It all began one hot L.A. afternoon with a UPS truck as El Nino threatened to break loose overhead… no, it began… it began…

It began with a horse.

A horse.

A rope.

And the roar of a flintlock pistol.

The horse lay screaming in the mud of an Irish field one damp afternoon; both front legs broken trying to struggle back to its feet.

A shot crashed through the animal's screams; the horse went limp, twitching, a lead ball in its brain.

And Liam, son of a wealthy merchant, covered with the mud of an Irish field from where the horse had thrown him, holstered his weapon while kicking thoughtfully at the frayed remains of a rope stretched between two gateposts, and laughed.