True stories by Murl Harpham



































Back Country Justice


     Molly and Bubba were ranch hands in the mountains east of Eureka.  Molly did the cooking and Bubba took care of the cattle and fences and other chores.  Now in the 50ís we didnít have spousal abuse laws.  It was assault and battery and if it was in the misdemeanor class the person assaulted had to make a citizenís arrest unless it occurred in the officerís presence, which rarely happened. 

Every weekend Molly and Bubba would come to town to spend their hard earn money in one of the many bars in Eureka.  After failing to drink Eureka dry, Bubba would regularly thump on poor Molly and we would respond and find Molly with a black eye or busted lip and she would refuse to have him arrested. 

On the rare occasions that she did place him under arrest,  she would come back in the morning and bail him out and refuse to press charges. 

One night after one of these thumpings the crusty old veteran I was working with told Molly that if he were she he would wait for Bubba to go to sleep and then take a baseball bat to him and give him a good beating and tell him that every time he beats her she would get even when he went to sleep. 

Well, a couple of weeks later we saw them walking down the street and Bubbaís head was bandaged and his arm was in a sling.  Molly flagged us down and told us she had taken our advise and pointed proudly at the work her 2x4 had done. 

We saw them often after that but they never seemed to have any injuries.  I guess Bubba found out he couldnít sleep with one eye open.


Murl Harpham