February 26, 2011

Soapy Smith robbed by the "Sanctimonious kid."

The train is still in operation for visitors to Skagway!
 (Click image to enlarge)

Here is another story that did not make the pages of my book. It comes from the 1927 book by Jack Black, YOU CAN’T WIN. Unfortunately, there is no provenance or collaboration that this incidence actually took place. none the less I hope you enjoy it.

“Sanctimonious Kid”: Rogue robber mentioned in the book, You Can’t Win, who supposedly robbed Soapy at gun-point for $1,500. Operated the dice-game concession at the Chicken Coop in Denver. Soapy had won $3,000 from the “Kid” and his partner so the “Kid” wanting his money back, robbed Soapy. After the robbery Soapy said, “I know him and told him so; and I’m going to kill him on sight.”

There are many Soapy stories I did not, could not, include in my book. Besides there being a vast number of them, far too many for a book being touted by some as too big as it is, many of them were obvious concoctions written by ordinary folk who sought a little fame and others were obvious inventions within the minds of writers in order to fill and round out their articles. Some were plausible enough but just simply had no provenance and limited space had me dropping some decent stories for inclusion. One of the latter choices I did not include was the robbery of Soapy by the “Sanctimonious Kid.”

We jumped to Denver, where Sanc got the dice-game concession in the “Chicken Coop,” a small gambling house. We had three thousand dollars between us. Two Thousand went into the bankroll and we opened up bravely. “Soapy Smith,” gambler and bunko man, noted for his high plays and big winnings and losings, won our two thousand in three successive plays. Sanc wanted to continue with the balance of our money, but I refused and stubbornly held on to my last five hundred. We had to quit.

Sanc was a hard loser and followed “Soapy” around town for a week trying to “elevate” [rob] him. He never got away from the bright lights, and Sanc gave up the notion of sticking him up. …

Then came a night when the Sanctimonious Kid failed to show up at the room. I was worried and made the rounds of the gambling houses, joints, and hangouts, but failed to find him or anybody who had seen him. My fears were put to rest later when Soapy Smith, who won our bankroll, appeared in the “Missouri House” and told with the good graces of a man who had lost fortunes how he had been “taken” by a “stick-up” man for fifteen hundred dollars.

“It was the first time in a year I had been off Larimer Street, and it serves me right,” he laughed. “Anyway, I know him and told him so; and I’m going to kill him on sight.” …

After the robbery Sanc disappeared, and it was long till I saw him again. I decided to leave Denver. I owed them fifteen days on the chain gang, and had no wish to pay by shoveling snow in the streets.


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