Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART TWENTY: I need to interrupt my look at the 1910-1917 and 1919-1922 Fool Killer items for this time around. In a surprising development Balladeer’s Blog was contacted by THE actual Fool Killer. Using Jimmy Neutron-level science I determined that this correspondent was indeed the actual supernatural figure who had been at large in America since the 1830s.
After some introductory email exchanges the Fool Killer confirmed for me that Jesse Holmes was not his real name but he often used it as his alias going back to Charles Napoleon Bonaparte Evans’ original publication of The Fool Killer Letters from roughly 1850 to around 1880.
The roaming vigilante stated that since there was absolutely nothing that I or any other mortals could do to stop him from slaying whenever and wherever he pleased he was happy to answer assorted questions for me. He did so in the following email:
Coming to you as I wander in search of fools to kill, as usual a murder of crows following in my wake to feast upon the ample corpses I leave behind me in my travels.
Eddie, or Mr Wozniak or Balladeer or however you prefer to be addressed, I noticed from your queries that you have that modern-day obsession with wanting definitive answers. I’m not able to provide them regarding my exact nature nor would I if I WAS able.
Your tracing of my origins to the Tennessee Hills of the 1830s was part of the reason I contacted you. I figured your perseverance and your perceptive comments about the Hill Portughee or Melungeons importing tales of Longstaff from Portugal showed you deserved to be my new correspondent. You’re no Charles Evans or James L Pearson but I’ve been a mighty long time without a confidant so you’ll do.
My birth around 1830 was roughly as recounted in Mountain Legends. I can correct the record on one particular item, though. My Daddy, whatever he really was, was not the Devil. Not even I could have overcome Satan himself like I did and driven him from the Tennessee Hills. He may have been “A” devil or demon or maybe something from another world. Maybe he was just a relic from Earth’s distant past or some unknown thing that walked up from the very bottom of the ocean.
Whatever he was he wasn’t human, that’s for certain, but he sure had a taste for the ladies of the mountains. Whenever any of the Hill Portughee or folks like them needed some of my Daddy’s otherworldly metalworking or medicinal cures or any other products of his arcane arts and sciences the men and the uncomely women always had better come across with some Melungeon gold to pay for it.
Sometimes, like with my Mama, he found the women so pleasing that not even their gold would satisfy him. The only price he would settle for was having his way with them like they were his wives. In my Mama’s case that damned old Daddy of mine got one of them pregnant for the first and only time.
I came along a lot less than nine months later and, like you discovered in your research I reached manhood in just a couple of years and was stronger than several men put together. My Mama’s mind was never what it may have once been after she’d been with my Daddy and I grew to hate that monster, whoever or whatever he really was.
Once I was big enough I went in search of my old man’s eldritch smithy hidden deep in the Tennessee woods just like the legends say. He didn’t know what I was, since none of his couplings had ever brought forth any offspring before, so he figured I was just another customer.
The stories are right about how I proceeded. I paid the bearded, misshapen fool some Melungeon gold to use his unearthly forge equipment to make me my trusty old iron walking stick or “cudgel” as you call it. Don’t know how any of the tale-spinners ever got a “club” out of that fine weapon.
Anyhow, I gave him some extra gold to coat the top of the walking stick in the shape of that grinning skull. In three days’ time my Daddy had finished it and delivered into my hands a weapon capable of destroying him since – though made of iron – it had been forged in the unholy or unearthly fires of his smithy.
I tested my new walking stick by swinging it to knock down some of the biggest trees in that part of the forest. Then I announced to that vile old blacksmith that he was my Daddy and used my more than natural strength to beat him out of the Hills with the weapon he had made for me himself …
There was more, including clarification on exactly when the Fool Killer hibernated PLUS a heretofore unknown escapade of his from 1899. Be here next time.
FOR PART TWENTY-ONE, INCLUDING THE CONCLUSION OF THIS LETTER, CLICK HERE
I WILL EXAMINE MORE FOOL KILLER LORE SOON. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES.
FOR MY LOOK AT JOE MAGARAC, THE STEEL MILL VERSION OF JOHN HENRY AND PAUL BUNYAN, CLICK HERE
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.