An Interview with the Greatest Living Path-Finder
He Talks of His Recent Experiences Among the Mountains
His Condemnation of the Scoundrel, Burningham, Who Has Tried to Ruin His Reputation
"That's Him—that's Jack," we heard a man say to his companion on the street yesterday, and turning we beheld a man dressed in the costume of the trapper and hunter, and sure enough, before us stood
Directly afterwards he was playing billiards in the Bristol House, and as he finished his game and turned away, a SUNDAY NEWS man said to him,
"Jack, I would like to talk with you a moment."
"Certainly, sir," politely said the scout in the most pleasant of voices; and after a few words of off-talk by both parties, in reply to a question, he said:
"Yes, I was on the plains and among the mountains until six weeks ago. It was the hardest siege I ever knew or experienced. We were eighty days in the mountains without seeing the face of white or red man."
"You must have lost your reckoning of the news of the outside world pretty well during that time?"
"Yes, sir, I did. I knew nothing of the great strikes and the railroad troubles. My business was as a guide for Captain S. B. Bailey and party, and we had a great deal of hardships and adventure.
Mountain life is none of the easiest I tell you; but I saw my party safe through, and then came on east, first telegraphing my wife that I was not killed as had been reported."
"There has been some slanderous stories told of you, Mr. Omohundro, I understand."
"Yes; a sneaking coward named Burningham wrote up a pack of lies for the Sioux City Times in which he accused me of cowardice before the Indians; said I was no scout, and did not know the country as I professed. Then some enemy of mine caused the same story to be published in the New York Sun."
"That was a dastardly trick."
"Indeed it was," said Jack. "It was done to ruin my reputation as a guide, and then injure me before the people to the advantage of would-be rivals.
"This man Burningham is an English renegade who dare not set his face in his own country, and certainly dare not set it before me after telling his lies; yet I shall meet him some day, and that is what I have sent word to him. He was on the trip with us, and while out, several times, I had occasion to treat him pretty rough, and to talk hard to him. Since we have come back he has made up a plan to ruin me.
"Every season I act as guide for parties from the old country, as they have faith in my knowledge of border life. This renegade thought if he could injure my reputation, he could palm himself off as a scout and guide and take my place at the head of these parties."
"A foolish idea, we should say, Mr. Omohundro."
"Decidedly so. It was just such a man as this that murdered my companion Wild Bill."
"That was a cowardly and brutal murder, wasn't it?"
"Indeed it was. Yet all of us border men are continually in such danger. It is only a question of time when we must yield to the common fate."
"And that is—"
"To become the marks of some cowardly bullet, or die like men while obeying duty's command."
And much more Texas Jack told us that we have not space nor time this morning to tell you.
Indeed, what we have told above is only in substance part of what he said. Were we to say it was his exact language, we should expect our scalp to hang at his belt before night.
Texas Jack's word is law. He looks you square in the eye when he speaks to you, and never lies or prevaricates. He is gentle as a woman in his manners, and full as polite.
Next week the readers of the SUNDAY NEWS will have a treat in a further description of this remarkable scout, and of some of the wonderful feats he has accomplished and can accomplish.
Texas Jack is not a newspaper hero; he is a specimen of the true trapper and scout—one of the few who yet remain of a truly American character which is rapidly passing away.