With God And Buffalo Bill

Part 3


Prior to his having been born again as a man of letters and adopting the name “Ned Buntline” as his “Nomme De Plume”, the pen name he was to immortalize in “Buffalo Bill, King of The Border Men” and innumerable other subtly sexy, action packed Dime Novels, Buntline himself had a much wilder and woolier past than any of the subsequent fictional characters he created.

His own life was a madcap marathon of Believe it or not escapades that might have strained the credulity of Mr. Ripley himself.

Almost single handedly this intrepid and irrascable Maniac about Town personally amassed all of the hair raising and incredible true life experiences necessary to convince any Doubting Thomas or avowed scepticist to altogether forego common sense, suspend disbelief indefinitely and accept with the gullible simplicity of a child, the absolute authenticity of his latter-day cliff hanging adventures!

Sensational stories crafted out of the raw materials of his raucous life.

Like the wildly popular Pearl White adventures of another era, Buntlines adventure Series, with the exception that his Pearl of Great Price was none other than Cody “The Noblest White Skin,” were so popular that he could hardly write them fast enough to meet publishing demands.

No matter. Given the ongoing patriotic fervor of the times, others picked up where Buntline left off with the winning formula of America’s idealized Super Hero hacking his way through walls of Indian Flesh!

It took an army of dedicated liars to satisfy the insatiable appetites of that vast audience of readers that devoured them with such voracious gusto.

But Buntlines stories were always the best.

City Slickers, Westerners, and Europeans of all ages worshipped at the altar of misinformation seemingly mesmerized by the charisma of that “Man Among Men” who was at the center of all the media frenzy. “The Natural Man” who had conquered the wilderness.

Entire masses of the female population were stricken prostrate with love at first sight, their hearts palpitating wildly as they fanaticized that they too might someday be saved from the uncivilized ravaging of hordes of savage redskins. By their true soul mate.

The Alpha Male ordained by fate and Shirley McLain to love each and every one of them –to the exclusion of all others. That ruggedly handsome gentle brute of a Prince Charming – Buffalo Bill – defender of White Virtue and Buckskinned Rambo of the Plains.

God only knows how many virgins traveled west for the sole purpose of placing themselves in harms way with the vivid expectation that at any moment their hero would materialize just in the nick of time to rescue yet another swooning maiden from a fate worse than death.

There is no end to the Debt of Gratitude owed by this country to the dynamic duo, Ned Buntline and Buffalo Bill, for their undying patriotism and inestimable contribution to the concept of thorough ethnic cleansings. I’m sure the Indians appreciated it too.

As regards that ingenious creator of America’s First Media Star – the literary goose that laid The Golden Egg as Ned Buntline E. C. Judson or whatever alternate identity he may have been exploiting at any given time: this enduring icon of Western Lore and Legend can rightfully claim, along with Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show direct ancestry to an entire spin of industry located circa the area of Hollywood and Vine.

They’re the spirit of that Ride Em Cowboy Legend and Native American Misrepresentation still lives on in John Wayne Shoot Outs, Maureen O’Hara spankings, Marlene Dietrich’s Destroy, Multiple Saloon Fights of Dodge Durango and Deadwood, Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Westerns, Judge Roy Beans Bear and the Rawhide Landscapes of endless television series from Hopalong Cassidy to Lonesome Dove and the numerous Movie classics like Red River and Unforgiven in between.

Fabulous fables of True Grit, Tireless tales of The Gunfight at The OK Corral and the foolish foibles of Comic Sidekicks all went into the making of that marvelous mythology which characterizes The American National Identity.

From that great caravan in the sky along the “Get Em Up.” “Get Em Out” Chisholm and Tanbark Trails where The Great Heavenly Trail Boss cracks his golden whip and drives his L’il Doggies, movie mavericks and celluloid heroes to hell and back, you can almost see the satisfied grins and hear the sly little chuckles of two old drinking buddies. Just as you can plainly hear the plaintive wails of Phineas Taylor Barnum.

After all is said and done those two rotgut likker pards took their Dog and Pony Show and they Out Barnumed Barnum after all!

And if you look real close at the next passing cloud you’ll see a trail of dust and a cast of thousands.

Riding along with the tumbling tumbleweeds I can see Hoot Gibson Tex Ritter, Rex Allen, Gene Autry, and Lash La Rue. A never ending passing parade of Black Hats and White whose names will be remembered and whose names will be forgot. Look, There’s the Lone Ranger and Tonto, the onliest Good Indian that ever lived to get a speaking part.

And riding off into the Sunset are Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Together in life and joined forever in the here after. Where’s Trigger?

Off a starboard cloud of cotton candy tumbleweed

there’s “Trigger” and “Tapper”
and “Tony” and “Silver”

dancing and prancing and struttin' their stuff.

But no Equine Celebrity Herd would be complete without the Legendary “El Gringo”. The Smartest Horse on The Tanbark Trail. Black and Bold as night. Bright and Beautiful as the morning star. With pounding hooves and a proud toss of his raven mane, he streaks to the head of his Remuda of Champions to claim an enduring place in the annals of Wild West History.

In that “Somewhere under the Rainbow” World where seldom is heard a discouraging word you can almost smell the faint odor of Campfire Smoke where Gabby and Festus are cookin up Biscuits and Beans. Black Coffee and Hard Tack aplenty.

With booming guffaws and good natured chuckles I can hear them all laughing their ten gallon hats off at the utter futility of my efforts to undermine the validity of America’s Wild West.

They know that if the West as they created it didn’t ever actually exist, it exist forever in the minds and hearts of the millions who make up the enduring American Frontier Spirit.

As for me, myself, and I, the lone despoiled dissenter of Tinsel Town Fables, Dream Factory Drivel and all things even remotely Western; Would that the Bastard Buntline had by passed that Wagon Wheel Discovery in favor of the real life hero he was initially in search of. Major Frank North and his Pawnee Scouts whose exploits he had read of in the newspapers. But the Major, to his credit wouldn’t give that B.S. Biographer with the chest full of phony medals even so much as the time of day. As a practical joke on his hung over friend Billy getting his z’s in the shade of a broken axel, he pointed directly at Cody and said “There’s the man you are looking for”.

Like they say “It’s a long story”. One that is as fraught with perils and paranoia as any Wild West adventure can be. And getting to the crux of it isn’t going to be any easier than it was hauling one of those gol durned Conestoga Prairie Schooners over them dad burned Rockies.

However, never you fear Pilgrim, you will soon come to understand as I did…

“With God and Buffalo Bill All Things Are Possible"

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