First Line Winner in my blog contest: "Sorry you got shot, Cole. Damn, this is gonna mess up all our plans." ...from Much Ado About Marshals.
...and now, our guest, Jacquie Rogers.
Women have swooned over men in spurs since the early Etruscans and probably before that, too. Sure enough, today’s article is all about spurs. Writers don’t often describe spurs, but even so, it’s good to know the many different varieties, how spurs evolved, and why.
Prong-style (a single point) spurs made of wood or bone have been found in
Patagonia. Then we head over to the Etruscans—yes, it’s quite a trip—who first recorded the use of spurs, also prong but made of bronze. The Romans in were generous enough to leave spurs for us to find, similar to the Etruscan spurs. Britain
Nearly all spurs have a yoke that fits around the heel of the boot, and a shank extending from the middle of the top of the yoke (same as now) to which the prong was attached. Eventually, the prong evolved into a disk or a star, but was still solid. By the 1200s, rowels came into use. This is where the disk or star is mounted on a center pin at the end of the shank so the rowel can spin.
Of course, nearly all of us know that the phrase, “earned his spurs” came from the knighting ceremony, and conversely, “losing his spurs” was punishment for a shameful deed. These terms are still used today, even by people who have never seen a spur for real.
The Spaniards really loved their rowels, and created larger and fancier designs. The Conquistadors took their beloved spurs with them when they came to swipe gold from the Aztecs et al. You can see the influence of these spurs in
Mexico and South America today—large rowels with ornate designs, and silver-plated engraved yokes. The leather straps holding the yoke on the boot were also intricately tooled.
Colonial Americans used the same dinky spurs as the British used: no rowel at all, only a shank with a blunted tip. No doubt, George Washington and his men would’ve used this type of spur. Probably Andrew Jackson, too. These spurs aren’t particularly swoon-worthy. Or all that noticeable.
However, when the pioneers migrated to
and the Mexican territory, incorporating Mexican methods of cattle herding with their own, the new cowhands took a liking to Mexican spurs as well. Spurs used today for western riding came from this style. Some are plain and some are very ornate. Those knowledgeable about spurs will know whether the cowhand came from the Great Plains, Texas Texas, California, or by the style. Mexico spurs included a chaps guard—a blunt protuberance that proves protection for the chap from the rowel. Now we’ve upped the swoon factor considerably. California
|SPUR JINGLE BOB
Most cowhands didn’t use jingle bobs except for town use or the show ring, and good grief, they sure wouldn’t use them to sneak up on a bad guy like the B-westerns show. I’ve only seen jingle bobs used at dances. Personally, I’ve never considered jingle bobs swoonable, but some heroines might think so, depending on who wore them.
If you’d like to learn more about spurs, take a look at these sites:
Bio: Jacquie Rogers
Jacquie Rogers grew up on a farm in southwest
, milking cows, riding horses, hoeing beets, and all the other things that need to be done on a farm, creating experiences which have proved to be a rich source of story fodder. Now she lives in Idaho with her husband. The only animal she herds these days is her cat, Annie. And no, Annie doesn’t cooperate all that well, but better than Jacquie’s 3-year-old grandson. Her first ambition was to be a baseball announcer, but that didn’t work out so by age eight she decided to be a foreign correspondent because they get to go to exotic places (never thinking about writing as part of the job). Having children took care of that dream, so she ended up doing all sorts of other jobs before she took up the keyboard. Washington State
About Marshals on Amazon Kindle: Ado
About Marshals on BN.com: Ado
About Marshals on Smashwords: Ado
Faery Merry Christmas on Kindle:
See all Jacquie’s books: http://www.JacquieRogers.com/books.html
1st Turning Point: http://1stturningpoint.com/
Back Cover Copy for Much
About Marshals by Jacquie Rogers Ado
wants to be a detective just like dime novel heroine Honey Beaulieu. To her delight, her sister shot a bank robbery and he got away, so now she even has a crime to solve. But her parents insist she marry a man whose farm is miles from town. She can't solve crimes stuck out there. What better solution than to marry the new marshal! Gardner
Rancher Cole Richards saves his friend from robbing a bank, but is shot for his efforts, and now is a wanted man. His friend takes him to Oreana to see the doc, where Cole's mistaken for the new marshal. Now he faces a dilemma few men have to face--tell the truth and hang, or live a lie and end up married. Either way could cost him his freedom.~*~*~*~
Excerpt from Much Ado About Marshals
Copyright © 2011 Jacquie Rogers
"Yes, he's definitely the one." Her sweet tone belied her accusation. Most robbery victims wouldn't be so cheerful. Was he in jail? The aroma of sagebrush and alkali had been replaced by tincture of iodine, so he could be in the doctor's office.
"Fits the description exactly."
Cole's hopes sank at the lady's certainty. While he'd never had a doubt he and Bosco would be caught, he'd hoped to make it back to the ranch to set things right. And the lady didn't have to sound so damned happy about it.
"You're sure about that?" a man's voice asked.
"Well, Doc, he's tall, so he matches the six-foot-two height, he has dark brown hair, brown eyes, and he's wounded on the right leg just like the wire said."
Cole hoped that at least Bosco had made it to the ranch. He was goodhearted, a loyal friend, but not all that quick on the draw.
"Yes," the lady continued, "he's our new marshal, all right."
New marshal? Hell, he was wanted for bank robbery! This didn't seem exactly the right time to mention it, though.
"Good," the man named Doc responded, "then I'll bill the city for his care. The wife will be happy to hear I finally have a cash customer."
"You don't have a wife."
The doctor chuckled. "No, Miss Daisy, but I'd sure like you to change that." "Not a chance," she teased.
They both laughed, but Cole knew how the doctor really felt. Some men were born to be alone.
A cool cloth smelling of borax mopped his forehead. He forced his eyes to open. He blinked a couple of times and focused on a beautiful woman, her brow wrinkled with concern. "Come here, Doc," she said with quiet enthusiasm. "He's awake."
Cole heard water pouring as he stared at the lady who belonged to the sunny voice. Her green-eyed gaze bathed him with compassion and reminded him of sunset on Sinker Creek, where the rays glanced off the rapids, and the rippling of the water made a man's heart feel pure.
He wondered what she'd look like if he loosened her auburn hair that was pulled tightly into a bun. She was a beauty, all right.
A slight man dressed appropriately for a doctor, or an undertaker, rubbed his brown handlebar mustache while he mulled over Cole's condition. "His color's much better, Daisy, don't you think?"
"I'll go tell Dad that he won't have to rush over here for the marshal's last prayers." She pulled on her gloves and tossed a cloak over her shoulders.
Damn, a preacher's daughter. What a waste of womanly flesh.
"Look for him at your Aunt Grace's house," the doctor advised. "When I picked up the wire telling us the new marshal was riding in, Rayburn told me that your sister had just come home. Seems like some yahoos tried to hold up her bank--put quite a scare into her, too."
Daisy clapped her gloved hands to her cheeks. "Oh, no! Is Iris all right?"
"She's fine," replied the doctor, "but I hear one of the would-be robbers is somewhat worse for the wear. She claims she shot one."
"Oh, my!" Daisy picked up her parasol and reticule. "I'll get over there right away. She may need me!"
Cole's throat tightened as Daisy hurried to the door. She'd put two and two together as soon as she talked to her sister.
"God works in wonderful ways," she exclaimed triumphantly as she unlatched the door. "It's a miracle that our new marshal showed up when he did." She swept out of the room like a queen.
Stay calm and think. So Daisy's sister was the woman who'd shot him. What lousy luck. He had to get the hell out of here.
Especially since Miss Daisy thought he was the town's new marshal.
He didn't even know what town.~*~*~*~
Thank you, Jacquie. We've had a great time with you.