DIME NOVEL HERO

JackDime1Texas Jack was made famous during the late 1800's and early 1900's not only because of his career on the stage but as the hero of many "dime novels" which were popular at the time. Many of his true-to-life adventures were fictionalized in those exciting little books.

An article in the New York Times Magazine of January 4, 1931 states,

"He was the Mustang King - The Conqueror of Cayuses without a rival. Horses came to him on the end of a lariat, and when he chose the wrong one in the dark, he could not coax it to go home. He was a Knight in Silvered Sombrero, defender of women, subduer of bullies...He fought Comanches by the tribe—and put them to death or flight. He led cavalry to the rescue of wagon trains. He saved officers' ladies from prairie fires...He had a heart so soft that it never failed the innocent and the friendless."

In the words of another writer, Texas Jack "...is a pleasant man who made friends easily, a man with a smile and a joke for all, but very dangerous when his anger was aroused."

Is it any wonder then that all of these traits, together with his many exciting exploits in the wilderness, made fine copy for the dime novelist? One such experience took place when Jack was at Fort McPherson:JackDime2

Caught alone one day, many miles from the fort, the whole hostile Comanche tribes surrounded Jack and cut off escape. The Indians, well familiar with his ability with the rifle, did not attack even though they knew he was alone, but tried to starve him out. After several days, Jack decided to make the attack himself and ordered his horse to lie down as he had been trained to do.

As the Indians began advancing on him, he took a position behind his horse and opened repeating rifle fire over the horses back. Every shot brought down a Redskin. The others retreated, then started at him from the rear. Jack just turned his horse around and repeated the demonstration of marksmanship. Having thus dispersed the Indians, he got on his horse and rode back to the fort unharmed, where he had been given up for lost. Needless to say, he was joyfully met by the inhabitants of the fort who greeted him with delight.