Once again artist into author (remember The Brave Bulls?) has magic in his pen for a story of the Texan-Mexican frontier when the Army post was a dominant factor and the Mexicans were harried by bandits, and terrorized by successive revolutions. Martin Brady thought he was more Mexican than American, for he'd spent half of his life over the border- but when fate decreed that be return, he found the pull was strong. Then an accident- preventing his return with the smuggled munitions for his boss, Castro, who had given him his beloved black horse, Lagrimas- holds him unwilling in the Texas town. There he learns where his heart belongs- and to whom-and eagerly welcomes the offer of a forgotten past, and a future appointment to the Rangers, a chance to be an American for good, and yet to have a part in winning the frontier peace. Much happens before this goal is attained- and in the process the reader gets insight into the pattern of incident and personalities, of divided loyalties and conflicting pressures in a land that is old, a land that is new. Superbly done, with the rhythms and portraits that seem to come naturally to Tom Lea. He writes- as he draws- out of known backgrounds.