This is one of those subjects that seems to have no end. Guns provides women with courage they might not have possessed with out them. Ellen Casey of Lincoln County, New Mexico, became excited when a party of Apache stole some cattle and horses from the Casey ranch. Declaring she was not afraid she armed herself with a shot gun. Her husband who watched all this with amazement advised her against going. I ain’t afraid she declared. He then pointed out that she had loaded one barrel with both loads of buck shot and double loaded the other with powder and had only capped the barrel with the buckshot with a primer. I expect that ended her aim of pursuit.
Mary Nugent was surprised by the appearance of a party of Apache at her Tombstone, Arizona ranch. Knowing she could not reach her gun in time, she invited them in for breakfast. After eating she told them she need some lard and put them to work moving some supplies in to the store room. when they were all inside she slammed the door and put a heavy bar in place. Rushing to grab her rifle, she fired a shot into the door as a warning to stay in place. When the Apache were released nobody thought to ask why they had come to the ranch in the first place.
Mrs. Victor Daniels usually worked the range with her husband, but stayed home one day with a sick baby. She noticed two strange men driving off part of their herd. She raced to her horse and gave chase. she built a loop with her rope and lassoed the first around the neck and jerked him out of the saddle. Drawing her pistol she invited the second to drive her herd back home. After the job was done to her satisfaction she told him to scat. The first lay on the ground with a broken neck.
Mrs. Stevens of LonesomeValley, Arizona kept a gun handy at all times. Her husband Lewis went the thirty miles to town while she stayed home with the children. Looking out the window she saw what looked looked like a rag hanging on a bush. She did not remember one being there so she grabbed her gun, drew a bead on it and plugged a Apache. He was not alone, his fellows had the ranch house surrounded. She kept reloading and firing holding them off until some cowboys in the vicinity heard the shooting and came to investigate the noise. When all settled down, the cowboys asked Mrs. Stevens if she wanted to send a message to her husband, She wrote.
The Apaches came. I’m mighty nigh out of buckshot. Please send more.
Your loving wife.
The dime novels featured female gunslingers, outlaws and cattle thieves- like Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Cattle Annie and Little Britches (the later two still to come) but they didn’t hold a candle to the real life women of the west. they worked the ranches like men and many were crack shots, defending their homes and children. Often they helped their husbands chase down rustlers and thieves. They were true equals long before they were recognised as equals. Not only wives, but the daughters worked just as hard often as not. They had to be tough to survive in those hard and wild days.
Hell if you are married you know that the woman runs most households, us guys just bring home the bacon and hope she’ll let us have a little of it. And often she helps slaughter the hog and brings in as much of the stuff as we do, right?
Well gotta go turn on the oven so I can bake some of that bacon. Oh yes I cook our bacon in the oven on a grill at 400 degrees. It does not curl up and does not burn, if you watch it closely. Anyho gotta go.