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Bill Troutwine: Donna & The Hound Dog
Bill Troutwine, Pellyton, was in town Thursday afternoon for he ballot position drawing in the Adair County Clerk's office (See: Election 2014: Ballot positions, primary election, May 20, 2014 to find out how he did) and I asked if he'd share another of his great stories, and he graciously consented to do so, sending "Donna & the Hound Dog." - ED WAGGENER
Click on headline for complete story with photo(s) The next earlier Bill Troutwine story: Buster the Wild Mustang: A Tribute to a Great Horse Posted January 15, 2014
By Bill Troutwine
Because the below story was written for people familiar with the circumstances of my arrival in Petroleum County I have included this supplement to bring CM readers up to speed prior to reading this story.
The former sheriff of Petroleum County resigned unexpectedly. Some say it was because of the Montana Freemen. The Freemen were an anti-government, anti-authority group who wound up in a 6 month stand off with the FBI and local authorities. The stand off took place in Garfield County just across the Musselshell River which is the boundary between Garfield and Petroleum Counties. Most of the Freemen who escaped prosecution lived in Petroleum County and, because of the Freemen the County officials were having a hard time finding anyone to replace the sheriff, so they were forced to go outside the county to find someone dumb enough to take the sheriff's position.
I heard about the job opening, and thought it sounded interesting so after some negotiation I accepted the job. From the time the former Sheriff resigned, until I arrived there was a local part-time deputy who was the only law the county had. Once I arrived the part-time Deputy told me of the subpoena, and said it needed serving immediately. I asked him to go with me to serve it, but he quit his part-time position rather than go with me. The following is the story as I wrote it 4 years ago for the Petroleum County history book supplement.
Donna and the Hound Dog
This story appeared in 2010 supplement to "The Pages of Time," a history book about Petroleum County, Montana
My first day on the job as the new sheriff, I was handed a subpoena for a certain individual (name withheld), who supposedly had ties to the Montana Freemen. These papers had been lying around the office for about a month or two, but due to the unpredictable nature of this person, it was decided to wait for the new sheriff and let him serve them. I took the papers reluctantly, as I had heard of this individual's reputation prior to moving to Winnett. Knowing I was new in town, and knowing if I showed any fear, I would never last in such a large, remote area with me as the only full time law enforcement person in the entire county. So the night of my second day as sheriff, I decided to go to this individual's ranch, and serve him with the subpoena. I knew by serving him at night, I would more than likely catch him at home, and he would have a hard time avoiding the service.
That night during supper, I told Donna of my plans. She said she didn't want me going alone to serve the papers, so she volunteered to go with me. The place we were going was well off the road and remote even by Montana standards. We would be out of radio or cell phone contact with anyone. As we arrived, I had to go through a gate and drive some distance to the house. At the house, I told Donna to wait in the patrol car, and if anything went wrong, take off in the car as fast as she could and get help. I said, "Don't stop at the gate, just bust through it, and keep driving until you get back to Winnett."
I told her I would just meet the person at the door and hand him the papers, and we would leave. When I knocked on the door, his wife came to the door, and the man was sitting at the kitchen table. He could see me at the door from where he sat. He yelled out, "Howdy I guess you must be the new Sheriff! Come on in, sit down and have a cup of coffee." I felt he was trying to intimidate me, so I walked right in and said, "Well howdy, I believe I will."
So we sat there at the table drinking coffee, and I handed him his papers. He took them without incident, and we talked for a while. I didn't leave right away, because I wanted to give the impression that I wasn't intimidated by him. Donna had been waiting in the car all this time, which was nearly 30 minutes, and she was getting worried. So she got out of the car, sneaked around the house, and looked in the windows trying to see if I was alright. Well, about the time she was sneaking around the house, I got up to leave, and as she walked around back I was walking to the front door so she never saw me leave the house. She said that she started to think they had knocked me in the head and hid my body somewhere.
I got to the car, and Donna was gone. I could not imagine where she was, because I had told her to stay with the car. I figured I would start the car, and Donna would hear it, and come to it. Well, she did, but not quite like I expected. When she heard the car start, Donna started running as hard as she could. She was on the back side of the house. She said she didn't know who started the car, but one thing she did know; that car was not leaving the place without her. Well, there was an old hound dog lying behind the house asleep. He had no idea anyone was around. As Donna came around the house, she tripped over the dog. That old hound started yelping and barking and running behind Donna. The first thing I saw was Donna coming around the corner of the house, as fast as she could run, looking back to see if the dog was chasing her. The old hound dog was right on her heels, barking, running as fast as he could, and he was looking back thinking what ever had disturbed his sleep must be chasing him. She literally dove into the car. The old hound dog kept on running out across a field still yelping and howling like his tail was on fire. Donna said "I'm gonna kill you myself, if you don't get me out of here NOW"
After we were out of there, she gave me quite a chewing out for going in the house and leaving her sitting there wondering what was happening to me. She said that she would never go with me to another law enforcement situation again. She said, she would stick with the beauty shop, and leave the law enforcement to me. She stayed true to her word. I couldn't even get her to ride in my patrol vehicle after that. - BILL TROUTWINE, Pellyton, Adair County, KY
This story was posted on 2014-01-31 08:47:58
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