Friday, August 13, 2010


At this point in the creation of a unified back-story for the late Adele Mara's characters in TV Westerns, we can also insert an episode of 'Bat Masterson', "The Double Showdown". Bat rode into a town in Arizona to help out his friend Shorty. It seems Shorty's casino, the Alhambra, was being attacked daily by thugs who worked for the Oriental saloon. Bat rode into town alongside the Overland stage in the company of a beautiful young woman named Maria Costa. He escorted her to the theater that first night and when it was apparent that she was in deadly danger from the man who ran the other casino, Bat made sure that she got out of town safely. As expected, this lady was portrayed by Adele Mara, this time using the alias of "Maria Costa" as her traveling name.
We didn't see every moment of their time spent together, but at some point Masterson must have told her about the town of Tombstone, singing its praises. So when she rode out of town on the stage the next day (for her protection), it was probably taking her to Tombstone, which is where she would find work at the Silver Lode Saloon as Lily Nightingale....
The Toobworld timeline then takes a five year jump* - the next time we catch up to her, she had been living in Tombstone all that time, but is now known by the name of Thelma Callum. (In its way, this seems to confirm that "Lily Nightingale" was just a stage name.) "Thelma" may have been the name she was given (or took for herself) in the orphanage. As for "Callum"? During those five years, she married a gunslinger named Jimmy Callum, and at the point in time when we rejoin her story, Jimmy had only recently beem released from prison in Huntsville, Texas. (He had been sent up originally for ten years - for a murder which for - once! - he wasn't guilty. "Thelma" knew that eventually he was going to return to Tombstone for his "Thelma", and probably wouldn't take kindly to finding out she was carrying on an affair with corrupt sheriff Johnny Behan.
Doc Holliday took advantage of that situation - he blackmailed "Thelma" into luring Behan into a trap that he would set with the assistance of Morgan and Virgil Earp. She did so, but she wasn't able to hide that fact from Marshall Wyatt Earp for very long. As soon as she spilled the beans, she packed up and left town. It must have been fortuitous for her to be found by Manuel Ortiz just as she was leaving - his plan to reclaim the land grant once belonging to the Marquesa Ruisenor would be just the ticket to hide in plain sight should anyone come looking for her.

And a few months later, she would become involved with Bart Maverick.....

If Toobworld Central operated more like our friends in the Wold Newton Universe, we would have added yet another source to the legend of Lily Nightingale - Bob Dylan's classic ballad "Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts".......

Lily was a princess she was fair-skinned and precious as a child
She did whatever she had to do she had that certain flash every time she smiled
She'd come away from a broken home had lots of strange affairs
With men in every walk of life which took her everywhere
But she's never met anyone quite like the Jack of Hearts.

Other lyrics in the song share aspects from that 'Maverick' episode "Seed of Deception", especially about the guys down the hall drilling into the bank safe.

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