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Lost Authors: Murder and Mirth by Fancher Sarchet

On a bleak December day,  Mr Foster and Mr Fleming were at a lodge club on Linden Street drinking beer. A terrific snow storm was raging. About midnight, Ed and Russell left the club for their homes. They made their way through two feet of snow for a block from the club to College and Mountain Avenue, then another block south on College to Oak Street; then they floundered through the snow west on Oak three blocks, which brought them directly across the street from Russell’s home. Here, for the twentieth time, they stopped for a breather.

When Russell caught his breath and could speak, he exclaimed, “My God,  we are never going to make it. We are going to have to go back to the club.” –Murder and Mirth, Fancher Sarchet, 1956

Murder and Mirth is my favorite book about Fort Collins, past or present. Sarchet was a prominent trial lawyer who wrote about hunting, drinking, women in the courts, and sundry trials in Fort Collins from about 1903 to 1956.

His children, grandchildren, and great grand children still live in town.

Although the book is full of intrigue, most historians especially recall the drive by shooting that took out Sarchet’s eye and the bitter oilman thought to be behind the crime. Very serious stuff.

Of course some family members remember a different Sarchet.  “I remember when I was little,” says his great nephew John Tobin. “He  scared the crap out of me when he took his glass eye out in his room at the Brown Palace in Denver. ”

That was Sarchet being funny. “He pulled the glass eye out and cupped it in his hand then opened his hand slowly …”

I recommend this for every fan of Fort Collins history. You can find it at the library, or used copies online (I use Abebooks.com).

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