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Huntsville: A Story of Post Civil War Texas


hatred of the State Police was a white heat burning in the hearts of
the people. Nearly all had had some friend or relative severely
abused, if not killed by these brigands.
CHAPTER 1
Pardoned
An elderly guard approached his table just as Jacob Magruder was
finishing his breakfast in the big, noisy prison mess hall. Speaking
loudly to be heard over the clamor, the guard declared, “Jake, the
new warden wants to see ya’ in his office.”
Magruder glanced up, a questioning look on his face.
“What’s he want with me, Carter?”
“Well now, he didn’t say, Jake. But I’m shore he’ll tell ya’ when
ya’ get there. C’mon.”
Heads turned and curious eyes stared as the two men walked
toward the exit.
Carter led Magruder down a long corridor unlocking and re-
locking two sets of heavy steel doors in turn. Finally he stopped
before a large oaken door and knocked. A voice inside responded,
“Come in.”
Upon entering, Carter announced, “Warden, this here’s John
Jacob Magruder, pris’ner number 10942. Jake, this’s Warden Brian
Henders who took Warden O gilvie’s place las’ month.”
Henders, sitting behind a big desk, rose from his chair, smiled and
extended his right hand. Accepting the offered hand, Magruder
muttered a barely audible, “Hello.”
Peering at the prisoner over his little gold-rimmed spectacles, the
warden beheld a tall, broad-shouldered, ruggedly handsome man
with a thick thatch of dark hair.
“Carter, you are excused,” he said. Carter nodded, turned and
shuffled out, closing the door.
“Magruder, I’ve got some good news for you. Please sit down.”
Magruder took the indicated chair, somewhat anxious and still
puzzled by this unprecedented summons. The warden, a portly man
of about sixty years, then sat down and began searching through
stacks of papers on his cluttered desk. Finally locating the desired
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