XOXO is delighted to welcome Marie Patrick to the blog today! Like us, Marie loves a cowboy, and more specifically, an outlaw! We asked her to share the appeal of some of her wildest Wild West bad boys, and she definitely delivered!
History is rife with outlaws and their stories, real and imagined. Their treacherous actions are part of what made the Old West so notorious. I love lawmen, but outlaws have their place too. The Clantons and McLaurys, made famous in every book you’ve ever read or movie you’ve ever seen about the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona; Billy the Kid, reputed to have killed eight men; John Wesley Hardin; Jesse James; and the list goes on. What makes these men think they’re above the law? Is it greed? Envy? Revenge? Books and movies sometimes tell us what drove them to do what they did, but will we ever really know the truth? And do you want to? I so prefer the fictional to the true life villains! These are some of my favorite love-to-hate outlaws:
Bruce Barlow in Crossfire Trail by Louis L’Amour
L’amour wrote so many great bad guys it’s hard to choose just one. But this is one of my favorite books (I loved the movie, too…with Tom Selleck as the hero and Mark Harmon as the villain…oh my!). What makes Barlow (Harmon’s character) such a good bad guy? He knows what he wants and won’t let anything stop him from getting it. He has no problem having a man killed then wooing his widow…all for want of her ranch…and the oil on it (black gold, Texas tea!).
Denton Baxter in Open Range by Lauran Paine
Baxter, our bad guy in this excellent story, is a cattle baron who takes offense when free-grazers (played wonderfully in the movie adaptation by Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner) have the temerity to graze their cattle on his land. Is this a case of greed? Wrath? Pride? I’m not sure, but it’s captivating to watch this drama play out.
Kirk Douglas starring in “The Villain”
Last, but certainly not least, no article about villains or outlaws would be complete without mentioning “The Villain”. This was not a book, but it is one of my all-time favorite movies. The villain (played for laughs by Kirk Douglas) is…well…not a very good bad guy. He is inept and prone to calamities, which makes him and his antics funny and thoroughly entertaining. Loved his horse, too!
The Logan Gang in A Kiss in the Sunlight by Marie Patrick
In my own western trilogy, the MacDermott Brothers saga (A Kiss in the Shadows, A Kiss in the Morning Mist, and A Kiss in the Sunlight), the Logan Gang was one of the most notorious outlaw gangs to ever ride. They were not only driven by greed and envy, but I think they actually enjoyed robbing, rustling, and killing. Some villains don’t need a reason to do what they do…they simply like it (as long as they can get away with it).
Marie Patrick lives in beautiful, sunny Arizona, where inspiration to write historical romance is in every amazing sunset. Find her online at MariePatrick.com and Facebook.com/pages/Marie-Patrick, or email her at Akamariep@aol.com.