Calamity Jane, from Martian Dreams
Calamity Jane (1852-1903) is a frontierswoman, professional scout and performer in the late 19th century. Her legal name is Martha Jane Cannary Burke, but she acquired the nickname "Calamity Jane" during her service alongside the American military against the Native Americans.
In Martian Dreams, Jane was transported to Mars in the accidental launch of Percival Lowell's space bullet at its exhibition at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. As the group stranded on the red planet acclimated to their fate, she and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody set up a trading post by Arsia Mons to provide supplies and oxium to the humans on the planet. At this trading post, Jane was responsible for trading in clothing and oxium, while Cody sold ammunition and other "trail goods."
When the Avatar first spoke with her in Martian Dreams, Jane complained of dwindling supplies of oxium, owing to the fact that their regular supplier, Cooter McGee, had been missing. Jane suggested that the hero's company head over to Cooter's dwelling at Noctis Labyrinthus to find out what became of him. To supply the party for the trek to the prospector's home, Jane asked Cody to give them a small supply of oxium to keep them in good condition.
Jane also mentioned, if asked, that William Randolph Hearst had also started a trading business in the Olympus settlement, but claimed that her operation was superior to the one managed by "that stuffy rich fella."
A frontier woman who eschewed dresses and petticoats for "manly" clothes, Calamity Jane, born Martha Jane Burke, served as an army scout, a pony express rider, and as aide to George Armstrong Custer. Calamity is reputed to have been a prostitute and Wild Bill Hickok's mistress, but she refused to discuss this with me. On Mars, she quickly grew tired of the Martian cities and took to wandering the plains with Buffalo Bill. Together, they supplied oxium and other survival items to the city dwellers and planetary explorers.
- In 1893 (the year in which the fictional Lowell expedition takes place) Calamity Jane was just beginning to appear in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as a rider and a trick shooter, making it feasible that she was, in fact, historically present for the World's Colombian Exposition. She was also reportedly suffering from severe alcoholism and depression at this point in her life, although this did not feature in Martian Dreams.
- Calamity Jane on Wikipedia.