Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BOTH SIDES OF THE LAW By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless


Many of the qualities that attracted early settlers to the West were shared among lawmen and criminals alike—mainly the willingness to risk their lives to enforce the law or commit a crime.  Given that, it comes as no surprise that history records men who, at various times in their lives, worked both sides of the law.  Given the wide-spread use of firearms by both camps, it’s hard to believe that in some towns the City Fathers begrudged not only the lawman’s salary, but the amounts spent on ammunition for their lawmen. 

Here are a few colorful examples of men who loved and loathed the law.

Tom Horn was at one time a cowboy, a soldier, a range detective and Pinkerton agent who finished his career as a hired killer.

Burton Alford made the move from lawman to the more profitable work as an outlaw.

J. J. Webb spent his days first as a lawman, a hunter, a surveyor, then a hired gun who ended his days riding with the Dodge City Gang

Henry Newton Brown transitioned from Billy the kid’s gang to deputy sheriff in Texas where he was fired for picking fights with drunks.  In Kansas, he turned respectable and was promoted to Marshall to clean up the town of Caldwell.  Sadly, he was living beyond his means and became involved in a plot to rob a bank in Texas. The attempt failed and Brown was shot and killed trying to escape.

It’s often said the lawman has to think like the criminal, so I find this thin line between law and the lawless, that was often crisscrossed, fascinating.  There are no criminal tendencies in my sheriff, Weston, in A BRIDE FOR WESTON, but he does quit once, disillusioned by some aspects of the business.  The Sheriff’s Mail Order Bride series is already up and running and I’m excited to have A BRIDE FOR WESTON part of the lineup.  You can pre-order Weston here.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B097QF2YZC

Do check out the entire series here. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097HK95X9

Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her many alpha male heroes.   

Her hero, Steele, in HER UNDERCOVER COWBOY, is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel— while he’s not a cowboy, he is an alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

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Julie Lence said...

I can't imagine being on either side back then. But whether lawman or outlaw, each makes for a great hero. Thank you, Kathleen!

Cheryl Wright said...

The series is terrific, and I can't wait for each book to release so I can read them, yours included!