One Party Headed by Sheriff Ralphs Leaves San Bernardino and a Second Starts from Victorville

[Special to The Herald.]

SAN BERNARDINO, Oct. 13.—A message tonight from Danby, fifty miles from the scene of Willie Boy’s battle with the officers, containing the alarming news of three Piutes passing through that camp, armed to the teeth, carrying supplies and mounted on fleet horses, leading a fourth saddled and bridled, headed for the Lizard Tanks in the Bullion ranges, the region in which the Indian made his last stand, has caused deep consternation here and the fears of the officers that the tribesmen of the murderer are gathering to render him assistance are now admitted facts.

Already a messenger is speeding from the last telephone station on his way to overtake Sheriff Ralphs, who left here this morning, but it will not be before daylight that the lone horseman reaches the camp of the posse with the news.

Following fast on the sighting of a heavily armed Indian on Huston Flats headed for Little Bear valley, the news of which was received here today, and the reported presence of armed Piutes in various parts of the country since the killing of the girl, deep anxiety is now felt, as it is believed the Indians are flocking from the Piute reservation along the state line in Nevada to give aid to Willie Boy, a member of their tribe.

Posse After Trio

Under Sheriff Ward of this city, who has charge here of the movement of the posses, immediately wired ordering H. J. West, who telegraphed that the Piutes were just leaving Danby, to gather a posse and disarm the trio bound for the Bullion range.

A pitched battle is now feared unless the wandering Piutes scattered about the desert in groups of from one to three are at once disarmed, and the report of the capture of the three Piutes leading an extra, horse evidently intended for Willie Boy is anxiously awaited. This is the most formidable party yet sighted.

The Indians of his tribe are evidently preparing to render any assistance necessary to rescue Willie Boy, and all that have yet been seen are heavily armed. A battle between the officers and the Piutes is feared before Willie Boy can be taken. The mounted Indians will reach the point where the murderer is supposed to be at least two days ahead of the posses.

Chase On in Earnest

With the departure of the tow posses, one from this city and the other from Victorville this morning, the hunt for Willie Boy is now again on in earnest, Sheriff John Ralphs and a dozen mounted men, heavily armed and prepared for a prolonged chase, left shortly after 9 o’clock and were followed within a few minutes by a four-horse wagon carrying the provisions for the first lap of the trip.

To bid farewell to the men seeking the life of the murderer a large crowd congregated about the county jail, from where the start was made, and followed by a demonstration from the throng of citizens equally as anxious as the officers themselves for the capture of the fugitive, the start was made for Rock Corral, at which point, fifteen miles from the scene of the battle, the three posses making up the expedition, will meet Friday night and prepare for the trailing of the Indian and for his capture, at 12:40 the sheriff’s party passed power house No.1 on the Santa Ana canyon road to Big Bear valley, fast progress having been made by the mounted men.

Start from Victorville

Before daybreak this morning Deputy Sheriff George Hewins, who figured prominently in the last hunt, with a party if ten men left Victorville and were almost immediately swallowed up in the desert, there being no means of communication along the route which they took.

It is probable that the sheriff’s party that the sheriff’s party will push on to Big Beart valley tonight and, on leaving that place, all communication with the outside world will be left behind and the drop on to the desert regions will be commenced. De Crevecouer’s party, which left Banning Tuesday morning, since its departure, but the men were prepared for fast traveling and will be able to reach the place agreed upon as the meeting point probably before the arrival of the other parties.

Strange Indian Seen

Thought to be a relative or friend of the fugitive seeking to render him assistance, an Indian, at first supposed to be Willie Boy himself, was sighted yesterday afternoon on Huston Flats, headed for Little Bear valley. Although answering the description of the murderer, the officers who were apprised of the presence of the man today place little belief in the theory that the murderer would be willing to expose himself in daylight and in view of settlers.

The news was telephoned to the sheriff’s office by Mrs. Burleigh of the Burleigh ranch. The Indian had two belts filled with cartridges and was carrying, in addition to a Winchester, a revolver.

It is also thought that the man was endeavoring to convey the impressing that he was Willie Boy and in this manner assist the Piute by misleading the officers as to his whereabouts. His actions were peculiarly mysterious and an effort will be made to locate him and place him under guard, the report having been flashed to Big Bear valley, where the posse will pick up the message tonight and possibly divide, sending two or three men back towards Little Bear valley to meet the Indian.

Piute Strategy Used

What the Indian trailers accompanying the first possed term as only a specimen of Willie Boy’s cunningness

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has just become known. Instead of killing one of the horses which he shot in the battle, the murderer only dazed by shooting it in the neck, the bullet temporarily paralyzing the nerve system, a practice which Piutes use in capturing wild horse.

For several hours the wounded horse lay as though dead with blood flowing freely from its wound in the neck, but finally recovered and wandered off down a canyon with another horse shot in the bowels. During the night, returning with the only horse uninjured and attempt was made to capture the wounded animal, but it got out of reach and was abandoned by the little party, anxious to carry Reche the injured deputy, to assistance.

If Willie Boy desired to immediately leave the region he could have brought into play no better strategy that dazing the animal until he could use it and make his escape.

Oct. 14, 1909 - Los Angeles Herald article clipping