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Preface

Many of the early adventures of Tex Dawson, AKA the Western Kid, AKA the Gun-Slinger, have since been revealed as dime store novel fictionalizations of his real life adventures.[1]

Origins

Not much is known about the early life of Tex Dawson except for the fact that he spent his childhood growing up in Mexico, where he honed most of his skills that he utilized his adult life.[2]

As an adult, Tex was living in the United States and worked on the Bar-T ranch. One of his co-workers, Jonas sought to replace Dawson as ranch foreman. To achieve this, Jonas robbed the ranch safe and framed Dawson for the robbery. When the ranch owner tired to have him arrested, and Jonas attempted to kill him, Tex instead fled capture. It was while on the run as an outlaw that he met his animal companions.[3]

There are conflicting stories as to how Tex Dawson obtained his horse Whirlwind. What is the same about both accounts is that Whirlwind was a wild horse whose sire was killed by a rival horse in the herd prior to Tex taming the horse and making it his own. In the first account it is said that Whirlwind was lived in Thunder Canyon and his sire was killed by a horse named the Wild One.[4] The other states that Whirlwind came from Wild Horse Mesa and that the killer was named the White King.[5] While yet another account states that the Kid obtained Whirlwind after his herd was slaughtered by rodeo owner Sime Walker.[6] In yet another account Tex came across the horse he would soon named Whirlwind as it was being attacked by other wild horses, and scared them off by firing some shots into the air. Grateful for having its life saved, the horse became obedient to Tex and Tex adopted Whirlwind as his own.

Tex and Whirlwind next encounter a woman named Sally Benson who was out to shoot the wolf-dog that her uncle gave her to guard her sheep herds due to the fact that she believed went rabid and killed some of her sheep. However when the dog returned with a dead wolf, Tex and Whirlwind prevented her from rashly shooting the dog, pointing out that it killed the real sheep-killer. After saving it's life, the dog became loyal to Tex and Sally gave Dawson the dog with her blessing. He named the dog Lightning.

Seeing that his new animal companions were also accused of crimes that they were innocent of, Tex decided that it was time that he tried to clear himself as well. He returned to the Bar-T ranch where he caught Jonas bragging about how he famed Tex for the robbery and then forced a confession out of him. Tex was then inspired to roam the country and help those in need and right wrongs, earning him the name the Western Kid.[3]

The Western Kid

Tex Dawson (Earth-616), Whirlwind (Horse) (Earth-616), and Lightning (Dog) (Earth-616) from Western Kid Vol 1 1 Cover

Tex Dawson as the Western Kid

In his earliest recorded adventures he rescued a Mexican woman named Rosalita who was framed for robbing a bank by a man named Hank. Shortly thereafter, Tex learned that he was wanted in Sage City for the crimes of robbery and murder. However he exposed the sheriff, Bart Thomas, as an outlaw who killed the real sheriff destined for Sage City and took his place, using the bogus wanted posters to distract other lawmen in the area. After clearing his name, Tex prevented an unnamed outlaw from tricking ranchers Clem Yancey and Pete Morton so they wipe each other out so he can purchase his land.[7] During his travels he also hunted down the trigger-happy outlaw known as Lawkins to Border Town, apprehending him. He befriended miserly mine owner Jameson, who hated dogs, after Lightning helped protect his mine from an outlaw. He also came to the aid of a female ranch owner named Chequita and helped defend her ranch from outlaws.[8]

Not long after, the Western Kid helped defend a couple's mine strike from Ridge Blackwell. He was soon targeted for assassination by banker Brand Krug, who sought to eliminate Tex's potential to interfere in his attempt to force local ranchers to sell their land by building a dam to stop the much needed water from reaching their ranches and killing their livelihood. The attempt on the Kid's life failed, and Dawson helped the ranchers by destroying the dam. Next, the Western Kid found himself abandoned when passing through Thunder Canyon when Whirlwind briefly left him to clash with the Wild One, who had then been trained by a horse rustler to do his bidding. In the end, Tex and Lightning capture the rustler, while Whirlwind send the Wild One crashing off a cliff to his death.[4] After reuniting with Whirlwind, the Western Kid next shut down the gambling house owned by Diamond Dave, a crooked card sharp. In the so-called Badlands, the Western Kid next clashed with a female outlaw leader known only as "The Boss". The Western Kid found himself captured by the Boss who was smitten by him, until his animal pals Whirlwind and Lightning (who escaped in the clash) brought the law to save their master. Next, the Western Kid was challenged by the ruthless Hank Morgan, whom the Kid managed to defeat without breaking his vow to never take a human life.[9]

Next the Western Kid came to the aid of old man Hastings and his daughter Marcia, the latter of whom was being forced into marriage by Bret Carter. Not long after that, he prevent a range war between Bud Wayne and Jake Turner by showing them that their children Cal and Lana were in love with each other. The Kid soon found himself the prisoner of yet another female criminal, this one named Verne Carter. However, after learning that her minions were plotting to betray her, Verne freed Tex and helped him capture her former comrades and return the stolen loot, promising to go straight from then on.[10] The Kid next came to the defense of an old recluse named Sourdough who was being attacked by Bo Powers and his gang who thought that Sourdough had a map to an old mine. Then in an incident that contradicts Whirlwind's encounter with the Wild One at Thunder Canyon, Tex experienced Whirlwind abandoning him again when the horse left to clash with the White King, only to be forced into joining his herd of renegade horses. The Kid joined a posse seeking to stop the horses and witnessed as Whirlwind subdued White King in battle. Later, Tex convinced the selfish Charlie Hassell to open up his land and allow his fellow cattle ranchers bring their herds through his property to bring them to market.[5] Soon after, the Kid exposed Gar Phillips for the murder of his half-brother and stops his attempt to kill his niece so he can claim the oil rich property that they owned. Tex later came to the defence of the elderly Doc Halliday (not to be confused with the historical figure) when Black Bard Dongan, Hal North, and the Wayne Brothers came after him to get revenge for their incarceration. In the town of Long Horn, the Western Kid helped the Dominguez family avenger their father's death by capturing his killer, Bull Mason.[11]

The Western Kid next helped capture the Drago gang freeing their hostage Naomi. When camping out near the site of Whirlwind's old herd, the Kid forbade the horse to get revenge against White Fury, but Whirlwind managed to get his revenge when Lightning lured White Fury close enough to their camp. He later stopped wayward admirer Pete Baker to turn himself in after robbing a coach and framing the Western Kid. At the request of his friend Lucy May, the Western Kid went to the Texas Panhandle and convinced Panhandle Pete to come home to his family.[12] He also stopped female cattle rustler Lulu Carter then helped the wife of his friend, a local sheriff, to get over her fear of Lone-Star Stallions, then stopped some stage-coach robbers. He then helped prospector Pinto Pete liberate his mine from outlaw Quint Hartley.[13] The Kid also prevented an range war between Ken Morley and Les Harlow, exposed Mr. Osborne a blacksmith turn horsed rustler, Larkin and Stone a pair of cattle rustlers, and stop the crooked operations of the Bigby Loan Company.[14] The Kid also exposed banker Jones as using local trouble maker Biff Halloway to cover up the fact he was embezzling money from the bank. He also foiled a plot Mike Spears to trick the Kid into killing him so his pregnant wife could pay their mortgage and medical bills. Tex instead helped by working on the ranch earning the money legitimately. In the town of Tombstone, the Kid captured the Bard Rand gang. He then laid a trap for Sime Walker who stole Whirlwind, not aware of their shared past and was easily captured.[6]

Travelling to Fort Dulane, the Kid prevented outlaw Bud Chumley from killing sheriff Waren. When he captured the Bo Newton, Tex convinced Linx Porter to go straight. He also captured outlaw Pug Wilson, and then stopped a gang of seeking to slaughter a herd of horses for the meat.[15] He also helped easterner Jane Miles claim her late grandfather's ranch from her crooked cousin Brett Towners. After rescuing an elderly prospector from a pack of wolves, the Kid came to the aid of his friend Old Ned who was being held hostage by Big Tom Keene.[16] With the help of another sheriff, the Kid led crooked general store owner Mr. Hobbs into exposing his criminal operations. Soon the Kid's notoriety prompted outlaws to begin working together against him, when Rod Tighe and Chan Boring joined forces to kill the Western Kid. However the Kid played on outlaws natural distrust in each other to turn Rod and Chan against each other, leading to their eventual defeat. He also helped clear the name of his friend Whisperin' Willie when he was framed for a bank robbery, and recaptured Bart Homber when he broke out of prison.[2]

The Western Kid came to the aid of a local Sioux tribe when he assisted his friend Red Arrow in protecting his village from the Barton gang. After assisting a wagon train in getting to Fort Larame safely, his horse Whirlwind was stolen by outlaw Mick Connors. Believing that Lightning did nothing to stop it, Tex angrily sent Lightning away. However he soon learned that Lightning didn't act due to Mick threatening to shoot Lightning. The pair were reunited and recovered Whirlwind.[3] Shortly thereafter, Tex helped Faro Bailey get the medical attention he needed. He also helped capture outlaws such as Hank Blayne, Big Tom Newland,[17] a Wells Fargo thief named Mark, Bart Chalmers Jr, Bo More and his gang and an oil thief named Gig.[18]

The Gun-Slinger

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Apache Skies


Blaze of Glory



Six-Guns



Powers

None

Abilities

Tex Dawson was a good hand-to-hand combatant and marksman. He was also a skilled horseman.




Transportation

Tex rode a horse named Whirlwind

Weapons

Pistols

  • Whirlwind and Lightning were unusually intelligent and responsive to Dawson's commands, having rescued him from many a tight spot and acting with great bravery on his behalf. Lightning was even capable of taking one end of a rope, with Dawson holding the other end, and wrapping up and towing criminals.

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Footnotes



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