With Historical Narratives of Famous Outlaws; The Stories of Noted Border Wars; Vigilante Movements and Armed Conflicts on the Frontier
s life. He might go on now and become a bad man, or he might cheapen and become an imitation desperado. In either event, his third man left him still more confident. His courage and his skill in weapons gave him assuredness and ease at the time of an encounter. He was now becoming a specialist. Time did the rest, until at length they buried him.
The bad man of genuine sort rarely looked the part assigned to him in the popular imagination. The long-haired blusterer, adorned with a dialect that never was spoken, serves very well in fiction about the West, but that is not the real thing. The most dangerous man was apt to be quiet and smooth-spoken. When an antagonist blustered and threatened, the most dangerous man only felt rising in his own soul, keen and stern, that strange exultation which often comes with combat for the man naturally brave. A Western officer of established reputation once said to me, while speaking of a recent personal difficulty into which he had been forced: "I hadn't been in anyth
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