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The last time he had to shoot an officer of the law, their whole lives had changed. “Well, sort of,” he thought. Back in his beloved Ireland, they had led a life of thievery as well. Making a living as a watchmaker, like their father, had proved to be too difficult for him and his brother; taking money from strangers seemed a much easier prospect. One day a copper had walked into the back room of the pub they were robbing on the outskirts of Limerick. As soon as he saw the cop, he reacted almost instantaneously and pulled the pistol that was in his belt. Cocking the hammer back and aiming at the same time, he then pulled the trigger.

Looking back, it was kind of humorous to watch the reactions of everyone. His brother was picking the lock on the desk drawer, and being totally engrossed in what he was doing, didn’t hear the door open. He almost jumped out of his skin with the report of the shot. After seeing what had happened they were both trying to get out of the door, across the dead man, and away as fast as possible. Just before they got out through the door, the entire patronage from the pub rushed through from the front to see what had happened. He turned to look as everyone piled through and they all stopped for a second to take in the situation. Then all hell broke loose as the crowd shouted at them to stop and they took off running. Several men tried running after them, but had gotten out of the door too late to see which alleyway they had disappeared into. “Good thing we always have a getaway planned,” he thought. Almost twenty men were scouring the streets looking for them, but they had already run several miles away and were hiding at their cousin’s house near the river Shannon.

The next day their cousin came in from town and reported that the entire British authority was looking for them, both policemen and soldiers. Why that cop had walked in the back door of the pub they would never know, but his brother supposed that someone must have seen them go in and reported it. Next they had to decide what to do. Their cousin told them that they wouldn’t be safe anywhere in the country after killing a policeman. After talking it over for a while, they decided to head for America. It wasn’t too far to the sea, and if they left right away maybe they could get on a ship before the manhunt caught up to them.

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