Wednesday, January 2, 2019
A Sinister Celebrity
By Paisley Kirkpatrick In 1858 Xavier Eyma published a short story about encountering James Bowie while traveling the United States. Since the hero in my first story, Night Angel, also carried this same knife, I found the encounter very interesting. One day while traveling the U.S., Eyma found himself in a carriage with three people: a lady, her husband, and a third individual who was wrapped in a cloak and apparently sound asleep. Suddenly an enormous Kentuckian got into the coach. He was smoking a cigar and he cast a glance around him that seemed to say: ''I am half horse and half alligator, a true son of Kentucky, flower of the forests." The he puffed out thick clouds of smoke, without any regard for his fellow travelers, and especially for the young lady whom the smoke very evidently made sick. Thus, the husband courteously asked the Kentuckian to stop smoking. The latter replied: ''I have paid for my seat. I shall smoke as much as I please, and nobody in the world shall stop me." After saying this, he rolled his eyes fiercely and looked around him with a provocative air as if daring anyone to counter reply. Eyma hesitated a moment, wondering whether he should intervene, but realized he would have little chance against such an athletic adversary, and thought of the impotence of the law which offered no recourse against him.