In a prequel to Grass Kingdom (not reviewed), Sherman takes on early Texas history in a tale of two sailors turned cowboys in the antebellum Southwest. Fishermen-by-trade Martin Baron and Juanito Salazar bury their friend Jack McTavish and set out across southcentral Texas in search of good ranch land. Along the way, they encounter hostile Apaches and corrupt ranchers, as well as a host of honest, hard-working men who encourage them to try their hand at crossbreeding Longhorns with European cattle. The plot thickens, sort of, as Martin becomes smitten by Caroline Darnell, and as famed outlaw Jack Killian (unquestionably the most interesting character here, and one who is largely wasted) fides up from Mexico to seek revenge for the lynching of his brother. Shot through with incorrect armament and faulty history, Sherman's story lacks direction and is not at all helped by overly formal dialogue. Though some originality emerges in action sequences and narrative description, this first in the Texas Cattle Quartet ultimately comes off as somewhat silly--with neither credibility nor historical accuracy.