Saturday, March 31, 2018

Robert Duvall Tells What He Saw During the East Lake Raid, 1927

From The Independent, Elizabeth City, N.C., March 18, 1927.
I am keeper of the Bridge over Mill Tail Creek for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and try to attend to my own business, but on last Friday something happened that caused me to sit up and take notice. Just before daybreak I heard a boat come through the bridge, and I got up to see what it was, but there was no lights on it, and I could not tell what boat it was, but it was not long before I heard a great shooting going on up the creek, and I wondered if Uncle Sam sent an Army of Soldiers to Mexico and they through a mistake had come to Buffalo City, but it soon occurred to me that the shooting was just to try to scare some poor fellow away from his still before they got to it.
Some time in the afternoon I saw them coming out and I could almost have sworn that they had found some whiskey. I am not saying the men were drunk, but I do believe the boat was, for it was going from one side of the creek to the other and finally took the wrong shore and started through on the wrong side of the draw, and ran ashore after having almost run over a man in a small skiff on this side, but after awhile they managed to get it off and glanced over the other way, and for a minute, it looked as if through the bridge town away or the boat smashed to pieces, but finally they got out, and went on out of my sight in a zig zag direction. And then I looked and saw another boat load of them coming but they happened to hit on the right side of the draw, and got through very well.
And then I sat there and thought, and wondered and wondered. Is it possible that Uncle Sam could not pick up three or four good brave, sober men, to do the job of capturing a few old whiskey stills, that had perhaps been discarded for months or maybe years, and saved a lot of this great expense? But why should I worry or be kicking about it? I am 72 years old and my taxes will not help to pay these bills much longer.
I am not trying to uphold the liquor traffic. I know nothing about it, and care less, so let them run the Government to suit themselves, until like the Rum Chaser, it hits the shore.
--Robert V. Duvall, Buffalo City, N.C.

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