By Lewis C. Rigler
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Extra resources for In the line of duty: reflections of a Texas Ranger private
By morning all was quiet in Lorena again. For a time, the Klan issue remained a controversial one. A series of fires occurred in the days following the march; these were blamed on the Klan. ''These fires are getting to be a regular hyperdermic" was the slightly off-base comment of one man, a railroad foreman named Junior, upon viewing yet another blaze. There was no neutral ground on this issue; you were either Klan or anti-Klan. Governor Pat M. Neff of Waco decided that the group should not be allowed to terrorize the state any longer, and he rallied the help of other anti-Klansmen and law enforcement officers.
There was no joy in serving this tough master, only pain of body and spirit. Harvesting cotton was a nightmarethe workers' hands remained sore and red for days after picking. Those who endured bent backs and torn hands in the oppressive summer heat of Central Texas felt that cotton was the meanest growing thing alive. One of my earliest memories is of bending over the spiteful plants in the heat, dragging behind me what seemed a bottomless ducking sack much larger than I. Only six, I had been living and working on a farm outside Lorena, Texas, near Waco, for almost a year.
People Page 5 were screaming and running everywhere. I can remember just standing with my mouth open, taking it all in. A man whose name I remember as Louis Crow, who ran a laundry in Waco, was fatally injured early in the fight; his body somehow remained on his horse until the horse reached the railroad tracks, where the body fell to the ground. His macabre ride was a frightening experience for many of those who saw him. Sheriff Buchanan was shot, and Deputy Burton helped him into a drug store run by a Catholic at one corner of the main street.
In the line of duty: reflections of a Texas Ranger private by Lewis C. Rigler