Volume 8, Number 3 - Spring 1983

Killed at a Charivari
Drink and Pistols Form a Fatal Trinity

Monday night, at the home of Charles Decker, in Douglas county, Richard Crabtree was shot and instantly killed by a pistol in the hands of George Solomon.

The location is just in the edge of Douglas, about equally distant from McClurg and Brown Branch. A charivari was in progress, and the members of the crowd were drinking and snapping their guns in each other’s faces, in a make believe attempt to force each other to drink, the guns supposedly all being empty.

An inquest was held and verdict rendered of accidental shooting.

The deplorable affair ought to enforce one or two lessons, that have often been taught by similar circumstances, among them that:
The charivari is a relic of barbarism.

Gin and a gun form a combination deadly as dynamite.

The "empty" gun is more devastating than a battle.

"Accidents" of the nature of the one reported above are criminal.

A lifetime of remorse can never make amends for the tragic results of a silly prank.

A few drinks make a man a fool, and a fool and a gun are the signal for trouble.

The person who points a gun, even if it be empty, at another, ought to be imprisoned.

That it would be of great gain to the public if those who engage in "horse play" with pistols would reverse their weapons before pulling the trigger.

And other lessons will suggest themselves to those who read these lines.

Taken from Taney County Republican, February 4, 1909. Contributed by Townsend Godsey.


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