FP reader Josie Wilson told us some time back that she was working on a novel that features Pancho Villa’s enforcer Rodolfo Fierro. Well, she got ’er done, which is a wonderful thing. Congrats to Josie — A Dangerous Woman is out in the world. Here’s the caper:
Chihuahua City, Mexico, 1913: Katherine O’Brien reluctantly enters into a marriage of convenience to hide from her abusive ex-fiancé. She struggles to adapt to an unfamiliar culture as she begins to regain her ability to love and trust. Her new husband, a soldier in Pancho Villa’s army, treats her well but expects an obedient and docile wife. Kate, a tomboy raised on a West Texas ranch, finds such a role extremely difficult. The two strive to find middle ground even as he fights beside Villa in the brutal revolutionary war.
When the Revolution turns against Villa, the couple is separated. Kate must lead her small extended family to a new home without help from her husband… and with her violent ex-fiancé following her tracks. Facing these challenges tests her courage and survival skills to the utmost degree.
A Dangerous Woman, a debut historical novel from Texas author Josie Wilson, seamlessly blends fact and fiction to depict a determined woman and an unlikely romance that blooms and endures, even during the hardships and turbulence of war.
Speaking of dangerous women…
My musings on Jim Harrison’s Revenge and the movie made from it got me to thinking about the beautiful and dangerous presence of Madeleine Stowe. She plays Miryea, the kept woman of a Mexican patron named Tibey (as in Tiburon, shark) Mendez. She and Tibey’s American friend Jay Cochran are drawn to each other with self-destructive intensity and… many bad things ensue. I mean, if you’re messing with the woman of a man affectionately calls “Shark,” you are dancing with death. Both of you. As Miryea knows damn well.
The key element that Stowe must convey is a level of desire and desirability that is intensely sexual, but also something beyond the carnal. She must be a woman a man would ruin his life for. Yep.
Of course, we Frontier Partisans know Madeleine Stowe as Cora Munro in Last of the Mohicans. Stowe’s Cora is convincingly resilient and brave, in an entirely feminine manner — none of the “badass chick” trope, which would have been ridiculously anachronistic in an 18th century setting.
Of course the inevitable thing happens and romance on the ramparts ensues. I am told that this scene makes women’s knees go weak.
And, once again, the hero is willing to risk all for her.
You stay alive, no matter what occurs! I will find you! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far. I will find you!
Stowe was to direct a film based on the captivity of Cynthia Ann Parker, but it never materialized.
Craig Rullman scouted up a some information on a Bowie Knife of the early period when they came damn near to being a short sword.
That’s Collections Manager Shelly Crittendon of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum in Waco with what is known as the Lacy Bowie, allegedly presented by Jim Bowie’s brother Rezin (pronounced Reason) to a Texas Ranger. Rezin was, according to folklore, instrumental in the “invention” of the Bowie Knife.
Rezin Bowie is purported to have presented this knife to William Young Lacy/also Lacey (1814-1892). Lacy came to Texas in 1830, rode with Jim Bowie for eight months in 1834, and was commissioned into the Corps of Rangers from May of 1836 to December of 1837 serving as acting captain on the death of his commander. Sam Houston later sent him to Nacogdoches and Houston Counties to form militia (Ranger) companies. It is unclear if Rezin Bowie knew Capt. Lacey. If he did, they would have met between 1830 and 1832 when Lacey and Rezin Bowie were both in Texas. The knife would have been presented to Lacey before Rezin’s death in 1841.
That is a huge blade. Like I said… practically a short sword.
Cold Steel offers what they call the 1917 Frontier Bowie — that’s a big ’un… 12-1/2″ blade and a pound-and-a-half of chopper.
The Frontier Bowie features a wide, sharp blade with a generous clip and fuller. Made from 1085 High Carbon Steel, it is heat treated to a hard spring temper and beautifully blued to a lustrous finish. The Frontier Bowie’s big “S” shaped guard offers excellent hand protection while the slim, flat profile of the modified pistol grip handle resists twisting in your hand, and keeps your edge alignment true. Each Frontier Bowie comes complete with a high quality leather sheath with a blued steel throat and chape.
Not in the market for a big Bowie at the moment, but I am sorely tempted to add to my arsenal of Ethan Becker-designed blades. KA-BAR just released a Becker Nessmuk.
“Nessmuk” comes from the pen name of George Washington Sears, a woodsman and writer of late 19th Century Upstate New York, who popularized woodcraft and trekking in the woods with limited gear.
Sears advocated that woodsmen carry a double-bit hatchet, a fixed blade knife of modest proportions, and a folder for small work. He favored a fixed blade knife with a little belly to it — as illustrated in Woodcraft,
The Nessmuk knife is one of a couple of classic late-19th-early-20th-century patterns for “bushcraft,” the other being the Kephart. Becker makes a Kephart, which I have, and now they make a modern rendition of the Nessmuk, the BK19.
The Becker version is a little more stabby — with a more acute point — than the traditional blade — which I kinda like.
Even stabbier is another recent Becker design — the BK18 Harpoon:
Yes, I do like those Becker knives…
The Cascadia Raid has been outstanding. Dave Alvin blew the doors off the Aladdin Theater in Portland on Wednesday night, in the company of Jimmie Dale Gilmore. A survivor of Stage 4 cancer, Dave is back on the road and just roaring with that Stratocaster. As you can see from the photo, there’s pure joy up on that stage. He’s looked the Mother of Bones in the eye, and didn’t flinch. He’s intensely alive and — as he said twice — he knows in the way of a man who can’t count on too many more of them that every moment is precious.
An immensely satisfying musical experience, highlighted by an incendiary Long White Cadillac. There’s some Clan history with that song. When Ceili was an infant, she had the colic bad, and I could only calm her by dancing with her up against my belly — to the 8-minute live version from Interstate City.
I’m calling this trip the Cascadia Raid because we are in the heart of the Cascadia Subduction Zone — a convergent plate boundary, where the Juan de Fuca plate slides below the continental North American Plate. The zone is capable of producing Richter 9.0+ earthquakes and mighty tsunami waves. On January 26, 1700, a massive quake shook the Oregon Coast, and tsunami waves inundated the region. Japanese tsunami records line up with indigenous oral tradition about this massive event. We’re potentially due for another, which would be life-altering for the region.
This is a happy place for Lady Marilyn. Everything you need to know about her is in this picture…
BTW, that’s a new 5.11 Tactical push pack with a shark hand-sanitizer squeezer on it. Yep.
We spotted a whale in Depoe Bay, and spent a half-hour watching it through the nocs.
Me, being, well… me… this required appropriate (or inappropriate, depending on your POV) theme music:
The Diamond is a ship, me lads, for the Davis Strait we’re boundThe quay it is all garnished with bonnie lasses ’roundCaptain Thompson gives the orders to sail the ocean wideWhere the sun it never sets, me lads, nor darkness dims the sky
It’s cheer up me lads, let your hearts never failFor the bonny ship, the Diamond, goes a-fishing for the whale
Yeah, I know…
In keeping with our maritime theme, I picked up a special Black Rifle Coffee Co. dark roast — cuz there’s no way I’m passing up the likes of this — especially while immersed in On Stranger Tides.
When we get back in front of a TV, we’ll close out the week’s maritime theme with a film that earned Rullman’s high recommendation. The trailer alone got me…