One of the more colorful and uninhibited characters of the Spring Coulee district during the early decades of the present century was a Boer War veteran and ex-mountie named George Edgar Wildman. Many and varied are the versions of his indiscretions during his years in the N.W.M.P..
As the stories of his breaches of discipline have come to me only as heresy I will mention only one that was told to me by an eye witness and I think it is quite authentic.
When the constable was stationed in Magrath, a ranch hand who was in town made some remarks in George's presence about the poor marksmanship of the mounties in general. George decided that he would show him that here was one mountie that could hit what he was shooting at and went to the Police Barracks for his rifle. This gave the ranch hand some second thoughts and he took off for his home ranch at a high gallop, but when George got his rifle he was still in range, so George started banging away at him, but about all he proved was that the ranch hand was at least partly right, as he, the ranch hand rode out of range unscathed. I think it was soon after this incident that constable Wildman became an ex-mountie.
George was at Spring Coulee and as a civilian he engaged in farming or doing custom hauling in the neighborhood. He hauled much of the material that went into the construction of the C.P.R. headgates that were built two miles south of Spring Coulee in 1916.
While George was not aggressive, he surely never let anyone walk over him nor was he backward about expressing his opinion on any subject.
Only twice do I recall that he stirred up a bit of excitement.
Once a couple of strong hearted pranksters purloined his Christmas cheer and he went looking for them with his shotgun, but fortunately for all concerned he failed to catch up with them. So George had a dry Christmas, unless some good samaritan shared up with him. On another occasion he barged into the pool hall operated by Dave Boyd with about a five pound rock in his hand in search of someone that had roused his ire, but his quarry wasn't to be found there so George could only make known to all and sundry what would happen when he caught up with the object of his wrath. I don't think he ever did catch up with the man he was after. (Perhaps the weight of the rocks he was carrying slowed him down a bit) for I never heard of any native having his head crushed between two rocks.
During the time George was engaged in custom hauling he was located at a set of buildings just south of Spring Coulee. Quite often during the winter months a friendly game of penny ante would be in progress there and if some of the humor that was generated at these sessions could be brought back to the present day we wouldnst need TV. When old age began to creep up on George I once heard him make the remark that when it came his turn to go over the hill he would have no regrets for while he had lived he had lived to the hilt.
A viewpoint with which I think most people who had known George would fully agree.
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