#tdc1459 Dark tales of the Columbia River.

Like others, I got carried away with the Daily Create today #tdc1459. Who knew that a humble map could evoke so much trouble. We were asked to “start a story” based on a point on the old Oregon map from the Dave Rumsey Collection. After choosing my spot and bit of trawling around the internet, whatdya know, it was a spot stricken with intrigue and mystery in the days of the wild west.

Oregon Map

From http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~4230~430111:Map-of-the-Oregon-Territory


I even found an old poem on parchment that tells all. It goes something like this.

The Wanted Man


The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Nobody knew who the critter he was
But he sure did travel our way.

T’was the year of 1871.
We were kings of the plains
And the West was won.
A cowboy’s life was a busy ‘un,
But that was all about to change.

Some say he came from South of the border
With no regard for law.
Nobody knew where his hide-out was
But he pestered us dusk ‘til dawn.

And judging by his vocabularie,
His cussin’ godammit
Would rattle the prairie.
His head was bald
And his arms were hairy,
And his pesky dawg had mange.

One night he rode down the Colombia River
And strolled right into town.
He wore buckskin as soft as a baby’s arm
And his stetson pulled right down.

He hit the saloon all muscle and stubble,
Where the drinks cost half
And the ladies cost double.
If y’ask me he sure was hankin’ for trouble
Like a varmint at close range.

He started at the bar and ordered a bourbon
And ordered three big ones more.
He slogged a guy right in the mush
And burst him through the saloon door.

When he gambled he had a fist full of aces,
He filled the spittoon
From fifty paces.
But he soon caught the eye of some pretty faces
And its now our story gets strange.

Our man had terrorised this town of Astoria
But he didn’t know it all, no sir.
He’d caught the eye of the local gal Gloria,
And you sure didn’t meddle with her.

He might be used to rustlin’ cattle,
But you couldn’t rope Glo
Without a battle.
She could kick like a steer
And bite like a rattle.
But he did. And her Pa said “that’ll
Teach you son to show off your saddle,
And you’ll take my Glo for your goods and chattels”.
The whole thing was quite deranged.

On their wedding night the mangy dog
Slept at the foot of the bed.
Gloria was decked in the finest lace
From her toes up to her head.

As the daytime soon turned into dusk,
The bedroom air
Filled with cheap musk.
And then to say the least that Glo was brusque,
It left them both a bit short-changed.

The eyes on the poster of the Wanted Man
Still haunt me to this day.
Now only wanted by Gloria’s Pa
Her honour to repay.

T’was the year that brought fame to Astoria,
The talk of the town
Was that saloon gal Gloria.
Her marriage was short and not much full of euphoria,
“It was like making love in a crematoria
And now I’m quite estranged”.

But centuries later the tale lives on
In fireside stories told.
How a local maid so fine and perty
Fell for a cowboy bold.

And the story is told in new towns built,
Where the River
Meets the sea.
But one place would go down in history,
On the banks of the Columbia where the wind blows free,
Which was the site of our tale so blistery,
And “Cape Disappointement” solves our mystery,
And is still named so today.



Eleanor Dumont (Madame Moustache)

We believe Saloon Gal Glo might have looked something like this.

2 thoughts on “#tdc1459 Dark tales of the Columbia River.

    • Hi Sandy – sorry I don’t look at my comments often enough. I can’t believe you know the place – it looks beautiful. I can’t think how it really got its name 🙂

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