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How David Trousdale Killed Two Train Robbers in West Texas

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David Trousdale said:


"One of the men got on the engine at Dryden, although I did not know this until the train came to a stop out on the railroad line. But a minute or two thereafter the negro porter came to the door of the car and called me. I recognized his voice. Just about then I was finishing up my work before reaching Sanderson. The negro porter said, "They's some robbers out here."

As I opened the door, I looked down the barrel of a gun one of the robbers was holding on me... Well, the big fellow went into the cars and the other remained on the outside. In the mail car he got hold of five pouches and one of these was cut open, the man seeing some registered letters, threw these back into the pouch with the intention of getting them later on. There was only two express packages removed. One of these was valued at $2 and the other at $35. So you see there was not a great deal obtained by the robber who was doing the work.

But you know the fellow was making me madder all the time. If I was not holding my hands high enough he seemed to take delight in jabbing me in the side with his gun. However, I kept jollying him along [and] wondered how to kill him. I was mad for I was determined I would have it out with him for jabbing me in the side and bruising me up. I'd have fought him with my fists had it come to that. Well, I saw a maul lying on top of the barrels of oysters. These mauls are built something like a croquet mallet, only the handle is about as thick as the handle of a hatchet. You know you can hit an awful blow with such a maul. Why, I've broken up a box of ice at a blow.

He was stooped over looking at packages. I lifted the maul from the top of the oyster barrel. I struck him at the base of the skull. The first blow broke the man's neck. I struck him a second and a third time. After that, I saw that he was done for [and] took the man's Winchester. I decided to fire a shot through the roof of the car to attract attention. I soon heard the other robber on the outside of the car talking low. Pretty soon I saw a head poked out from back of some baggage. I saw his head again and I cut down on him. The bullet struck him about an inch above the left eye.


----- David Trousdale's account of the attempted train robbery, reported in the San Antonio Express, March 15, 1912; the slain robbers were Ben Kilpatrick and Ed Welch, two recently paroled convicts

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 3rd February 2020 6:35 pm