a desperado's brag

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Mon Jan 24 21:22:41 UTC 2005

On Jan 24, 2005, at 16:02, George Thompson wrote:
> 1866:   Lane was a man of iron nerve; he seemed to think no more of the
> hanging than a man would of eating his breakfast.

That reminds me of another expression, supposedly said by men about to
be hung. A year ago I found an item in a newspaper article posted to a
genealogy email list for Wayne Co., Missouri, where my father's family
is from. The article concerns two fellows are accused of murdering a
man for $700. (I'm not related to any of them). The article (15 May
1902) ends thusly:

> This is the blackest crime and darkest spot in the history of Wayne
> County.  Brown has as yet made no confession but is reported to have
> said that if he is executed, he desires to be hanged 15 minutes before
> 12 o’clock so as to get to hell in time for dinner.

I liked the last remark, so I hit Google and found that Ruloff's
Restaurant in Ithaca claims Edward Rulof said much the same thing. Dick
Bailey (who published "Rogue Scholar," a book about the criminal and
philologist Edward Ruloff, last year), says there's no record of Ruloff
having said it. Then I found another link for a fellow in Wyoming who
supposedly said it, too, 5 March 1886. So it's one of those fanciful
pass-alongs, I guess.

Grant Barrett
gbarrett at worldnewyork.org

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