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Literature / Girl Waits With Gun

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Girl Waits With Gun is a story closely based on the life of Constance Kopp, the first woman to become a Deputy Sheriff in America. The book describes the case that brought her to the Sheriff's attention in the first place.

Three sisters, living alone on a farm, are travelling into town one day when their carriage is hit and destroyed by a Drunk Driver, who turns out to be a powerful businessman. Subjected to a campaign of intimidation, they refuse to back down and insist on pursuing a claim for damages.


Pieced together from news clippings, letters and interviews with one character's living son, the book is notable for the author's efforts to cite sources and to admit which parts she made up.

The title itself was a headline from the Philadelphia Sun.

This novel provides examples of:

  • All Men Are Rapists: Averted. Finding out their mother was wrong to believe this is part of Constance's Character Development, from her early state of fighting off the people who want to check if Fleurette has a broken leg after the crash.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The author's notes state that she changed the date of Constance's mother's death and made up both the Lucy Blake subplot and the pigeons.
  • Badass Mustache: Sheriff Bob Heath
  • Berserk Button: Kaufman's is being stood up to.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Well, Big Sister Instinct: The main event that gets the sisters into trouble is when Kaufman implies a threat to harm Fleurette, the youngest of the three, if they persist in trying to get him to pay damages. Constance responds by slamming his head into the wall hard enough to damage both. Only later in the book do we discover this to be a different trope at work.
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  • Broken-Window Warning: Or brick-mail as Fleurette refers to it.
  • Dirty Coward: Kaufman is only ever brave with bigger stronger friends around him.
  • Drunk Driver: Kaufman is drunk when he crashes into the sisters' carriage.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Fleurette, the youngest sister, is actually Constance's daughter. She doesn't know.
  • Gentle Giant: Constance is occasionally described as being big and imposing. She has no desire to make anybody's life difficult.
  • Mama Bear: After the Family Relationship Switcheroo is known, an act of protection by that mother is revealed to be this.
  • Shown Their Work: The book contains references and lists of which details are fictional. There is more on the author's website
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Anyone outside the family who tries to spell Fleurette's name ends up writing Florette.
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  • Unskilled, but Strong: Constance is a large farmgirl and is only seen to fight men of relatively average strength, who she mostly pushes and/or holds.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The Lucy Blake subplot is fictional, though things like that did happen.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: Sheriff Heath gives the sisters guns but insists they not shoot anybody, since in the dark it might be a deputy. Shots fired at the treeline work well enough to scare people away.

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