At the northeast corner of the Young farm, while the cars we headed south, about three miles from the U. S. 66 highway. Chief Oliver with Houser and Bilyeu, waited a few seconds until Hendrix drew alongside with Mashburn, Crosswhite, Johnson and Meadows, and then without getting out of the cars the Sheriff and Detective Chief made suggestions to each other. Chief Oliver said first to Sheriff Hendrix, "Marcell, the Mayor said that we could get pretty close to the barn by taking this route through the orchard if we wanted to use it."
Hendrix replied, "I think that's a good idea. Get up as near even with the house and barn as you can and then when you come across the field you'll be able to see anybody, who tries to get away. If we both drove up the front way they could easily sneak out the back and be gone through the cornfields and orchards."
The Chief said further, "That's okay with us. Sheriff, but be sure and wait till we get on the -- before you knock on the door. Those Young boys are 'bad birds" and they might take advantage of any situation that seems likely to give them a break for the woods.
Sheriff Hendrix had been a neighbor to the Youngs
Hendrix, as he had oftimes tins before, scoffed at the notion he faced danger in the presence of former neighbors. "Tony, I don't much think Harry is here, but it wouldn't make any difference if they were all at home, the wouldn't harm a hair on my head if they knew it was me. I've tried them out before. You know yourself I used to live in this neighborhood before I became Sheriff. I don't look for any trouble at all but we'll wait until you come up and be sure and keep close watch behind the house, cause if they're there they most likely will try to escape as we unload.
Oliver replied, "Okay, Marcell, let's go," and at that he drove forward a rod or two and turned to his right on a little used road in a large orchard situated just on the north edge of the Young farm. Sheriff Hendrix drove south to the southeast corner of the Young homestead and then west to the lane which he took in a north direction to the farm buildings. He drove up close to the little fence which separates the house lawn and the barn lot and parked his car almost in the center of the south two rows of trees. The Sheriff's crowd alighted and walked about in the front yard to wait for Oliver and his two companions.
Always anxious to be certain of his prey. Deputy Sheriff Cross-white suggested they walk around the house, which various ones did though none peered in at windows or knocked upon a door. The Hendrix group then gathered in a little knot near the front porch as Oliver and his two companions were seen to come around from behind the barn. Just then a car came tearing up the lane, which Cross-white thought might be some of the Youngs. It was apparent instantly though that it was another police sedan containing Pike, Brown and Wegman. They parked their car beside the Sheriff's sedan and then all together the squad of eleven men gravitated toward the front yard gate. Chief Oliver opened up, "Well, Marcell, what do you say, are they here?"
To which the Sheriff replied, "No, I don't think so. If they were here, one of them would have walked out to say 'Hello'."
Detectives Sid Meadows, Virgil Johnson and Ben Bilyeu stepped upon the front porch and knocked on the door and hollered "Hello, Harry," "Hey, Jennings," and "Oh, Paul," several times. No answer came from within, nor were any footsteps heard. At that Deputy Sheriff Crosswhite, Patrol Driver Charlie Houser and Deputy Sheriff Mashburn went around the north side of the house to a rear door where they knocked and yelled once or twice. Without success they continued around to the south side door and on to the front to report that they had not been able to get any answer. Crosswhite suggested, "Let's take a peek in the window," which he did, into both front rooms and then he admitted, "By golly, there's nobody in this part of the house that's a cinch." Then he asked, "Who's got a key?" Patrol Driver Houser walked up from the lawn gate and tried to force a skeleton key in the lock, but turned and said, "We won't open this door, boys, there's a key in it from the other side."
Sheriff Hendrix, who was now standing several feet away from the southeast corner of the house lighting his pipe, remarked, "Well, hell, I don't like to go back without finding out for sure whether or not those fellows are here. What do you think we'd better do, Ollie?"
To which Crosswhite, who had been on many raids before when the Young brothers were apprehended for investigation, suggested, "Well, I don't know for sure, but I'll bet they're here some place. I guess we'll have to kick in a door if they're not going to open up and come out."
"The doors have all been tried haven't they boys?" the Sheriff inquired.
"Yes, they have," two or three replied.
"Well," he went on, "I guess we'll have to push one in, if they're not in the front we'd better kick in a back door. What do you think boys?"
Chief Oliver seemed to sanction such a move, "I think we'd better Marcell, there's no use stomping around out here any longer, if they're in there let's go get 'em. But for God's sake let's don't take any foolish chances. How do you want to do this? Do you want me to go against the door with you or would you rather have somebody else?"
Hendrix came back, "Well, Tony, this is the Sheriff's territory, if there's going to be any damage done I guess we'd better do it ourselves. Wiley and I'll smash in this first back door here, it goes into the kitchen and wash room. The rest of you boys better get located so you can see what's going on and fire at anybody who tries to leave, but don't shoot us if you hear somebody walking around inside."
"Wait," the Sheriff heard, "Hadn't we better fire a gas shell inside first Marcell?"
"Well, alright." He inquired, "Who's got the gas gun?" "I have," Virgil Johnson barked.
"Alright, pardner," Hendrix ordered. "Put a shell in an upstairs window, there's no use shooting one downstairs cause there's nobody in the front rooms."
The gun was aimed and fired from a point close to the lawn gate. The shell struck and shattered the window sash but went inside.
"You'd better wait a minute," Johnson scolded, "before breaking in and give that gas a chance to work."
"It'll be working alright," Hendrix returned, "by the time we get upstairs. Come on Wiley, let's you and I go to the back door and Johnson you'd better follow around with another shell. We may want one in the rear if we hear them somewhere in a room or closet."
The Sheriff and Mashburn left the southeast corner of the house and strolled to the south kitchen door. Oliver in order to cover them and observe their movements, took cover behind a tree on the outside of the little lawn fence. Houser stood unprotected by the lawn gate. Detective Sid Meadows, a huge man, stepped behind a tree outside the lawn fence on the north side where he might observe any exit from the northwest corner of the house. Detective Ben Bilyeu stood in the open close to Oliver. Detective Frank Pike and civilian R. G. Wegman, were ordered to the rear of the officer's cars to keep careful watch of the bar and shed. Detective Owen Brown and Deputy Sheriff Crosswhite too; a position at the northeast corner of the house, so Ollie could look in the window. Sheriff Hendrix and Deputy Mashburn knocked upon th kitchen door. They both yelled several times, "Come on out boys if you're in there," without getting any reply. "Well, let's hit it, Wiley", Hendrix said.
"Alright, Sheriff, let's push together, we can break the lock." Just as Detective Johnson, with gas gun in hand, reached the door, Mashburn on the left and Hendrix on the right, shoved hard with their left shoulders. The door creaked and broke along the door knob pane. It sprang part way open. Mashburn raised his revolver and took one step inside. A gun BANGED with an awful roar. A well-aimed charge of bird shot smote the left side of his face in the region of the eye. Flesh and blood blew backward in a seeming spray. His left eye, facial skin, nose and right eye were peeled from the bone of the skull to drop down in a ghastly flap over his mouth and chin. Sheriff Hendrix hollered "God, boys, they mean business," and stepped in to the opening left of Mashburn, as the latter faltered back. "BANG," another shot rang out. It struck Sheriff Hendrix full-force in the upper part of the shoulder just below the right collar bone, tearing a. ragged hole through the first and second ribs. The charge went downward to the left and backward, He was leaning over so part of the shot remained at a tangent to the general direction of the wound in the chest muscles near the right arm. Th main load ripped on to tear a jagged course through the chest cavity and into the external part of the upper lobe of the right lung and through into the outer part of the middle lobe of the left lung, where it embedded itself to sear and sissle in the blood of the Sheriff who had come as an old-time neighbor to peacefully weave the fetters of the law around errant sons of an honest and upright friend. Hendrix slumped downward in the door upon his left knee.
Without uttering a single sound Deputy Sheriff Mashburn straightened up, dropped his gun and raised his arms full-length above his head. He closed his hands high above and as he faltered back inch by inch he pulled his clinched fists down, down, down in spasmodic, muscled jerks, till they were even with his ghastly wound. Then his arms relaxed, his hands opened and with his fingers he fumbled in the empty sockets where his eyes had been. He quit his short backward steps and swayed forward and backward. Then he fell like a ton of lead upon his hips. His fingers still were feeling for his eyes. Then he tumbled over backward so fast his head whacked the ground a terrific blow. His legs went dangling up. They grew rigid above the ground, then his right foot crossed his left ankle and embraced his left foot in a peculiar grasp. His knees then bent almost double for a second. His feet shot out in three spasmodic jerks and then they fell unembraced with a dull thud upon the concrete walk. In this prone position he raised his arms full-length above and his bloody fingers traced a course as though he were feeling about in utter dark. Round and round they went in great circles many times before they fell in vain upon the ground.
Out in the yard. Detective Johnson sped for the front as Chief Oliver yelled, "Boys, they got the Sheriff and Wiley. Damn their dirty souls, empty your guns in every window. Hey you, Virgil, put another gas shell in the downstairs part. Get behind some cover boys. Damn their lousy hides, pour your lead in all the windows."
Detective Johnson whirled at the gate and knelt down with the gas gun. He took a calm aim and pulled the trigger, it didn't shoot. He pulled again and then again but still it wouldn't work. He lowered the gun to look and saw it wasn't closed, but before he got it up it did explode sending the gas shell wide of its mark to hit the board siding just above the front porch roof where it smoked for a second and then started to burn. Johnson turned on Oliver and yelled, "That's all, Tony. We only brought two shells. I haven't got any more here."
"Don't stand there, man, get for cover. Come out here behind a tree Oliver barked at Johnson and then to the rest of the officers he shouted "Look out boys, keep your cover and see that your guns are loaded and your shells are handy."
A lull came in the shooting and from the northeast corner of the house where he stood with Brown, Deputy Sheriff Crosswhite yelled "Say, Tony, you'd better send somebody after more gas shells, guns and bullets."
"You go, Virgil," the Chief shouted to Johnson. "Take one of the cars and hurry back with all of the guns and shells you can find at the station, and tell Ed. to send out more men. We'll watch the damn scoundrels till you get back," and to the rest of the men he shouted, "Save your ammunition, boys, and watch behind the house. They'll probably try to leave."
The sheriff's sedan (1)was parked in the south row of trees. Detective Johnson entered city sedan (2) and was followed by Policeman Bilyeu and civilian Wegman to bring more tear gas and ammunition. Chief Oliver stood behind large tree (3) until he walked to rear. Patrol driver Houser (4) fell backward near his tree soon after Johnson left for Springfield. Detective Meadows (5) fell near his tree without removing hands from pockets. Detective Pike (6) had cover behind a tree. Deputy Sheriff Crosswhite and Detective Brown were at the northeast corner of the house (7)
To Crosswhite, Oliver shouted, "Ollie, you and Brown get away from that corner. Come out here behind a tree. Sid can watch the back. And to Detective Meadows he yelled, "Can't you, Sid?"
Detective Sid Meadows drawled to Crosswhite, "That's right Ollie, I can watch the back. Come on out here."
Crosswhite refused, "Hell no, I ain't coming out there. I'm staying here where I can see through the window to shoot at somebody if the come to the front."
"I'm staying with him, too," Brown added.
Detective Johnson had made his way around trees to the car and was backing it up to turn around when Detective Ben Bilyeu and civilian R. G. Wegman scrambled in to occupy the back seat.
The gunmen inside had come to the front south room, in all probability fitted out with bullet-proof vests, and when they saw the men leaving they opened fire with rifle and shotgun on the car. Two bullets whizzed through the windshield close to Johnson's head and passed out through an open window. Three or four successive charges of bird shot from the house shattered the glass to bits and rained lead upon the body and feet of Johnson, but he made the turn nevertheless and sped away down the lane for Springfield and more help.
When the desperadoes opened fire on the car, Chief Oliver, yelled, "Kill the damn curs, boys, fire in every window downstairs. Keep behind your trees. Pour the lead in 'em, damn 'em, let 'em have it." Crosswhite hollered from the corner, "Where are they. Tony? I can't see 'em in this room."
Detective Frank Pike answered, "They're upstairs. They're upstairs."
"No, they ain't," Meadows objected, "they're in the downstairs room on the south."
"They're not in the north room, Tony," Brown added in an excited shout.
In this second lull of firing Oliver barked loud, "Load your guns boys. Be careful, be damn sure they don't break away in the rear and run. Keep your cover. Keep your head. We're getting low on lead. Don't shoot till we see somebody. Everybody watch now. Watch every window."
Charlie Houser, than whom there was none more loved by fellowmen on the Springfield police force, shouted, "My God," as he fell over prone on his back with legs and arms outstretched. Death came immediately to him through total destruction of the brain substances in both hemispheres of the brain.
Oliver shouted, "There goes Charlie, boys, damn their yellow skins. Pour the lead, pour the lead. Give 'em hell, in the south window. Be careful, damn it, don't move yet from behind your trees.
Detective Brown (1) watched at corner of house after Deputy Crosswhite (2) had thrown gas grenade through door and walked west on north side
Crosswhite at the corner seemed nonplussed. He shouted to Chief Oliver, "Tony, where in the hell did that come from? They're not in this room."
"I don't know for sure, Ollie. I think in the south room. You'd better get away from there you fellows. They're liable to kill us all. Run through that garden and hit for the barn."
"Run, hell," Crosswhite fired back, "I'm going to smash this door. If they're going to be caught we've got to be inside to do it, Tony." And then to his companion at the corner he said, "Brown, what's the best thing to do." "God, I don't know, Ollie, but I'll do whatever you say."
"How would this be," Crosswhite continued, "for me to throw this gas grenade through this glass in the door. Then you can stay here and watch through the hole and when they come in this room you can pump the lead in 'em. I'll go to the back and try to get in another way."
"Let 'er go, Ollie, but be damn careful they don't get you back there."
"Them dudes ain't got me bluffed a damn bit," Crosswhite remarked as he pulled the pin and threw his gas grenade inside.
Brown remained at the corner to watch. Crosswhite stooped over and slowly made his way west along the north side of the house. At the window he stopped to listen with his ear close to the glass, but he seemingly heard nothing. He could see nothing because the shade was drawn full length. He reached the corner and stopped a minute then slowly eased around to the first back door, but that shade was drawn also, so he returned to the north side of the house. He stood in deep thought a minute and then a broad smile spread over his face. He looked at Brown and slightly above a whisper said, "I'll get 'em," then walked north away from the house several feet from which position he made a dash for the outdoor cellar to the west and back of the house. In all probability Crosswhite planned to go next to the pole pile and from there to make a mad and daring dash to the south window in the south front room. He would have thrown a club, like he had on other raids, through the upper half of the window to tear the drawn shade away and with his gun shattered the glass of the bottom section to reveal a target for his deadly aim. He crouched behind the cellar to get his breath and wait.
Chief Oliver saw Crosswhite slide behind the sod roof and yelled at him, "Ollie, he careful. Get away from there. They'll kill you dead as hell."
And to Brown who was still at the corner he shouted, "Owen get away from that corner. Get away from there before they shoot you down."
Detective Meadows, who had too little cover for his own large body, also advised Brown to move, "Come on, Owen, run low and jump this fence while I cover with my gun."
Just then a BANG was heard inside. The killer who shot Houser had returned to the rear of the house to cover Crosswhite. He stood on a chair to aim as the deputy was getting his feet set for a dash to the pole pile. The bullet went through his hat but high enough to miss even his hair. Crosswhite's large white hat tumbled off backward. In ducking,. the deputy bumped his nose and forehead on the hard-packed earth covering of the cellar. Bent over to keep under cover he withdrew a handkerchief to wipe the blood from his nose and the dust from his eyes that the bump had caused. In this cramped position he remained for a-better break to carry out his plans.
Oliver, who saw Crosswhite's hat fly off, supposed the killers had got another man. He yelled, "Boys, they got Ollie. Those lousy dirty skunks. They'll get us all if you fellows,don't stay behind your cover." To Brown on the corner, he asked, "Owen, can you hear me?" "What is it, Tony?" Brown shouted back.
"Damn you. Brown, you get away from that corner. Git while the gittin's good. Jump that fence and make for the barn. Do you hear me?"
"Go ahead, Owen, I'll keep you covered," Meadows chimed in. "Alright," Brown shouted back, "here goes nothing," and he whirled and sped for the fence which he vaulted. He ran through the garden toward the barn and then reclimbed the fence to take up a new position to the right of Detective Pike where he found shelter back of a tree. When he had reached his new location he yelled, "I'm all right now, Tony, but Sid had better come back too."
Detective Meadows, with his hands still in his pockets shifted his feet slightly as though preparing to make a move, and then as if to ascertain for himself how the chances were, he poked his head around the tree and looked toward the house.
A sharp report rang out from the north room window. A red hot bullet whizzed with perfect aim and hit big-hearted, big-minded Sid Meadows one and a half inches above the right eye. A fragment of the lead tore through his skull into the right hemisphere of his brain. It lodged in the back part of his head. The major portion of the pellet ripped a ragged fracture in his skull and left above his ear.
Without a word, without a groan, Detective Meadows fell over backwards stiff like a wooden man. He never kicked, nor moved, even to take his hands from his pockets. Death came instantly and without suffering of any kind.
Frank Pike yelled, "Kill them crooks before they get all of us. They got Sid from the north window." At that he leaned out from his tree and spewed a stream of bullets into the north window.
BANG, BANG, came more volleys of bird shot from the south window directed at Pike. The shot went wild, but a few struck him in the left arm. He yelled, "They got me boys, they got me, too."
Chief Oliver faced Pike and Brown, "Take to the barn boys, they'll get us all."
Pike yelled back, "I ain't hurt bad, but I'm out of lead."
"I'm out too, Tony," Brown added hoarsely.
"Where in the hell are they firing from?" Oliver inquired.
"Both downstairs windows," Pike replied and Brown corrected loudly, "They're firing upstairs, too."
"Have you seen 'em yet?" the Chief yelled.
The loss of blood and shock made Chief Oliver weak. He turned to walk to the east for cover behind the Sheriff's car. At first he was erect and steady but a step or two made him falter so the rifle he was lifting in his left hand he let down to make a cane. With this support he faltered farther then began to bend. While he stumbled slowly, lowly onward a rifle CRACKED.
A whizzing, sizzling bullet took him in the back. It entered just below the left shoulder blade and tore a jagged wound clear through his chest cavity, thence into the lower lobe of his left lung and on through the pulmonary connections near the heart, and into the upper lobe of his right lung and on through the plural cavity to plow a hole through the fourth rib and then in a tangent course to rip a gash through the chest muscles and make its exit in a big hole through the skin three inches to the left of the axillary fold.
Tony went faltering on, leaning upon his rifle and bending low, till he was even with the Sheriff's car. Without a sound, without a whimper, he pitched forward on his side upon a small pile of horse-shoes and other scraps of iron. There he lay in torture, scuffing with his feet and pawing with his hands, not for seconds only, but for minutes, many of them in all probability. The brave Chief did not die painlessly and quickly. His red blood leaked out of his jagged wounds in fizzing gurgles to fill complete that cavity around the heart. Oliver drowned in his own blood. It filled his pericardium and that stifled his valiant heart.
While Chief Oliver lay gasping on the ground, a killer spake unseen, but plainly heard from the house, "Lay down your guns and come up. We've killed the others."
"Go to hell, you dirty skunk," Frank Pike shot back, "we ain't laying down nothing."
Owen Brown put in, "Me, too, you lousy dogs, come out and fight like men."
Frank Pike turned toward Brown and asked, "What'll we do, Owen?" "We're out of lead, Frank. We'd better git. Let's run for that gate and reach the road to bring up the other men."
Together Detectives Owen Brown and Frank Pike ran low with all their might. Bullets and bird shot sizzled and whizzed all around them. Some shot hit Pike's coat sleeve for the second time and a bullet singed the hair on his neck.
They vaulted the gate and made haste away from their dead and dying comrades without knowing who had shot them down.
The killers now returned to the kitchen to make good their escape. When one of them peered out the back window Crosswhite opened fire and while he had a bead he fired every bullet in his gun. The killer with the rifle went to the dining room window and upon a chair he fired bullet after bullet at Crosswhite to keep him still, while the killed with the shot gun sneaked out the kitchen door and up behind the Deputy to shoot point blank at two-feet range the charge of shot that struck their old-time enemy and sent him sprawling to his death.
The bird shot made a lacerated hole more than three-fourths of an inch in diameter about two inches above the top of the right ear. The impact shattered the skull into several irregular fractures. The back of his skull was loosened entirely. All of the lead and a felt wad entered the cranial cavity to destroy the brain substance completely. Immediate paralysis and death set in by virtue of the complete disruption of the nerve centers.
With all of the officers apparently dead, the killers (no one knows definitely how many or who they were, except that circumstances point to Jennings and Harry Young) hurried into the yard. Unseen by any known to authorities, they yanked the spark-plug wires from the Sheriff's car. Then they hurriedly grabbed Chief Oliver's gun, while he lay struggling in the throes of death and near the body of Houser they found his gun which they took, too, before they hurried back to the house. At the kitchen door they threw Oliver's gun down and picked up that of Mashburn. Then they got Crosswhite's pearl-handled revolver and retreated into the house. Inside they stole the Sheriff's gun and from his coat pocket a wallet containing several hundred dollars in bills, checks and gold pieces. The empty fold they slung in the stove, not noticing that what they presumed to be pennies were gold pieces. They hurriedly packed some underclothes and shirts, and the four stolen revolvers, a rifle and shot gun, and a lot of empty shells and cartridges in two light traveling bags.
In a scant few minutes they were off, investigators say they must have been, through cornfields and orchards on foot in a northwest direction to freedom and future depredations.
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