By Mark Dugan
“While the stories in Dugan’s book may be ‘tales never told around the campfire,’ they sure are worth reading by armchair historians around the fireplace on a cold winter’s evening.”
Russel L. Tanner, Plains Anthropologist
Ten outlaws, ten states, ten stories of nineteenth-century fugitives remarkable because the events really took place. Mark Dugan’s latest outlaw chase reins in enough evidence to corral the cynics. There is new information on the strange relationship between Wild Bill Hickok, his enemy and victim, David McCanles, and the beautiful Sarah Shull of North Carolina. Was Tom Horn a hired killer for the big cattlemen in the unsolved Wyoming ambush? How much do we really know about Deputy U.S. Marshall Ed Short, legendary for his gun duel with Black-Faced Charley Bryant of the Dalton Gang in Oklahoma? Or Cora Hubbard, who led a bank robbery in Missouri, then went home to Kansas to change back into a dress and bury the stolen money in her potato patch? What became of Punch Collins, black leader of a New Mexico train bold up in 1884?
Mark Dugan teaches at Appalachian State University and Caldwell County Community College in North Carolina. He is also the author of Bandit Years: A Gathering of Wolves (Sunstone Press).
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Richter’s novels and stories are filled with the fire of poetic prose and the drama of real lives. This is a reissue of the 1937 tale of cattle ranching on the high-grass plains of New Mexico at a time when a single man could control, if he were fierce enough, a ranch as big as some eastern seaboard states, but perhaps not hold the woman he loves as fiercely as the land.
An excerpt from Stories from Mesa Country: "They are coming back from the burial ground. I can see them walking, two abreast, along the narrow track by the wash. Tom has his head down, his hands in the pockets of his black suit. Beside him, Reverend Sherman is talking, waving his arms, trying, I'd guess, to comfort. Behind them come Enid and Faith, square shapes in best blue dresses, and then Seth and Arch, leggy as colts, uncomfortable in Sunday suits, in the shadow of tragedy.
Some of the American West’s grandest legends are about people who in reality were remorseless killers, robbers, and bandits. These outlaws flourished during the 1800s and gained notoriety throughout the following century. How did their fame persist, and what has inspired the publishing, movie, and television industries to recreate their fictionalized careers over and over again? Mark Dugan brings reality to the forefront in The Making of Legends.