None of them was a thief except Joe. He stole his wife. He swiped Evie from her father, Jim Rolston, These two men did not speak to each other again for 55 years.
Jim and Joe hold the world’s records for father-in-law and sonin law non-speaking.
These t wo men worked so hard at not speaking I have seen them on the street of Thorndale, standing and talking to the same stranger for four hours, merely using the stranger as a go-between to carry on their conversation.
If the poor stranger became restless and wanted to leave, one or the other would grab him by the arm and start telling him a dirty joke.
These two had their reputation to maintain. They would not speak, for to speak would be dishonest and disloyal to each other.
Jim Rolston, upon learning that Evie, his 16-year-old daughter, had eloped with Joe, reached up over the fireplace and brought down a double barrel shotgun, loaded with buckshot.
He saddled Old Paint and rode in pursuit.
Joe had built his house at the edge of a 30-acre thicket of chaparral bushes and this thicket was matted and almost too thick to crawl through.
After his father-in-law had almost ridden up on him at the house, which caused him to tear a path halfway through the thicket, Joe told Evie he had intended to clear the thicket out anyway, so he would start to work out from the center of it, and keep clearing it in a circle.
He also said that in order to have it ready for planting that season, he would be forced to start work before daybreak and work until sundown.
Before leaving with his pick and ax next morning he cautioned Evie: “Now in case you have to come out there, you be blame shore nobody is following you.
“I don’t want to get in any more blame traps. Bout as soon get shot as to have to run through that thicket again.”