Martinets filled in these details and also the name of the boy-of-the-hour. His
name was "Maxey" Golf and he had the personality to go with such an act. To use
an expression of the day, the kid had "Moxie." The Luger was taken from Ludwig's
hand by the local dentist. Dan watched as the body of Marshall Henry Lindsey was
loaded into the wicker basket from the funeral home's hearse.
Dan explained that Ludwig Cernoch, the man with the Luger, was a working man from
the nearby Hoxie Community. He had done some work for a man who had not paid him
and when he went to collect, he learned that the man had died.
an idea of the deceased, he had had a cement floor put in his barn for his cows,
while his family still had dirt floors. He was a miser of the old school and had
postponed paying Ludwig for months. Anyway, the man's family had words with Ludwig,
refused to pay him and they may have called him a liar. The words got raw and
the Marshall was called. Ludwig had come expecting trouble with the (now dead)
miser, so he had brought his pistol. The Marshall, however, wasn't expecting any
trouble, so he didn't pat down Ludwig, which proved to be a fatal error.
They went to the Justice of the Peace to talk things over and it was decided
to take Mr. Cernoch to the Williamson County Jail. That was about the time Ludwig
introduced his "little friend." Like we mentioned, Ludwig was rather high-strung,
which may have been related to his being "shell-shocked" in WWI.
Now we call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Ludwig might've gotten a reduced
sentence with a sympathetic jury, but in 1934 it was Murder period, and Ludwig
was electrocuted within 90 days. The crowd had asked Ludwig if he knew he had
killed two men, and his reply was "so, what? I killed hundreds in the war." It
was a sad day for everyone. And Dan had to go to school alone the next day thinking
about mortality. Grief Counseling hadn't been invented yet.
interesting note: During the initial frenzy immediately after the shots, people
asked who had been shooting. The answer was "Cernoch," which is a Czech surname,
but literally translates as "blackman." The simple one-word reply to Czech ears,
might've led them to look for a Black Man, but Cernoch's failure to leave the
scene, quickly ended the misunderstanding.
© John Troesser
Texas | Granger
Through The Years | Texas