“Judge Colt’s Eye Growing Dim”

San Bernardino County
May 29, 1927

Old Judge Colt and his jury of six failed to render a decision today, as two miners dueled to a draw in downtown Goffs, California. In a scene reminiscent of a dime novel, prospectors Joe Larrieu and John A. Kousch took their quarrel over claim ownership to the street in front of the Goffs hotel. According to Deputy Sheriff Jack Brown (who "flivvered" 30 miles from Needles to investigate the affair), the duelists readied themselves, took aim, and fired. Larrieu fell first, but the bullet wounds in his foot and left leg didn’t stop him from shooting Kousch in the thigh.

Alas, when the smoke cleared, the combatants weren’t the only injured parties. A bystander, hotelkeeper Mrs. Nell Richardson, received a bullet through the shoulder. (It was impossible to determine who shot Mrs. Richardson, but it should be noted that she was the former Mrs. Kousch.) Neither Larrieu or Kousch wished to make a complaint against the other, and Mrs. Richardson declined to complain against either of them. In spite of this genteel turn of events, assault charges and jail time were anticipated for the duelists.

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