A LYNCHING IN SCHLEICHER COUNTY.
(proposed TV script for a docudrama)
(scene opens showing sheriff riding into town holding
the reins of a second horse on which is a handcuffed man)
"Who you got thar Sheriff Doran"? "Got me a suspected
cattle rustler". (crowd gathers)."Why you onery sidewinder
we'll show yall what we do to cattle rustlers round heah" Another
shouts, "get a rope,boys"." Now,now, hold on boys, the sheriff yells
out..."we gonna hang the varment alright,,,but first we gonna
give him a "fair" trial in Judge Walthers' court"..."then, we'll hang him".
Judge Walthers listens to sheriff Doran's suspicions and
allegations...The judge asked the cowboy if he was a baptist.
"No",he said he was a mormon. At that point, Walthers rules
that the defendant has failed to prove he was innocent...and
sentences him to be hanged. A mob then rushes forward, grabs
him, and drags him to a large tree. They throwa rope over a limb
and hang him. A week later the ranch foreman from neighboring
county brings in a Bill of Sale showing that the defendant did own
those cattle after all.
Later a number of that lynch mob gathers in the saloon to discuss
the hanging. "Well, its not our fault that he was innocent"."Besides,
we were only trying to protect those cattle against someone that
might not own em"." Yeh,Yeh", the crowd murmers in agreement.
"Anyway, people like that got no bidness coming round these parts
looking different and believing different from us god fearing
baptists"." Yep, and CPS did tell us they had CONCERNS about the
safety of those cattle....and, they sez that feller mighta been having
sex with the calves in that herd". "Thats right",'thats right", the
crowd agreed. Well, lets just forget about it and have another beer."
So, as Dale Robertson would say, "and thats been another tale of the old west".
WILL ROGERS SAID: "ITS NOT WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
THAT GETS US INTO TROUBLE, ITS WHAT WE KNOW
THAT AIN'T SO.
BERNARD BARUCH: "Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably
sensible and reasonable--as a member of a crowd, he at once
becomes a blockhead". Even the kindest, gentlest people, when
they descend into groupthink, turn into savages."