance. Then they were chased an' fallowed all the way to Pennsylvania, where the brother, Bill here, knew of this Mr. Potter who 'e knew had a strong box with money in it. There they killed the Potter family, an' when they realized the law-men were hot on their trail, and weren't gonna stop till they caught 'em, they decided to come here to kill marshal Cates wife an' child. Only they were headed off by the two law men that dogged them so. As they was runnin' toward Kansas City, they were caught an' brought here for trial. These men knew the Cates family, they very well knew where they were livin', an' Peter too. They grew up neighbors, an' they all knew where these fine people lived. Miss Penelope Cates was just an insurance policy for the gang. A tool. Gentlemen, I’d like you to find Miss Cates innocent of all charges, an' let her go an' live a peaceful life with her new baby to come. Thank you.
Well Mr. Wilkins, that was nice, however it wasn’t representing the men you were set to defend. Yes, I know judge. I just said what I thought was needed to be said, knowin marshal Cates aint a real lawyer, an' 'e was liable to miss several things. Thank ya James. Joseph. Your turn. Thank ya judge, an' thank you too James. Anytime Joseph.
Gents, you all know me, an' I don’t think a one of ya can think of a time I didn’t help out around your farms when needed, or have a good word for someone in your families. I don’t think a one of ya can come up with a bad word for me neither. Well, my sister aint no different then I am. She’s a loving woman, who got took by these men. That don’t make 'er bad. She didn’t kill no women, an' she didn’t kill no kids either. This man, Bill Green, told them lies cause the prosecutor told ’im if 'e witnessed against my sister, he’d try to get ’im life, instead of a hangin. Now look at ’im. The prosecutor back stabbed ’im, just like they do a lot of times. He asked you men to hang the very man 'e had get up here an' lie bout my sister, on his behalf. Now what kind of friend is that, I ask ya. Well boys, I don’t ask that ya find her totally innocent, I only ask ya to let her live. She don’t deserve to hang like the men that did all them killins. Hell she don’t even deserve to go to jail. She has a baby on the way. Who of ya don’t like kids? How many of ya have kids of your own? Would ya want any of them kids knowin their maw was hanged? Let ’er live boys. That’s all I ask. Let justice be done, but let it be done right, the compassionate way. The way we should be. Who wants on 'is head to be known as the man who caused a woman to be hanged? A woman that ain't killed no women or kids, or anybody else for that matter. We’re all neighbors, an' if ya kill 'er, you’re killin part of me too, cause she’s my family. Boys, I think the only reason they want 'er to hang so bad, is that it’ll make history in this fine town of ours. We don’t need that kinda history. Thank ya for listenin to me.
Well gents. Ya all heard the statements, an' the evidence. Take that evidence an' them statements all under deep consideration, an' give us the best decision ya can. Be fair in yer judgment, but be lawful. Let justice be done. You all go in the other room an' hash this out. Let us know when yer done. The rest of us, take a recess till they come back in.
Joseph decided to take the women over to the café an' eat, since it was almost noon. They went over an' the place was packed. Not a single table. He seen Cassie waitin tables an' asked 'er if she thought they’d be able to get a table very soon. She said she didn’t know, it was so busy. A couple from out of town who were in town for the big trial seen ’em, an' offered ’em their table, since they was almost done eatin, so they were able to at least sit down to wait for their food, which took almost a half hour to get. After they ate dinner, they went to the park to sit an' wait in the shade. since the sheriff told ’em, he’d come get ’em when the jury came back in. they set there for three hours, an' still no sheriff. Joseph seen one of the boys that 'e’d talked to when John came in town, an' asked 'im if 'e’d go find the sheriff, an' ask ’im if the jury came back yet, or did ’e have any word. He said sure, an' 'e ran off toward the sheriff’s office. He came back in a bit an' said; the sheriff said no word yet marshal. He didn’t think the jury was gonna get done today. He said 'e’d come get ya if 'e needed ya though. Ok, thanks son. Well; 'e said. I guess we wait some more. Anybody want some coffee; John asked. I could use some Sally said, an' the others agreed. Sit tight, I’ll go find us some. Oh that’s ok John; Sally said. I need to move around afore my rear end sticks to this bench more ’n it already is. Josephine an' Penelope had the same notions. They walked back to the café, an' found a table this time. They were drinkin coffee when the sheriff came in, an' said the judge wanted everybody back in the court room. When they got in there, the judge asked the jury if they reached a decision. They gave 'im the letter. It read: We the jury find Bill Green an' Sam Smith both guilty, an' they would hang, but they were still fightin over Penelope. So they had to wait, an' come back tomorrow so they could finish the arguin, till they come up with a solid decision. Everybody can go home for tonight. Be here at nine in the mornin. Since it was getting late, Joseph decided that they’d eat in the café tonight, so the girls wouldn’t have to cook after such a hard day in the court house, which they appreciated very much. After they ate supper, they headed to the farm, stopping by the Benton place to let them know they’d be by tomorrow to pick up Mandy. Peter stayed in town, like 'e always does. When they got to the Benton place, Mandy was right there to see what was goin on, an' her folks got a chance to see 'er, an' visit a little bit afore goin on home. It made the day a little better seein someone who still had an innocent heart like she did. It even made Johns day some better. Sally told 'er; yer Uncle Peter left somethin for ya when 'e was out yesterday. He left ya some more hard candy. They could see that smile grow. They left after visitin, an' went on home, so they could be at the court house in the mornin by nine o’clock. Mrs. Benton told 'em she had high hopes since the jury is takin more ’n a day to come up with a decision. They all had them same high hopes.
The next day, they were in the court room by half past eight so they could beat the crowd that was sure to be there. The couple they seen at the café was in there an' they came up to Joseph an' introduced themselves, an' said they hope the jury finds 'is sister innocent. From what they heard in the trial, 'e made a pretty good case. Thank ya; they all said. An' then the court room started fillin up fast. When the judge came in, he announced that the jury had to go out an' argue some more, an' get that decision for the court. They left, an' Joseph an' 'is family waited in there till it cleared out, an' then went over to the café to get some coffee an' wait. They were lucky today, an' got a table right away. Cassie said the pie was extra good today, so the ladies all decided to try a piece, while John, Joseph, an' Peter all just drank coffee an' smoked. It was about ten o’clock when the sheriff came an' got ’em. They reached a decision; 'e said. Judge wants ya back over there. Ok, thanks sheriff. They went back to the court room, an' waited for the judge to read the verdict. He read it an' looked up with a very sad look, an' said, well folks, the jury finds Penelope Cates, guilty, an' she’s to hang. But since she's with child, we'll wait till the baby is born, an' do it about one week after the baby is born. The others, Bill Green an' Sam Smith, will hang this next Monday, at noon. Court adjourned. He slammed 'is gavel an' left the court room with 'is head hangin. He hated to do this, but like Joseph, he swore an oath, an' 'e had no choice but to do 'is duty. Justice had to be served. The Cates family waited while Joseph went to see the judge. When 'e got to 'is chambers, 'e went in, an' asked the judge; we was wonderin. I know Joseph. I know what ya want. She can go to your house till she has the baby. An' I’m terribly sorry bout that verdict. I honestly thought ya made a hell ova case, an' James I thought helped a lot too. I thought 'e helped too judge, but I guess it was destiny. Well sir, I tried my best. I know Joseph. I just hate this. I know judge. I do too. By the way Joseph, you will be here next Monday to hang them men, won’t ya? I’ll be here judge. I have no problems hangin them two. Thanks. Good day judge. Good day Joseph, an' tell Sally, an' the rest how sorry I am, will ya? Sure judge. Thanks.
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