THE STAKED PLAIN by Frank X. Tolbert


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As drawling as his earlier Higamy Jones (1954) is this retelling of events in the life of real people of the southwest in the 1870's -- white and Indian. Son of the guide, Gehugh Nabors, Llano Estacado grew up knowing guns and gunsmithing, soldiers and Indians and took it on himself to revenge the death of his father's Indian wife when his father was killed. Life among the Indians, particularly the wild horse Antelopes, was preferable to that of the white people, although there was a girl who did not understand his advances, until he met the lady gambler Mrs. Dulce Deno, who had been a spy for General Sherman. She persuaded him to protect Uncle Bill's troops; she was kidnapped when his Indian friends decided he needed a wife and her winnings from her captors grew and grew. Lonnie counciled retreat rather than war against the Army and his delaying tactics readied the tribe for its flight -- almost too late until a sudden wintry storm stopped the soldiers short and permitted the Antelopes to vanish. Very much of the region, of the happenings of place and time and with a deep sense of the case for the Indians, this carries its story at a gallop.

Publisher: Harper