This is a scrupulously researched record of the real life of Doc Middleton, the famed horse thief and gang leader who was also known as the Jesse James of Nebraska. Horse thieves are no-good people -- filthy, ignorant, and hard-hearted toward women, children, Indians and other inferiors. But Doc broke the stereotype. He was a fancy dresser, published a highly literate letter in his own defense, was kind toward friends and strangers alike, often riding out of his way to do a service. It pained Doc to hear the stories and read the lies so often printed about him, and to have vigilantes chase him over a cow he'd ""paid for in good hard cash."" It was widely believed that he had thousands of stolen cattle grazing on an underground range! Hutton spent 20 years researching this book -- and it's lovely, dry as hickory-smoked beef, actual as a Sears Roebuck catalogue, with every Nebraska cowpath combed for facts -- the facts, sir, just the facts.