My current release is called Western Duets-Volume One in the novella are two historical western romances. One, the longest, has the subject of shanghaiing. This is a subject that has always intrigued me since watching episodes of Bonanza and the Big Valley that had characters being Shanghaied.
I thought it was only done on the Barbary Coast. Until I started doing my research and discovered the most notorious shanghai city was in my own state.
Portland, Oregon was the longest running and most notorious for shanghaiing than anywhere else on the West Coast.
The unsuspecting farm boy, logger, or out-of-towner who was lured to the dock by the saloons, gambling dens, and bawdy houses could wake up indentured to a ship headed to China (where the name shanghaied came from) or ports around the world.
Crimps were men who owned boarding houses that would give sailors a place to eat and sleep when they ran out of money and were waiting for a job. Some men planned to go back on ships, while others had dreams better paying, less harmful work. While staying at the boarding houses they ran up tabs. The crimp (the Dutch word krimp means a holding tank or pen for live fish), would use this tab against them. When a captain of ship came around he would pay the crimp the man’s tab and extra to put the man on his ship. The man had to work to pay the tab he now owed the captain. Once he worked to pay off what the captain paid for him then he would online pokies draw wages at the lowest pay scale. It would be quite likely, the captain would pay them much less than they were owed. Since many of the men who ended up as sailors had little learning and couldn’t keep track of what they owed or was owed them.
Many captains would find a crimp and pay them for ten men. If the crimp didn”t have ten men in his house, he would go out and either get able-bodied males drunk and passed out or knock them out in alleys and haul them to the ships and dump them.
A crimp could receive a bonus of $30 – $90 for supplying strong men to the ships. This was called “blood money”. In some instances blood money could go as high as $120. When the price was this high the boarding house operators would work together to “gather sailors.”
Shanghaiing had the crimps prowling the streets looking for strangers to knock out and dress up as sailors and dump on ships for money. Many were naive young men who were befriended then drugged. The prostitutes even got in on shanghaiing. They pulled in young, strong men to their “crib” and while “servicing” the man would knock them out with chloroform.
Shanghaiing had lessened in San Francisco by the mid 1890″s but picked up in Portland at that time. There were even international incidents with the governments of France and Great Britain.
Western Duets is a novella with two historical western romance short stories.
Tossed together in the underbelly of a ship, strangers Finn Callaghan and Prudence Hawthorne must learn to trust one another in order to escape, but their freedom may be short lived once Finn discovers Prudence”s brother wants her dead.
Last Stand for Love
U.S. Marshal Chas Brown agreed to be Sarah”s proxy husband in order for her to keep her dead husband”s ranch. Little did Chas know, he’d lose his heart in the process.
One lucky commenter will receive an ebook copy of Western Duets.
Award winning author Paty Jager is a member of national and local writing organizations. She not only writes the western lifestyle she lives it. With sixteen novels and several short stories published, she continues to have characters cavorting in her head.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager , Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager and twitter; @patyjag.
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