Newspaper Page Text
The Indian Advocate. 297
circumstances. It is true that he was often associated with lawless men, who, like himself, were fugitives from justice, but it was impossible for him to avoid this contact, though it is almost universally believed that he had no personal inter est in their transactions. He used them when it suited his purpose, and they never failed to assemble at his call. His favorite signal was the scream of the night owl, which he imitated to perfection. When the notion struck him, Tom Starr would leave the Territory sometimes for many months, having once or twice gone as far as California. He constantly visited Southeastern Texas and Louisiana. Traps of various kinds were set to catch the wily outlaw, but he was shrewd enough to be out of reach at the time he was expected, for he had a very keen scent for danger when it was in the wind. His vengeance was especially directed on those of his own people who were wont to betray him into the hands of the law, and whenever he discovered that a friend or acquaint ance had turned traitor with a view of aiding in his capture and gaining the large rewards offered for his arrest, then he became a savage, and was merciless. This warfare was carried on with slight interruption till the death of Chief John Ross, who had held the reins of govern ment for forty years. The change of administration that fol lowed in the election of Louis Downing to the chieftaincy put the Ridge party in power and order was restored. The gov ernment once more, but under different auspices, entered into a treaty with Tom Starr, offering to condone all his offenses and cancel all the warrants against him if he would return to his home and live the life of a peaceful and law-abiding citi zen. The offer was eagerly accepted, for Tom was weary of his nomadic career, and cheerfully settled upon his place be side the Canadian and close to Briartown, where he lived quietly until his death, which occurred about 1890, at the age of seventy-four years.