don't call me madam

the life and work of ray bourbon


Research Materials - Documents:
Excerpt from 'Grain Producers News', article on Ray and Pancho Villa

The following is a short excerpt from an article in the "Grain Producers News", April 1974.  The article "El Senora Diablo (The Devil Woman)" is Ray's recollections of his assocation with Pancho Villa.  The author Carlton Stowers, contacted Ray after Ray's claims of a Villa connection came out during his trial.  We are still unsure how the article found its way to this particular publication.

Ray begins by saying that he returned from his work on the English stage around 1913 to his home on a ranch near the Rio Grande.  (The ranch, Ray says, was in Hudspetch County, about 80 miles east of El Paso.)  His mother would regularly send their nurse, Maria, across the border to check on Villa and his troops, sometimes offering them cattle for food and other assistance.

After their initial meeting, Ray had a series of adventures running guns and spying for Villa.  Just after his work with Villa, Ray says, he went to Hollywood to break into films.


"I came home and told my mother that I wanted to help Villa some way and after explaining to her that I felt with my knowledge of make-up I could perhaps be useful as a diguised messenger, she sent a rider to tell him of my suggestion.

A few nights later he and about 40 riders came to the ranch and I told him what I had in mind.

I had several publicity shots of myself in all kinds of costumes which I showed him.  He sat in the kitchen, drinking coffee, seemingly not too impressed with my idea, so I excused myself and went to my room where I had my stage make-up and a couple of wigs and some costumes.

When I returned to the kitchen, made up as a Mexican woman, he looked up at me and was speechless for a moment.  Then he laughed, scratched his belly, and said, "Et weel work.  We do et!"

I rode out with him that night, still in makeup.  He also took Maria, telling her that she would be my constant companion."