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Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Marshal's Lady


 by Rain Trueax


Growing up, westerns were my favorite series TV and movies. The good guys used guns and they always won in the end over the bad guys. There was no problem figuring out who was who. As I have mentioned, right now I am watching no TV; but even before, I didn't go to the channels with the old westerns. Maybe someday I will, but right now they don't draw me to them.

There were a lot of television westerns that I loved back in the day. One of them was called Gunsmoke, about the marshal of Dodge City, Kansas and the woman he loved. Oh, I know the woman he loved never came to fruition while in the shows, but it was there in the expressions and the looks Matt and Kitty gave each other. If it had been in a different time, maybe it would have, but in those days the hero either had to marry the heroine or it needed to stay suggested. The emphasis was always on the marshal and his job.

What I came across on YouTube is, how many people had created the love story we all craved to have seen, the one we imagined. There are a lot of these videos. They go back ten years or even more where the music is put to clips from the shows. Here's one--

Behind Closed Doors

Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975, following an earlier radio show. In the last year, Kitty had left the show. Maybe the star got tired of never geting her marshal.  

This question is whether the heroine and hero never connecting (many in those days) led many western writers to want to create romances where happily ever after was required. If I had begun publishing my own books back in the 50s, it did influence not allowing a marshal to have as a lover, a saloon owner (or bordello madam). Could they kiss? Not a chance. 

My first books were written in the 60s but I didn't have the sex in them either-- the rough drafts that is, as in those years I wrote but didn't publish. By the mid 1970s, the word for romance novels changed and steamy was part of the plots. Personally, I think it was good for women to read such books where healthy sexuality was a part of a serious romance (well, some weren't probably so healthy back then). 

My first historical western where the hero was a marshal was Book 2 in the Arizona series. The marshal had been in book 1 as had the future heroine. How to make their story challenging led to a lot of research as to what being a US Marshal meant back in those days. Many towns, like Tucson, had a marshal and a sheriff. The marshal's job was more federally political while the sheriff was run more by local partisan politics. But, both were political.

The Marshal's Lady (original titled Tucson Moon) dealt with a man and woman with very opposite ideas on guns among other things. He used one as part of his responsibilities. She despised them. What really brought them together, to find a way past this, was the arrival of his estranged nine year-old daughter when he had no idea how to be a father. The heroine stepped in with her sympathy for the girl and from there romance grew.

Unlike Gunsmoke, I had no compunction against bringing these two together sexually, but it had to make sense that it could happen and it had to take into account the nature of the times politically and culturally. Because it was set in Southern Arizona, I enjoyed writing it as it moved outside of Tucson and involved characters from my first Arizona book. 

The Marshal's Lady is a taste of what life was like back in the 1880s and a book where a happily ever after is going to happen-- even after many struggles (of course). Although the link is just for Amazon, the book is at Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, etc.

The Marshal's Lady


  1. My dad loved Gunsmoke. He never missed and episode. I'll admit, I didn't care for it much maybe because it was too male-centric. Now when High Chaparral came along, I was old enough to appreciate Manolito and the romance between Big John and his young wealthy Mexican wife. But I couldn't figure out why the wife would marry a man old enough to be her grandfather. As I got older, I learned all about marriages for profit and gain. Thanks for the memory!

  2. Oh, my. You bring back memories: Wyatt Earp, Cheyenne, Bonanza, Maverick, etc. And they were all good shows with happy endings, but not real "attraction/in-love scenes." It was the story line and intrigue/conflict that carried those shows...and maybe the fact there were only three major networks. Great post. "The Marshal's Lady" sounds like a wonderful read.

  3. Our family watched all the westerns and I loved them. Still do. We recently watched a Tom Hanks western, "News of the World", and loved it. I'd watch it again several times.

  4. I was thinking of watching 'News of the World' and glad that it was good. I love western movies and always like Tom Hanks


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