Friday, September 09, 2016

Monsoon Madness #13 And Wild Bill In His Cups

September 9, 2016
   Nice out this morning. Came back from my walk and bailed into a cloud study I started a week ago. I believe this is my 13th take on this summer's Monsoon Madness. 

Daily Whip Out: "First Comes The Dust And Then—If We Are Lucky—The Rain"

   Still working on Wild Bill stuff. This was too late to make the issue, but will go in the book.

Daily Whip Out: "Wild Bill In His Cups"

The Doomed Prince of The Pistoleers
   In 1874 James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok returned to the West after an unpleasant tour of the East as an actor in Buffalo Bill's play Scouts of the Plains. He did not enjoy the fakery of the shows. After a couple of jobs as a guide in Kansas he seemed tired and lost. On June 17, 1875 he was arrested in Cheyenne, Wyoming and charged with vagrancy. Some surmise he had hit bottom. In the summer of 1876 he headed for the new boomtown of Deadwood, Dakota Territory. It would be his last stop.

   The answer to what happened to Hickok is in the next issue of True West, which is at the printer even as you read this.

Harris's Hawks vs. Hunter Hawks
   Another project I'm still working on is the Pinecone Sequence Prologue to Mickey Free. As the boys run up into the foothills of the mighty Graham Mountains, overhead two Harris's Hawks glide through the dawn seeking breakfast. I have always been fascinated by Harris's Hawks but in this context (1880s Arizona) I wonder if it sounds too modern? I may change it to hunter hawks. I better Google this to be safe.

   Glad I did. It turns out that Harris's Hawk got its English name from John James Audubon and he gave the bird the name in honor of his companion and financial supporter, Edward Harris. Well, crap, that totally ruins the autenticity of that time and place. Evidently, these hawks were formerly known as dusky hawks, but that sounds almost too dramatic—and made up! Imagine an Apache warrior in 1888, looking up in the sky and saying, "Isn't that a Harris's Hawk?' And Geronimo, who is looking over his shoulder says, "No, I hate to disagree with you, but to my eye, that's a dusky hawk."

   I think Hunter Hawk is the name I will go with. 

Daily Whip Out: "Hunter Hawks Glide Thru The Dawn"

"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."
—William James


Post your comments