Thanks to Wild Horse Press of Fort Worth, the third of my novels in The Memoirs of H.H. Lomax series is now back in print and available from on-line retailers. This is how Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral begins:
Things might have turned out different in Tombstone if I hadn’t had a toothache and Doc Holliday hadn’t had bad breath. A lot of men died as a result, though not likely as many as needed killing. If it hadn’t been my tooth, though, it’d probably have been something much less important that started all the trouble because there were more mean folk in Arizona Territory at the time than you’d find any place else in the country short of a suffragists’ convention.
The law was crooked in Tombstone, and it didn’t matter what side of the law you were on. The politics were crooked in Tombstone, too, which made it no different from most every other place else in the country. You couldn’t even buy a town lot without some greasy son of a bitch trying to claim it for himself. Nothing was straight in Tombstone, not even the liquor. I knew that for certain because I owned a saloon there, and I’d cut my whiskey with just about anything I could, even water—which was expensive at three cents a gallon—when nothing else was available.
Running a saloon is as respectable an occupation as, say, running for political office, and you get to meet a higher class of people. That’s how I met Doc Holliday, who threatened to cut out my gizzard, and Johnny Ringo, who offered to blow a hole in me wide enough to drive an ore wagon through, and the Earp brothers, who were rightly named because I always felt like throwing up around them.
As you can see, I took an irreverent look at the events of Tombstone. Besides that, this was the first book in which I ever made a cat into a significant character. That led to a series of events and assignments that allowed me to claim to be the world’s leading authority on cats in the Old West. It’s funny how a chain of events can lead to such a claim, pretty much like how the sequence of incidents in Tombstone led my protagonist H.H. Lomax to fire the first shot in the altercation near the O.K. Corral. At least that’s what Lomax claims!