Otherworld Cottage Announces Publication of Terry Hagerty's New Novel, "Last of the San Patricios."
May 27, 2020 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment NewsIrish-born Sean Mulcahy and Michael Lonergan are two of the last surviving members of the St. Patrick's Battalion, also known as the San Patricios, an elite artillery unit in the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War made up mostly of Irish Catholic deserters who fled the brutal and sometimes fatal abuses meted out by Protestant junior officers of the American Army. After Mexico's defeat, captured San Patricios were court-marshalled. Those who deserted after war was declared, were hanged, while those, like Sean, who deserted before war was declared, were given 50 lashes, had their faces branded with a two inch letter "D,"
and were left to fend for themselves.
After the victorious Americans withdraw, Michael, who had escaped capture, finds Sean in a Mexican military hospital, and feeling guilty for abandoning his sorely-wounded friend on the battlefield, looks after him. Together they wander through Northern Mexico and the American West, taking on various honest and not-so-honest occupations between poker games, until one day, in 1879 California, they come across a Chinese family, shot dead on the dunes south of the ruins of the Carmel Mission, and an abando9ned eight-year-old Chinese girl, Shushu,
They take her to Monterey, where they discover the town marshal is their old comrade-in-arms from the Mexican-American War, Roberto Fuentes. Fuentes warns them about anti-Chinese sentiment, personified by State Senator Walter Maguire and County Sheriff Fred Lang, who had served in a regiment of New York volunteers stationed in California during the Mexican-American War, and stayed on in California, prospecting for gold, and sometimes joining vigilantes enforcing claims by newly-arrived wealthy Anglos, over land once owned by Mexican ranchers.
The citizens of Monterey become more and more curious about who killed the Chinese family on the dunes and what, if anything, little Shushu might have seen — especially the three young men guilty of robbing and murdering the family — and Michael, protecting young Shushu, his self-appointed Chinese granddaughter, has to shoot it out with the murderers. He manages to kill two, but the third escapes when Michael
s cover in the Chinese fishing village goes up in flames.
The surviving killer returns with a posse led by the corrupt Sheriff Lang and State Senator Maguire, forcing Michael to seek refuge in the ruins of the old Carmel Mission, along with little Shushu, Ying, the town marshall's English-speaking Chinese maid, and in the lull before the storm, Sean joins them, for a Sean puts it:
In poetry or prose, the San Patricios,
Last remaining of the Wild Geese choose
To make their final stand,
Fallen brothers close to hand,
We, last of all the San Patricios.
Terry Hagerty is a writer by vocation, an actor by inclination, and a lifelong student of history through an abundant curiosity. In addition to being a novelist, he is also a prolific screenwriter, playwright, short story writer, and sometime poet, as well as the author of a collection of children's stories, called "Rosemary Potatoes & Her Three Bears."