CAST OF CHARACTERS
CLARA SMITH HAMON: She was just seventeen when she met the handsome and charismatic man twenty years her senior. Jake Hamon swept young Clara off her feet and into his whirlwind of a life. He talked big and dreamed bigger. He promised Clara that she would be at his side for all the glory to come. She was responsible for much of Hamon’s success, yet when he saw his big chance on the national political stage, he cast Clara aside. Clara exacted her revenge. She shot Jake. It made her famous and infamous all at the same time.
JAKE HAMON: Once called “The Oil King of Oklahoma,” Jake had the world on a string. Rich, powerful, and hard living, he seemed to be the embodiment of the new decade at its dawn. He used people. Sometimes abused them. He tended to get away with it. He was poised to become the most powerful businessman in America. But when it came Clara, his mistress for more than a decade, he met his match. When he decided it was over between them, he had no way of knowing that it very soon would be over for him.
GEORGIA HAMON: Georgia Hamon was Jake’s real wife. She had been with him from the beginning, when they didn’t have two dimes to rub together. When prosperity came to her husband, they made a mutual decision to stop living as man and wife. This went on for decades, until Jake began to set his eyes on Washington. Turns out, Georgia liked the idea of living in the nation’s capitol. She looked forward to spending time with her relative and friend, the new First Lady of the United States.
WARREN G.HARDING: The man who would become the President of the United States in 1921 loved wine, women, and song. When he met Jake Hamon, he knew his new friend was wired like him, at least when it came to the ladies. Harding had mistresses of his own, so Hamon’s “arrangement” didn’t really bother him. But when his wife, Florence, spoke, Warren listened.
FLORENCE HARDING: The future First Lady of the United States was referred to by many as “The Duchess,” though never to her face. She was ambitious and controlling, which worked fine because someone had to look out for Warren Harding’s career. She was intrigued to meet Jake because, though he did not know it, she was related to Jake’s wife, Georgia. Georgia and Florence were cousins who spent much time together during their childhood. Their reconnection in 1920 would be the spark to a great fire that would consume not only Jake Hamon’s career—and life.
FRANK KETCH: Jake’s long time business manager. He knew where all the money was and all the bodies were buried. He enabled Clara’s flight from justice.
JOHN RINGLING: The owner of the famous circus bearing his name, Ringling became Jake Hamon’s partner in a railroad venture. Ringling would get an Oklahoma town named after him for his efforts. Jake would get more wealth and power. And it all began one day at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York when Clara “accidentally” spilled a drink on the famous circus man.
BUCK GARRETT: The long time sheriff of Carter County, Oklahoma was rumoured to be related to Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid. He knew the story wasn’t true, but he seldom discouraged such talk. He enjoyed the legend. But he created a legend and name for himself when newspapers around the world covered his nationwide search for Clara.
BUD BALLEW: Sheriff Garrett’s chief deputy was a colourful and sometimes violent man. He prided himself on the fact that had had killed so many men. He shot first, and asked questions seldom. He joined his boss as they searched far and wide for Clara Hamon, becoming famous in his own right.
SAM BLAIR: A Chicago reporter with a hunger for the big story, Blair made a name for himself via the Clara Hamon story. His big break came one day when he found something extraordinary in her long lost luggage. Soon millions were reading every word he wrote.
W.P. “WILD BILL” MCLEAN: Already famous in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lived, when McLean joined Clara’s defense team in Ardmore, Oklahoma, he made a national name for himself as one of the premier defense attorneys of the day.
JAMES “JIMMY” MATHERS: Though he had only recently won election as Carter County Attorney—the office investigating and later prosecuting Clara—he put that aside to work on the defense team. Was it because he believed so much in her innocence, or that he simply had hated Jake Hamon for years?
JOHN GORMAN: A veteran Hollywood producer by the time 1920 rolled around, Gorman saw in the story about Clara something fit for the big screen. He decided to track her down. Not only did Gorman get to make a big movie, he got the girl, as well.