A tumbling saga of a trail drive up from the south of Texas that reaches beyond the range for its audience. ""Men that follow the longhorn cow are reckless, resourceful and independent."" Fools too, and just such an indomitable, quixotic fool is Lampassas, determined to take a herd up to Trail's End. With him is his seventeen-year-old youngster, the Kid, and if the old man's obsession is with a dead past, the boy is dreaming of the iron horse, not cows. And so they go, a scruffy, shirttail outfit--makeshift survivors of one experience or another, the Preacher, June, Pretty Shadow, Gattis, and a game, gamine girl, Covina, with a bastard baby. There are some wonderfully funny scenes as the herd goes rocketing through Mustang Springs, unsettling privies and unseating a mature maiden from her perch over ""the unknown;"" others more tragic--Gattis and Pretty Shadow are ""stompeded"" to death. Finally they reach Trail's End, terminus of the past, takeoff to the future... When the dust settles there have been fine stretches of sheer storytelling; more important, he gives it an instantaneous sense of life, rowdy, stubborn, spirited, enduring.