Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-xxiii

If hard truths be told about taming the Old West, it would not be the gunfighter or desperado or lawman earning the lion’s share of credit—or notice. No, that crown would go to Mothers...

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1. Battle at Bullhead Mountain

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pp. 1-34

Cal Aten was a gentleman—and a gentle man. For a time, he was also a gutsy Texas Ranger. In annals of Old West literature he is scarcely mentioned. And though Cal sits prominently in one of the iconic and most widely published nineteenth-century Texas Ranger photographs, Winchester in hand, his presence is hardly noticed...

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2. A Modern Hercules to the Rescue

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pp. 35-56

Too frequently, emphasis in authentic Outlaw/Lawman history is predicated by a dogmatic categorizing of biographical subjects, awarding them with unfitting and/or misleading labels. First-rate examples of the phenomenon are easily illustrated...

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3. Murders and Madness at Millican

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pp. 57-81

Brazos County in Central Texas can lay legitimate claim to more than her fair share of the Lone Star State’s history. Named for the Brazos River, the county could tout being an heir to Stephen F. Austin’s second colony...

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4. Shooting Him with Pistols and Guns

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pp. 82-102

Gideon Christian “Gid” Taylor by several versions was one tough customer, but by no means was he an outlaw or desperado. Gid went about his everyday business armed, most of the time with his well-oiled Colt’s .41 caliber six-shooter. The pistol was part of his overall persona and a necessary tool of his trade...

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5. Has a Wolfish Look, Is Bold to Recklessness

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pp. 103-126

John Wesley Hardin earned high marks as one of the Wild West’s notorious gunfighters. His dexterity in handling smoking Colt’s six-shooters was A . If idiomatic terminology is loosely applied, Wes may be tagged a graduate student in the fine arts of personal survival and man-killing...

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6. Son, Don’t Take Your Guns to Town

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pp. 127-149

It should not be surprising to committed aficionados of Outlaw/ Lawman tales that, even at this late date, there are yet many rousing Old West stories in want of tellin’: particularly ones with germane sociological commentary vis-à-vis criminal justice and/or criminal injustice issues...

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7. The Plum Was Ripening Fast

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pp. 150-178

Phillip Cuney Baird was topnotch—tough, tenacious, and tactful: good traits for a lawman. Had he really wanted to, Baird, popularly just known as P. C., could have cashed in when early twentiethcentury Americans stampeded to box-offices lining up to live through and savor the Wild West experience—vicariously!...

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8. Six-Shooters, Sermons, and Sour Mash

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pp. 179-222

During the Wild West era, finding a preacher with a pistol was easy. For that time span, especially in the Old Southwest, Bible thumpin’ and gunfire was not racket at cross-purposes. As certainly as some human wolves were clad in sheep’s clothing, a few frontier ministers’ mild-mannered meekness camouflaged a big and unhealthful sampling of gunfighting grit...

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9. I’m Shot All to Pieces, Everything Quiet

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pp. 223-258

James Dallas Dunaway was born into a violent world: Texas during the tumultuous 1870s. Comanche and Kiowa and Apache were raiding for reward and revenge, Mexican bandits were breeching the Rio Grande slaying and stealing, all the while busy blueeyed feudists and merciless desperadoes were fanning the flames of lawlessness with acts of mayhem and murder...

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10. Most Feared Gangster of the Time

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pp. 259-298

Brushing aside much of the popularized poppycock and some of the anemic theoretical attempts at turning bloodletting feuds into grandiose statewide conspiracies, there is yet room and reason to sharply focus the historic spotlight on an authentic example of Wild West organized crime...

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11. Good Man, Bad Boy, Big Gun

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pp. 299-315

Forbearance regarding a law enforcer’s mindset is sometimes not easy. Armchair critics are ever-present. A lawman’s split-second street-level decision may be loftily debated and argued the next day in barrooms and living rooms and classrooms—or years later as challenging legal questions wind their way toward final adjudication by slow-grinding appellate courts...

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12. Distractions of Frontier Life

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pp. 316-350

Since Bad Company and Burnt Powder started off with a true six-shooter tale involving a young Texas Ranger, perhaps the same would be fitting for the last episode of the narrative. More especially would it be apropos given that the subject of this sketch is the younger brother of the Ranger spotlighted in the first chapter...

Endnotes

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pp. 351-421

Bibliography

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pp. 422-439

Index

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pp. 440-456