MY PATH TO THE GALLOWS
BY RALPH N. FARISS,
Twenty-Four-Year-Old Train Bandit
' Awaiting Death in San Quentin
', Prison Tor Murder.
What will man not do for love of a
Sometimes it is an illicit love as
mine was. But when a fellow has
known nothing but hell all his life
he yields to it and it is sweet.
When a chap who has pullea every
ing on the criminal calendar except
the shedding of blood, finds a girl
who is having a hard time in life,
whose mother is willing to do almost
anything, whose husband cannot
make her happy, and she puts her
arms about 'his neck and sobs it all
out well, a criminal becomes human
and his heart works on his head.
That was my experience with a girl
I met in Los Angeles the only one
whom I ever truly loved, even if I did
love her sinfully.
I wanted to take her away from
Los Angeles for myself and I had
to have money.
By now I had held up three trains
and considered myself a first-class
So on the night of Dec. 1, 1913
the night I was to pull the trigger of
a gun for the first time in my life
I walked out determined to get
money to help this girl I loved.
"I shall pull one great big job, get
plenty of coin, take this girl away
somewhere, go straight and make
her happy," I thought.
I went out to Pomona, Cal., and
boarded S.' P. train No. 5, gun in
hand, determined to do the job.
An engineer and the brakeman
were in the smoking compartment of
the Pullman. I leveled my gun on
them and tney stuck up their hands.
I took their watches and money.
Then marching them ahead of me
I went through the car. I remember
taking the diamonds from one bride
who later landed me in this death
All the passengers were frightened
and shelled out easily. I walked to
the rear door. I was waiting for the
train to slow down so I could get off.
A mn walked around the corner
of the smoking compartment into the
car at the other end carrying a grip.
He came down the aisle until he was
within five or six feet of me when I
said, "Thow up your hands!"
He started, looked at me for a sec
ond, then said, "I'll be damned if I
do!" and made a lunge for me grasp
ing my coat collar.
Everything in my head went
awhirl. Here was the first time I
had ever been grappled with in a
hold-up. I almost grew dizzy and a
thousand thoughts darted through
my brain in an instant.
I remember I raised my left hand
and threw off his hold on my collar,
at the same time two pistol shots
rang out. Yet I don't remember pull
ing the trigger.
He turned and ran down the aisle,
disappearing around the corner of
the smoking compartment at the
other end and still I didn't realize I
had shot him.
When the pistol went off women
screamed, and this, together with the
pistol shots, scared me as much as
it did any one.
My one thought was to get off the
train, so I pointed the gun at the
brakeman and. told him to stop the
train. He pulled the cord, and as the
train slowed down I jumped off in the
darkness near El Monte, Cal.
I was nervous and I hurried to
catch a car for Los Angeles.
Mind you, I had worn no mask and
the passengers had had lots of time
to look me over.
I wondered if any one had recog
nized me, for I had done time in Los
I turned out the light in my room,
counted the money I got, which
amounted to about $100 and-a, good
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