Love Give Us One Death
Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days
Publication Year: 2017
"In Love Give Us One Death, Jeff Jones pieces together a story we think we know, about desperate lives and American violence. As the tale unfolds, we see its larger dimensions: the spiritual shadows and compulsive needs from which our nation springs and through which it has found its many forms of speech. This is historical fiction raised boldly to the level of myth."—Tracy Daugherty, Final Judge
“The language throughout the novel is absolutely stunning. Characterization, historical setting, ambience are all accurate and depicted with great clarity. A terrific achievement.”—Mary Clearman Blew
"This is just a damned fine piece of work."—Robert Wrigley
Published by: Texas A&M University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
1. Love’s Kingdom
In the early days of their courtship, there opened a piney hallway not unlike this one, a strip of oil road in the backwoods of east Texas along which Clyde had been pushing the car faster and faster, trying to scare her by topping blind hills in the oncoming lane and lifting two wheels on the curves and thudding them back down on the straightaways, and even as she felt...
2. Civiliter Mortuus
Bonnie’s worst nightmares always came in the dead of night. The windows would be pitch black and the car would be swaying and bumping along as she tossed in the passenger seat. Each sway would become a swerve, each rut a gunshot. Men in brim hats lifted guns to their shoulders and disappeared behind fiery blasts. There was a shattering, the sting of glass, then the drum of bullets....
Within seventy two hours of Buck Barrow’s release from the Texas state penitentiary in Huntsville on March 22, 1933, the Reichstag voted to abolish democracy in favor of the dictatorship of Adolph Hitler; the freshly inaugurated President Roosevelt signed into law a bill legalizing the manufacture and sale of three two beer; and Clyde Barrow, despite being sought for multiple murders, tracked down his older brother to where he was spending the night with his wife at her stepfather’s farmhouse twenty miles south of Dallas....
4. The Red Crown
They were parked in a clearing off a wagon trace outside of Mangham, a camp they’d set up a few weeks ago when Clyde hacked away some brush with a butcher knife they’d bought off a farm wife for a dollar. They’d started the night atop a spread blanket, a tiny fire glinting off the Ford’s skin and the gun Clyde was oiling and the coins Bonnie was separating into piles....
Off the back bumper a gloved cross floats, a black four
fingered hand that grows in the mirror each time Clyde
taps the brakes.
I close my eyes, then, when I open them, there’s a truck with a wheel off.
The cross comes tapping at the windows. I rub my eyes to see past all the flying glass....
The longer Clyde Barrow and his cigar smoking gun moll, as the newspapers called Bonnie Parker, stayed free, the more those same papers painted Dallas County Sheriff Smoot Schmid as inept. Schmid found himself tied to Clyde Barrow from the very start. Five days after taking office, on January 6, 1933, Schmid authorized two Dallas County officials to assist in a midnight operation designed to catch an unsophisticated bank robber named Odell Chambless, who reportedly had...
7. Lex Talionis
He wiped the dew fogged windows with an oil rag that
trailed wet beads, then helped her out into the cool air.
They were screened from the dirt road by trees and
The sun was just beginning to warm things. Birds flitted from branch to branch. A bobwhite sang its name. It was a pleasant feeling, the sense of getting in on the early part of the day. Bonnie set her hands on her hips and arched her back and looked up and there would’ve seen a mouth carved in the sky by the trees and brush....
8. Stool Pigeons, Spotters, and Rats
It would swallow everything it touches, this tiny mouth, this traveling mouth, this tiny traveling mouth then, the gathered hot breath exhalation of thousands of grains of powder ensorcelled and bound, ancient materials bent to a new purpose and given new names—primer, graphite, nitrocellulose—as if the error were in their original construction and only through recombination could their powers be properly marshaled and set to the task of push, of pushing the mouth across its...
Clyde has pulled even with the engine part of the parked truck, twenty feet in front of me, and he is in my gunsight, though his car is still moving. Suddenly, Alcorn’s deep bellow “HALT!” arouses him. Alongside him Bonnie screams, and I fire and everyone fires, and in the awful hell and noise Clyde is reaching for a weapon, and the wheels are digging into the gravel as he makes a start to get away. My BAR spits out twenty shots in an instant, and a drumbeat of shells knifes through the steel body of the car, and glass is shattering....
10. Death on Ringgold Road
At last we found what seemed to be a perfect spot. It was about three miles north of Sailes and situated on a north-and-south stretch of highway. The road swung down a fairly sharp grade, over a small rise, and then to a steeper hill. The place for our ambush was on the rise. The road cut through the small hill to leave an embankment of about three feet in height on both sides....
It was my determination early on when deciding to pursue this story in a fictional manner to dispense with the type of primary research more fit to a purely historical investigation, yet I still wanted solid factual footing. Thanks to several historians, these competing impulses were reconcilable, and I’m indebted to John Neal Phillips, James R. Knight, Jonathan Davis, Boots Hinton, Ken M. Holmes Jr., Frank R. Ballinger, Jeff Guinn, Winston Ramsey, and Jan Fortune, among others. This novel found its central inspiration in their maintenance of the historical record....
Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2017
OCLC Number: 971246703
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