Cherokee Connection Chapter 1 page 3
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Jailer Paps

Paps once worked as a jailer. During the time, a fellow carved a gun out of a bar of soap and painted it with shoe polish. He pointed the gun at Paps and said give me the keys and let me loose. Paps just looked at him and said, "Give me that gun before you hurt somebody." He grabbed the hand with gun and it crushed in his hand. Paps said he was really scared and nearly fainted, "I thought it was real". You know, He didn't get a promotion, nothing was in the papers about it or anything like that. Nothing. That was only a few years before he died.

One time a deputy brought in one of the Starr boys on a drunk charge. He was supposed to be a desperado. Paps wouldn't book him and made the deputy take the handcuffs off of him. The deputy was mad but he took off the handcuffs. I guess the Starr was a relative of Paps.

Once at the jail, one of the deputies told one of the colored guys locked up at the Jail to clean up his cell. The colored guy refused and beat up the Deputy. When Paps came to work the next day, the deputy told him about what happened.

Paps said, "I guess I will have to handle that guy myself."

Paps had the keys to solitaire in his hand, it was a big key mounted on a hollow piece of pipe about 10 inches long with a big ring. He walked over to the cell and said, "I hear you won't clean up your cell"

Paps opened the door to walk in. The man put his head down and rushed at him. Paps stepped aside and hit him with the key. It made a gash in his head. He rushed a couple of more times. Each time Paps hit him again, then the man fell on the floor with his head bleeding. Paps grabbed him by the belt and drug him back into the cell.

Then Paps went over to the trustees and said, "I want you to give this man a two by three inch piece of corn bread and an 8 ounce glass of water twice a day. Nothing else, no more. if I ever hear that you gave any more than that, you are going to join him. I want to make a gentleman out of that man and you are going to help me."

When one of Williams adopted twins, Ed Bryant, was a teenager, he would raise hell and get in a drunken fight every week end. Paps would get him out of jail every Monday morning. Once, the other fellow was getting the best of Ed Brant and he used his knife with a broken blade to cut the other fellow badly.

This time instead of getting him out of jail, Paps went to the Justice of Peace. first and said I have been trying to straighten this kid out and I have done everything I can think of. I want him to learn a lesson. So whatever you give him, I want you to double it for me. The judge did. He got 30 days for the offence and 30 more days from Paps. Before the 60 days was up, the Bryant boy was begging to get out of jail, pleading he would straighten up and never do any more fighting again. Paps didn't get him out right away, but when he did get out, he never got in another fight.

The other twin Charley had a hunting accident. He was hunting with a shot gun, got the trigger caught in some brush. When he pulled it to get the gun out, it discharged and blew his hand off. One of the Bryant Kids was a Deputy Sheriff in Porum for years. One of them went to Calif. One of the Bryant boy's grandson bought some of Belle Starr's property.

Paps rented a farm next to the Johnson place. The rent was much too low for the amount of land. He asked the land owner why? He said no one would rent the farm because Johnson, on the next farm, had a mule that would destroy the corn. So when Pap's corn got about two feet high, he found the mule messing up his corn. Paps roped the mule and took him back to Mr Johnson. Told him he didn't want to see the mule in his corn field again.

A few days later when he saw the mule try to knock the fence down to get at the corn, he took his shot gun and blasted away at the mule. When the mule turned and ran back, he put a blast of buck shot in the mule's rear. The mule went home bleeding. A few days later in town Mr Johnson was bragging to some other men about what he was planing to do to Paps. Paps heard him and walked up to him and said, "I hear you have a beef with me about your mule." At the same time he pulled back his coat so his "44" pistol was showing.

Mr Johnson said, "No I don't have a beef with you Mr Keith" That year Pap's corn grew as high as corn grew anywhere else.


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