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[240] When they agree, their will is law. Judge, sheriff, coroner-chosen by the people-chosen for a short time only — have no option but to serve the power which raised them up, and in a little while may pull them down. Such officers are seldom rich. Their services are meanly paid. Hardly one in five has either sense enough to see, or strength enough to execute, his trust according to the higher principles of public right. An ordinary sheriff is an ordinary man. He lives on the clearing, where he has to watch over his pigsty and his still. His plan is to receive his pay, and let the world go by. “Our sheriff,” laughs a philosopher in a leather jacket, “ is always square; when any cuss is up, Frank turns his back and lets things slide.”

Sheriff Frank is a typical man. When farmer, butcher, and distiller differ in their views, they fight it out. One party wins, and law becomes again a rude expression of the general will.

On Saturday evening, December 12, 1874, Colonel Sisney, Sheriff of Williamson county, was sitting in his own house, near Carterville, with his brother-in-law, George Hindman, playing a game of dominoes in the fading light. A lamp was lit,

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