The Wit and Wisdom of H.H. Lomax

Of the many characters Preston Lewis has created as a western and historical novelist, H.H. Lomax is the most endearing and enduring.  His droll wit, his irreverent perspective and his colorful idioms combine to provide insightful and often humorous perspectives on the events and characters of the Old West as well as on life in general.  Note Lomax’s perspective on various topics:

General Custer
There weren’t enough mirrors in the world to adequately reflect his opinion of himself. And my low opinion of the man did little to narrow the waistline of his bulging vanity….Fact was, if you had ordered a thousand sons of bitches from a Chicago mail-order house and only received him, you’d mark your bill paid in full. —Bluster’s Last StandBluster's Last Stand Cover

Meeting Tom Custer:
That’s when I had the first inkling that bastards, like bananas, came in bunches.–Bluster’s Last Stand

Fight at Last Stand Hill
It seemed like forever, but it was over in an hour or less.  –-Bluster’s Last Stand

Philosophy of Life
Once things get to going good, something comes along and changes everything for the worse. —The Redemption of Jesse James

He didn’t strike me as the kind of man who’d grow bowlegged toting his brains around. —The Demise of Billy the Kid

Parental Responsibilities
The way I saw it, if Pa and Momma had brought me into the world, they should’ve made my life easier rather than putting me to doing chores. —The Redemption of Jesse James

Running a saloon is as respectable an occupation, as say, running for political office, and you get to meet a higher class of people. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Custer’s Presidential Ambitions
I knew Custer was just the type of man the nation needed, if we wanted to run the country into the ground.  That’s when I came to understand that ambition trumped truth and the quest for political power trumped decency. —Bluster’s Last Stand

Custer’s Political Future
I figured his future was in hell, then realized politics and hell were likely one and the same, there not being a decent person in either. —Bluster’s Last Stand

I certainly hadn’t intended to tell a lie, but the facts got away from me.  And I knew I would never tell another lie unless it couldn’t be avoided. —The Redemption of Jesse James

Texas was a big state. You could ride all day and not see anything worth seeing. Most of Texas was a hundred miles from civilization, fifty miles from water, and six inches from hell. —Bluster’s Last Stand

Generally I preferred Texans to smallpox, Republicans and tax collectors, but little else. —The Redemption of Jesse James

Frontier Civilization
In every boomtown I’d ever been in, I’d heard a clamor for the law to come in and civilize the place.  Only problem was, the law was just as bad as the lawless, and the little man got trampled by them both. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Farm Work
Farming is damn boring work, unless you enjoy watching a mule’s butt as you wrestle a plow through the stubborn earth. —The Redemption of Jesse James

Buffalo Bill Cody
With a dramatic gesture he must have learned from theater work, he yanked off his hat and bowed like a performer after a standing ovation.  That was Cody.  He craved attention and acclaim as well as the women that always seemed to be with him when his wife wasn’t. —Bluster’s Last Stand

The Earp Brothers
I came to believe there were several nooses hanging in their family tree. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Doc Holliday
Guns weren’t always loaded, but Doc generally was, which was what made him so dangerous. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Big Nose Kate
I had to admit she was a comely woman, save for the nose, and I had a good curiosity about how she treated a man.  But I’d never considered suicide, which I figured I might be doing by messing with Doc’s woman, even if she was her own woman most of the time. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Waco and Religion
Waco … seemed to have more churches than people …On top of that, the fine people of Waco had a fancy four-story brick jail, promoted as the best in Texas.  The way I figured it, Waco shouldn’t need a jail with so many churches and pious folks around. —Bluster’s Last Stand

Female Poise
Nothing gives a woman more confidence than good looks and plenty of money.
The Demise of Billy the Kid

Bad Company
I knew these were all bad men and I didn’t much care for them, but I sure liked their food….There’s no better steak than one from another man’s beef. —The Demise of Billy the Kid

Fine Dining
Eating jerky’s about like chewing an old boot, though not as tasty. —The Demise of Billy the Kid

Rustling Cats
Now, I tried to be a law-abiding citizen whenever I could, so I considered the law as I knew it.  It was against the law to steal cattle, but this wasn’t a cow.  It was against the law to steal horses, but this wasn’t a horse.  It was against the law to steal chickens, but this wasn’t a chicken.  I had never heard of a law against stealing cats.  “Here, kitty, kitty,” I whispered. —Mix-Up at the O.K. Corral

Death Threats
Waiting to be killed is an easy assignment.  You just sit around and worry. —Bluster’s Last Stand

His Future:
I didn’t know where I was going, but that was nothing new for me. —The Redemption of Jesse James


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