Ham Bailey, By Lee Wallace

The following is a story by my Great Uncle, Lee Wallace, published and copyrighted in 1946. Apparently, he was involved in this case, probably the Judge.

Ham Bailey

Ham always had a tear in his voice. He was on trial charged with assault to murder one Stark by cutting him with a knife.

Placed on the stand as witness for himself and after identifications he was told by his attorney to tell the Jury everything done and said by Stark and himself to and concerning each other the day of the alleged assault. The following is Ham’s direct testimony: “Hit wuz on the 4th of July. I wuz working out at the Fair Grounds for the Fair Managers. Hit wuz just when the hosses and waggins wuz a goin’ out and the automobiles wuz a comin’ in. The hosses wuz scared of the automobiles. I wuz showin’ the folks where to put the waggins and the hosses away from the automobiles. I had never seen that feller (indicating Stark) before. He come to where I wuz and said he heard I wuz a bad man and he said he wuz a bad man, too; and we wuz a goin’ to find out right there which of us wuz the baddest. I told him somebody had told a story on me. I wuz not a bad man. I was a workin’ man trying to make a livin’ without stealin’. About that time the sheriff come along and told him to leave me alone and he left. I did not see him anymore until I went to town after the Fair broke up.”

“I worked all day. I didn’t git no dinner. When the Fair broke up I started to town on foot. When I got to Town Creek, Shell Lawrence overtuck me and I got in his hack and rode to town. I got out at the bush-arbor by the side of the saloon where George Heiman had coffee and hamburgers. I hadn’t had no dinner. I wuz blowin’ on my coffee to cool it, and Mr. Stark come and set on the bench by me with his back to the table. He didn’t say nothin’. But roostered me, (indicating with his right elbow). That sloshed the hot coffee all over my hand, scalded my hand”.

Here the witness paused and his attorney asked, “Mr. Bailey, then what did you say or do if anything?” To which the witness answered, “I didn’t say nothin’. I cut his throat. I didn’t have no pistol.”

Lee’s Note:

Just another case of where a fellow was hunting rabbits and squirrels and jumped a twelve-foot mountain lion.