Plains of Blood
Francis "Stitches" Bourke
An almost totally unremarkable man...
“Stitches” is 5’8" tall with shoulder length, sandy sun-bleached hair and brown eyes. His skin is rugged and tanned from working in the sun but his hands have narrow, long fingers that are very mobile and expressive. He wears immaculately clean clothes and appears to bathe at least once a day. A Winchester rifle is never far from his hand and a Colt Dragoon pistol hangs from his belt. His appearance, while clean, is otherwise unremarkable… Unless you consider the massive trailing burn scar that runs from his nose down, covering his lips and left cheek, to his throat and neck, like the devil himself took objection to his looks…. And his voice, the rasping tone of which has clearly been used to sand smooth the grave markers of those he has left behind… Almost totally unremarkable… Except for a few small details.
Born to a family living on the Canadian river in 1814, Francis Bourke was inspired to become a surgeon by his father’s death of gangrene when he was 8 years old. This inevitably lead to his joining the army as the one place that he could get some training and employment as an “amateur” surgeon. Unfortunately for his first battlefield patient and his career as an army doctor, he managed to stitch the web of his left hand into the wound that he was attempting to close, earning him the nickname “Stitches”. However he managed to fast talk his way into a place with a dragoon company in spite of his never having ridden a horse before. Fortunately he proved to be a natural shot with a rifle and has able to work his way into a sergeant position over the next several years until the second year of the Mexican-American War. He suffered a serious bullet wound to the shoulder during a battle and, while being carried into the medical tent, he took a drink of whiskey from a bottle just as a oil lamp was struck by a stray shot and burst into flame. He survived and healed over the next 3 months but every single drop of water that passed his lips tasted of whiskey. Needless to say, he is now unable to touch the stuff. He was honourably discharged with back pay and, once recovered, traveled throughout the southern US and northern Mexico, eventually landing in Nacogdoches and entering a partnership with and the employ of one Amaya Azarola, the owner of La Rosa Sangre.