Kit Perriman


January 18, 2022

Poem: The .38 (Ted Joans)

The .38

Ted Joans


I hear the man downstairs slapping the hell out of his stupid wife again
I hear him push and shove her around the overcrowded room
I hear his wife scream and beg for mercy
I hear the blows as they land on her beautiful body
I hear glasses and pots and pans falling
I hear her fleeing from the room
I hear them running up the stairs
I hear her outside my door
I hear him coming toward her outside my door
I hear her hands desperate on my door knob
I hear the blows of her head against my door
I hear him drag her down the stairs
I hear her head bounce from step to step
I hear them again in their room
I hear the loud smack across her face (I guess)
I hear her groans-then
I hear the eerie silence
I hear him open the top drawer of he bureau (the .38 lives there)
I hear the fast beat of my heart
I hear the drops of perspiration fall from my brow
I hear him yell I warned you
I hear him say damn you i warned you and now it’s too late
I hear the loud report of the thirty eight caliber revolver then
I hear it again and again the Smith and Wesson
I hear the bang bang bang of four death dealing bullets
I hear my heart beat faster and louder-then again
I hear the eerie silence
I hear him walk out of their overcrowded room
I hear him walk up the steps
I hear him come toward my door
I hear his hand on the doorknob
I hear the doorknob click
I hear the door slowly open
I hear him step into my room
I hear the click of the thirty eight before the firing pin hits the bullet
I hear the loud blast of the powder exploding in the chamber of the .38
I hear the heavy lead nose of the bullet swiftly cutting its way through the barrel of the .38
I hear it emerge into space from the .38
I hear the bullet of death flying toward my head the .38
I hear it coming faster than sound the .38
I hear it coming closer to my forehead the .38
I hear its weird whistle the .38
I hear it give off a steam like noise when it cuts through my sweat the .38
I hear it singe my skin as it enters my head the .38 and
I hear death saying, Hello, I’m here!

(Photo: Public Domain)

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January 17, 2022

The Bowie Knife

The Bowie Knife


“It must be long enough to use as a sword, sharp enough to use as a razor, wide enough to use as a paddle, and heavy enough to use as a hatchet.” (Russell T. Johnson)

The Bowie Knife was designed by Rezin Bowie in 1820 for his famous knife-fighting brother James “Jim” Bowie, who died at the Alamo.

It is usually 12 – 30 ” long, with a 5 – 24″ blade.  This fighting knife features a fixed sheath, a cross guard, and a clip point, which also makes it well- suited to hunting and butchering game.

(Photo: Public Domain)

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January 14, 2022

Cowgirl Spirit #1


  • Cowgirls are often overlooked in the history of the Wild West, yet many women worked alongside the men on family ranches, and in Wild West shows and rodeos, from the early Nineteenth Century onward.
  • These gals showed remarkable pioneer spirits.  They were – and still are – independent, fearless, hard-headed, spunky, courageous, hardy, and confident in their own abilities.
  • They love a life of excitement and adventure.
  • On the range, their duties include feeding cattle, fixing fences, herding, chasing wild mustangs, looking after horses, and branding calves.
  • In the rodeo ring, they bulldog steers, ride broncos, and participate in trick-riding and trick-roping activities.
  •  Women in popular outdoor performances still show off their shooting and riding skills.  Perhaps the most famous of all was Annie Oakley – star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
  • Cowgirls have always gained attention with their unique sense of style.  Their outfits are not only practical and professional, but also feminine.  They wear fringed skirts, beaded vests and belts, inlaid boots, embroidered gauntlets, colorful ribbons, even sequins and satin.  Their hats are very flattering, and many have adopted fancy silver-mounted spurs.
  • The Texas legend – Lizzy Johnson Williams – drove her own cattle up the Chisholm Trail.  But at home she dressed in silk, taffeta, velvet, and fine diamond jewels.
  • Broad-brimmed hats used to be particularly popular with cowgirls as they offered more facial protection from the sun.
  • The first cowgirls rode side-saddle, in the typical Victorian fashion of the time.  But this was dangerous when chasing and roping cattle, or taming horses.


  • In the mid-1990s women began riding astride in carefully-designed split pants that looked like skirts.
  • By 1906, most ranch women rode cross-saddle, and before long there was little difference between male and female saddle designs.
  • Cowgirls learnt to shoot rifles and pistols as their safety often depended on a good eye and steady wrist.  They usually wore their six-shooters on a holstered belt, in the cross-draw fashion.
  • Some frontier women stepped the wrong side of the law and earned reputations as Bad Gals.  Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Pearl Hart, Cattle Annie, and Little Britches, still live on in the popular imagination.  Yee ha!


Flood, Elizabeth Clair. Cowgirls: Women of the Wild West.  New Mexico: Zon International, 2000.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Texas.

(Photos: Public Domain)

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January 13, 2022


They’re Hanging Me Tonight

(Marty Robbins)


When I hear the rain a coming down, it makes me sad and blue,
Was on a rainy night like this that Flo said we were through.
I told her how I loved her, and I begged her not to go
But another man had changed her mind so I said goodbye to Flo.

Alone within my cell tonight my heart is filled with fear.
The only sound within the room is the falling of each tear.
I think about the thing I’ve done, I know it wasn’t right,
They’ll bury Flo tomorrow, but they’re hanging me tonight,
They’re hanging me tonight!

That night he came and took my Flo and headed in to town,
I knew I had to find this man and try to gun him down.
As I walked by a dim cafe and I looked through the door,
I saw my Flo with her new love and I couldn’t stand no more,
I couldn’t stand no more.

I took my pistol from my hip, and with a trembling hand,
I took the life of pretty Flo and that good for nothing man,
That good for nothing man!

I think about the thing I’ve done, I know it wasn’t right,
They’ll bury Flo tomorrow, but they’re hanging me tonight,
They’re hanging me tonight.

(Photo: Public Domain)

(Video: YouTube)

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January 12, 2022

Kit’s Crit: The Last Midwife (Sandra Dallas)


Gracy Brookens is the healer that the women of a small Colorado mining town turn to in times of sickness and childbirth.  She knows all their secrets, and even has a few of her own that are revealed as the story progresses.  Then one day, this local midwife is accused of murdering the son and heir of the most important man in town.  Gracy is sent to trial and must fight to clear her name.  But in order to escape the noose she would have to break the confidences placed in her, which is something she is not prepared do.  The townsfolk rush to support – or condemn – her, either because they are grateful for her medical assistance, or vengeful over past losses.

I thoroughly enjoyed this western historical fiction.  It effortlessly blends human frailty, murder and mystery, with pioneer strength and fortitude.  This type of drama could happen in any small town, but Sandra Dallas evokes such a sense of place that the reader is instantly plunged into the wild west, where the battle for survival takes an even greater toll on the women than on their men.

Highly recommended for generating an interesting and informative book club discussion.

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January 11, 2022

Cowboy Wisdom #2

“Army mules are branded U.S.


. . . meaning unsafe at either end!”

(Photo: Public Domain)

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January 10, 2022

The Pony Express

The Pony Express

“Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen.  Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily.  Orphans preferred.”


Did you know:

  • The Pony Express mail service was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell.
  • It was instrumental in establishing the state of California, keeping pioneers and prospectors in touch with the rest of the U.S.
  • The company operated for only 19 months — between 1860 and 1861 — during which time it delivered approximately 35,000 letters.
  • In the age before the telegraph, it was the fastest form of East-West communication.
  • Stations were set about 10 miles apart along the Pony Express route to ensure that messages got from the Atlantic to the Pacific in about 10 days.
  • The initial cost for mail was $5 per 1/2 oz, but this had dropped to $1 by 1861.
  • The Pony Express began with 120 riders, 154 stations, 400 horses, and special saddlebags to quickly transfer mail between horses.
  • Employees were required to swear an Oath of Good Conduct.
  •  At its peak, riders could not weigh more than 125 lbs, they changed every 75 to 100 miles, and rode day or night (sometimes for 20 hours at a time).
  • The arrival of the transcontinental telegraph made the company obsolete.
  • Buffalo Bill Cody claimed to have ridden for the Pony Express and kept its memory alive in his Wild West shows.


History, “Ten Things You May Not Know About the Pony Express” at

Wikipedia, “Pony Express” at

(Drawing: Public Domain)

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January 07, 2022

Colt .45


  • The Colt .45 is a Single Action Army Revolver that fires six cartridges.
  • It was nicknamed The Peacemaker and Six Shooter.
  • This firearm was designed in 1872 by Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company for the U.S. government.
  • It was issued to the military, but also found widespread popularity with ranchers, cowboys, lawmen, and outlaws.
  • It is a comfortable and accurate weapon for women.
  • The Colt .45 has been called The Gun That Won the West.
  • The safest way to handle this firearm is with five beans in the wheel.  Five of the six chambers are loaded, with the hammer down on the empty chamber to prevent an accidental discharge

(Photo: Public Domain)

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January 06, 2022

Deer Stew

Deer Stew


3lb cubed deer meat (venison)

6 potatoes

6 carrots

3 onions

3 celery sticks

1/2 chopped cabbage

3 tablespoons bacon fat

bay leaf



hot water


  1. Wash, peel, and coarsely chop all the vegetables.
  2. Melt the bacon fat in large pot on the stove-top and add the meat.  Fry until evenly brown, stirring constantly.
  3. Add enough hot water to cover the meat.  Simmer with a lid on for one hour.
  4. Add the carrots and celery.  Mix in the salt, pepper, and bay leaf.  Stir well.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, onions, and cabbage.  Mix well with more hot water if needed.
  6. Cook with the lid off for 30 minutes on a medium heat.  Stir occasionally throughout until the stew reduces and thickens.
  7. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.

(Photo: Public Domain)

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January 05, 2022

“Wild Bill” Hickok (1837-1876)

Wild Bill Hickok


  • James “Wild Bill” Butler Hickok was born on a farm in Illinois.
  • His varied frontier careers included time as a drover, stage coach driver, Union soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor.  Hickok was one of the first American pop culture celebrities.
  • On both sides of the law, Wild Bill was involved in numerous notorious shoot-outs.
  • He was an outstanding pistol-shot marksman.
  • In 1860, Hickok was badly injured in a bear attack while driving a freight team to Santa Fe.  He suffered a crushed chest, shoulder, and arm injuries.
  • As a gun-slinger, he killed several men.  His infamous shootout with Davis Tutt is thought to be the first recorded quick-draw duel.  Wild Bill also made several justified killings in his capacity as a law man.
  • During the Indian Wars he acted as a scout, sometimes working for General George Custer’s 7th Cavalry.
  • Hickok accidentally killed Deputy Marshal Mike Williams during a deadly street brawl – an error that haunted him for the rest of his life.
  • For some time he acted in Buffalo Bill’s play, Scouts of the Plains.
  •  In 1876 he married a 50-year-old circus owner called Agnes Thatcher Lake.
  • Shortly after that, he headed out on the Black Hills gold rush.  He joined the wagon train from Fort Laramie to Deadwood, where he met up with Calamity Jane.  Jane was besotted with Wild Bill, and at one time claimed to be his wife.
  • Hickok was shot in the back and killed by Jack McCall in Deadwood, during a game of poker.
  • The cards he was holding have since been memorialized as the Dead Man’s Hand.  It included the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, the 8 of spades, and the 8 of clubs:

  • Wild Bill is buried in Deadwood, next to Calamity Jane.


McNab. Gunfighters and Their Weapons. California: Thunder Bay Press, 2005.

Rosa, Joseph G. Age of the Gunfighter. Nebraska: U of Omaha P, 1993.

Wikipedia, “Wild Bill” Hickok at

(Photos: Public Domain)

Copyright © 2022 | | All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2022 | | All Rights Reserved