If it weren't for William Parker Carr, the county I grew up in wouldn't be named "Harlan." Not that Carr planned this. No, when he left New England forever and traveled to the swift Missouri, he just intended to find work. Plus maybe a girlfriend.
Carr found his first job: delivering mail on a mule. If he'd known better, he might have declined. The mail route crossed the land of the Pawnee, those skilled robbers of horses and mules. But Carr needed a job so he took it.
One night, Carr's mule acted queerly.
"What's eatin' him?" Carr wondered. Then an image crossed his mind: a half-naked savage swinging a tomahawk, a ridge of porcupine hair rising from his shaved head.
"Pawnee!" he shrieked, and dug his heels into his startled mule's flanks. They tore along, galumphing over the moonlit path, Carr starting at each night noise.