U. S, Marshal, M D (Shorty) Thompson, received a letter asking if he could come up to Leadville, Colorado. Outlaws had overrun the town and were stealing silver and gold ore from mines and any shipment. If a load was lucky enough to be put on the train, it was robbed.
Shorty loaded his dun stud on the train in Socorro, New Mexico Territory, and would travel by train to Pueblo, Colorado. As the hum of the wheels on steel tracks deadened his senses, he nodded off wondering why Emmet Darnell hadn’t gone to local law. Leadville was now a booming mining town with thousands of people, and several hundreds more arriving every month.
Darnell ran the largest newspaper in the whole area, so why didn’t his readers give a hand. A large town had to have plenty law, how in the world does a gang of outlaws get a foothold to start with? The train stopped in Albuquerque, before going on to Lamy and Raton, where it crossed over Raton Pass into Colorado. After a half hour stop in Trinidad, they made Pueblo late in the evening.
What Shorty didn’t know, the outlaws had a man in the Post Office in Leadville. When that man saw a letter addressed to a U.S. Marshal, it was opened and read. Outlaws would be waiting for any marshal that rode their way by horseback, stagecoach or train. They had too good of a thing going to let some do good’er marshal ride in and foul it all up. Leadville was their town and they meant to keep it even if it meant a crooked sheriff legally hanging a U.S. Marshal.