It was 1889.
T. S Schnoply was an enterprising young man, one of the first of fifteen homesteaders to take up residence in what we now know as the town of Sockdolager, Arizona. He was joined by his wife Beth, and his dim witted brother Sammy. Beth was a wealthy New York socialite who was briefly attractive in her twenties, just long enough for Schnoply to take notice, court her and then propose to her. She cared primarily for gossip, expensive dresses and pompous dinner parties.
A lifestyle Schnoply abhorred. He hated gossip, expensive dresses looked terrible on him and the dinner parties had become so boring he passed the time by falling asleep face down in his lobster bisque. He infamously did this at a Governors ball while a mouthy young Theodore Roosevelt spoke ad nauseam about his dream of becoming President and perhaps one day killing hundreds of animals while on Safari.
Growing tired and weary of his luxurious but monotonous life in New Yorks Upper West side, fed up with thoughts of jumping from his apartment window or hijacking a locomotive and seeing what happens, Schnoply decided it was time for an adventure, to set forth into the wild untamed American west in true pioneering spirit.
A man on Broadway had given him a brochure touting the endless possibilities of life on the American frontier. When Schnoply asked him why if it was so great, was he in New York wearing a tattered suit handing out brochures to strangers, the man threw the remaining brochures into the air and legged it barefoot down an alleyway laughing like a mad man. Nevertheless, Schnoply wasn’t to be deterred, he felt something stir inside him. He wanted to answer the call of the unknown. He insisted his wife join him. She was the one with all the money and nobody could quite fold his shirts the way she could. Being a dutiful wife, she obliged but complained the entire five month wagon journey.
Schnoply did his best to ignore her constant disapproval, either be whistling over her or screaming loudly and constantly, sometimes for miles until she became unnerved and kept quite for a while. The screams of course attracted unwanted attention and they were inevitably set upon by highwaymen. Fortunately, Sammy was with them. Schnoply adored his younger brother, he wasn’t the shiniest penny in the bank, downright retarded some folks would say, but what he lacked in wits he made up for in 240 pounds of American braun. He was truly a large man, curious children would often whisper to their mothers as they passed him in the streets, “mommy, is he a giant?”, to which many would reply “of course he’s a giant you little idiot, look at the size of him.”
Sammy could also move surprisingly fast for a big man, the first time they were set upon, Sammy was off the wagon and embedding his fists into the skulls of two men before they even had a chance to aim their rifles. One forceful blow was all it took from Sammy, and a man would be on the ground unconscious, waking hours later with no memory of his childhood or what happened to his front teeth. Usually now just a layer of white dust around his mouth.
All in all, Sammy knocked the stuffing out of eleven highwaymen and one horse between New York and Arizona. After each knockout, Schnoply found himself more and more in awe of his brothers ability to wallop a man. It didn’t go unnoticed by Beth either, as Sammy clobbered a man in Missouri, she found herself circling her breast with her fingers and biting her bottom lip. Schnoply failed to notice his wife’s newfound attraction.
“Hot damn, Sammy!” He said, standing over the twitching body of a fat highwayman, “I bet you could pulverise a bear if it came to it.”
Sammy hadn’t been able to take his eyes off a shimmering silver timepiece in the fat highwayman’s waist coat pocket. He pointed.
“Do- do you think I could have that, big brother?”
“Now normally I don’t, or won’t, condone stealing Sammy, you know that, but in this instance, I’ve no doubt this fat man stole it from some poor nice folks along this very road. So, go on ahead and take it kid. I know how much you like shiny things.”
The fat highwayman in fact hadn’t stolen it. It was a family heirloom passed down over three generations, but Schnoply wasn’t to know that, and it would later prove to be the catalyst for his demise.
It was a Tuesday morning in Spring when Schnoply’s wagon rolled past the red rock buttes and steep canyons to the beginnings of a new town. Several homesteaders were already well under way to building their new homes with wood from the surrounding pine forests. Back in those days, much like we all know how to make a phone call, everybody knew how to knock together a house out of pine wood. They could practically do it in their sleep. Schnoply was no exception, but he had a wealthy wife. It made perfect sense to use her wealth to hire other people to build his house for him. It also made sense to use her wealth to build something other than a house. He decided he wanted to own a hotel and saloon.
“For a town to grow and thrive my dear, it’s got to have a place where visitors can stay a while and spend some money.” He explained to his wife.
“Will it have a bar?”
“Of course it will, people don’t visit anywhere unless they can possibly get drunk.”
“Fine. Sounds like a wonderful idea. I’d also to like to spend my time here getting drunk.” She said signing a cheque.
“Whatever keeps you happy dear.”
Schnoply soon had a healthy workforce of men standing by to build his hotel and saloon (yet to be named), he just needed a place to build it. He saw his ideal patch of land by upper Ash Creek. He spoke to Glen, a fellow pioneer who seemed to be one of those know it all types who’d taken on an unofficial leadership role within the group.
“Is that lot of land over there for sale?” He asked Glen.
“That land? No. I don’t think so.”
“Who are those people over there?”
‘Indians. The Chiktaw tribe, I believe. That’s why the land isn’t for sale.”
“Do they always do that?”
The Indians stood by their camp, still as statues, staring over at the homesteaders.
“Yeah, they pretty much spend most days just looking on over here. I wave every morning… but they never wave back.”
“Well they’re standing exactly where I want to build my hotel and saloon. Think I can negotiate with them?”
Glen shrugged his shoulders.
“Worth a try.”
Schnoply walked over to the Indian chief, or the man he assumed was the chief, basically he walked over to the guy with the biggest feather hat on his head. He introduced himself and pulled a revolver from his belt holster. He began firing it into the air until the entire Chiktaw tribe scattered into the nearby forest. Shamefully so, respect toward the Indians was pretty non existent in those early pioneering days, unlike present day America where we gift them small allotments of land we aren’t interested in and let them build casinos. Schnoply whistled to his builders and work on his hotel and saloon began. Astonishingly, within a month it was complete.
The Thousand Nails Hotel and Saloon.
Truth be told, it likely had more than a thousand nails hammered into its construction, but Schnoply hoped nobody would ever be bothered to count. A guy tried one evening, but gave up at about the three-hundred mark, because counting nails isn’t as an exciting an idea as it might first seem. Sammy liked the name and clapped profusely when he heard it for the first time. It was the same reaction he gave when offered ice cream or if he spotted a butterfly. When Schnoply asked Beth for her opinion, she fell to the floor, dress hitched up over her head, and began snoring like a walrus. Since she’d decided to become a drunk, it was how most of their conversations tended to finish.
The Thousand Nails Hotel and Saloon was truly a grand structure. It became the origin of a burgeoning Main Street that soon featured a doctors surgery run by old Doc Wilson, though it turned out Doc Wilson wasn’t actually a doctor, and had no medical experience. But that’s how it was in the old west, credentials didn’t matter, just a pioneering spirit. Across the street from the doctor was the Sheriffs office, held by Jim Langmore, a former lawman from Wyoming. His first act as sheriff was to arrest Doc Wilson after he amputated the leg of a man who went to see him about an ear ache.
Soon a bank opened, along with a livery, general store and a church. Father Henderson was a nice enough fella, very respected, but he was fiercely against alcohol and would often protest outside The Thousand Nails Hotel and Saloonwith a hand painted sign warning Schnoply’s patrons to stay away from the perils of whiskey, or the devils urine as he consistently called it. Fortunately, most folks ignored him and many even embraced his rhetoric. “Evening Schnoply,” patrons would say as they pulled up a stool at the bar, “glass of devils urine please, make it a double.”
The only thing really missing in the town, beside a name of course, but hold onto your hats, we’ll get to that, was a post office. Hence why mail took a hell of a long time to arrive. Usually a man on a donkey would just turn up out of nowhere one day with a bunch of letters, shouting out names and swearing.
Schnoply was tending the bar when his half drunk wife stumbled through the swinging saloon doors waving a letter in her hand.
“Beth my dear,” Schnoply grinned as he cleaned a glass with a shabby rag, “You’re still able to walk, it must be before midday.”
Sammy, who was sitting at a table, checked his shiny silver timepiece.
“Not noon yet.” He called out, blissfully pleased with himself.
Beth slammed the letter down on top of the bar.
“It’s from daddy, he’s cutting me off.”
Schnoply’s wealthy New York socialite wife was no longer wealthy. It turns out building the hotel and saloon was quite costly and Schnoply was terrible at managing money. Every day of it’s construction Schnoply had hired yet another man to speed up the build. And the entire town knew he spared no expense sourcing the finest hand made furniture to place within its walls, he bragged about it to whoever would listen. Rich oak tables and chairs, soft cloud like mattresses for the guest rooms, brass edging around the bar and several dozen pieces of commissioned artwork to adorn the walls.
Then of course came the constant cost of ordering barrels of whiskey, beer and the odd bottle of imported French wine. Most of which was drunk by his wife and not actually paid for by patrons. The Thousand Nails Hotel and Saloonwas struggling to turn a profit. Without Beth’s family money unwittingly bankrolling the venture, they were in real financial trouble. The towns population had grown to fifty people, but half of those didn’t drink (one was Father Henderson, several were children, and women weren’t allowed in a saloon unless they were employees or wearing a fake moustache). To make matters worse, given the town didn’t have a name and wasn’t on any official maps, the only visitors the hotel and saloon received were people who’d gotten lost and wanted to use the bathroom.
Schnoply became depressed, he longed for his former life in New York, high in his luxury apartment, out on a window ledge, ready to jump. He contemplated jumping from one of The Thousand Nails (as it simply came to be known) top floor windows. But it was only two storeys high with an awning covering the porch below. He’d likely just sprain an ankle, and with Doc Wilson in jail there wouldn’t be any chance of receiving medical attention.
With jumping from a window not a viable suicide option, Schnoply figured he’d just blow his brains out with the shotgun he kept behind the bar. He’d pen a letter beforehand saying ‘sorry about the mess’. When he entered the Thousand Nails late one afternoon for what he supposed would be the final time, he discovered a crowd of people surrounding his brother who was standing over four unconscious men. They weren’t just any men. Turns out they were members of the notorious Flinton gang. Sammy had his boot on the chest of Big Buck Flinton himself. A man famous for once punching a Texas Ranger so hard his head fell off.
“They tried to rob us, big brother.” Sammy said.
“Your brother hit them like a charging bull.” Said Willy, the town blacksmith, “Buck Flinton down there struck him in the jaw, but he may as well’ve been tickling your brother with a feather. Word is going to spread about this, mark my word. He’ll be famous.”
It was at that moment that Schnoply decided then and there that his own brother was the solution to his financial vexation. He knew that what The Thousand Nailsneeded was visitors. But visitors needed a reason to come to town in the first place. Sammy was it. They’d come for a shot at winning $100 if they could knock down the man who single handedly defeated the Flinton Gang. Schnoply told everyone in town to spread the word to passers by or in letters they sent across the county. It took some months, but eventually the wagons rolled in and people came.
It was always the same show, a crowd gathered around the streets in front of The Thousand Nails as some would be challenger rolled up his sleeves, put up his dukes and took his best swing at Sammy’s jaw. Sure, some folks connected, one or two even messed up his hair, but not one man could ever knock Sammy down. For their trouble they all ended up on their back staring up at a blazing sun. Sammy began to earn many nicknames, ‘The Beast Who Broke the Flinton Gang’, ’The Human Anvil’ or the one that stuck most, Sammy ‘Sockdolager’ Schnoply.
For a time, business at the Thousand Nailswas great, the devils urine was flowing and the guest beds were being filled, but it could have been better, word had to spread faster, letters to every nearby town and city needed to be sent out, and quickly before Sammy’s notoriety wore thin. The irregular donkey service just wasn’t cutting it. The town needed a proper professional post office. The postmaster general in Washington D.C was in favour of establishing a post office in the town, but warned the town required a name.
A post office in a town with no name would make a mockery of the entire postal system. Schnoply hadn’t thought about that. He took the decision of a name to a town meeting. Several ideas were tossed about in the church hall, including Glen’s suggestion of New Glenland, and Father Henderson’s insistence on Lordsville, but ultimately it was a drunk Beth who called out from the back of the room, “What- what about Sockdolager? That’s the nickname they give Sammy isn’t it? He’s the reason,” She slurred, “He’s the reason everybody is coming here.”
Sockdolager it was. The vote was almost unanimous, Father Henderson still insisted on Lordsville, and after a tense negotiation, Glen was happy to accept a street being named after him.
For a solid year people from all over America came to Sockdolager to either fight Sammy or watch him fight. And, boy oh boy did he fight a lot of men, most nights as a matter of fact. Problem was, Sammy never lost, never even came close, and as quickly as the post office helped spread word of his fame, it also spread word of his invincibility. Once their jaws recovered and they could speak again, the countless men Sammy had knocked out began to attest to his invincibility. One of them happened to be a reporter who wrote a piece in the New York Times entitled ‘The Sockdolager Chimera’. He compared the $100 prize money to chasing a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, only at least with the rainbow you didn’t get punched in the face and laughed at so much. Soon, people stopped coming to Sockdolager altogether.
Schnoply sat down in the Thousand Nails with Sammy and the towns Mayor (it had a Mayor now) for a crisis meeting. It was no longer just the Thousand Nailswho relied on the influx of visitors Sammy brought in, the entire town had benefited, from the prostitutes to the gravedigger.
“What if we proposed more prize money?” The Mayor suggested.
“We could offer $10,000 and it wouldn’t matter, no man can knock Sammy down, it’s as simple as that, Mr Mayor.”
Schnoply gave himself an idea.
“No man.” He said, “I’ve got it. Sammy could fight one of those deadly Arizona bark scorpions I’ve heard about.”
“Ah-ha, those are, I mean they aren’t small… as far as critters go, but your brother here could just crush it with his boot. It’d be all over in a matter of seconds.”
“Doesn’t this state have any giant scorpions? Perhaps the size of a dragon?”
“Well how about if he fights a bear? We’ve got plenty of those. We’ll put out word and charge folks $5 a piece to watch.”
The Mayor glanced at Sammy.
“A bear? Are you comfortable with that son?”
Sammy looked at Schnoply who nodded at him.
“Yes.” He replied.
“It’s settled then,” declared the Mayor, “One month from today he’ll fight a bear. I’ll have the Sheriff gather some men to head into the forest and find one. For the good of the town.”
“Biggest bear they can find Mr Mayor.” Schnoply said, slapping his brother on the back. If Sammy was worried, and he was, he didn’t show it. He just lowered his head and stroked his silver timepiece. Some historians have suggested that if only Sammy had thrown a fight or two, allowing the prize money to be won on occasion, it may have kept folks coming back to Sockdolager for more.
Beth managed to convince her father to have his printing firm run a bunch of posters featuring a drawing of Sammy striking the snout of a grizzly bear with the words ‘MAN VS BEAR, ONE NIGHT ONLY, SOCKDOLAGER, ARIZONA, JUNE 26TH- no flash photography’, written underneath it. Soon the poster was in just about every town and city in America. When acclaimed novelist Mark Twain saw it, he was rumoured to grab his valet by the shirt collar and say, “Pack my trunk good sir, we’re taking a trip to Sockdolager. My next great American novel can wait, we’re going to see the great American bear fight.”
On the eve of the bear fight, Schnoply was feeling on top of the world, folks from all over the country had poured into town. The Thousand Nails was thriving, the guest rooms were at capacity. He was so jovial in fact, he decided to leave his hotel and saloon early and offer some rare affection to his wife. Over the past few weeks, for reasons he couldn’t explain, she’d sobered up. Her smile had returned and she took to socialising with some of the towns ladies over lemonade by Ash Creek in the afternoons. She’d returned to her old self which Schnoply decided, wasn’t all bad to begin with.
‘Beth dear, are you home?” He called out as he stepped softly across the creaking floors of his modest home.
He heard something in the bedroom. When he opened the door he caught a glimpse of his wife naked on the bed before she quickly pulled the sheets to cover herself.
“Beth? What’s the meaning of this?”
“T.S dear,” She said, “why, I was just about to entertain a solid nights rest. I want to be fresh as a daisy for the fight tomorrow.”
“You’re naked. You don’t sleep naked- and it isn’t even night.”
Schnoply walked around the bed and to an open window, he closed it. On the bedside table he spotted a silver timepiece glinting in the beam of afternoon sunlight that streamed into the room. He picked it up.
“This is Sammy’s, he’s never without it… why do you have it? Why ’s it here?”
Beth tilted her head and gave him a pitying look that told him he already knew the answer to his questions.
“You, and my brother?”
She shrugged her shoulders.
“I’m at a loss, Beth, why? Aren’t I enough? We make love every year on your birthday do we not?”
Schnoply glanced at the window he’d just closed.
“Did he climb out this window just now?”
She nodded. Schnoply put the pocket watch in his pocket.
“Son of a bitch. Where’s he going?”
He didn’t wait around for an answer, he knew exactly where Sammy would be, at The Thousand Nails, sitting at his usual table, whistling dixie and pretending like nothing happened. Schnoply was incensed that his brother would take him for a fool, and that he slept with his wife, but that part was more confusing than anything. Sammy had always struggled to even put his boots on the correct feet, so the thought of him managing the physical complexities associated with making love to a woman was downright baffling. The sun had all but vanished over the horizon as Schnoply marched along Main Street destined for a showdown with his younger brother.
A man whistled at him.
Schnoply stopped. From the shadows of the porch outside the town brothel (newly opened with a two for one offer on Mondays) stood a man with a cigarette in his mouth. A soft red glow illuminated the gruff beard that clung firmly onto his fat face.
“Are you Schnoply?” The man asked.
“Me… you just heard me ask.”
Another man emerged from the brothel, he stepped off the porch and into the fading light.
“Evening father Henderson.” Said Schnoply with a little wave.
Father Henderson smiled awkwardly as he quickly walked on down Main Street, after several yards, when he assumed nobody was watching him, he started to run. The poor man blindly trusted his brothel visits were unbeknownst to the town folk. But in a town of less than one hundred, keeping secrets was difficult. The man didn’t even bother to take his clerical collar off for Christ’s sake. The stranger with the cigarette approached. He stood close, and breathed a cloud of smoke into Schnoply’s face.
“Can I help you sir?” Schnoply asked as he waved the smoke away.
“You don’t seem to remember me?”
“Seems that way.”
The man suddenly thrust the barrel of a Colt .38 into Schnoply’s gut and clicked the hammer down.
“This helping your memory any?”
“No. If anything it’s making it worse, all I can think about now is your gun pressed against my stomach.”
“You and your giant stole something from me?”
“What in blazes are you talking about?” Schnoply said leaning past the man and squinting toward the brothel entrance, “how much liquor did those whores give you?”
The man pushed the gun barrel further into his stomach.
“My friends and I tried to rob you some time ago on the wagon trail, your giant smacked the daylights out of us then stole my silver timepiece.”
Acutely aware that he had the silver timepiece the gentleman was referring to in his pocket, and still reeling with a desire to seek vengeance on his brother, Schnoply formulated a plan.
“I can get you your timepiece, and see that the man who stole it from you is brought to justice. Meet me outside the Sheriff’s office tomorrow afternoon.”
After a few moments thought and some more shoving his gun barrel into Schnoply’s stomach, the man agreed and tipped his hat goodnight. Schnoply smiled to himself in a manner that only a man who’d concocted a devious plan could. Instead of heading to The Thousand Nails he ventured into the brothel and spent the evening sleeping with all nine of its prostitutes including Three Foot Annie and the one legged lady with the lisp.
The following morning Schnoply stood outside his house with his hands in his pockets. Beth was gone, probably headed back to New York. He never saw her again but heard rumours she’d married a banker and had twenty-seven children. He contemplated burning the house to the ground, but first he needed to deal with Sammy. The big man was at his regular table in The Thousand Nails, reading a newspaper upside down. He couldn’t read. In fact most people in town couldn’t read. This was of great annoyance to Mark Twain who’d brought with him a whole crate full of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn novels to sell. One man offered him $3 for just the crate. So insulted was he, that Mark Twain, America’s greatest author, took the man by the collar of his shirt and violently slapped him until he lost his sense of taste.
There was a genuine atmosphere of excitement in Sockdolager, folks began taking up positions around Main Street, to ensure a prime viewing of Sammy going fist to paw with the bear. The creature in question was a fearsome sight to behold. The hunting party Sheriff Langmore had gathered to capture it lost two men. Nothing to do with the bear, they just wandered off one night and couldn’t find their way back to the camp site, as far as Sheriff Langmore knew they were still wandering the forest somewhere. Capturing the bear proved easier than anyone had anticipated. The Sheriff discovered he could lull the beast into a trance by playing the harmonica. He had the animal caged up on a cart behind The Thousand Nails where a Chinaman was teaching it to play chess.
Schnoply asked his brother to take a walk with him. The gathering crowd outside the hotel and saloon cheered as they caught a glimpse of Sammy. As he grinned and waved at everyone Schnoply slipped the silver timepiece into his brother’s coat pocket.
“Good luck Mr Sammy.” A boy called out.
“Make a rug out of that bear.” Another man yelled.
“Touch me inappropriately.” Cried a young woman.
The Sheriff stood on the porch to his office, along with the fat man Schnoply had spoken to outside the brothel the previous night. Sammy stopped walking. He recognised the highwayman immediately. He balled up his fist.
“Easy, Sammy.” Schnoply said.
“Morning, Schnoply… Sammy,” the Sheriff nodded, “Is this him?” He asked the highwayman.
“That’s him. He stole my timepiece while I was walking through the woods… just minding my own business… innocently.”
Schnoply rolled his eyes but had agreed not to protest the highwayman’s story.
“Sammy, son, theft isn’t taken lightly out west I’m afraid. I’ll have to ask you to turn out your pockets.”
Poor confused Sammy looked at his brother, unable to mentally formulate the right words to defend himself. Schnoply shrugged his shoulders.
“Best just cooperate, Sammy.”
Sammy began turning out his pockets. A moment later the silver timepiece fell from his coat pocket and onto the dirt by his feet. The highwayman scurried to pick it up. He inspected it before nodding at the Sheriff. Langmore sighed and shook his head.
“Sammy, I’m going to have to put you behind bars for a few days until we can get you in front of a judge. You’ll likely have to pay a fine, maybe even spend a month of two down in Fort Bull. I’m sorry son. Law is the law.”
Schnoply smiled, Fort Bull was widely regarded as the most feared prison in the state. It was filled with the most hardened criminals and the scariest guards. They’d routinely wear ghost costumes (a sheet with eye holes cut out) and jump out at unsuspecting inmates while they showered.
Sammy was dumfounded. He struggled to get his words out.
“But big brother, he- I, it shouldn’t be in my pocket, I- I…”
“Left it somewhere else?”
Sammy nodded. At that moment, as thick as he was, he knew that his big brother was aware of what he’d done with Beth. He put up no resistance as the sheriff put him in a pair of cowboy kisses and led him away. Some folks in the crowd had noticed. What had transpired didn’t escape the attention of the mayor either. He grabbed Schnoply by the arm.
“Schnoply,” He said lowering his voice. “What the devil is the meaning of this? Why’s the Sheriff locking Sammy up?”
“Mr Mayor… it saddens me to tell you that my brother is a thief, a liar and an adulterer.”
The mayor stepped in close, gritting his teeth as he whispered through them.
“I don’t care if he’s stolen the Mona Lisa, told a hundred lies or slept with the wife of every man in Sockdolager, my own included, we’ve taken $5 from every son of a bitch, woman and child visiting our town. They’ve all travelled here to see your brother fight a bear… if we don’t deliver, they’ll burn us to the ground. I guarantee it.”
The Mayor was right. Schnoply had a solution.
“I’ll have to fight the bear.”
“What? You’ll be killed.”
“I’m not sure I even care, Sheriff. My own little brother betrayed me and my wife is gone. But then again, I probably deserved it, I wasn’t a good husband truth be told. I took Beth for granted, I did. I got used to her money… but stopped noticing her.”
Sheriff Langmore had the bears cage brought to the middle of Main Street, outside The Thousand Nails. Schnoply stood in front of it with his shirt off, a decision that drew a mixture of applause and cries of “put your God damn shirt back on” from the crowd. He raised his fists and nodded to the Sheriff who tentatively unlocked the cage. He swung the door open and hurried clear amidst the onlookers. The bear let out a deep guttural growl and lumbered out of the cage, furious that the Chinaman had checkmated him. Mark Twain nudged his valet in the ribs and chuckled as he pointed to creature. Schnoply took a deep breath, stepped forward and punched it in the snout to the gasps of onlookers. The bear was momentarily stunned. Instead of collapsing to the ground unconscious as Schnoply hoped, it sneezed and then rose tall onto its hind legs. Just when Schnoply figured the great creature was about to kill him, the bear thumped back down onto its forelegs and ran into the screaming crowd, batting several of them aside. It ended up in the butchers store chewing on a pig carcass. When it got bored of that, it jumped on a horse and rode out of town into the sunset.
Schnoply survived the day.
Sammy was eventually fined $100. He avoided any prison time on account of being a simpleton- he’d clap wildly every time the judge threw down his gavel and would yell “more, more!”. He and Schnoply never spoke again. Sammy moved back to New York where he served a term as Governor before eventually joining a circus sideshow as a freak who ate glass. Besides the obvious complications that occurred with his profession, a visit to the John could prove particularly nasty, he led a good life. His older brother though didn’t fair so well. T. S Schnoply took to drinking heavily and gambling, he eventually lost The Thousand Nails in a game of Three-card Monte. He roamed the west as a drifter before the US Marshals inevitably caught up with him for selling whiskey to Indians. He spent the remainder of his days in Fort Bull. He died one morning in 1912 from a heart attack after a guard in a ghost costume scared the shit out of him while he showered.
As for Sockdolager, well the name and the town both live on.