The mythbusters mantra

In researching holstory we need to establsh no more than 'plausible' once we clear the hurdle that is 'busted', because for 'confirmed' one would have to have irrefutable proof of every claim and it's been too bloody long since these old claims were made to achieve that every time.

So, for example, my theory that Sam Myres' shop was burned down in 1919 by his Randall stitcher (these have a wax pot through which the linen thread passed, heated by an open flame), was later confirmed by his son Bill Myres. The wax pot is that small blue box at top dead center of this Campbell that is the identical machine (as is one of the Landis); notice the brass nut that is the entrance for the thread:

And elow is Bill Myres in 1986. He was b. 1903 so was old enough to have a clear view of the 1919 event, and Sam contemporaneously had reported to Randall that the machine was at the center of the fire itself. I'm willing to call this one 'confirmed' because there is no evidence that doesn't fit:

Anyhoo, the reason for my post is Butch Cassidy. This decade there have been two auctions for Butch's gunleather and one is surely plausible, and one is surely busted; and they are Butch's holster by A.W. Brill of Austin (link below) and his holster set by Andrews & Hills of El Paso (link later in this post):

Below, the Brill. Or so the auction states in displaying the Brill mark using an insert pic but none on the holster itself; so is it really on the holster at all? The issue being that Butch was reported killed in 1908 and A.W. Brill was not established until 1912 by the well-publicized purchase by August Brill in 1912 (two newspaper accounts) of the Kluge Bros saddlery in Austin.

Typically the Brill marking appears on the cuff encircling the holster pocket so we're already suspicious, yes? Indeed it has the construction details of an 'early' Brill made by Charles Kluge himself for August Brill. And the Sunday scabbard itself was created in 1907 for which we have the testimony of its inventor, N.J. Rabensburg of nearby LaGrange saddlery. So it's the MARK that's the problem; unmarked it's at least faintly possible that Butch could have at least touched it; but with the mark it is NOT unless one is a conspiracy theorist (that he wasn't really killed in 1908).

In contrast we have the set including an SAA all of which is allegedly Butch's. The holster set is in rough shape so that's plausible; and Butch's criminal career was 1889 to 1899 (Wiki). The maker's mark can barely be made out: it's by Andrews and Hills (on the belt's tongue):

Below is the A&H mark shown is from another holster. Andrews and Hills is a genuine 19th century (only) maker, in the sense that the operation was formed in that century and dissolved in that century too. Established 1886 it became the original El Paso Saddlery in 1890 and formally incorporated with a third partner named Ausin.

So for this particular Butch Cassidy set we must say 'plausible' because there is nothing that says "couldn't be": the maker existed in the West when Butch was living a life of crime and also dissolved before Butch's 1899 capture. And the holster itself is the Mexican loop holster of the very, very late 19th century. Nor is there any machine sewing in evidence. So the set can't be 'busted', and yet it can't be 'confirmed'; but it's ownership is absolutely 'plausible'.

And really, 'plausible' is the minimum requirement for a tale to appear in Holstory. "Confirmed" is plentiful but 'proved' is impossible; even the living players lie :-).

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