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Come with me if you want to live

posted Aug 13, 2016, 2:30 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Aug 13, 2016, 2:30 AM ]
Much like "don't make me destroy you," the phrase "come with me if you want to live" is an example of popular expressions that Hollywood cinema has adopted from the history of Con County. Long before Greenwell became the most popular touristic hot spot in the county, the self-styled Green City functioned as an agricultural center, known mostly for its massive cattle farms.

In late June of 1837 a wild bull wandered into the Langston cattle farm during the afternoon. John Langston, proprietor of the land, was enjoying a nap at the edge of the farm when he woke to the sound of distressed mooing. When he noticed the bull and realized that it had started mating with one of his prized cattle, a wide smile parted his lips as he considered the value of the offspring he expected would come out of the animals' union. His pleasure quickly turned to panic when the rest of the cattle, who apparently had not enjoyed the prospect of being next on the bull's list, made a run for the wilderness, trampling the wooden barriers in their path into sawdust and leaving their owner behind on the verge of tears.

A mile to the east of the farm, in the direction that the stampede was heading, a young tramp called Eddie Miles took note of the loud dust cloud marching his way and quickly sprinted off in the opposite direction. He came across a group of school pupils and their teacher on the way to the nearby river, who were having a picnic.

"Come with me if you want to live," he said to the group in passing, and ran towards the bridge without slowing down. It took the school group a bit of time before they understood the reason for the tramp's hurried advice but they did run after him, albeit a little too late. The cattle stampede caught up to them before they could have gotten anywhere near the bridge. Thirty-one pupils perished under the hooves as the cattle moved on towards the river. The surviving eighteen pupils and their terrified teacher carved the now famous words of the stranger into their memories, vowing never to hesitate to take that particular advice in the future.

That is not to say that they would have fared much better if they had gone with Eddie Miles, as the brave tramp ended up having to jump off the bridge and into the water from the oncoming stampede, where he very nearly drowned in the torrents.

The incident with the cattle of the Langston farm is the reason why no cattle farms operate in Greenwell since 1837. It is also the reason why bullfighting is Greenwell's national pastime.