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Marshal Rooster Cogburn

The wicked flee where no man pursueth. ~Proverbs 28:1

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Created on 2012-01-04 21:19:22 (#1380803), last updated 2012-02-09 (293 weeks ago)

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Name:US Marshal Rooster Cogburn
Birthdate:Oct 29
"I will inform them myself," said I. "Who is the best marshal they have?"

The sheriff thought on it for a minute. He said, "I would have to weigh that proposition. There is near about two hundred of them. I reckon William Waters is the best tracker. He is a half-breed Comanche and it is something to see, watching him cut for sign. The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn. He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don't enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork. Now L. T. Quinn, he brings his prisoners in alive. He may let one get by now and then but he believes even the worst of men is entitled to a fair shake. Also the court does not pay any fees for dead men. Quinn is a good peace officer and a lay preacher to boot. He will not plant evidence or abuse a prisoner. He is straight as a string. Yes, I will say Quinn is about the best they have."

I said, "Where can I find this Rooster?"

==excerpt, True Grit by Charles Portis

US Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn is a hard-bitten drunkard of a man, who managed to carve himself a place on the right side of the law by dint of sheer will. His days in service to the Confederacy were as a guerilla fighter, when he lost his eye serving with with William Quantrill, a notorious bushwacker whose nature did not incline him much to proper military authority. (It's easy to see why Rooster speaks so highly of the man.) He is a plain speaker, with a mindset that violence is a fact of daily life, and it's better to be on the dealing end than the receiving end. When he's not drunk, he's a dab hand with a side arm and even when he's three sheets to the wind, he's a fair shot with a rifle. He has spent many years surviving in the Wilderness by any means necessary, and can track both man and animal, the former being the more regular target of his unique talents.

Cogburn currently works for US District Judge Issac Parker, the historical Hanging Judge of the Old West, whose jurisdiction included the Western District of Arkansas, and the Indian Territories. He makes Fort Smith, Arkansas his home (more like a base of operations, as he's only truly at home when in pursuit of a fugitive), and shares a room in the back of a Chinese dry good store with the store's propreitor Chen Lee and a tabby cat named after another Confederate general. In his time as a US Marshal, he's killed 23 men, all in self-defense, or so he claims.

Cogburn isn't the sentimental type. He was married once, to a woman from Illinois, who gave him a son before going back to her first husband. The whole story is recounted with a cool, emotional distance that characterises much of Rooster's existence. Which might explain his propensity to drink himself stone drunk every chance he gets.

He has a reputation as a mean son-of-a-bitch, but it's demonstrated quite clearly in his canon that he does not abide casual cruelty. He doesn't hesitate to draw his sidearm in defense of his charge, Mattie Ross, from a willow switch wielding Texas Ranger. And when two Indian children are seen tormenting a pack mule with a sharp stick, he acts swiftly and decisively to intervene, throwing them both to the ground. He also saves Mattie Ross's life in an epic battle against time, pushing himself to the absolute limit of his endurance to ensure her survival.

He is, by definition, a man of True Grit.

Marshal Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, portrayed by Jeff Bridges, is from the 2010 film True Grit, and is the property of Charles Portis and the Coen Brothers. He appears here solely for the purpose of roleplaying in [info]milliways_bar, from which no profit is being made.

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