Thursday, March 17, 2011
Dangerous Persuasion, Inspired by an Incident in Texas
Dangerous Persuasion, was inspired by a true story that happened to my Texas grandmother's uncle in Texas after the Civil War. Following the end of the war, General Shelby crossed Texas to enter Mexico. Lawless bands of raiders also crossed Texas at that time taking whatever they could find of value. One such group of raiders demanded food and bedding from my great great grandmother, Mrs. Ihnken. My novella, Moonlight Desperado, was inspired by her experience although my fictional story does not represent anyone in my family. Her story and her son's story also inspired my full length western historical, Dangerous Persuasion.
One moonlit night in June, loud "hellos" were heard outside their home. Mr. Ihnken and his older son had left town on business. Small, petite Mrs. Ihnken was alone with four young children, three little girls and one boy who was about ten or so. She walked outside on the front veranda to see who called out. Against the bright moonlight she saw the dark silhouettes of twenty-five men on horses looming over her. One of the men spoke up and ordered her to bring out all her mattresses and put them in the yard so they could sleep there. She protested but the man insisted. She realized she faced the feared gang of desperados the town had heard about. She went to work and carried out the bedding, placing it where the men directed. The leader instructed her to cook supper for all of them. While following his orders she managed to keep the men from discovering the family store, and they later left peacefully.
In a couple of days, they returned and demanded she provide another meal. The men wandered around the homestead and when a renegade soldier discovered the store, they proceeded to take everything. Finding the old iron safe, the leader told her to open it. Mrs. Ihnken played for time, protesting it contained nothing but some family jewelry which had no value. He ignored her protests and insisted she open it. Her young son stood by her side, and as she bent over the safe, she whispered to him to run for help. The leader heard her frantic whisper to her son and drew his pistol. At the sound of other pistols being drawn, she turned and found her son held at gunpoint by several men. The band of renegades eventually left, taking her jewelry and legal documents.
They had no use for the documents and discarded them in the brush along their way out of town. Before they left the area, they hired two men of prominent families to guide them to El Paso. The guides were later found dead beside the road.
Years later, Mrs. Ihnken's son, now grown, entered a bank to do business in a town in another state. He was directed to the back office to meet the owner of the bank. When he walked into the office, the owner held out his hand in greeting. The young man recognized him but refused to take his hand. He explained that he wouldn't shake the hand of the man who had held a gun to his belly when he was a boy.
This true story about my Texas family inspired my fictional story, Dangerous Persuasion, about undercover Ranger, Kurt MacConnor, who is driven to find and bring in the the murderous outlaw he faced in a bank robbery when a young Texas Ranger.
Undercover Ranger Kurt MacConnor has vowed to arrest an outlaw leader to settle a debt. Cassie Leland is determined to protect her father and their ranch from outlaws. When feisty Miss Leland lands in MacConnor's lap, passion explodes. MacConnor endeavors to protect Cassie Leland from dangerous outlaws, but his passion for her may be the biggest threat.
Dangerous Persuasion will be released as an ebook on March 30, 2011, At Siren Bookstrand under my Claire Adele author name. It will also be out in print later this year. I hope you'll enjoy the story about Kurt MacConnor and Cassie Leland. This was an exciting story to write.
What true stories are your favorites? Do you have an inspiring family story to tell?
Jeanmarie Hamilton, aka Claire Adele
Guardian of Her Heart