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The Texan Devil

Ron Lewis


Gomez Gonzalez


The Texan Devil


(El Diablo Tejano)





Ron Lewis


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© Copyright 2021/22 by Ron Lewis

Published by Lewis & Young Publishing

All Rights Reserved



This is a work of fiction and not intended to be historically accurate but merely a representation of the times. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to any person, living or dead, is merely coincidental and unintentional. Historical characters used are strictly for dramatic purposes. This story contains some violence.




Gomez Gonzalez

El Diablo Tejano

(The Texan Devil)


The following is from the writings of a man called Boone


1855, Somewhere Northeast of Dallas


“Father, we are but poor bandits.” Delgado spoke softly, sauntering toward the poor-box with a sly smile plastered on his face. His placid appearance stood in disagreement with his intent. I’m not declaring Delgado would hurt a man of God. He wouldn’t. His companions, however, had no such regard for parsons, no matter their stripe.

“This is not for you,” the priest said. He took several steps forward, placing himself between the robbers and the object.

“I tell you, Father,” Delgado said, his face growing stern, “we’re taking the money.”

“No.” The ecclesiastic held his ground. “We have little money. What we have is to feed the poor in our community.” The cleric marched to the box, stood right in front of the pedestal, and blocked the men’s way.

Elam moved beside Delgado, his hand resting on the butt of his revolver. Cocking his head to one side, he scowled with angry determination as a weird, hateful smile curled onto his lips. His fingers closed around the gun handle. He thumbed the strap from the hammer and rested his thumb on the hammer.

“Please, Father, this is not worth your life,” Delgado said. “I cannot protect you if you…”

“Enough talk.” Elam MacDermish, in a quick, smooth motion, yanked his Dragoon and plugged the minister without thought.

The man tumbled to the stone floor of the old church, clutched the gaping wound in his chest. In less than three seconds, his body relaxed, his eyes glazed, and Father Rodrigues met Jesus.

The act of slaying the cleric upset Delgado. He turned toward his companion and glared at Elam. The glower which Elam returned to Delgado shouted that Delgado’s opinion carried no weight. Delgado shifted his hand away from his pistol. To ensure no misunderstanding existed, and he shrugged his acceptance. But the murder of the Priest of Christ niggled at Delgado, gnawing his conscience. At one time, Delgado had been a good Catholic. However, it had been years since his last confession.

In a quick succession of events, the men emptied the box, all fifteen dollars, ran from the chapel, mounted their broncos, and fled from the town as the congregation members rushed to the place of worship, from which they had left no more than a few minutes beforehand.

The men, hellbent on escape, pressed their mounts to the limit, bolting from their latest crime. Once they stopped running, the cabróns realized no one pursued them. Not yet, at least. But the men made a pact with the devil by slaughtering the padre. And the devil would demand his due.




Elam MacDermish, at one time, like all others, claimed himself an innocent man. Somewhere in the dim recesses of his mind, he still thought himself a righteous person. When I say recesses, I mean those parts of the man’s brain activated only while he dreams. Early in the mornings, he wakes, and to him, it is ten years or more back, and he is ready for a hard day’s work. Then he remembers he isn’t who he was, and life, such as it is, continues on a downward spiral to hell.

Elam MacDermish descended into a rough, outlaw-ish life over several years of unfortunate mishaps. Let me be clear, from the get-go, it was impossible to comprehend how Elam’s life sank into such a situation.

He came from exceptional stock, immigrants from Scotland, hardworking, honest, genteel folk. The fellow was raised better than to be a criminal; how inconceivable to grasp that Elam would become one. And one who, in the fullness of time, would shed any morality at all.

Elam moved to Texas in the days when Texas was a Republic, settled into a life of backbreaking work, and began to make something of himself. His mother, a religious woman, raised him well, took him to church, and made him say his prayers and attend confession.

His father, a blacksmith by trade, taught him the things a man must know, like the value of hard work, how to behave like a man, and the difference between right and wrong. And yet all this training, somehow, seeped out of him.

Until Texas, things were fine.

Once there, the wildness of her—Texas, I mean—seduced him. In the beginning, the Texas seductress’s sweet siren song only managed to make a drinker of him. But with repetition, things became dull, and he picked up other bad habits: cards, womanizing, and worse, all sins of the flesh took their turns.

When the war with Mexico erupted, caused, in part, by joining Texas to the United States, he enlisted in the army to fight. Some said he served with distinction, while others proclaimed he murdered with relish. I think both perspectives were right.

After the Mexican conflict, he tried farming, ranching—in his last effort, he attempted haberdashery. These ventures, and many more before the war, all ended in abject failure. With each loss, Elam turned sourer and sourer until his life held a bitterness akin to a deep swig from a jug of unsweetened lemonade.

Frustration grew into anger. Anger transformed to rage. Elam MacDermish did what decent folk don’t do, breaking bad with gusto. Once he fell in with men of a similar ilk, they banded together, picked up weapons, and took, by force, what they couldn’t earn. The MacDermish gang, as everyone identified them, gained a reputation in a rapid fashion, aided by their short fuses and the dead bodies left in their wake.

A mixed lot of men comprised this amalgamation of malformed humanity: MacDermish, a Scottish immigrant; his right-hand man Delgado, a Mexican-Texan; two new arrivals from the eastern states, Homer and Lawton Childes, come to the former independent nation to pilfer their fortune; and a half-breed Comanche called Peta.

MacDermish was the ringleader. In his own way, he wasn’t without cunning, nor did he lack in daring. He selected the others for their cool heads when in a pinch, making sure they hadn’t intellects with calculating judgments, nor were the cohorts lionhearted enough to challenge him. In this fashion, with his calm and manipulative manner and rash bravado, he lorded over his men, who seemed to fall in line with his will.

That is, other than Delgado, who himself kowtowed to no man. However, having a certainty of the chemistry of Elam, Delgado never threatened his authority. For he understood how deadly lethal Elam MacDermish was. All the men, save Delgado and MacDermish, had a natural enough warp to their makeup and a bend toward blind violence. They were prejudiced men with profound intolerance to those with whom they journeyed, each filled with a savage rage and hatred for life, their own lives included.

Holding up banks, saloons, stagecoaches, general stores…no business was immune to their attention. After they robbed a church, eighty-sixing the clergyman to plunder the poor-box, Gomez Angel Gonzalez took the assignment to bring the thieves to justice. The bastards’ murder of Father Rodrigues offended Gomez. Butchering women, children, the old, crimes against civilization, setting themselves against God…these things must be avenged.

Elam MacDermish’s fall from grace became complete when he slaughtered the man of the cloth.

One day late in spring, in the year of our Lord 1855, Gomez Gonzalez packed his food and gear on his packhorse. The lawman kissed his pregnant wife, mounted his black stallion, a thoroughbred, and loaded for bear, headed on an expedition to capture the MacDermish gang and bring them to an accounting.

Taking up his firearms with a measure of reluctance, for he had retired only a month before, he resumed service at the behest of his former captain, a gruff, old man named Gilbert Thaddeus Lindfield.

Lindfield was a Texas Ranger more accustomed to barking orders and seeing the commands carried out, rather than begging for help. Linfield, the older of the two men, ordered, begged, and pleaded for Gomez to go after the men. Even offered to ride with him or send along a younger man to assist him.

Gonzalez resisted until he learned of the assassination of Father Rodrigues. Once imparted, the fact refused to leave the man’s mind. In the end, he left his wife behind, and all alone, Gomez Gonzalez hunted the brigands. A single problem required a single Ranger.


Things are bigger in Texas. I appreciate you have been made aware of this all your life, primarily by Texans. Well, this observation is accurate. Other than Alaska, Texas is the largest state. In the 1850s, the distance between one place and another would take days or weeks of trekking. The news journeyed slowly, depended on a person going from one place to another to carry the word. Sorry or pleasant, reports took time to travel from hither to yon.

The telegraph, while common in the east, had yet to have wire stretched westward. Neither had trains chugged west of Mississippi. No, I’m wrong; California had a couple of short lines. Small potatoes, useless for Texas. A railroad under construction in Texas promised a bright future, but the Harrisburg was a long way from being profitable or finished.

In those days, when word of bandits would catch the ear of the Texas Rangers, they’d send a man to set the situation right. While some of these individuals were moral, upright men, others weren’t. Rangers came in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Mexican-Texans, domesticated Natives, whites, and would you believe, free Negros served.

Some Texas Rangers were bigots of the first order. They slaughtered Mexican-Texcians, Indians, and blacks for being darker-skinned than they. They weren’t the majority, but, in the general population, they weren’t alone in their sentiments. The hatred of the Mexican people was often attributed to the Alamo and Goliad. One might argue this was more an excuse than a reason.

The Indians raided and slaughtered, right enough, but the land had been their property for hundreds or thousands of years. The Spaniards, Mexicans, and whites took the land without compensation or consideration. Treaties were made, the parties involved broke them. For the most part, the Indians followed the treaties until the others did not.

The Texas Rangers were a ragtag, multi-purpose, quasi-military law enforcement force, heated in fires and forged into the roughest, most formidable group of fighters one might want to meet. Self-trained, self-taught, and self-assured, the men fought as a group or stood alone and went toe to toe with the most horrible men.

For the toughest of the lawless element, the Texas Rangers relied on the grittiest peace officers to handle them. Men of sand, no matter their turns of personality, ticks, morals, or means. They were to do the job and in as short an order as possible. Bring them back alive, if feasible, dead if not. I find no record to indicate Texas Rangers accepted bounties for the recovery of outlaws.

The Texas Rangers had a few rarified men of such grit as Gomez Gonzalez. Many a scallywag swore Gonzalez was Satan in the flesh. The Comancheros, Apaches, Comanche, and Mexican bandits who looted and murdered people in Texas all had a name for him: the Angel of Death. A well-earned moniker. Gomez Gonzalez neither hated nor liked the handle. His job’s stern necessity meant killing a person, often an unavoidable duty, unpleasant as the act was.


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