Joshua Alexandre, son of Alex Robinoix of New Orleans, has to flee from a warrant for injury of a federal trooper when he broke up a rape. His home is destroyed and mother killed. His father is away trading in Taos, and he and blacksmith Gabe McBride, his father's old friend, set out to Texas to a small horse ranch owned by the family. Ride the 1870's Texas range with these two men as they fight to build a horse ranch and defend against the lawless frontier. They sell and supply the army as it tries to find the elusive Comanche on the Staked Plains. Gabe is an old hand at the talent of finding water to cross these barren wastes, and this skill is essential over and over to the army and to the herds of cattle and ranchers that established the early trails. This story of an era of great change to three different cultures that collide on the western edge as civilization pushes relentlessly onward, is an adventurous trip though that time and place. Joshua has to take a new name and learn to use a quick draw to survive the Texas towns. Fighting rustlers to keep their wild mustang herds together long enough to market them to the army, takes a lot of night riding and dodging bullets and arrows. As they progress, they make improvements to their ranch, and meet important men of the ranching that is spreading west. Helping to search for kidnapped children by Indians, and scouting for the army lead them on many adventurous treks into the wilderness. Not to mention the rattlesnakes that had to be fought and killed by the barrel full to clear the town of Panna Maria and make the schoolhouse safe for that beautiful blonde haired school marm. Still no word comes about Alex Robinoix, and the men talk about searching west to Santa Fe and Taos. When the chance comes to push a herd across the Lano Estacado for Goodnight's outfit, Josh trail boss's his first herd. The Comanche have to be dealt with, and it is a war that has gone on for far too long.
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