If you've read my article in the June 2011 issue of True West Magazine "Tracking Roosevelt's River Pirates", you might enjoy this little story about the leader of the boat thieves, Readheaded Mike Finnigan. This incident happend in Medora, Dakota Territory, a few week's before Readheaded Mike and his friends stole Roosevelt's boat.
Redheaded Mike Finnigan was the leader of the gang. The others were Dutch Chris Pfaffenbach, and Ed Burnstead whom Roosevelt would call “the half breed.” One early March evening, Finnigan got rip-roaring pass-out drunk in one of Medora’s saloons. Finnigan wore his red hair shoulder length and sprouted a bushy beard. Johnny Goodall, a practical joker, borrowed shears from the barbershop. Goodall and friends hoisted Finnigan from the floor and laid him on a billiard table where Goodall proceeded to cut off all Redheaded Mike’s hair on one side of his head and shave his beard and mustache on the same side of his face. He even went to the length to cut the fringe off Finnigan’s hunting shirt on the same side. The next morning when Finnigan came to and looked in a mirror, he flew into a rage and stormed into the brush outside of town where he proceeded to take potshots at Medora townsfolk until Police Chief Arthur T. Packard rode up behind him and knocked him out.
Imagine what a sight Finnigan must have presented to Roosevelt when he confronted him several weeks later when he recovered his stolen boat.