As noted, Moroni Hicks’ status as Prisoner Number 2 doesn’t mean a lot. They didn’t start assigning numbers to prisoners until 1880, 16 years after the first territorial prison opened for business.
After his first escape and recapture a few weeks later, Hicks resigned himself to his fate as a prisoner. For a while.
Then, on a cold day in March 1883, Hicks and three other inmates, who were breaking rocks at the quarry above the prison at Table Rock, rushed their guards and escaped. Besides Hicks there was Charles Chambers, a stage robber; J.W Hayes, serving time for larceny; and Ralph Johnson, a burglar from Wood River. They hightailed it into the hills with captured rifles.
Boise City Marshal Orlando “Rube” Robbins must have been especially aggravated at the escape. Just three years earlier, as a deputy U.S. Marshal, Robbins had chased down Moroni Hicks and some different prisoners who had escaped while picking apples at an orchard next to the prison.
The fugitives this time stopped in at the ranch of Mike McMahan, which was just over the hill from Table Rock, to requisition horses and food. The rancher was livid because they had relieved him of two of his best mounts.
Territorial Governor John Neil put a hundred-dollar reward on the heads of the men. This was a downgrade for Hicks, who at the peak of the hunt for him in the 1880 escape, he was worth $1,000 to anyone who brought him back, breathing or not.
Early on there was a shootout, probably, between the pursuing posse and Hicks and Hayes when they tried to cross the Boise River under cover of darkness. No one was hit, so some of that is speculation.
Meanwhile, Mike McMahan, the rancher, had set out following hoofprints into the Owyhee desert hoping to retrieve his horses. Ten days after he had been robbed, McMahan caught up with escapee Ralph Johnson and a couple of purloined horses on Catherine Creek, which is between Oreana and Grandview. Johnson gave up without a fight and McMahan got his horses back.
In mid-April, Moroni Hicks turned up in Canyon City, Oregon, where he had been arrested in a barroom brawl.
Rube Robbins eventually chased down Charles Chambers in an Oregon Asylum where he was living under an assumed name and pretending to have lost his wits.
J.W. Hayes seems to have vanished completely.
The common thread in these two escapes, Prisoner Number 2, aka Moroni Hicks, was released from prison in August 1891, after serving for eleven years. He married Lucinda Owen in June 1893 in Kane, Utah. They had eight children together. Moroni passed away on March 17, 1931 and is buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Los Angeles.