T’was 6 Score and 1 year ago to the day that they laid old John C. Dailey down in his grave. The Tombstone read, “Lord, show me grace again.”
To this day you won’t find Dailey in the history books, nor will you hear about his escapades with the law and such nefarious dealins’. I guess he just faded into history like so many before him. But, in certain parts of the country fathers still tell bed time stories to their sons and they always end the same way. “If you messed with John C. Dailey, you better get a gun!”
Dailey never knew his father, he was born in a small town halfway between dead and alive, they now call it New Mexico. As a young man Dailey had a reputation of getting what he wanted and not being afraid of how he was gettin’ it. But he wasn’t all that bad to those that knew him. If you stayed on his good side you didn’t have much to fear from him or any body else for that matter. But like most young men that chose to live by the rules of the west, Dailey ended up on the wrong side of the law and sometimes a gun more often then not and soon there was a good sized bounty on his head.
Soon enough there were wanted signs hanging in every Sherifs Office, Saloon and Barber Shop for miles around. Dailey had to live outside the law and society. He traveled around like a lone tumbleweed, just ahead of the storm that followed behind. When you’re living outside society for too long, your moral compass can get even further off track and before you know it Dailey didn’t know North from South and he just let his pistol guide the way. It was like he was on a runaway train and the devil was the engineer.
Dailey became no stranger to the drink and twofers. He left a trail of blood and tears behind him, a trail that was easy for bounty hunter, Ben Burrows to tack. Burrows later recounted that “it seemed too easy” and thought that “Dailey grew weary of the hunt and couldn’t hang on no more, he just let go.”
Dailey was sentenced by the not so honourable Judge Cartwright, who was known to bend an elbow at the local tavern more often then not. Probably didn’t help Dailey that he had taken the Judge for many a silver dollars back in his card playing days. But that’s neither here nor there I suppose.
Dailey was sentenced to death by hanging, a sentence which he served without complaint. Somehow Dailey seemed to have found peace within himself in those final hours.
The preacher proclaimed to the crowed moments before the trap door opens that, “Dailey has confessed his sins to Jesus” and the “Jesus surely would show Dailey grace one last time.”