He immediately left and was gone for a number of years during which he evidently plyed his trade with success in other regions.
He then returned to the tavern, informed his wife that, he had made a successful haul and went to bed. The next morning some of the gang with whom his son had once associated came to the tavern from Ford's place in Kentucky.Willie enjoyed the success of his plan and decided to wait until the morrow to tell them who he was. Young Potts, being thirsty, asked for a drink of fresh water.His father, as was the custom, suggested that they go to the near by spring for a diink.They had come to celebrate the return of their former associate.When the new arrivals inquired concerning Willie the mother and father were puzzled.The next day young Potts went on his way toward his father's tavern at the northern end of the road and arrived there late in the afternoon.
Neither the mother nor the father recognized the stranger as their son.
He was now a large man and would not be readily recognized.
He also had grown a heavy dark beard that would add to the difficulty of recognition Members of the gang with which young Potts had once operated observed the apparent prosperity of the stranger when he stopped on his way home at Ford's tavern in Kentucky.
It is 85 miles south of downtown Springfield and 15 miles east of downtown St Louis, Missouri.
All of the hotels in Collinsville are near I-55, Exit 11.
One of the group to whom he revealed his identity informed the others that the supposed stranger was their old confederate, Willie Potts.