University of Nevada, Las Vegas

C. A. Earle Rinker letter to Frank Crampton, March 8, 1957, p. 2

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- 2 - hauling to take a load of grub, powder and supplies down to them after they had been there a few weeks. They had a tent there. We got to their camp early afternoon and they made a holiday of it. All of us had guns and we went out in the hills and I especially remember one rather high hill that was entirely covered with loose shale and we tried to climb. When we came back to camp all the boys were shooting at each others feet to get a dance. All had guns but the fellow who drove the light wagon. Taylor wore a light blue jeans jacket that he had a special pocket inside where he carried his gun. We had finished supper and were preparing to get ready for the sack. I was lying on a roll of bedding inside the tent and another of the boys was on same roll and I was partially leaning against him. Taylor stepped inside the tent and went to take the gun from his pocket. It was evidently cocked and he didn't know it. The gun went off and hit the fellow under me just below or about halfway between his knee and hip and coursed up inside his body. It was purely accidental for the boys were good friends. I didn't know the fellow was hit until he cried" Oh Tex you have shot me." It was quite dark by that time and starting to rain. The driver and Tex were so panicked they didn't know what to do. The other of the three boys at camp and myself started to Goldfield with the shot guy was made as comfortable as possible in the wagon bed on hay that we had brought for mules. There we were in rain and no shelter for injured man. Did not go very far until the fellow in wagon bed wanted me to come back and hold his head up. He soon began to vomit and I was holding his head in my la[p]. Catching his vomit in my hands as best I could and throwing it over wagon side. We knew he was getting worse and my partner who was doing the driving thought he could cut across country and hit a shorter trail to Goldfield. We tried that and soon got into some big rocks that we had to get out and pull the wagon to one side or other. We managed to finally hit the main trail. You may have heard of mules getting their second wind. Well I know these did for the last 15 miles the driver kept them at a dead run until we reached the hospital where the fellow lived only about a day. He had been hit with an extra long .38 cartridge. Well they brought Taylor in before Judge Langram, I believe it was. Taylor had killed two men in Texas and they seemed to have this record. This killing was over a girl and Taylor had been exonerated for this. But the Judge said" I believe the shooting was purely accidental but you are not to carry a gun as long as you are in Nevada. I will turn the gun over to any one you say" Taylor told him to give me the gun and I have it to this day. I lost all track of him soon after that. That gun cost me about $700.00 hospital and doctors and shipping the body up to his home in northern Minn. It also ended our prospecting south of Goldfield. I have a very good picture of drilling contests that I made on my own camera. Last Fall I was in California visiting a daughter in Pasadena and also some of my wifes folks up near Sequoia Park at Visalia Calif. My daughter is a bug for the mountains and also Death Valley. She never misses the celebrations in Death Vally. She had planned a trip in high Sierras west of Bishop, Calif. Also to Death Valley for her mother and myself. It was on this trip in last Sept. that I met Bill Meyers. I had brought many of my Goldfield pictures with me which I made in 1906-07 and 08. After leaving Bishop we headed over to Nev. and came down by Walker Lake, Tonopah and Goldfield. I had been to Goldfield in 1939 and the camp of course had been burned over and nothing but Columbia Mountain, Goldfield Hotel and school building and court house looked natural. Even the Malipai (the cliff southwest of Goldfield camp) did not look natural. They told me in Goldfield that the Malapia had changed quite a bit. Maybe it has not changed but I had climbed it several times during the camp [additional text handwritten sideways on left side of page; top line is mostly cut off] When .... MacMasters had grubstaked [their?] brother, myself & 2 others, furnished us mules & covered wagon and sent us north. We drove back & forth to within sight of Oregon [line?] Northwest of Lovelock, Nev. I am near 74. How much older are you? CAER

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C. A. Earle Rinker letter to Frank Crampton, March 8, 1957, p. 2
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