I have to spend a lot of time in bed trying to bring up the old red blood count and, having a lot of time on my hands, am writing you a lot of old time experiences.
This is about a near killing of your Uncle Bill [William Boyce Thompson].
He was having a lawsuit with a man in Clifton regarding title to a mining claim. Lots of hot blood, etc.
On a train going out of Clifton this man was sitting in a seat alone. As I wanted to know what he had to say, I sat down with him.
He told me that if W.B. won the suit that he would kill him. Well, that sounded a little bad, so I said his killing W.B. would not hurt W.B. if he did a good job, but it would hurt his wife and child.
I told him that, if he did kill, I would certainly do a good job and plunk him between the eyes so it would not hurt him, but wondered how it would hurt his wife and children. Also, that he had a brother that might hurt me as well as my wife.
He looked thoughtful and said, “Oh, Hell!”
There was no killing
Editor’s Note: The proceeding slightly edited story, written by J.E. Thompson (1875-1950), was taken from a collection of letters, the so-called “Deathbed Letters,” written to his son, William Boner Thompson, shortly before J.E.’s death.