Sam Bass Essay

1520 words - 6 pages

The Sun is slowly sinking. Birds are ceasing to sing. You should be asleep, but instead, you’re wondering if you will. There’s no way to earn money, you are going to have to find another way to help yourself. Forget about sleeping in a house, the cold ground is your bed. All of your “friends” have vanished, your canteen is dry, and if you go into town, you will surely be shot. Once you go wrong, you can’t go back, because you’re wanted. Dead or alive.
Sam Bass was born to Daniel and Elizabeth Jane Sheeks Bass on July 21, 1851 near a small town called Mitchell, Indiana. He had a normal early childhood, if you exclude the fact that he did not attend school. This was normal for children in the mid-1800’s, because school was not yet a required endeavor, and most children were like Sam, accustomed to tending the fields and animals of their parents’ farms. His childhood diverged from normality when he was only ten years old. His mother passed away during the birth of her tenth child, and three years later, in 1864, Sam’s father died. Being an orphan, he and his siblings went to live at the home of an uncle, and in 1869, before he turned 18, he ran away from home. He was in search of a new way of life. For a while, he worked in Mississippi for a local sawmill, and upon finding this was a fruitless task, decided to move on again. So he packed up and headed west with no specific destination, and during the summer of 1870, he found himself in Denton, Texas. Here he met a man by the name of Robert Carruth, and became a ranch hand on his farm just out of Denton. He soon found that this was not the type of career he wanted to be known for, and wound up back in Denton, with a newfound interest in racing horses.
While Sam was staying in Denton, he stumbled upon a hotel needing employees to tend to the horses and watch the livestock. This was exactly the break that Sam needed. He worked at this hotel, called the Lacy House, and soon met a local sheriff, a Mr. William Egan, who was also in need of a cowboy. Sam worked on his farm, caring for the his animals and doing any jobs that Sheriff Egan needed him to do. He also spent time as a freighter between Denton and a few nearby towns. His life was simple, and easygoing. But Sam yearned for excitement, and after four years of being a handyman, he finally purchased a horse and quit his freighter and ranch hand jobs. When he bought her, the Denton Mare was an ordinary stable horse, but he made her legendary. Sam spent two years racing his beautiful mare. He proved to be good jockey, and won most of the races he competed in. The races of North Texas were too easy for Sam, and soon out of boredom, he left to San Antonio, and found these races more challenging and he stayed for the remainder of the year. However, by 1876 he decided he still was not content, and he had also had a run-in with some local police about a horse racing dispute. The races were now an everyday affair, and Sam’s...

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