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The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 2



The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.59

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cutthroat, dastardly, Electa, estimation, gallows, hearsay, home-grown, posse, sham, shipment, spree, stranglers, vigilant, vigilante, cunning, judgments
     content words:    Henry Plummer, Sheriff Plummer, Sheriff Henry Plummer, When Plummer, Electa Plummer, Was Plummer


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The Outlaw Sheriff of Montana, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The people of the small town of Bannack were pleased. New sheriff Henry Plummer had brought law and order to their streets. In fact, they said, "crime in the area seemed to be played out."
 
2     Plummer sent deputies out when gold shipments left the town. Before, these had been the prime target of thieves. Besides that, the sheriff kept a watchful eye on the miners' camps. The rough and tumble camps were more peaceful than ever before.
 
3     Plummer himself was often seen at dawn, patrolling the streets of Bannack. The new sheriff seemed devoted to his job. Citizens looked up to the lawman. They asked his advice on any number of things. "No man stands higher in the estimation of the community than Henry Plummer," a reporter wrote.
 
4     Still, the gold town was rough around the edges in many ways. Most boom towns had no formal system of justice. The towns had burst into life before anything like that could be put in place. The only law was the home-grown kind. Bands of men took it upon themselves to keep order.
 
5     When a crime took place, the group grabbed a suspect. The charges were recited. The prisoner was declared guilty or not guilty. Those found guilty were hanged on the spot. Those who took part in this kind of law were called vigilantes. (The word "vigilant" means watchful.)

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