Today I visited the Colorado State Archives again and sifted through five boxes of court records. Three of them held nothing of interest, the fourth is one I've used frequently, but the fifth box was a gold mine! I recognized many names in the court cases. I also found the court case of a gentleman who escaped from the Buena Vista jail with Ernest. This case even had a grand jury indictment for breaking out of jail which included all of the men who escaped. This defendant also had an original excuse for claiming he did not steal the horse for which he was sentenced to prison--he was too intoxicated by liquor at the time to steal anything.
The highlight of my day happened when a gentleman walked by my table and asked how my research was going. Then he introduced himself as Terry Ketelsen. I immediately recognized the name of the State Archivist and I was thrilled to visit with him. He asked about what I was researching and asked me about the story when I told him I am writing a book. He was interested in the types of sources I am using and where I am finding them. He also asked me how I got started in my interest in Colorado history and in this story. We had a very enjoyable conversation.
Meeting interesting people is one of the benefits of writing this book. What an adventure!