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U.S. MARSHAL SHORTY THOMPSON - IF HELL AIN'T HOT ENOUGH: TALES OF THE OLD WEST BOOK 84
Paul L. Thompson
It was a sweat wiping hot July day as Shorty stood with a prisoner on the loading platform of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in San Bernardino, California. Beside him wearing handcuffs was Lambert Hartley, a vicious killer.While being captured, he and his men killed two deputies and wounded a third man before a lucky shot from a rifle bounced a bullet off his thick skull knocking him out. During a long week recovering, word was sent to New Mexico that he had been captured. U.S. Marshal Shorty Thompson had been sent all that way to bring him back to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he would spend the rest of his life in prison for the ruthless murder of a young girl.People wanted him hung, but that judge said no to that, being on a chain gang for the rest of his life would be the worse punishment. Hanging would be too quick, this man needed to suffer like no other that had stood before him.
THE GUNFIGHTER - THE ADVENTURES OF AUSTIN LEE HENRY
Larry E. Linder
Austin Lee Henry, born in South Carolina, married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth. When the War Between the States began, he felt compelled to join his friends and brothers, and fight to save his lands. Imprisoned in a Yankee camp before the end of the war, Austin endured an existence of misery with only thoughts of his dear wife to keep him going. Elizabeth was told he’d been killed and reluctantly married a Yankee officer, for the sake and safety of the son Austin never knew he had. At the end of the war, Austin returned to the home and life he’d left behind, to find everything had changed. Heartbroken and beaten, he left for the West.Austin was adopted into the Kiowa nation and fell in love with Luyu, the niece of the tribe’s chief. Together, they made a life and a family. As time went on he became a fierce and mighty warrior. Named Maska, meaning the White Warrior, the Kiowa, Austin earned the respect of all men and women throughout the Indian Territory. When the U.S. Calvary massacred everyone within his village at Willow Creek, including his Luyu, Maska led the Indian Nations in war against the Army. As an agreement for pardon from President Grant for his actions against the Army, Austin was banned from the Indian people he had come to love and call his own.Drifting and more alone than ever, Austin befriends and joins the gang of an outlaw, Grayson Stokes, whose primary target was the Yankee Army. The life of a gunfighter soon became the once gentle giant’s way of life. Austin had no idea the life as an outlaw and a gunfighter would ultimately lead him to a face to face with his son, Ben, and the woman he thought he had lost forever, his Elizabeth.
CALAMITY JANE MEETS DEADWOOD DICK
Of all the famous characters of the Old West none was more complex a personality than Calamity Jane.She possessed a kaleidoscope of weaknesses and strengths.Sometimes a prostitute, often a drunk, a boaster, a show-off, self-destructive, Calamity Jane also had raw courage and a heart of gold, always ready to nurse the sick or help an underdog.She was as tough as a nail.Calamity alternated between being a man and a woman but not for sexual reasons. Born female she was unwilling to be a mere woman in an age of men. It was simply more fun for her to be like a man than it was to cook, clean and bear children.She wanted respect. She wanted to be one of the boys.Calamity Jane was one of the country’s first feminists.She adopted the guise of a man wearing men’s clothing, the buckskins of a frontiersman, tailored to fit her diminutive size. She could shoot, spit tobacco juice, curse a blue streak, drive a wagon as a teamster or serve as a scout in the Indian Wars for the U.S. Army----as good as any man.Above all Calamity Jane fought all her adult life against a clawing inferiority complex, a result of humble beginnings as a child born Martha Jane Canary on a hard-scrabble farm in Missouri. Jane never learned to read or write but she was determined to be somebody people would remember. She worked endlessly and obsessively to create her own fame among the hard-cases of the frontier.People loved her. They laughed at her, pointed at her, called out her name.This is a story of Deadwood, a lawless town on land stolen from the Indians and built on gambling and gold. It’s a story of the murder of Wild Bill Hickok in Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon Number 10, a story of what happens to a person when fame overtakes a life, and the colossal exaggerations required to build such fame.Based on research, the author has developed his own style of historical fiction writing he calls a “foundation of truth.”You take what little is actually known about a historical figure and portray it in scenes and dialog. You add fictional scenes that, while they may not have happened, something similar could have happened because they are based on the known behavioral traits of the historical figure; in Calamity’s case wild exuberance, alcoholism, truth-stretching, rough-around-the-edges kindliness, courage, toughness.In this way more light can be possibly shed on a character about who very little is known.