A cowboy story from an odd corner of history -- Shelby's attempt to enlist beaten Confederate forces under Maximillan in Mexico -- this has a matter of factness and sobriety that give it an authentic feel. For Carl Miller came to Texas with his parents and a German Adelsverein, but with the death of his mother, they moved on to their own land on the Nuenes River. There Carl learned riding and roping from Spanish Julian, became friends with Maxican Mistani and Juan Cortino, the bandito known as Cheno, and through his ability picked up odd jobs from the wealthy ranchers. His first contract with Chisum as drover, soon he had his own brushpoppers but his love for Julia Allerby met defeat in her love for fairy Bryan Roswell. With the Civil War and Bryan for the Confederacy, Carl is delivering beef to his fellow soldiers, is caught by the enemy and suffers imprisonment like a regular soldier. Bryan, with the war's end, is still fighting and ready to join Shelby in Mexico; the Allerbys, hard hit by the war, decide to join him -- and Carl rides with them and is the one to pull them out of trouble when Mexican insurrectionists threaten their lives. For those who choose a real, rather than a completely fictional, West.