Chapter Ten: The Coburn Mystery [Original Draft]

“San Mateo County Gazette,” July 10, 1875

“Alex Rae (‘Scotty’) , well known and popular agent of Goodall, Nelson and Perkins at Pigeon Point Landing as shot and instantly killed by men named Wolf and three others purported to be in the employ of L. Coburn. Appears parties were lying around watching a chance to take possession of the chute for Mr. Coburn and when ‘Scotty’ went to breakfast about 8 a.m. on Friday morning, leaving a young man in his office, Wolf and associates hauled the young man out of the office. He immediately informed Mr. Rae, who started for the office, when he was met by all four of the fellows and shot through–dead. Five bullets were found to have taken effect, one passing through the heart. Feeling here intense.

On the second of July at Pigeon Point, six miles from Pescadero, Alexander Rae, the wharffinger was killed. L. Coburn and four men with whom he was on intimate terms were at or near the chute on the second, that three of these men were there from San Francisco in his employ, that the fourth had been in some way associated with him, that in Rae’s absence, a young man, Kelly, a telegraphic operator, had charge of the wharf that a man entered and requested him to forward a telegram, that while doing so two other men entered the office and ordered him out, and not obeying as fast as they wished they took hold of his shoulders and pushed him, that once out he ran and notified Rae of what he’d seen. Rae ran around to the barn and took a navy six shooter, that he ran onto the chute, carrying in his right hand, and partly hid behind his person, the pistol that he wished for one of three men at the lower end of the wharf, that assaulter and the assaulted were in full view of six persons, the telegraph operator and five Italians, that the operator and Mr. Fairchild and daughter testified a number of shots fired simultaneously; that Italians testify the three on end of wharf behind a low gate across from wharf; as Scotty approached them, Wolf the central one, spoke and held up his open right hand; that Scotty advanced to the fence, tried to push it down, failed, stepped back, shot twice at Wolf, who bowed more respectfully in recognition of each discharge, then several shots fired. Scotty fell. 4th man on familiar terms with three who did killing, Coburn not far fronm land end of chute at time shooting. Men jailed.

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