By Art Downs
The far-ranging officials of the BC Provincial Police lined a space higher than California, Oregon, and Washington mixed. In Yukon, a strength of 19 Mounties have been charged with upholding the legislation throughout all of Arctic Canada. Set in frontier cities and rural groups from Vancouver Island to the Rocky Mountains to Herschel Island, Yukon, the tales during this assortment demonstrate the real-life hardships and triumphs of policing during the growth and bust years of the early 20th century.
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Additional resources for The Law and the Lawless. Frontier Justice in British Columbia and Yukon, 1913-1935
At 10:15 on that April morning, he walked peacefully up New Hazelton’s main street, bucket in hand, toward the community’s water pump. As he strolled along the dusty street, he little realized that he was about to exchange the water bucket for his rifle, a weapon he handled as skillfully as the Bible. At the same time, Al Gaslin, New Hazelton’s postmaster, who doubled as manager of Lynch’s Hardware Store, was in the little log building that served as a branch of the Union Bank of Canada. “Going to be quiet around here from now on,” he said to teller Bob Bishop, basing his prediction on the fact that construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was nearing completion.
Oh, I know a number of newspaper men,” he volunteered. From that introduction, we drifted into a discussion of literature, and I found that the pleasant stranger was a great admirer of Browning. Suddenly, he looked at his watch. ” He bounced out of the room, turning at the door to smile at me. ” When I stepped through the little door into the high-walled courtyard of the jail, the first man I saw, to my surprise, was my companion at the breakfast table. He rushed up to me. “You didn’t know you had the honour of breakfasting with the public executioner,’’ he said.
So far no one in the town suspected anything amiss at the bank. The unshaven lookout man in his work clothes resembled any other construction labourer waiting for a friend in the bank. After all, the town was full of foreigners, and at least fifty of them were Russians. The only difference was the man outside the bank was holding a Winchester rifle under his mackinaw. Inside the bank, the cash drawers had been looted of some $1,300, and in one corner, Gaslin was still trying to argue the gang out of keeping his cheques.