Texas Ranger, J.T. McCutchen, didn’t heed the Mexican revolution until it spilled across his border. Soon every revolutionary’ll know, you’ve got to kill the man before you fight the power.
“It’s about time the world gets a reefer-smoking, lotus-sitting, Texas Ranger bad ass!”
First, an introduction.
Some have called these Lost DMB Files “the most startling discovery to never be made.”
Today I welcome you into the growing number of people who’ve made that discovery. As means of introduction, let me just say some conspiracies remain theories. Others become obsessions. Exhumed 100 years after their penning, the Lost DMB Files will reinterpret the way you see the world (or the way it sees you).
During the 1930’s dime novelist and pulp fiction writer, David Mark Brown (no relation that I know of), mysteriously disappeared. Until recently, his obscure writings had all but been forgotten. The Truth in History Society contends his pulpy brand of fiction preserves a secret history, a history able to reclaim our future (if the war it has unleashed doesn’t destroy us in the process).
One thing is for sure. These double-barreled western, dieselpunk thrillers are an unadulterated joy to read. And while each lost file can be enjoyed on its own, together they provide an intriguing reinterpretation of history. As they say, the truth shall set you free!
A letter to the reader of Reefer Ranger
History has been unkind to John Tilly McCutchen III. Remembered as J.T. Flat Top, The Branding Iron, Johnny McDeath and other more colorful nicknames, the infamous Texas Ranger turned chief of Texicas Homeland Security undoubtedly played a central role in the early expansion and stabilization of the infant nation.
What is less certain is the nature of his influence. While common mythology has held McCutchen was a brutal strongman, dishing out unmetered violence efficiently and punitively to any and all opponents of the early Texicas, the Lost DMB Files paint a more complex portrait. At times he’s portrayed as righteous, loyal, and even sympathetic. Some would go so far to claim him a subversive and opponent to the early expansionism of Texicas despite his prominent position.
Throughout his pulp fiction career, David Mark Brown’s published works uniformly referred to McCutchen as McCormick. Not until my recent discovery of a field journal kept by Brown was McCormick’s identity matched with the historical McCutchen. This critical find has accelerated the authentication of Brown’s stories as historical accounts in disguise.
Reefer Ranger, an early lost file (#9), is believed to be Brown’s first depiction of McCutchen. Set in Matamoros, Tamaulipas during early 1914, the historic background of the gory tale depicts, among other things, a Germany more heavily involved in North America than currently believed by most. But Brown’s vivid use of detail demands the possibility be considered.
On an obscure note, I should also mention Brown’s use of ‘reefer’ appears to be the earliest on record, casting even further doubt upon its etymology, but favoring the idea of Mexican Spanish origins. It must be remarked that Brown’s depiction (and in fact highlighting) of McCutchen smoking marihuana strikes a bold contrast with everything else known about the man.
In my humble opinion I should think this an appropriate instance to apply the old saying, truth is stranger than fiction. Since marihuana was not yet well known in much of North America and the American era of “Reefer Madness” remained a dozen years away, it seems strange indeed that Brown should focus on such a detail lest it serve some historical significance. What that significance may be, we are left to merely speculate. (Oh, the professorial sport!)
For any student of history or seeker of truth, I recommend beginning your journey into the complicated mind of John Tilly McCutchen III with Reefer Ranger. Whatever you decide about the “goodness” or “badness” of this immoveable human force, let me introduce you to a central figure in the lost file universe. Reader, meet J.T. McCutchen.
Professor Jim “Buck” Buckner
Department of Geology, University of Texicas, Austin
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Follow this link for more on the Lost DMB Files. And enjoy the show!