Jesse James and the Widow

 I have to admit, that after having been personally involved in the running of a Lateral Thinking course in Malta’s Correctional Facility, for a period of over 7 years, I have come to ‘respect’ the workings of the criminal mind – I obviously don’t approve of any it, but I think I came away from the Prison program having a clearer understanding and recognition of how some of the ‘traits’ usually associated with a ‘lateral thinking’ mind, can lead you into trouble if they are abused or misdirected !! 

Here is a true story from the life of Jesse James, the notorious American Wild West bank robber who was hunted and demonised by the authorities, but who was actually held in high regard by many ordinary folk. 

The story goes that Jesse James and his gang had taken refuge for a few days in a ramshackle farmhouse after one of their raids. A widow lived there with three small children. She didn’t have much in the house, but shared with them what she had. It was while they were eating lunch that Jesse James noticed that something was bothering this generous widow. He questioned her about it, and she broke down and told him her story. The mortgage was due on the house that very day, and since her husband had dies, she did not have the money to pay it. Her landlord was not a generous man, and was sure to put her children and herself out on the street. The amount due was several hundred dollars, and Jesse James took the money out of his bag, counted it and presented it to the widow. 

The widow protested that she could not take it, but Jesse insisted that she use the money to pay off the mortgage. ” Just make sure you get a receipt,” he warned her, and she promised that she would. Then he got a description of the man, and left with his gang. 

Jesse James and his gang waited in the woods near the house until the man had collected his money from the widow. then they rode out onto the road, held up the landlord, and stole their money back !! 

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