Morgan Kane is the hero in a book series written by the Norwegian author Kjell Hallbing, under the pseudonym “Louis Masterson.”
The Morgan Kane series has become the greatest success in modern Norwegian leisure literature, and is unique in Norwegian book trade. The 83 books in the series are sold in approx. 11 million copies in Norway alone. In addition, a number of books are published in ten other countries – a total sales of 15 million.
The first book, Without Mercy, was published in 1966. The series consists of 83 titles. Some stories about Morgan Kane are also released as comic albums.
Morgan Kane’s “history”
Morgan Kane, a fictional character in a partially historically accurate background, was born in 1855 on a country road in Santa Fe. His parents were Irish immigrants; Brendan and Gwen Cairn. Shortly after Morgan Kane’s birth, both parents were killed in an Indian attack.
Only 16 years old, Morgan Kane killed for the first time when he stabbed a man named Walsh who was behind the attack in which his parents died. In 1874, he became a scout for the cavalry and took part in the Indian wars in Texas. Then he unsuccessfully tried out gold mining in South Dakota, before he once again enlisted in the cavalry under General Custer. In the summer of 1876, he participated in the battle against the Sioux Indians at Little Big Horn, where General Custer died. After Little Big Horn, Morgan Kane left the cavalry, and started his career as a gunslinger together with Billy the Kids’ gang.
At the end of the 1870s, Morgan Kane operated under the name “El Gringo” as a gunslinger in the border region between Arizona and Mexico. He was a member of the gang of the Mexican bandit El Coyote. After there was hostility between the two men, Morgan Kane wandered around until the Texas Rangers recruited him at the start of the 1880s. Between 1882 and 1885, Morgan met his future wife Linda Swift, and was first enlisted as a U.S. Marshal.
After two years of marriage, Linda was murdered. Kane gave up his marshal star to take revenge, a revenge that spreads over three books. After this period, he was again Marshal, and fought many historical gunmen from Western history. Kane’s superiors became increasingly concerned for his extreme violence, high alcohol consumption and possible mental instability. At the end of the 1890s, he was ‘hidden away’ as a U.S. Marshal in the Alaska Territory. In 1898, he was fired.
After he left as U.S. Marshal, Morgan Kane took many different jobs. He was, among other things, special agent and bodyguard for Theodore Roosevelt, and participated in the invasion of Cuba. Kane had to hunt The Wild Bunch but ends up working with Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid, instead of arresting them. Sundance Kid and Jesse Rawlins were killed, and Cassidy and Kane went separate ways.
Morgan Kane’s health became increasingly worse. In 1910, he participated on Pancho Villa’s side in the civil war in Mexico. Here he meets his unknown (and only) son “Diablito” Paco Galan. Morgan Kane was able to be reinstated as a U.S. Marshal in the last book written by Hallbing, before he was shot in an abandoned town near Mexico. Most likely, he died there. His son went to Europe and became matador.
Text by: Thor Bugge Lanesskog, ThorNews