Sins of Omission

Butch Cassidy, Part 2

A station agent tried to telegraph Price, Utah—the direction the outlaws were headed—but Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay had cut the wires.  The paymaster had the train’s engine uncoupled.  Men grabbed a variety of weapons and jumped aboard.  The locomotive steamed down the narrow gorge of Price Canyon right past the unseen robbers, who were changing horses behind a section house.  Cassidy and Lay escaped by a circuitous route, eventually doubling back and reaching Brown’s Hole some $8,000 richer.  Posses from Castle Gate and nearby Huntington became so confused that they wound up shooting at each other.

The robberies at Montpelier and Castle Gate demonstrated that Butch Cassidy had brought to perfection techniques that he had learned while riding with Tom McCarty.  Butch was taught how to ride, rope, shoot, and steal horses by Mike Cassidy, and then how to rob banks—and, equally important, how to escape—by Tom McCarty.

Cassidy stationed relays of horses along a planned escape route.  Several weeks before a robbery he would train the horses to be used in the getaway.  Well-bred animals were selected, grain fed, and exercised rigorously.  For the robbery sure-footed, stocky horses of great short-distance speed were selected.  When the first relay was reached, Cassidy switched to taller, leaner thoroughbreds able to maintain a swift pace over...

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