‘Mister revenue agent, you ain’t coming back’
Joy Graham

This is the final column in the ‘Five Cords a Day” series on the Clark family, by Ed Clark.

I was about ten when greatgrandfather passed on to his reward About half his many sons and daughters moved to and located around Long Mountain, 14 miles west of Mason and were scattered from there to Rocksprings.

Jim Rolston, Joe’s father-in-law made annual visits to his relatives in the west. He wore a long black beard, high boots and to see him on a horse at breakneck speed after a cow, it was hard to tell if it was him, Buffalo Bill, Sam Bass or Cole Younger.

He always liked to tell of his last Indian fight, which took place on Packsaddle Mountain a few miles east of Llano in 1871.

He and his family it happened were passing just at a time when the Indians were making one of their last stands. When he arrived and took charge, only three white men were alive.

He would always ignore my questions I would ask how many wild Indians he killed in that battle.

His wife, Elizabeth had a little different version of the fight. She said when they reached Burnet and learned of the Indian battle they detoured 32 miles around Packsaddle. She said he did make four killings, though, three cottontails and one squirrel.

Tex and Joe often discussed their relatives. I listened when I could and heard Tex say to Joe. “Grandpa told me that Uncle John would always have to have his dollar, and they paid it out of the revenue agent’s pocket.”

Some years later a grizzled ex- Texas Ranger told me this yarn. A revenue agent called at a small house on the side of a mountain and only a boy about ten years of age was home. The following conversation took place.

Where is your father? Paw’s at the still.

Where is your mother? She’s at the still.

Where are your brothers and sisters? They’re at the still.

I’ll give you a dollar to take me to the still.

Gimme the dollar.

I’ll give it to you when I get back.

Mister you ain’t coming back.

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2010-10-21 digital edition

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