Tuesday, Sep 2020

According to Richard K. Fox, the editor of the National Police Gazette ( 1877 to 1922), a hero had to possess some or all of the following qualities:

  1. The hero's accuracy with any weapon is prodigious.
  2. He is unequaled in bravery and courage.
  3. He is courteous to all women -- regardless of rank, station age or physical charm.
  4. He is gentle, modest, and unassuming.
  5. He is handsome -- sometimes even pretty, so that he seems even feminine in appearance; but withal he is of course very masculine, and exceedingly attractive to women.
  6. He is blue-eyed. His piercing blue eyes turn gray as steel when he is aroused; his associates would have been well advised to keep a color chart handy, so that they might have dived for a storm cellar when the blue turned to tattletale gray.
  7. He was driven to a life of outlawry and crime – by having quite properly defended a loved one from an intolerable affront - with lethal consequences. Thereafter, however,
  8. He shields the widow and orphan -- robbing only the banker or railroad monopolist.
  9. His death comes about by means of betrayal or treachery, but
  10. It is rarely a conclusive death, since he keeps bobbing up later on, in other places, for many years.

(List from The wild, wild west. American Heritage, XI, P. Lyon, 1960)

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