This page is part of Emmett Dalton; His Life After the Coffeyville Raid

The escape from Baxter Springs

as told by Burrell Cox

Times Picaune, Aug. 13, 1892: “...About a mile out of Baxter Springs the Daltons left the main road and followed a little branch toward the boundary of the Nation. When they got to the line they found that the country was divided up into little fields of ten acres square, and fenced in with wire for pastures for small herds. So they had to cut the wire. Of course, they had clippers for the purpose, but it was terrible with the gang running them in plain sight. In cutting the fences Bob and Emmet did not go straight through or they'd not have gone a mile. They went through one fence, then skirted it for half a mile and would then cut through the next further on, thus making a zig-zag course through the little squares of fencing and thus make their pursuers cut fences too. If they had plundered through in a straight line in sight of the posse they'd have been caught and shot in no time. In that ride the Daltons cut nineteen fences and only made a distance of two miles by the crow. Before they got through their zig-zagging, Scott, the purchaser of the first bunch of horses, who knew the country, made a circuit of the land to head the boys off. As they were getting through the last fence the Creek yelled: ‘There comes a man.’

“Bob threw a bead on Scott and hollered, ‘Come up.’ Scott came. ‘What do you want?’ ‘I'm hunting horses that ran away.’ ‘Then run off and find 'em.’ Scott didn't stop to say good-bye.

“The posse of a hundred men [I somehow doubt they would have gotten a hundred men together in such a short time] was not very far off now, and, in their chase, the Daltons had to run through a field crowded with haymakers. The haymakers made for them with their pitchforks, but as soon as Bob shot into the ground by way of reminder what he could do, the laborers skedaddled. By this time the horses began to peg out. The Creek's horse was the worst, and broke down. The Indian then wanted to get up behind Emmet, but Em told him to wait till they got through the cornfield. The last they saw of the Creek was his black head now and then bobbing about in the corn. When Bob and Emmet got out of the field with their tired horses they met a fellow riding a good nag and loading a gray mare. The Daltons proposed a trade, but the boy didn't want to change. The sight of Bob's gun under his nose changed his mind, and the trade was made. It took time though, and by noon the gang was within 300 yards. The gray mare was fractious and threw Emmet before he had gone ten rods. He got on again and they crossed a branch with the posse howling close behind. On the other side of the branch the boys separated, and most of the posse followed Emmet. As he had a fresh horse, as well as Bob, they easily distanced their pursuers; but, in the trouble with the skittish mare, Emmet lost his saddle [Fort Smith Elevator, May 8, 1891, reported: “...Emmett's horse gave out, and meeting a man driving a team, they took one of his horses, leaving him the jaded steed and Emmett's saddle, bridle and coat which was tied to the saddle. They were being so closely pressed that they had no time to transfer the saddle etc., from one horse to the other.”] They met again and came to a sorrel mare with a mule colt. Bob thought the mare better than his mount and changed. The sight of the mule colt following on behind its mother and braying pitifully when it began to get tired, would have been very ludicrous to any one not so deeply interested in the game of the Daltons. Then they met a fellow astride of a poor horse, who had a decent saddle. They offered to buy the saddle from him, and he agreed to sell it for $12. Emmet put it on his horse, leaped into it and was off before the country gawk could gather his wits.

“ ‘Say, whar do you fellers live?’ he yelled

“ ‘Never mind,’ yelled back Bob, ‘there'll be a crowd along directly that'll pay you. They are paying our expenses this trip.’ ...”

The Dalton boys escaped, but who knows what happened to the Creek Indian.