I had three more scenes I wanted to do for the Adobe Walls Classic Gunfight, but I ran out of time. Spent too much time tweaking the "Lonesome Dove" cover story and then cheated myself on my own department. It happens. On the positive side, I really enjoyed revisiting a great book:
One of the refreshing aspects of S.C. Gwynne's Pulitzer-Prize-finalist-epic, Empire of The Summer Moon is that the author spares no one and he doesn't flinch doing it. In his masterful telling of the fight at Adobe Walls, where the attacking Commanches, and their allies, believed they were immune to White Man bullets, here is what Gwynne says about the aftermath: "Meanwhile the Indians drifted off, furious, helpless. Once again, bad medicine had been their fatal weakness. They could not help themselves. Reverse the roles to see what might have happened. The whites would have surrounded the buildings and kept up the attack. They would have come by night and caved in the walls. They would have accepted far greater losses to achieve the objective than Indians ever would. Indians never understood the concept of seizing and holding a small piece of real estate, or of calculating the grim cost-benefit ration of a siege. Failing all this, the white men would have simply starved the Indians out, waiting patiently for them to get so thirsty they would have to choose between dying and fighting." The New York Times called it "transcendent," and I couldn't agree more.
In this age when every excuse is employed to cut native tribes slack, to the point of making their faults superior traits, it's such a breath of fresh air to read a balanced narrative about simply being human. Is this genius? Not sure, but it's damn brave writing. And, by the way, here's what a great writer has to say about genius:
"[There] are really good writers. Above them—above almost all of us—are the Shakespeares, the Faulkners, the Yeatses, Shaws, and Eudora Weltys. They are geniuses, divine accidents, gifted in a way which is beyond our ability to understand, let alone attain. Shit, most geniuses aren't able to understand themselves, and many of them lead miserable lives, realizing (at least on some level) that they are nothing but fortunate freaks, the intellectual version of runway models who just happen to be born with the right cheekbones and with breasts which fit the image of an age."
—Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
This, of course, is ironic, because what Stephen is saying here is, to me, genius!
"A stitch in time would have confused Einstein."
—Old Vaquero Saying