Steve Largent and his partner, Matt Carroll, were packers operating out of Virginia City in the fall of 1863. They left on December 17, 1863, with two canteens full of gold dust, heading for Fort Benton, on horseback. They had become acquainted with Henry Plummer in Virginia City prior to that, and had told him that they would be carrying a cargo of gold to Fort Benton. They stayed the first night at Dempsey's where Plummer caught up with them, and slept in the same room.
The next day, December 18, 1863, they made it to the Point of Rocks (Beaverhead Rock), where they again met Henry Plummer who told them he was hunting some horses he had lost. Their next stop was to be Bannack. Plummer showed them the way, and told them to sleep in Thompson's store that night. They had just spread their blankets on the floor when Henry Plummer arrived. He slept in the store on the counter that night. The next day, December 20, they took off for Fort Benton, sleeping at the Big Hole crossing, then Deer Lodge, and two nights outside, arriving in Fort Benton on Christmas Eve, 1863. In Largent's own words (as quoted in Judith Basin County Press, Thursday, January 7, 1937)
"Henry Plummer was one of the first men we encountered in Fort Benton, and not until then did we learn the secret of his mysterious behavior. That man who was later executed for misdeeds which he had undoubtedly committed, had ridden for hundreds of miles through the coldest kind of weather in order to serve as our protector. He stayed near us along the trail in order to pass the word to his men that we were not to be troubled, nor was our gold to be touched.Packer Largent wrote this 74 years afterwards, and, like almost all Montanans had absorbed the message of the guilt of Henry Plummer and his gang of "road agents," and so couches his story to conform to the Dimsdale-Langford version. As far as I know this narrative did not come to light until Mather and Boswell in their second book, Vigilante Victims, published in 1991, mentioned it.
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