We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Master of Monterey

Lawrence Coates

Publication Year: 2012

This comic novel, by the author of The Blossom Festival, is set in Mexican California in 1842 and is based on a true story of mistaken conquest. When Commodore Jones and the crew of the National Intention land in Monterey believing themselves to be bringing freedom and democracy to the benighted Californios, they discover that history has preceded them, that cruelty, betrayal, greed, and lust are already well established there, and that far from existing outside of history, California is a battleground for several contending versions of the past. They also find that their own limitations and illusions are far more powerful than the message of hope that they intend to deliver. 

Published by: University of Nevada Press

Series: Western Literature Series


pdf iconDownload PDF (79.3 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

pdf iconDownload PDF (70.9 KB)
pp. 2-9


pdf iconDownload PDF (18.3 KB)
pp. 10-11

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (49.6 KB)
pp. 1-2

In the 1830s, more enlightened men granted liberty to the indigenous people and freed up the vast tracts of land and countless head of cattle formerly controlled by the church. They then took the liberty of granting the land and cattle to themselves. These men believed in progress, and so they...

Part One

pdf iconDownload PDF (13.6 KB)
pp. 3-15

read more

Chapter the First

pdf iconDownload PDF (524.0 KB)
pp. 5-16

Young Tommy Jones returned home to Boston from his first cruise as a midshipman, determined to ask the beautiful Louisa Darling to marry him as soon as he had been elevated to lieutenant. He had been at sea for three years, hoping for a war to make him worthy of her love, a hope...

read more

Chapter the Second

pdf iconDownload PDF (522.6 KB)
pp. 17-28

Captain Rafael Rafael couldn't have been more pleased. He wanted to sail outside the already ordered regions, he wanted to find an untouched place, he wanted another shot at Eve and the Garden. Rafael Rafael had been born with three testicles, the gift God gave Adam to console him...

read more

Chapter the Third

pdf iconDownload PDF (451.7 KB)
pp. 29-38

When a new midshipman came aboard and looked up at the ship's intricate rigging in a dazed stupor, Jack Chase came halfway down the ratlines and bid him welcome aboard. The midshipman asked with a tremble in his voice whether he would really have to learn the...

read more

Chapter the Fourth

pdf iconDownload PDF (463.3 KB)
pp. 39-48

They sailed on the same route that some years later would be followed by an endless line of hulks, scows, barges, carrying hoards of desperate-eyed goldseekers to the mother lode. And while the ship rolled south, the Commodore's private secretary and official bard of the voyage...

read more

Chapter the Fifth

pdf iconDownload PDF (811.7 KB)
pp. 49-66

After he finished copying Waxdeck's latest pages for the Commodore to take up to the quarterdeck and read aloud while holding a hand over his heart and gazing at the endless horizon, Hannibal Memory took over a corner of the cabin to begin his own poetic insubordination...

Parte Segundo

pdf iconDownload PDF (13.9 KB)
pp. 67-79

read more

Capítulo Primero

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 69-90

When the American cannonball fell from the sky and splintered the gates of the Presidio five paces from the nose of Arcadia Serrano's wedding cavalcade, postponing her oath-taking on the brink of the chapel, she raised her hands to heaven and gave thanks to God and the...

read more

Capítulo II

pdf iconDownload PDF (517.1 KB)
pp. 91-102

As the wedding cavalcades scattered, and Major McCormick embarked toward shore, and Commodore Jones looked on from the quarterdeck, pacing and restless; as Captain Rafael Rafael felt his heart yearn toward the shore as toward a forgotten home, and Hannibal roundly...

read more

Capítulo III

pdf iconDownload PDF (426.7 KB)
pp. 103-112

The glorious conquest was less than twenty-four hours old when Don Bragas de Leon, the lionhearted one, marched into the hills to form the nucleus of the guerrilla force that would harass the Yanqui invaders until the approaching army of Governor Micheltorena arrived to...

read more

Capítulo IV

pdf iconDownload PDF (717.0 KB)
pp. 113-128

In the aftermath of the invasion, Arcadia had retired to her room with thin barred windows and declared her decision never to marry. The invasion, she claimed, had been a sign from Santa Teresa that she should not marry Don Ignacio, but rather become...

read more

Capítulo V

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 129-158

While the officers and midshipmen began to brush off their fancy dress blue uniforms which they had not worn since leaving Hampton Roads, preparing to celebrate a victory that would no doubt advance their careers, and that had the added good quality of not having caused...

Part Three

pdf iconDownload PDF (13.7 KB)
pp. 159-171

read more

Chapter One

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 161-184

Although at the apogee of his power, the Commodore could not sleep that night, as all seemed fleeting and tenuous. He spent the night gliding back and forth across the beaten-earth floor of the quarters he had taken in the Presidio, pondering the possibility that Mexico and...

read more

Chapter Two

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.0 MB)
pp. 185-208

This was the thought that played in the mind of William Waxdeck as he awoke the morning on which Jimmy F. Bush and Jack Chase went ashore on liberty. He let a dribble of green bile into the bucket at his head, then picked up his pen to begin the description of the...

read more

Chapter Three

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.1 MB)
pp. 209-233

After the Commodore had left to make his Progress through the land, the Captain locked himself in his quarters in the Presidio blockhouse, the crumbling tower on the fort's northwest corner. He left strict orders not to be disturbed unless Micheltorena's troops, which were...

read more

Chapter Four

pdf iconDownload PDF (838.4 KB)
pp. 234-252

Three days after the Presidio had fallen to the superior strength of American arms, two days after the advent of freedom, democracy, and Jones, and the day after Jones's Progress, the bugle boy woke up cold and hungry at the village site of the lost people of Esselen, with...

read more

Chapter Five

pdf iconDownload PDF (613.0 KB)
pp. 253-266

Commodore Jones mounted a roan horse and turned its head back toward Monterey. Mister Lurkin rode at his side, the sheaf of papers that declared the reign of peace firmly under his arm, while the tired and bruised Major McCormick and his horse-marines trailed behind. At the very...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (216.0 KB)
pp. 267-271

There are some facts left to relate, in which the Author hopes you will retain an interest, although it is far from clear how these facts will influence the interpretation of what has gone before. Would it illuminate matters to know that Micheltorena, with his three hundred...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (33.4 KB)
pp. 273-284

This novel owes much to the many friends and fellow writers who read the manuscript and gave generous and invaluable guidance. I would like to thank especially Joanne Bloom, Alison Bond, Pam Carlquist, Franklin Fisher, Deborah Foss, Howard Horwitz, Teresa Jordan...

E-ISBN-13: 9780874179026
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874175295

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Western Literature Series