When the smoke cleared, a wounded Thompson was arrested and held at the hotel awaiting trial. He was certain to face severe punishment from a judge, if the local citizens didn't take justice into their own hands first.
Billy Thompson’s brother, the lawman and famous gunfighter Ben Thompson, feared that if he came to the rescue, he would end up at the gallows next to his brother, so he called upon his buddy Bat Masterson to help the younger Thompson escape.
Masterson came to Ogallala and smoothly befriended the sheriff's deputy who was assigned as sentinel to guard Billy’s room. Masterson plied the deputy with several rounds of cards and spiked drinks. Eventually, the Drunken Sentinel passed out.
With the deputy slumped over at his watchpost, Masterson then wrapped Billy Thompson in a rug and carried him out of the hotel and to the railroad depot. All the while, the local Sheriff Martin DePrieste was reportedly playing the fiddle as entertainment for a dance at the edge of town.
Thompson and Masterson caught a midnight train bound for North Platte, where Buffalo Bill Cody aided their escape all the way back to Dodge City.
Like all mostly-true stories of the Wild West, we think this one is best recounted over a pint of our American Pale Ale. This crystal-clear pale ale has a pleasant and refreshing hoppy finish that needs no embellishment. As one of our most popular beers on tap, we have a second batch of the Drunken Sentinel in the fermenter already.
H/T to Jason Becknell for naming this one!
Lisa & Richard
Second Chapter Brewing Co-Founders