Death of Jesse James
Length: 1278 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
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a few years of military experience which gave him the edge of becoming on of the most
infamous outlaws that lived. Betrayed by his own friend, Jesse was sent to his grave well
before his time was up.
On Monday April 3, 1882, before the sun had risen, Jesse James laid in his bed; with his wife Zee, speechless. Jesse trying to ignore the question of why the Fords are there at their house, he lays there staring at the ceiling. When she finally asks if they are planning other job, Jesse tells her they must pull this job. After he swore they were done with this kind of life, financial struggles drug him back. Their plan was to move away to California to be able to raise their kids without fear. However, they did not have the money to even get them to California much less start a new life there. Jesse called his friends; Bob and Charley Ford, to help him rob this last job at Platte City. What Jesse did not know was, while he was laying in bed with his wife thinking of the future for day, Bob started to panic and feel paranoid. Bob wakes up Charley in an uproar thinking that Jesse knows they have betrayed him. Bob then confesses he believes somebody found out and told Jesse that they are the ones who killed his cousin Wood Hite.
Martha Bolton, sister of Bob and Charley, was actually the one to talk to Governor T.T. Crittenden at the St. James Hotel in Kansas City to make the arrangements on Jesse James murder or capture. They were offered money and amnesty from the law for this conspiracy, but most importantly the safety from Wood Hite's murder. There was a pile of rocks stacked up on the edge of their field. Hite's body was buried underneath the pile of rocks. Every time she looks or thinks about that night when Bob pulled the trigger, she begins to sweat nervously. Dick Liddil was there when the murder took place and the fear of Jesse getting his hands on Dick to figure out what happened to his favorite cousin frightens her. This was the big reason for Martha's plot against Jesse.
But of course, with time to think about her actions, her mind began to make her ask many questions. Could she trust the State to keep their word upon them? Had Jesse found out about the plan? And since she had not heard from her brothers in awhile, she was beginning to think maybe Bob was dead.
Cole Younger was once a member of Jesse's gang. However, he had been captured after the Northfield holdup and was sentenced to life in Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater. Bob Younger was shot at Northfield and when Jesse recommended shooting Bob to ease the pain, Cole was unable to forgive Jesse for his thoughts. Just after the incident, Jesse and Frank left the gang and Cole would never be able to forgive Jesse. Cole did not want Jesse's life, he wanted Jesse to suffer forever in a prison cell just has he is. He felt death would not be punishment enough.
Once everybody started to waken, Zee was in the kitchen making breakfast. Jesse went out to get a bucket of water. Bob began to get more paranoid. He starts to argue with his brother Charley that Jesse knows of the plan to ambush him. When Jesse returned back to the house, he heard the kids talking, Zee in the kitchen, and the Fords putting their shoes on. When Jesse walks right past Bob after saying the usual morning greetings, Bob begins to think he knows again. And before breakfast, Jesse invites Bob to go to town with him to get the paper. Bob denies the offer at first but Jesse insisted he go. As Bob gets up to leave, he looks at his brother and then back to Jesse as if scared to walk with him. The whole way there they walked in silence. Once they got the Time, the St. Louis Republican, and the Kansas City Journal, Jesse just put them under his arms and began to walk back. On the way back to the house, Jesse asks Bob if he had heard any new on Dick Liddil while he was in Kansas short period earlier. Bob begins to get nervous and tense but answers "no." Again, they walked the rest of the way to the house in silence. Once they go in the house, Jesse takes the papers from under his arm and puts them on the table. Bob looks at the headline and gasp very loudly so everybody could hear. The headline was telling of Dick Liddil's arrest. After remember back to Jesse's question about Liddil, Bob feels Jesse knows something and is just toying with him. He keeps telling himself to just draw and shoot him but he cannot get his hand to do it. Jesse sits down at the table and reads the headline. Jesse asked Bob again about Liddil but Bob and Charley make up excuses why he may not have heard anything about the arrest while fidgeting and acting nervous. More thoughts came into the mind of Bob to shoot Jesse then to get this guilt out of him. After making it obvious he was nervous about something Charley tries to make an excuse to get Bob out of the room to draw the attention away from him.
Bob finally gets up and walks into the living room. However, as he walks past the table, he hears Jesse's chair squeak as well. Jesse follows Bob into the other room just to make sure he is alright. Bob's mind begins to wonder even more. Realizing Jesse will not kill him there in front of his wife and kids, he believes he is going to do it later that night on the long ride to Platte City. He begins to look for excuses to cancel the trip and thinks of things such as him being sick. Jesse goes to take off his coat because it is warm but then says he should not because people passing by might think there is a bad man in the house with all the hardware he had on him as he is smiling. Jesse begins to take off his waist belt and all other guns. Bob has never seen Jesse unarmed in his life. Jesse then looks at a painting of the death of Stonewall Jackson and feels it needs to be cleaned. Bob just sitting there thinks Jesse is just playing games with him. His mind begins to race rapidly now. Jesse grabs a chair to stand on so he can clean the painting. As Jesse is on the chair cleaning the painting, Bob pulls his gun and holds it up with both hands. Finally gets the courage to pull back the hammer which is loud in this quit house. As Jesse turns in disbelief, a single shot is fired that caught Jesse in his forehead. After bob could finally move from shack that he actually just did that, he ran from the house.