After the charges against Doc were dropped, Temple and Lucas and I drove back to Texas through the northern tip of New Mexico and stopped for the night at Clayton, a short distance from the Texas state line. We walked from the motel at the end of what had been a state line. We walked from the motel at the end of what had been a scorching day to a nineteenth-century hotel named the Eklund and had dinner in a dining room paneled with hard-carved mahogany. The hotel was three stories, built of quarried stone, anchored in the hardpan like a fortress against the wind, but the guest rooms had long ago been boarded up and the check-in desk and boxes for mail and metal keys abandoned to dust and cobweb.
On the wall of the small lobby was a framed photograph of outlaw Black Jack Ketchum being fitted with a noose on a freshly carpentered scaffold. Another photograph showed him after the trapdoor had collapsed under his feet. Ketchum was dressed in a black suit and white shirt and his face showed no expression in the moments before his death, as though he were a witness to a predictable historical event rather than a participant in it.
– Bitterroot by James Lee Burke