|Big Bend country in Texas|
|Dusk in Big Bend, the time when the cursed phantom bull is said |
to make his appearance
|Archive photo of a cattle round-up in Texas|
At this point, Henry rode up to defend his son and after words were exchanged between him and Gililand, Powe again cut the yearling back to his gather. While he was doing this, Gililand roped the calf and began dragging it back to his side. Even though Henry wasn't carrying a gun, he decided enough was enough. He rode up beside Manny, reached into his saddlebag where everyone knew he carried a revolver, drew out the pistol and fired at the calf. However, being one-armed, it was virtually impossible for him to ride a horse and shoot too and his bullet cleanly missed the bawling calf. Apparently, Gililand thought the shot had been meant for him so he jumped off his horse, pulled his pistol, got down on one knee, took aim at Henry and shot. Amazingly, his shot went high and didn't hit anything but air. Knowing he couldn't shoot straight while riding his now skittish horse, Henry jumped down and started to return fire, but unfortunately for him, the reins was still wrapped around his only arm and just as he fired, his horse shied and jerked so hard Henry fell to the ground. As he started to get back up, Gililand fired again, but as before, his shot missed, this time plowing into the ground beside Powe. Henry was finally able to untangle himself from his horse reins, stood up, took careful aim and pulled the trigger. Once more, luck was not with him as his gun jammed. With only one arm, there was no way he could get his pistol to work and as the other cowboys looked on in astonishment, Gililand ran up to Henry, grabbed his only arm, and with the Confederate war hero now helpless to defend himself, put his gun against his chest and fired into his heart, killing him instantly. Gililand mounted his horse and lit out.
After Robert left for home with his father's body to bury him in the hard, rocky ground, the remaining cowboys roped the calf who had caused everything. Nobody wanted this cursed animal so they branded the word "MURDER" on the calf's left side, "JAN 28'89" on the other side and turned it loose to roam forever.
The law went after Gililand since he had murdered a man who had been rendered defenseless. About a week later, Deputy Sheriff Thalis Cook and Texas Ranger Jim Putnam were searching for their man in a canyon when they spotted a cow above them on the rim. They were just able to make out the word "MURDER" on its side. Not more than an hour later, they came upon a stranger riding a horse. When they got within hailing distance of him, Sheriff Cook called out, "Are you Fine Gililand?" The man replied, "I am," pulled out his pistol and began shooting. Sheriff Cook was hit in the knee and his horse was killed, but as he was going down, he fired a shot which killed Gillihand's horse. Ranger Putnam jumped down off his horse, pulled Cook behind some rocks and while Gilihand took cover behind his dead horse and fired in the direction of the lawmen, rested his Winchester on a large rock and waited. Several minutes later, Gilihand, being curious as to why there was no return gunfire from the lawmen, stuck his head up over the body of his horse and that was just what Ranger Putnam was waiting for. His aim was true and a moment later, Gilihand lay dead with a bullet between his eyes.