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Nov 13, 2013 | The Rev. John Price

Small Gesture Secures Safety

[Diolog Magazine] My father, Armstrong Price, was chief of a Standard Oil exploration party in 1921, operating west out of Tampico, Mexico.  It was not a pacified area, with local bandit chiefs left over from the Mexican Revolution ruling their areas.  The bandit chiefs made money kidnapping the crew chiefs of the oil exploration parties and holding them for ransom from the oil offices in Tampico.  Dad was determined he would not be captured so he hired all guys who'd fought in France in WWI. They moved west out of Tampico in WWI military convoy style with 12 men on horseback, three on each side, all armed to the teeth. We have a photo of Dad with his Army Colt .45 strapped to his side.


On their way west, the convoy came across an old couple with a dead burro.  Strapped to the back of the burro were their possessions.  Dad stopped the convoy and had his guide find out what had happened.  The couple was on their way to a little village out of the way.  Dad had their possessions placed in one of the trucks and the couple into one of the sedans. He headed the convoy to their village and home.  Upon arriving, the possessions were placed in their home and the couple let out.  Dad gave them a little money and went on.


What Dad didn't know was that the couple were the parents of the local bandit chief who then gave orders to his men not only not to bother Dad's crew, but to guard them from any other banditos coming through. There was an additional ring of security just outside the one Dad set up. He never had to draw a pistol in self-defense or anger the whole time.


Price is a retired priest living in Houston, TX.