By Elmer Kelton
Forge Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780812577501, 272pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
The Texas Frontier, 1865
The Civil War is over and Texas is reluctantly yielding to the Union soldiers spreading across the state, even into the dangerous Comanche country. David "Rusty" Shannon, proud member of a "ranging company" attempting to protect Texas settlers from Indian depredations, finds that the rangers are being disbanded. He makes his way home to his land on the Red River, hoping to take up the life of a farmer and the hand of the beloved girl he left behind, Geneva Monahan.
But Geneva has married in Rusty's long absence and the country is filled with hostiles not just Indians, but hate-filled Confederates, overbearing Union soldiers, and army renegades. Rusty's youth as a captive of the Comanches returns to haunt him when, in pursuit of Indian raiders, he takes as prisoner Badger Boy, a white child taken from his murdered parents by a Comanche warrior.
“A terrific read.”—The Dallas Morning News
“Award-winning writer Elmer Kelton—a star in the shrinking Western genre—totes you effortlessly to the post-Civil War Texas frontier, where white settlers were just learning to live with freed slaves, Comanches and each other . . . . His characters, like Shannon, make mistakes, are far from perfect and take life in stride.”—The New York Post
“Kelton is a master of both plot and character development, and his Rusty Shannon is a down-to-earth, dusty cowboy whose exploits always thrill Kelton’s fans.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)