A handkerchief that happened to be dropped brought an end to the career of California's most colorful stagecoach robber. "Black Bart" had terrorized stage coaches for six years by committing 28 robberies between 1877 and 1883 in the rugged foothills of the Sierra Mountains. He dressed in a long black linen duster with a flour sack over his head, he would hold his shotgun on the driver and demand, "Will you please throw down your treasure box, sir?" The treasure box was usually filled with a gold shipment.
Finally, near Copperopolis, Bart was wounded while escaping a holdup and dropped a handkerchief with the laundry mark, "FXO7." This was traced to San Francisco where police made one of the most surprising arrests in the city's colorful history. "Black Bart" stagecoach robber turned out to be Charles E. Bolton, one of the city's leading citizens. He had a reputation as a non-smoking, non-drinking, God-fearing man with big business interests in gold mines and local banks!
Under interrogation, he finally confessed to his crimes when confronted with the hankie and a positive identification. He was sentenced to make restitution and to serve six years in San Quentin!
Living a Lie
Black Bart was not the first nor will he be the last person to live a lie! In our day, the media is filled with a long parade of people who are finally caught in their lies. When revealed for what they are...disgrace follows, family is embarrassed, their organizations are no longer trusted and more. Even more than this...there is a God who will also be judging such people! Deception is a lousy way to live!
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they might have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murders, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (Revelation 22:14-15).