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Jane Canary

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   Jane Canary, based on the legendary Calamity
Jane, is one of the more complex and fascinating
characters in the city of Deadwood. Incredibly 
tough and brazen on the outside, she has been 
shown to be deeply wounded and emotionally 
delicate when prodded. Clothed in garments 
normally only donned by males, she is indeed 
sometimes mistaken for a man in the early on in 
the show. Her appearance is that of someone well 
acquainted with life in the outdoors. Her face is 
perpetually dirty, and she speaks with a mush-mouth 
slur, exacerbated by heavy drinking.

   Jane appears in the series as a companion of Wild Bill Hickock, the 
great gunslinger known to all in camp well before his arrival. Along 
with the stalwart Charlie Utter, the three arrive in Deadwood uncertain 
of their purpose, as Bill is at a point in his eventful life where he 
no longer cares for anything other than playing cards. Jane has a deep 
respect for Bill and no doubt looks to him as a father figure. She is 
often rather spiteful of Charlie as he seems to her to be a rival for 
Bill's attention. They are not long in camp before Wild Bill is killed, 
as in real life, by fellow gambler Jack McCall. The result of this 
death is devastating to Jane, and only causes her to become all the 
more insecure and fearful, emotions which she attempts to numb 
through excessive whiskey consumption. Jane is often so hilariously 
drunk that she is discovered by Charlie lying in the street, and once 
just leaning up against a wall balanced on her forehead.

   Jane's primary form of communication is shouting obscenities, and is 
one of the better cursers in the camp, which in Deadwood is quite the 
feat. Of course, this behaviour is no doubt related to a deep hurt and 
terrible fear instilled in her at an early age, as is evidenced by her 
desire to protect Sofia, and the other children in camp from harm. When 
confronted by Al Swearengen, Jane is reduced to abject terror, as if 
reliving an experience of terrible violence in her past. She is very 
mistrusting of most males and has another brief and terrifying 
encounter with Cy Tolliver later in the series. (Interestingly, both 
men make their living off of the subjugation of women). The Character 
of Jane Canary stands as a good example of the hardships women endured 
in the 19th century and indeed, throughout all of human history 
(though she is spared some due to her external appearance and brash 

   Despite the obvious fragility of Jane's inner world, she posseses 
also an inner strength in her compassion for the sick and dying. 
Assisting Doc Cochran on more than one occasion in the difficult 
task of healing the camp's ailing denizens from various ailments, 
from gunshot wounds to an outbreak of smallpox. Even the Doctor himself 
tells her she has a gift for nursing. During her self-imposed exile from 
camp after Bill's death, she happens upon Andy Cramed, who unwittingly 
brought the smallpox virus with him to camp and was ordered to be left 
to die in the woods by Cy Tolliver, restoring his health from near death 
using only water and whiskey and her deep inner reserve of compassion.

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