Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

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November 12, 2013
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Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 11-11-13

Gentle readers, in the past I have mentioned that I love reading the history of our country and especially stories that relate to the West and how folks lived and reacted to their environment.

I was given a book by a friend of mine, Garland Weeks (voted sculptor of Texas a few years back) and the book is about a county in Texas by the name of Martin county. Martin county is located East of the Midland Odessa area which is in what’s now called the Permian Basin of West Texas. These stories take place in the late 1880s.

First short story: Black Jack Ketchum held up a train headed to Midland loaded with watermelons and chickens for a large Fourth of July celebration. The outlaws built a fire on the tracks and stopped the train. They not only robbed it but made the crew and passengers eat watermelons with them before they departed.

In our second story we have a Texas Ranger involved. The Texas Rangers since their birth in the 1840s commanded the respect of everyone in the grand state of Texas. They were tough, determined and efficient in their efforts to catch the bad guys.

Well, there is one Ranger in this story that might not have lived up to the logo of “one riot, one Ranger.” A Sheriff by the name of Charley Toms and a Texas Ranger went to one of the nearby ranches to arrest an outlaw by the name of Tom Ross who was suspected of staying there. They were told that Tom Ross and the other cowboys were moving some cows and they rode out to where the herd was located. They rode up to the herd and Tom Ross rode up to meet the Sheriff as the Sheriff didn’t know what he looked like.

The Sheriff was talking to Ross when Captain Rogers, the Ranger, rode up and Ross took off. Shots were fired and apparently Ross’s horse went down. Another cowboy took him a horse and he escaped. The Sheriff and the Ranger stopped at a nearby ranch and got fresh horses. They found Ross just over the next hill. With an extremely lucky shot, Ross fired at the Ranger and shot his bridle reins off of the bridle. He yelled at them to throw down their guns which they did post haste.

Our Ranger falls off his horse and starts yelling, “I’m shot, I’m shot!!”

The Sheriff told him, “You better get up or you will be shot!”

Ross rode up, unloaded their guns and ammo in their belts and gave them back their guns. He decided he should go ahead and shoot the Ranger but the Sheriff talked him out of it.

Ross later fled to South America and came back at some later date and married one of the local gals and lived a decent life. Not quite like it is in the movies I reckon?

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c.ya’ll, all y’all. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Nov 7, 2013 05:24PM Published Nov 25, 2013 01:48PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.