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To say that Underhill was armed and dangerous would have been a serious understatement. Once the officers were in place, one eased up to a bedroom window to have a look. The look he got was Wilbur Underhill staring straight at him, armed with a pair of German Lugers. The fight was on. As Underhill blazed away with his pistols, the lawmen hosed the house down with shotguns and Thompson submachine guns.

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In a surprise move, Underhill burst from the front door of the house and ran off into the fog. He was found a few blocks away, hiding in a furniture store and bleeding from numerous gunshot wounds. Amazingly, it took the outlaw six days to expire. One of the officers involved in the shootout was a young native Oklahoman named Delf Bryce. Bryce would go on to make quite a name for himself in law enforcement circles around the country.

Delf A. Although he participated in school sports, his real love was firearms.


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At a very early age, armed with his trusty. And his love of guns—and his continual practice—honed these skills throughout his lifetime. By , Bryce had decided that a career in law enforcement was for him. In that year he signed on as an Oklahoma game warden. It was also about that time that Bryce began to compete in area pistol matches. Some of these matches, run by police agencies, were bullseye competition, while others were of the turkey-shoot variety.

So well, in fact, that he soon caught the eye of some of the top shooters from the Oklahoma City Police Dept. Working with a series of detective partners, Jelly Bryce had quite a few adventures with the various criminals that hung out in wide-open Oklahoma City. Although a lot of myths exist about Jelly Bryce, there is no doubt that he was involved in his share of shootings and car chases where the crooks swapped shots with the lawman.

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American Rifleman | Profile: Jelly Bryce—Oklahoma Gunfighter

One such shootout occurred at an Oklahoma City hotel in A policeman told Bryce and his partner that he was pretty sure he had seen Harvey Pugh going into the hotel. As the manager opened the door and stepped back, Bryce saw a man lying on a bed and pointing a pistol at him. Dropping into a crouch, Bryce drew his revolver and fired five quick shots. Jelly Bryce was a point shooter and, like all of the good point shooters, he had his own style.

Bill Jordan preferred to stand erect and only move the arm and shoulder necessary to making his draw and getting his shot off. Rex Applegate, on the other hand, used a slight crouch and fully extended his shooting arm. Jelly Bryce had developed a very deep crouch, and he shot as soon as his gun came level with the target. Like Bill Jordan, Bryce used a circular motion to effect his draw, sweeping his hand below the gun butt and snatching the pistol as his hand came up and over the gun butt.

Myres, George Lawrence or A. The sixgun had fixed sights and a 4" barrel. In addition, it was nickel-plated and nicely engraved, and had ivory stocks. And, thinking to expand his area of criminal hunting, Jelly Bryce had his eye on the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They suggested he could make money by driving cattle to Kansas as a cowboy. Thinking he could get out of Texas long enough for his pursuers to lose interest, Hardin worked with his cousins, rustling cattle for Jake Johnson and Columbus Carol. In February , while the herd was being collected for the drive to Kansas, a freedman , Bob King, attempted to cut a beef cow out of the herd.

When he refused to obey Hardin's demand to stop, Hardin hit him over the head with his pistol. That same month, Hardin may have wounded three Mexicans in an argument over a Three-card Monte card game, pistol-whipping one man over the head, shooting one man in the arm, and shooting the third man in the lung.

While driving cattle on the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas , in the summer of , Hardin is reputed to have fought Mexican vaqueros and cattle rustlers. Hardin exchanged words with the man in charge of the other herd; both men were on horseback. The Mexican fired his gun at Hardin, putting a hole through Hardin's hat.

Hardin found that his own weapon, a worn-out cap-and-ball pistol with a loose cylinder, would not fire.

He dismounted and managed to discharge the gun by steadying the cylinder with one hand and pulling the trigger with the other. He hit the Mexican in the thigh.


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A truce was declared and both parties went their separate ways. However, Hardin borrowed a pistol from a friend and went looking for the Mexican, this time fatally shooting him through the head. A firefight between the rival camps ensued. Hardin claimed six vaqueros died in the exchanges five of them reportedly shot by him [6] [4] : 39—42 [notes 3] although this claim appears exaggerated—only three Mexican vaqueros were killed. The first instance was when an Indian tried to shoot an arrow at him on the South Canadian River. Hardin shot him and then had the body buried to avoid retribution from the man's tribe.

Legends of the Old West

The second incident, at Bluff Creek, Kansas, occurred when Indians wanted to collect a "tax" on the cattle. Hardin hit an Indian over the head who he claimed had stolen a silver bridle from him. He then forced a war party to flee after he shot a second Indian who had killed a beef cow. After arriving in Abilene , Hardin claimed that he and a companion named Pain got into an argument in a restaurant with an anti-Texan, which left Pain wounded in one arm and the stranger shot in the mouth by Hardin's bullet. Hardin fled Abilene to the Cottonwood Trail. On July 4, , a Texas trail boss named William Cohron, [23] was killed on the Cottonwood Trail 40 miles south of Abilene by an unnamed Mexican, who "fled south" [24] and was subsequently killed by two cowboys in a Sumner County, Kansas , restaurant on July The two entrepreneurs had painted a picture of a bull with a large erect penis on the side of their establishment as an advertisement.

When Thompson and Coe refused his request to remove the bull, Hickok altered it himself. Infuriated, Thompson tried to incite his new acquaintance, Hardin, by exclaiming to him: "He's a damn Yankee. Picks on Rebels , especially Texans, to kill. However, both men did back down. Hardin met up with Hickok again while on a cattle drive in August This time, Hickok allowed Hardin to carry his pistols into town - something he had never allowed others to do. For his part, Hardin still using his alias was fascinated by Wild Bill and reveled in being seen on intimate terms with such a celebrated gunfighter.

Soon afterwards on August 6, , Hardin, his cousin Gip Clements, and a rancher friend named Charles Couger put up for the night at the American House Hotel after an evening of gambling.

Film Talk – Logan – The Last Gunfighter

Clements and Hardin shared one room, with Couger in the adjacent room. All three had been drinking heavily. Sometime during the evening, Hardin was awakened by loud snoring coming from Couger's room. He first shouted several times for the man to "roll over" and then, irritated by the lack of response, drunkenly fired several bullets through the shared wall in an apparent effort to awaken him. Couger was hit in the head by the second bullet as he lay in bed, and was killed instantly. Although Hardin may not have intended to kill Couger, he had violated an ordinance prohibiting firing a gun within the city limits.

Half-dressed and still drunk, he and Clements exited through a second-story window onto the roof of the hotel. He saw Hickok arrive with four policemen. The murderer escaped. This was his sixth murder. He then stole a horse and rode to the cow camp 35 miles outside town. Hardin claimed he ambushed lawman Tom Carson and two other deputies there. According to Hardin, he did not kill them but forced them to remove all their clothing and walk back to Abilene.

Early years

The next day, Hardin left for Texas, never to return to Abilene. The incident earned Hardin a reputation as a man "so mean, he once shot a man for snoring". Well, it ain't true. I only killed one man for snoring. Following his escape, Hardin claimed to be involved in the following gunfights: [4] : 63— In early , Hardin was in south-central Texas, in the area around Gonzales County.

It was about this time that Hardin married Jane Bowen and started to keep regular company with her brother, cattle rustler Robert Bowen. While in the area, he also renewed acquaintance with some of his cousins who were allied with a local family, the Taylors who had been feuding with the rival Sutton faction for several years.

He was shot by Phil Sublett, who had lost money to him in a poker game.


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Two buckshot pellets penetrated Hardin's kidney and for a time it looked as if he would die. While recuperating from his wounds, Hardin decided he wanted to settle down.