Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 24, Number 3645, 26 November 1862 — LETTER FROM NEVADA TERRITORY [ARTICLE]
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LETTER FROM NEVADA TERRITORY
From Our Special Correspondent.]
Carson (N.T. Monday, Nov. 24, 1862. The good people of Carson are enjoying the sensation of a first class murder, which came off here about one o'clock this morning. A full grown, cold-blooded murder, with thrilling accompaniments, had not happened right here in Carson for upward of a fortnight previously. Consequently this affair has all the charm of novelty! The victim was a young man known by the name of Con. Mason, and is reported to have borne one or two aliases, and to have come to this coast overland from the Pike's Peak region. The murderer is—nobody knows who for a certainty, and probably the law never will ascertain. Several parties have been arrested, and the wildest and most contradictory reports are circulated, as if to mislead. These facts I do know, however: That about one o'clock this morning a pistol shot was fired in the street; that a few minutes later a man came into the Ormsby House and stated that he had just stumbled over a dead man; that in company with several men and a lantern I went to the spot, three or four squares west of the Ormsby House, and there found a well-dressed, youngish looking man lying stiff and stark on his back, his hat on his breast, his chestnut hair dabbling in a large pool of blood, and his glazed eyes staring upward at the stars of heaven. He was lying in front of a small wooden house with "to let" on the door, and a porch which mayhave afforded concealment to the lurking assassin. The man appeared to have been shot dead in his tracks, without a word of warning, and to have fallen just as he was found. There was a round hole under his left ear, and a corresponding hole nearly opposite under the right ear, which probably marked the passage of the leaden messenger of death into and out of his head. No one was present who had witnessed the scene, or could throw light on the subject, but some persons came who could tell the name of the victim and where he stopped, and one man said "Why, he was in looking at my 'game' this very evening." Justice of the Peace and Coroner W. Stewart, was sent for, and soon came, and the body was removed on a door to the jail, out of which William Mayfield whilom [sic:means "once"] escaped. To-day the inquest was held and still progresses, but nothing positive has been discovered as to where the guilt of the bloody deed rests. A negro man says he heard a scuffling, and heard some one say just before the shot was fired "Why, this is me!" but then, you know, a negro cannot legally be made to tell the truth under oath, and his statements must go for nothing, even if he had seen the act committed. A man named Richardson reports that Mason is a gambler, and fled from Denver City because having shot a Sheriff he was afraid of the lex talionis from the muzzle of a pistol in the hands of the Sheriff's brother; that he came here across the plains with a French woman, his reputed wife, went on to California to escape the pursuing avenger, and returned here some weeks since for the same reason. This French woman, whose virtue is not exactly in tha style of Caesar's wife, has been arrested and discharged again, and one Andy Goff, known to have been intimate with "Con.," and the last man seen with him on the night of the murder, has also been arrested and is still held. One or two others are also in custody, but I cannot learn the grounds of suspicion. "Con." had yesterday called to see his wife or mistress, who lived a square or two from where his body was found, and while there, as she states, showed her three hundred and fifty dollars in gold. He also wore a very fine watch, but no watch or money, except a few dollars in change, were found upon his body. I imagine, therefore, that the avenging Sheriff's brother is only a myth employed to raise a dust, and that in fact "Con." was foully murdered for the sake of his money. This French wife is tolerably good looking, and seems to be in an agony of grief. Lance Nightingale, who happens to be in town after a franchise, has taken hold of the matter with energy, and Governor Nye being also an expert detective, there is a possibility that something tangible may yet be discovered.