Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Western Fictioneers Announces the 9th Annual Peacemaker Award Finalists




On behalf of Western Fictioneers, I'm pleased to announce the finalists in the 9th annual Peacemaker Awards for the best in Western fiction published in 2018, listed below in alphabetical order by author.


BEST WESTERN NOVEL


THE PISTOLMAN'S APPRENTICE, Linell Jeppsen (Wolfpack Publishing)

TIMBERLINE, Matthew P. Mayo (Five Star)

GYPSY ROCK, Robert D. McKee (Five Star)
FATHER UNTO MANY SONS, Rod Miller (Five Star)
GRIT, Ron Schwab (Uplands Press)

BEST FIRST WESTERN NOVEL

THE SCARRED ONE, Tyler Boone (Sundown Press)
THE CHAPMAN LEGACY, John Neely Davis (Five Star)
REBECCA'S HOPE, Kimberly Grist (Winged Publications)
WHERE THE BULLETS FLY, Terrence McCauley (Pinnacle)
I AM MRS. JESSE JAMES, Pat Wahler (Blank Slate Press)

BEST CHILDREN'S/YOUNG ADULT WESTERN NOVEL

MYSTERY ON THE PECOS, Alice V. Brock (Pen-L Publishing)
RAWHIDE ROBINSON RIDES A DROMEDARY, Rod Miller (Five Star)
CASTLE BUTTE, John D. Nesbitt (Five Star)
THE CHRISTMAS BEAR, B.N. Rundell (Wolfpack Publishing)
ESCAPE TO FORT ABERCROMBIE, Candace Simar (Five Star)

BEST WESTERN SHORT FICTION

"Byrd's Luck", Jeffrey J. Mariotte (THE UNTAMED WEST, Western Fictioneers)
"The Gamble", Cheryl Pierson (THE UNTAMED WEST, Western Fictioneers)
"Father Pedro's Prayer", Michael R. Ritt (THE UNTAMED WEST, Western Fictioneers)
"Peyote Spirits", Ron Schwab (Uplands Press)
"The Lake Spirit", Troy D. Smith (THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO: FRONTIER JUSTICE, Moonstone Press)

Congratulations to all the finalists! The winners will be announced on June 15. Thanks to everyone who submitted work to this year's competition, and especially to the judges, whose hard work and diligence make the Peacemaker Awards possible in the first place.

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that this year's Lifetime Achievement Peacemaker Award goes to . . .

GARY McCARTHY




Friday, May 10, 2019

The Chuck Wagon

As an adjunct to our discussion on campfire cooking, let’s examine that essential piece of cowboy equipment: the chuck wagon. When they think of cowboys, most people imagine the chuck wagon accompanying every trail drive, but that wasn’t always true. The chuck wagon was invented specifically for the use of Texas cowboys in 1866. 

While some type of mobile kitchen had existed along the trails for generations, what we now know of as the chuck wagon is attributed to Charles Goodnight, Texas rancher and co-founder of the Goodnight-Loving Trail. The term is attributed to two different sources – one says it was named after “Chuck” Goodnight and the other says it’s from the slang term for food (chuck).



During the early days of the great trail drives, cowboys were responsible for their own meals and had to make do with whatever they could carry with them. This made it tough to recruit good cowboys for long drives to Kansas or other states. Charles Goodnight came up with a solution to this problem and in 1866, created the prototype of the chuck wagon.

Goodnight bought a double army-surplus wagon (Studebaker) and hired a good cook. The two then outfitted the wagon for the trail, adding steel axles that could withstand the tough terrain and boxes, shelves and drawers for the equipment and supplies. Goodnight and his cook created an efficient layout with a “chuck box” (a sloping box with a hinged lid that dropped down to provide a flat working surface) at the back of the wagon. Beneath the wagon was a “boot” to hold larger items like the Dutch oven we talked about in the past few posts.

The average chuck wagon was about ten feet long and 38-40 inches wide. A water barrel and coffee mill were attached to the outside, and a “possum belly” (a strip of canvas or cowhide) was suspended underneath to carry firewood or cow chips. Waterproof tarps were held up by the wagon bows to keep the contents dry, and a “fly,” or canvas awning, was often attached to the top of the chuck box, ready to be rolled out in case of rain.



In the front of some chuck wagons was a “jockey box,” used for storing tools and heavier equipment needed on the trail. Larger ranches might also employ a second wagon to carry the bedrolls, tents, spare saddles and extra supplies. Otherwise, the chuck wagon carried personal items and bedrolls, as well as any other needed supplies (bulk food, water, tools, feed for the horses, medicine, needles and thread, etc.).

The chuck wagon could be drawn by oxen or, more commonly, by mules. Food was usually easy to preserve, such as beans, salted meats, coffee, onions and potatoes, lard, and flour. Beef was easy to come by, and a good cook could prepare many different types, from fried steaks to pot roasts, short ribs and stew.

On long drives (often as much as a thousand miles in length, lasting as long as five months), the cook became one of the most important members of the team – even more so than the drovers themselves. Second only to the Trail Boss, the cook not only made meals, but also acted as barber, dentist and banker. Camp morale also depended on the cook, as well as the smooth functioning of the camp. Even the Trail Boss deferred to the cook at times. The Trail Boss usually made around $100-120 a month and the drovers between $25-40. A good cook made around $60 a month, putting him right up there with the boss in importance.



Cooks usually had a number of nicknames, such as Cookie or Coosie, Soggy, Pot Rustler, Lean Skillet, Old Pud, Old Lady, Belly Cheater, Biscuit Roller, Dough Boxer, Dough Puncher, Greasy Belly, Grub Worm, Gut Robber, Sourdough, and more. Even though some of these names were hardly complimentary, and a chuck wagon cook had a reputation of ill temper, none of the drovers dared to complain. Breakfast and dinner were the highlights of their day. (On the other hand, a cook who didn’t get meals ready on time would quickly be subject to ridicule).

And why was Cookie so ill-tempered? Think of all the extra work he had to do during his day: get up even earlier than the cowboys in order to have breakfast ready, still manage to be alert enough to drive the wagon, be constantly on the look-out for fuel (and gather it), and collect any additional food supplies they might pass along the way. The cook’s day began well before dawn, and after the crew had eaten breakfast and ridden away, he had to wash, dry and put away the dishes and cooking utensils, pack away the bedrolls and any food supplies, then hitch up the team to drive to the next camp. In the evening, he had to move quicker than the crew and be in place with a hot meal when they arrived with the cattle.

If Cookie was feeling kindly towards the cowboys, he might make dessert, usually pastry or pie.

Dinner was the highlight of the cowboy’s day, and though the talk was colorful (and often full of profanity), there were rules to be followed. For instance, never tie a horse to the chuck wagon or ride so close that dust might blow into the food. Approaching riders always stayed downwind from the wagon for the same reason, and cowboys weren’t allowed to scuffle about the camp site. The boys also knew not to play around with the cook – including never touching his tools, never helping himself to a bite before meals, or never using his work table for any reason. Cowboys also never crowded around the cook’s fire for warmth. 

More unwritten rules: Never take the last piece of anything unless you’re certain everybody else is finished and if you get up to refill your coffee cup, fill everyone else’s at the same time.  After the meal, cowboys always scraped their plates clean and put them into the “wrecking pan” (a big dishpan the cook washed in). After he washed the dishes and cooking utensils, filling the water barrel and dragging up more wood (or cow chips), the cook could finally relax and enjoy what was left of the evening. One trick he used was to point the tongue of the wagon toward due North. When the Trail Boss started out in the morning, he could use the tongue to tell which direction to move the herd.



Here is some chuck wagon etiquette for your cowboys:
·     Nobody eats until Cookie calls, then come a-running.
·     Fill your plates and move on so someone else can fill theirs.
·     Eat first, talk later.
·     It’s OK to eat with your fingers – the food’s clean.
·     Food left on your plate is an insult to the cook.
·     Strangers are always welcome at the wagon.
·     If you come across any decent firewood, bring it to the wagon.

Sources: 

Legends of America (legendsofamerica.com)

J.E.S. Hays
www.Facebook.com/JESHaysBooks

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ranger Jim's Ramblings for May

Howdy, All,

This month's blog is about two things that have tripped up every writers of Westerns, from Spur and Peacemaker winners to the worst pulp hacks.

I'm talking, or course, about words and objects that weren't in use or yet invented in the time of the old West, but frequently pop up in Western writings. Admit it, you've been shot down by this problem. We all have.

Obviously, there's no way to make this a comprehensive list. That would be a book in itself. Instead, I'll mention some of the things that have caught me, an dhope some of you will leave comments with those which have trapped you. I'm also not going to  bring up most of the more common ones.

First, a few words. The first one that tripped me up was "jeans", or "blue jeans." You'll see this over and over in Westerns; however, denim pants weren't called "jeans" until early in the middle of the 20th century. In fact, the first pants Levi Strauss made were of canvas. Pants were called just that, pants, or trousers. What we call jeans were merely referred to as denims, or denim pants. And overalls were just that, overalls, not dungarees.

Two words which surprised me are "Mom" and "Dad." Again, twentieth century words. In the 1800s, most likely a parent would be called "mother" or "father" "Ma" or "Pa" were less frequently used, and definitely not by the upper classes, who would be more likely to use the Latin "Mater" or "Pater". Even "Momma" and "Poppa" or "Pop" were not in general use.

Of course, most slang in the old West was completely different from what we use today, or what has been used since 1900.

Although most of us know this, it still bears repeating that cattle in a herd were all referred to as "cows."  Steer, bull, heifer, yearling, or cow, it didn't matter. They were all cows. Also, ropes were just that, a rope. Calling a rope a lariat, lasso, or anything else immediately marked the speaker as a tenderfoot.

There were no rodeos in the old West, either. There were informal contests of skill among cowboys, but the first official "rodeo", which is claimed by several towns, didn't take place until the late 1890s..

Also, as there were no breed associations, until the Jockey Club for Thoroughbred Race Horses was established, there were no official breeds of horses. Yes, there were quarter horses, paints/pintos, appaloosas, morgans, and more, but in the context of a western novel, the horse would be a type, not a breed. Therefore, the type of horse should never be capitalized.

Zippers. Most of us know the zipper wasn't invented until the 20th century.
Toilet paper. There's a reason the Farmer's Almanac has that hole in the upper left corner. It was to hang the book in the outhouse and tear off the pages as needed.
Adhesive bandages. No.
Adhesive postage stamps. No

Pre-folded adhesive envelopes. No. A letter would be folded and sealed with wax.
Toothpaste. No
Surprisingly, the telephone, and even electric power, were more common in large Western cities than is generally known. Galveston had a telephone exchange as early as 1878, and electricity not long after.

A couple of things that are incorrect, the first two of which I still use, despite them being in error.

Belt loops for men's pants. Again, a 20th century invention. However, the idea of pants with belts is so ingrained in everyone's mind it just makes sense to use that. Before the belt loop was developed, pants were held up with suspenders, or galluses. They were considered, in much of society, to be underwear, and were not supposed to be seen in public. Who would have guessed.

Hats with turned up brims. Nope, but those old floppy, flat brims just don't convey the same image as the curled brim hat.

High-heeled, pointed tow cowboy boots. Again, not until very late 19th century.

Texas Ranger badges. A HUGE no-no. Yes, you can have your Ranger wear a badge, but the earliest example of a Ranger badges is from the late 1880s-early 1890s, as seen on the cover of my Lone Star Ranger books. And those first badges were not made from Mexican cinco peso coins. The first official, state issued Ranger badge was issued after the Rangers were reorganized and placed under the Texas Department of Public Service, in 1935.

There are many, many more, but I'm out of time and space. Let me know some of yours.

Ranger Jim

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Barbers and Barbershops in the Old West Part Two by Vicky J. Rose, aka Easy Jackson, V. J. Rose


Part One discussed what a young cowboy might experience in a barbershop at the end of a long trail drive. Part Two focuses on the barber’s experience.  

Barbers have always conjured up mixed feelings, even in the Old West. On one hand, a good barber who could be trusted was a treasure never be discarded. On the other, he was in a position of being able to slit one’s throat with a stroke of the blade. He was just as prone to vices as any ordinary man, gambling and womanizing were two. A barber who had a shaky hand and alcohol on his breath did not last long in the profession, however, so that usually wasn’t one of them.

Particularly in a one-chair shop, the barber became almost like a father confessor. His
Wyoming barbershop ca 1905
customers related their personal problems. Elderly men would talk constantly of the deceased wife they missed. Ranchers holding on by a thread would discuss their problems with the bank. He had to listen to everyone else’s difficulties and keep his mouth shut about them. Often, he was called upon to give advice. He might be asked for a loan, and many times, he would allow a man who was down on his luck to sweep out the shop in exchange for a haircut. He would have to listen to a preacher exhort him to come to Jesus even if he felt plenty religious enough. He was expected to know all the news of the world, everything going on in his town, and the latest jokes. And he often did.

In addition, if there was no doctor in town, he might be asked to use his sharp instruments to remove a bullet, pull a tooth, or even do an amputation.
Ambroise Paré was a French barber surgeon, 
serving four French Kings, who is often called 
the Father of Modern Surgery. He left a lasting 
legacy of the ethics of gentleness in surgery. 
He is famous for the quote: 
“Je le pansai, Dieu le guérit (I bandaged him, God cured him)”

The barber stood on his feet with his hands up in the air for long hours at a time and soon learned in order to make it through the day, he had to sit and rest when he could. A cowboy used to the rough outdoors would walk into a cozy shop, see the barber sitting and think what a lazy, cushy life he had, having no idea of the physical demands placed on a barber working 12 hours or more a day.

In order to make ends meet, a barber might combine his business with that of selling cigars, a shoe shine stand, or a gun shop. Some of the less scrupulous ones might use a back room for a bookie parlor or other unsavory deeds. In cow towns, a bathhouse would most likely be the barber’s other business.
This nineteenth century barber pole sold for $1000 in a 2013 online auction.
If offered in 2019, the starting price would likely be $2000 or over.

 A lot of money was made in selling tonics, and many barbers used their own recipes for bay rum, shampoo, hair dye, and baldness preparations. Some of them were extremely dangerous, but no conscientious barber would purposely poison his customers. His livelihood depended on their health. His counters might be lined with ornate bottles with fancy labels he had printed, or just plain bottles to hold his mysterious preparations. But they added to the atmosphere and mystique of his shop.
The barber might buy a fancy bottle,
and then use his own recipe to fill it.

As mentioned in Part One, music was often an integral part of a barbershop. That particular harmonizing known as a “barbershop quartet” evolved in the middle of the 19th century—probably with roots in African-American singing. However, the term was not coined until early in the 20th century. 


Fashion

            The powdered wigs of Colonial America had disappeared by 1837. The barber was no longer required to own a scarificator or other bloodletting instruments. The only socially acceptable men who could wear beards before 1858 were writers, artists, and pioneer settlers. A Massachusetts man in 1830 was arrested for refusing to shave his off.
Wild Bill Hickok did not achieve this look without the help of mustache wax.

            Out West, it was a different matter entirely. Beards served as good protection against sunburn and frostbite. A miner panning for gold could not have cared less if his beard was long and his hair scraggly, but put women into the mixture, and suddenly everything changed. By the time the Civil War started, beards and mustaches had once again become popular. They stayed that way until the end of the 1800s. But to stay neat and attractive, mustaches and beards still required the services of the barber. His tools now included a mustache curler and an alcohol lamp for heating curling irons, and he carried mustache wax to sell to his customers.
Yes, your grandma
had a reason for
all those crocheted
doilies on her chairs.

            Having shiny, slicked back hair also became highly fashionable. The main ingredient in these pomades was bear fat, and it would literally drip down the collar at times. Women got busy crocheting doilies known as antimacassars to protect their furniture.
Rowland's Macassar Oil replaced bear grease, mainly
because it was touted as preventing baldness.
This bottle was found by archaeologists at
Fort Vancouver in Washington. Bottles
like this were often throw down privies when empty.

Problems

            With little understanding of germs, and without licensing inspections, patrons could give and receive impetigo, scabies, erysipelas, favus, tinea barbae, and head lice. These fell under the heading of “Barber Itch,” all easily spread by unclean towels, unsterilized razors, combs, brushes, and shaving mugs. Most barbers had special treatments for barber itch—vinegar mixed with tincture of muriatic iron applied with a feather being one. Coal oil soaked on the scalp for thirty minutes was the standard treatment for head lice, but the barber was well within his rights to tell the afflicted to treat themselves at home before coming back into his shop.

Minorities
After the Civil War, African-American men entered the barbering profession in droves. There were no fees or licenses at that time, and setting up shop was a relatively inexpensive way to start a business. Most Anglos had no problem having a negro cut their hair or shave them. Because of the prejudice of the time, however, a negro man could not walk into a white barbershop and get a haircut, nor would he really want to. That type of curly hair takes a different training to learn to cut properly, and very few whites even today can do it without butchering it up. Because of its properties, head lice cannot survive in it, however. (By the way, head lice and body lice, known as “crabs,” are two different creatures.)

Indians had their own ideas about how to wear their hair and rid their body of it, so the majority of them would have no interest in entering a barbershop of any kind for years to come. However, if they had, during that time period, they probably would have been refused service in a white barbershop.

Mexicans, with their incredible eye for detail, made excellent barbers, but they too would rarely cross the color barrier with whites or blacks. Many of them used a process called singeing, using candles or singeing papers to give haircuts and shaves. It was believed to be beneficial for the hair and keep it from falling out. When done properly the customer only felt a little warmth on his face as his whiskers were being singed away. Anglo barbers adapted the process, doing it after the haircut to seal the ends of the hair. Burning hair smells terrible, and barbers would usually try to talk their customers into a shampoo afterward. This was accomplished by having the customer stand, leaning his head over a basin.


In 1867 Galveston, a thirty-year-old immigrant woman who called herself Madame Gardoni was doing a thriving business as a barber and employed two males in her shop. In 1870, a female barber in Detroit made the news in Emporia, Kansas. In 1883, a Spanish proprietor hired four girls to work in his Sedalia, Missouri, shop. Although the newspapers were complimentary to these women, in the general public, they were viewed more or less as shady ladies.
Madame Gardoni and client. Notice the sly way
the illustrator drew the position of the man's
head and eyes.
Danger
The barber was often called out to cut the hair of an ill man at his home, or go to the funeral parlor to clean up the deceased for a wake. The sick man was often sicker with an infectious disease than his relatives had let on, and the preparation of a dead body is only for the strong in stomach.

A wealthy cattle baron might pay a barber to come to his hotel room to give him a shave and a haircut. These hotel trips were not without risk, however. If the person requesting his services turned out to be a wanted man, the barber could very well be caught in the crossfire of a gun battle with the law. Young barbers, especially, were exposed to peril. In large cities, a young barber might suddenly find his privates being fondled. A quick way to put a stop to that was to put a cold razor on the offender’s neck and whisper how much one hated the sight of blood. The barber was also in peril of being attacked by a gang of ruffians once inside the hotel room.

The barber in the West was just as civic minded as his fellow citizens. In 1892, a barber joined in the attack on the Dalton Gang in the Coffeyville Raid, firing a load of buckshot that knocked Emmett Dalton off his saddle, effectively ending the raid.
After getting out of prison, Emmett Dalton got religion
and went Hollywood. He’s shown here with legendary
western movie star Tom Mix.
In John D. Fitzgerald’s novelization of his mother’s reminisces about a Wild West mining town, he tells of a system of deputies the local sheriff organized to keep law. When one young punk came into town touting how many men he had killed, the sheriff gave him until sundown to get out of town. Ignoring the warning, he made the mistake of getting a haircut instead. The banty-sized barber, one of the sheriff’s deputies, loved to talk and didn’t seem to mind when the outlaw sat in his chair for a shave and a haircut. The process was considerably slowed by the barber’s loquacity, and when the sun went down on the other side of the mountain range, only half of the outlaw’s face had been shaven. The barber put down his razor, removed a Smith & Wesson from a drawer, proceeded to put the barrel in the gunman’s ear, pulled the trigger, at the same time saying, “I kill you in the name of the law.” 
Hollywood often depicts outlaws as scruffy creatures,
but in reality, they often looked better than the people
they robbed. Shown above: The Sundance Kid,
John Wesley Hardin, Bob Younger, Jesse James,
and Sam Bass. Hardin, who had ears
that stuck out, was almost always photographed
with hair over his ears.

Guns were for killing outlaws; the razor was held in sacred trust for the barber’s chosen profession.


Bob Wills was a barber before making it
big as "The King of Western Swing."
End of Part Two of Two
To Read Part One, click here: Barbers and Barbershops in the Old West Part One

Click here to buy A SEASON IN HELL
Click here to buy A BAD PLACE TO DIE
Click here to buy TESTIMONY
Click here to buy TREASURE HUNT IN TIE TOWN


And coming in February 2020 from Five Star Publishing

MUSKRAT HILL

A Frontier Mystery



Resources: The Vanishing American Barbershop: An Illustrated History of Tonsorial Art, 1860-1960 by Ronald S. Barlow; http://www.kristinholt.com/archives/7229; http://www.kristinholt.com/archives/7413; https://whatdoeshistorysay.blogspot.com/2014/01/history-of-american-barbershop.html; http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/10/bloody-history-barber-pole/; http://www.nationalbarbermuseum.org/about/barbering-timeline; https://www.instructables.com/id/Fire-Shaving/; https://www.historynet.com/dalton-gang;
Papa Married a Mormon by John D. Fitzgerald; Barber Instructor and Toilet Manual by Frank C. Bridgeford; Shannon Hartsnagel Interview; http://www.acappellafoundation.org/essay/bbshistory.html


Thursday, April 25, 2019

INSIDE THE REAL GRAY'S ANATOMY


The Doctor's Bag

The blog about Medicine and Surgery in the Old West 

By Keith Souter aka CLAY MORE




         
I am sure you will have heard of Gray’s Anatomy. It is the title of one of the most famous medical textbooks in the world. It is probably because of this that the eight longest television medical drama has benefitted from this, albeit in  Grey’s Anatomy, it is spelled with an ‘e’. 

Generations of medical students and aspiring surgeons have poured over its pages since it was written in 1858. It covers in immense detail every structure of the human body, all in glorious medical Latin (which happened to be the topic for last month's blog). I myself have a copy of the 30th edition, published in 1949, which I obtained when I was studying Medicine at the University of Dundee in Scotland in 1971. It is an impressive tome,  of 1533 pages, with 1285 coloured figures, weighing in at an impressive 5lb 5 ounces, or 2.4 kilos.
            


Henry Gray FRS, FRCS (1827-1861)
Henry Gray the author of the book trained at St George’s Hospital in London and at the early age of twenty-five was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. A talented anatomy demonstrator he wrote his famous book at the age of thirty-one. Sadly, at the age of thirty-four, while looking after a nephew who had smallpox, he contracted confluent smallpox, the most severe form of the disease where there are so many lesions that they become one confluence and inevitably, he died shortly afterward. It is ironic that at the time he was studying the anatomical effects of infectious diseases on various organs of the body.
        

One of his other great works was a dissertation ‘On the Structure and Use of the Spleen.’ This was an extremely useful paper, since the function of the spleen had been a mystery to doctors. In medieval times it had been thought that the spleen concentrated certain vital body fluids or humours, and that an excess of them could result in various types of mental aberration. Anger was one such emotion, hence the expression ‘to vent one’s spleen.’ It was also thought that it could be associated with depression. 
            
Of course, nowadays we know that the spleen has nothing whatever to do with the emotions. It is an extremely important organ of the reticulo-endothelial system. This system is part of the body’s immune system. It is called this because it consists of the reticular connective tissue, which contain cells called monocytes and macrophages. These accumulate i.n lymph nodes and in the spleen. The liver is also part of this system. 
            
The spleen is an organ about the size of a large fist, located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen, although it cannot usually be felt, since it is just under the rib cage. It removes old red blood cells from the circulation and also produces and keeps a reserve of these precious red cells in case the body suddenly needs them. 
            
Glandular fever usually causes a reversible enlargement of the spleen. Malaria can enlarge it incredibly, to as much as nine kilos! (that's twice the weight of my Gray's Anatomy). 



 Surprisingly, the spleen is not essential to life, but if one has had a splenectomy, there is a potential risk of pneumonia. For this reason, people who have had their spleen removed may be offered a vaccine. 

The story behind Gray's Anatomy
This famous book, which generations of medical students and surgeons in training have studied as they have sought to learn about every organ, nerve, blood vessel and tissue in the body, has now gone through 40 editions.  The newest version has 1600 pages, 2,260 illustrations and weighs about eleven pounds, almost twice as heavy as my old copy. Like most medical texts it has changed dramatically over the years and been redesigned, restructured, rewritten and re-illustrated with modern techniques.  This mirrors the way that anatomy is taught in most medical schools throughout the world. Whereas in my day we spent  two years in the anatomy dissecting rooms, nowadays many schools teach anatomy with a mixture of  dissection, prosection (demonstrations by anatomists in front of students), computerised  demonstrations. Indeed, today if you do not wish to carry an eleven pound textbook around with you it is available  on-line. 

Yet there is a side to Gray's Anatomy that is not so well known. Whilst Henry Gray wrote the text, he collaborated on the dissections over eighteen months with an anatomy demonstrator and fellow surgeon  Henry Vandyke Carter. It was Carter who did the famous illustrations. 


Henry Vandyke Carter - self portrait
(1831-1897)
Upon completing the book Carter sailed to India to begin a career in tropical medicine and anatomy. Gray stayed behind, published the book and accumulated several accolades. This is not to say he did not deserve them, he unquestionably did, but somehow Carter did not receive due recognition. When the book was published in 1858 it was titled Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical. Henry' Gray's name was on the cover and on the frontispiece Carter's name also appeared, but in smaller print and without his qualifications. It looked as though he had been reduced to role of the mere illustrator, not an equal. Gray received significant royalties, while Carter received none.

Carter worked for the Indian Medical Services for the rest of his career and became professor of anatomy at Grant Medical College in Bombay (modern day Mumbai). In 1888 he returned to England and became Deputy Surgeon to her Majesty, Queen Victoria.  He married and had a family, before dying from tuberculosis at the age of 66.

Undoubtedly, Carter should have received more credit for his work. This happens a lot in science and medicine, some get all the glory and go down in history, while others are slighted, passed over  and forgotten.

And finally, for you Western writers.....
A perusal of Gray's Anatomy will make you wary of those abdominal wounds. The fact is there is no good place to be wounded, since there is bound to be damage and surgical treatment has to be incredibly skillful.

The arterial blood supply of the bowel

The small intestine has been rolled aside to show the arteries 


....and if you look behind that!

There may be  some parts that are 'less bad' to be wounded, but luck will always play a huge part. You might say it's a Gray area!

***
If you are intrigued by medical Latin, then you might like to dip into this book, which you can pick up for a cent or two!



If you are interested in reading more about medicine and surgery in the frontier days,  then you may find The Doctor's bag useful. It is a collection of my past blog posts, published by Sundown Press.







The novel about Dr George Goodfellow, the Tombstone surgeon to the gunfighters





The novel about Ned Buntline, the King of the Dime Novelists