Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas, and was given the surname of his owner, George Reeves, a farmer and politician. He moved to Paris, Texas with George Reeves. During the American Civil War, Bass parted company with George Reeves: "some say because Bass beat up George after a dispute in a card game. Others believe that Bass heard too much about the 'freeing of slaves' and simply ran away." Bass Reeves fled north into the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and lived with the Seminole and Creek Indians.
Reeves became a crack shot with a pistol. Later Reeves moved to Arkansas and homesteaded near Van Buren. Once he got his farm going, he married Nellie Jennie from Texas. They had ten children – five boys and five girls.
Reeves and his family farmed until 1875 when the legendary Isaac Parker was appointed federal judge for the Indian Territory. Judge Parker appointed James F. Fagan as U.S. Marshal, and directed him to hire 200 deputy U.S. Marshals. Fagan heard about Bass Reeves, who knew the Indian Territory and could speak several Indian languages, and recruited him as a deputy U.S. Marshal.
Battle vs. Eliot Ness (by Affectos)
Bass Reeves tightened the rope around the three Brunther Brothers, “I hope this’ll finally teach you boys.” Looking around, he was quite amazed at what he was seeing. Coming in, he had expected to be arresting the Brothers for their illegal stillery, but what he had found instead was a large warehouse of giant stills, a much larger operation than what he had expected.
Reeves notioned to one of his four fellow U.S. Marshals to take them out back to the horses, mumbling to himself as the were lead out, “Why would you need so much moonshine....?” Parked outside the warehouse, a heavy-duty flatbed truck waited with four Untouchables anxiously awaiting to make their move. One in the passenger’s seat looked at his boss, Eliot Ness, as he checked his gun, “Boss, when are going to bust them?”
Ness smiled as he lazily spun close his Colt Official Police, “Surprise is a key factor. It was already hard enough tracking those rednecks Brunther Brothers down to here, so there’s a good chance that they’re waiting for us.”
An Untouchable from the back sighed, “Ness...we’ve been here for over an hour. I think that they don’t know we’re here.”
Ness sighed and thought for a moment, “I guess you have a point King. Where do we strike Leeson?
“Alright men I want this place closed by sunset.” Bass firmly said as he watched his men begin to dismantle the stills. Bass still couldn’t figure out why the Brunthers needed so much alcohol. It was almost as if they were supplying someone...
Deep thought didn’t last long though as a roaring blared outside the warehouse, catch bass and his men off-guard. Turning, he just barely able to duck as a truck came hurtling in through the wooden wall, sending wood flying everywhere. Looking up, Bass found one of his men who had been standing by the wall now skewered on the spikes of the cowcatcher riding in front of it (-1 Reeves).
‘Damnit,’ Bass thought as he withdrew his Colt Peacemaker, ‘Douglass was one of my best men.’
This sudden commotion had all of the remaining Marshals inside the building drawing their guns as the doors of the truck opened and instantly one of his men with a Coach Gun downed the first man to step out of the passenger's seat (-1 Ness). Almost in response, the rest of The Untouchables piled out into the warehouse firing off their Thompsons, but Reeves and his men quickly took cover from the hail of bullets behind the various crates and barrels.
Seeing this from the driver’s seat, Ness pulled a pineapple grenade from his coat pocket, pulled the pin and leapt out of the truck and tossed it, landing it right behind a row of crates where another marshal crouched for cover...until the grenade went off, sending shards of metal ripping through his flesh (-1 Reeves).
Able to see that this wasn’t going to end well, Reeves called for his other remaining marshal in the room to make a hasty retreat. Understanding, the two of them fled through the giant stills, firing off their Peacemaker and Winchester, luckily hitting one of the Untouchables that followed behind them (-1 Ness).
Quickly taking refuge behind one of the stills, the marshal pulled out a bundle of dynamite and showed it to Reeves, who nodded in response, and lit the fuse as he set it down. He then made a break for the nearby exit, but in doing so, revealed himself to the remaining Untouchables and was mowed down by a report from the Tommy gun (-1 Reeves).
Gritting his teeth, Reeves jumped out and fired his Peacemaker, killing one of the Untouchables (-1 Ness), and made a break for it while they Untouchables were still stunned. When they realized that the black man was making a break for it, they bolted after him, but as they passed the second to last set of stills, the fuse ran out of the dynamite, sending the last Untouchable sky high (-1 Ness).
Barely making it to the back door, he found his only remaining marshal waiting on horseback with the Brunther Brothers. Making it to his horse, he shouted to his partner, “We’ve got to get out of here, we’re at a loss for men and we’re out gunned.” Nodding, the marshal took the reins in hand...only to drop them and fall off his horse as a round from Ness’s Springfield pierced his skull (-1 Reeves).
Following where the shot came from, Reeves saw the man that had gotten out of the driver’s seat of the truck. Quickly firing his Peacemaker, Ness leapt to the side, tossing aside his rifle and pulled out his own pistol and fired. The shot rang high, hitting Reeves horse instead as he ducked to avoid the bullet, only to drop his gun in the progress. Seeing this, Reeves pulled out his Bowie knife from his belt and charged the man who was now trying to getting up. Reeves collided with him falling to the ground as well, knocking the gun away and giving him a gash in his shoulder.
Grasping his wounded shoulder, attempting to stem the bleeding though his torn suit, Reeves checked to see if his brass knuckles were on right. Seeing that they were, Ness took a step in and gave the black man a hard jab to the gut, sending him back as he doubled over.
Watching the man double over, Reeves walked over and picked up his gun. But as he bent down, the man leapt on top of him, digging the blade into his shoulder again, deeper this time.
Ness turned and looked at the three men tied up who had seen this whole thing unfold before them. Ness stared at them and said, “Well that’s what happens when you bring a knife to a gunfight...”
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