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An Orderly Hanging

Lore Trial #6

 

Back in the early 1980's, a colleague of mine retired and spent her first year of freedom in Arizona, birdwatching. From time to time, she would send me letters with the most lovely snapshots of cardinals (my favorite!) and woodpeckers. She spent most of her time in Globe, unable to stay away from an area that appreciates a good dig.

One letter that I received from her with a detailed description of the enclosed snapshots of very rare birds instead contained baseball cards. What was more, I had nightmares for several nights in a row about the letter itself coming to life and turning into my death sentence. Odd and creepy. I contacted Gladys at her B&B to inquire. She assured me that she'd not enclosed baseball cards. But, she'd also been having nightmares - about trains and gold. I decided to pay her - and Globe - a visit, newly acquired baseball cards in hand.

Reunited, our nights at the lovely Cedar Hill B&B passed without incident or nightmares. Instead of feeling perplexed by the baseball cards, I grew perplexed by the town itself. The town didn't seem to want visitors to leave - several hotels had burned down in the short hundred year history of the small town, and the remaining B&B's seemed to place hexes on their guests to make them discuss relocating from their homes in the Valley or beyond. Couple this with the fact that the town was celebrated for its mining heritage as well as its political legacy (the first governor of Arizona and the first female governor of Arizona both hailed from Globe), and you had the makings of an all-american town.

Globe's streets were once populated by more saloons than people! At the saloons, all the area miners gathered to drink off the day and swap stories. One day, culminating a series of dubious planning meetings in the saloons, one thing led to another thing which ultimately led to an infamous thing. Some shifty guys in Globe followed the guidance of a batty man of average proportions. They killed a lot of people with a lot of bullets for not too much money at all.

Later, some guys at a saloon heard about the murders, the Wells Fargo payroll thefts, and the outrageous pleas by the dance teacher / miner and the photographer for clemency. Now, these guys were the really shifty type. Their shiftiness and their two ringleaders' battiness inspired a spirited round (or 4 1/2) of drinks and conversation about what to do about the Cicero and LaFayette Grime situation, those stinky good-for-nothings.


They killed them. More precisely, they lynched them! Just think, those crooks were just kids. But, still, the shifty miners showed the whole of Gila County forever how the wild west performs justice on good-for-nothings. The miners considered the law - in all its batty and average glory. They taught a lot of people a lesson that day. All right there, in the birthplace of Arizona's first governor.


The murders, the saloon talk and the vengence had happened almost exactly a hundred years ago, when I was visiting Gladys. Gladys confessed that ever since August, she couldn't walk past that area along Broad where the lynching were supposed to have taken place without feeling suffocated. And from time to time she discovered her panties and bras levitating in her bedroom. What did the ghosts want with Gladys? Why had they haunted her letters? I think that they wanted out of Globe, just as they had wanted out of Globe before they'd even performed crimes. It was the 100 year anniversary of their deeds and their deaths - a hundred years is a long time to wait to retire (are ghosts allowed to retire?).

 

This year, I have a feeling that they must have won what they've been working so hard for. Rather, I know they have because I don't see their names listed in the Afterlife Directory. Additionally, I've heard that Globe is undergoing quite the renaissance these days: artists and urban expats are all converging there. Either the ghosts quieted down or they converted themselves into muses.

 

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