Books / Bubbles in the Cauldron / Character Development / Short Story / Sullatober Dalton

Duel in the Rain

I’ve sent the first book of the Drover trilogy to have it critiqued and then either throw it in the bucket or work it into something saleable. It’s a good tale and I’m hopeful it will take on, but I know the hard work comes after the writing’s finished. I’ll try to interest an agent but that isn’t easy, they’re in business to make money and don’t take on lame ducks. Still if there’s no agent interested, then the book probably won’t sell to the public, but I can still do it for friends.

I prefer a story to ask then demand to be written, the Drover series started because the father of a friend of my mother-in-law had been a drover and made enough money to buy a pub in Glasgow. As drovers were regarded as scruff, I began wondering how he’d managed that, and discovered they made more than a good living if they were good at it and traded well. I’d thought they were hired hands, but it turned out they either bought cattle and sheep in the north and sold the in the south, or worked on commission, and the best were well-to-do, if not wealthy. It was therefore one of the neglected occupations of historic Scotland.

It was only as I researched, that I found they had their counterpart, who worked from Crieff south into England, even London, before the trains took over.

These men were the cowboys of Britain with the same problems as John Wayne and the trail riders of America’s Old West, with the added problem of more difficult country, and I felt their story should be part of Scotland’s history. Will I go further and follow them into England? Not a bad idea. Down through the mining districts, where the mine owners might try to rob them, or need their help, especially if one of their daughters was a Maureen O’Hara, or an Ava Gardiner. Hardly a ‘Duel in the Sun’ but maybe A Duel in the Rain, or a Duel in the Smog.

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