Deed I Do

Deed I do “Deed I do” is a quaint musical phrase and not something Angus would have ever said. Not that he didn’t do deeds; he surely did. But admitting he’d done a deed, in present tense, wasn’t his way of talking or thinking. “Deed I […]

The Greatest Spectacle in Sports

Old Indy 500 racecar My son, Tosh, and I went to Indianapolis over the Memorial Day weekend this year to see the so-called “greatest spectacle in sports,” the Indy 500. It was aptly named; it was a great spectacle and featured a new sport for […]

Perspectives

FoxNewsPerspectiveWriting about law and order today is pretty much the same as it was in the 1880s. Except today, more people get their news from TV than from newspapers. The narrative differs greatly depending on whether it’s written by Fox news or MSNBC.

Fox News might write […]

Mass Shootings

Angus, a federal marshal in 1880s New Mexico, knew something mass shootings. Had you been around in those days and asked him, he might have one or two mass shootings. It happened mostly when the U.S. Army came into close contact with Indians. The worst one happened on December 29, 1890 at a place called […]

Stillness

BlackJackStandingStill JFKUp high on a ridge line at 10,000 feet, stillness humbles a man. At least, that’s what it did to Angus in the 1880s. Could be those hard to reach places are just as still now as they were back then. I don’t mean quiet. […]

Truthiness

YouCantHandleTheTruthTruthiness is a word that didn’t exist in the 1880s. It hardly exists now, except in the political and entertainment worlds. A funny guy named Stephen Colbert invented it to carry a TV show about fake truth. It was made up stuff, what Angus would have […]

Masks

Angus bandit maskIn the American West, masks were worn by lots of people.

Outlaws tied bandannas around their necks, snugged up over their noses to keep folks from recognizing them during a stage coach holdup. Angus saw his share of those masks.

Indian tribes wore masks as part […]

Remember The Big Fifty

Hawken small picBack in 1885, Tinker Cantwaite became overly fond of a Big Fifty. He figured if he had one he could hunt anything he wanted. The man was short on patience and mouthy about having his own Big Fifty—a common nickname for the .50 caliber […]

Ambiguity

Ambiguous2To a first-time reader, Angus looks as a character hard to pin down. Not enough about him comes out in the early pages of Ten Shoes Up. So it’s hard to say whether he’s  seeking reconciliation or company. He could be for the law, “agin” it, […]

The Importance of Gates

Angus knew something about gates—he pretty much hated ‘em.

If you’re horseback and come on a gate, it means somebody fenced you out. Can’t be a good thing, at least not in the 1880s when Angus was riding high ridgelines on the New Mexico—Colorado border. But corrals had gates. So did train yards, backyards, sluices, and […]