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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Book Reviews

between the termini of the line; its date is September 16, 1858.
The attractive end-papers show the line of stations from Tipton,
Missouri, through Arkansas, the Indian Territory, Texas, New
Mexico Territory, Lower California, and California proper.
Ormsby's letters exhibit the workings of an unusually percep-
tive, extraordinarily keen, and alert intelligence, where the ob-
servation of landscapes and human occupancies of then are con-
cerned. He wrote under considerable difficulty, but he fixed what
he saw clearly in mind and as placidly wrote it up. So sensitive
was he to changes in the terrains through which he rapidly trav-
eled, that he marked the presence of caprock when he met with
it in Texas, and noted the differing characters of the deserts
between El Paso and Tucson. His pages abound with brief, dis-
criminating descriptions. He noted down many of the varieties
of the trees, plants, and shrubs that he saw on his way, though
he did miss by name at least, the Arizona saguaro, confusing it
with the cactus generally.
There is much on the country, the life, the people, and the
transportation routes and problem of the Southwest in the late
185o's in these refreshing pages. They make quite satisfying read-
ing. Ormsby was twenty-three years old at the time of their com-
position, innocent (so far as we know) of any college degrees,
perhaps self-educated. But what an observer this young man was,
and how indebted we are to him for his careful fulfillment of
this historic assignment, accomplished between September 16 and
October lo, 1858.
The University of Texas
Hoofbeats Along the Llano. By Edwin R. Bogusch. San Antonio
(The Naylor Company), 1955. Pp. vii+244.
Hoofbeats Along the Llano is western fiction with an under-
neath current like the Llano River flowing clear water over rocky
places. The author is a spokesman of the Llano country weaving
around the river ranches the stories he has heard of the earlier
days. The settings are not always identifiable, but the hoofbeats
resound the echoes of the past: the range, the horses, the cattle,
cattle markets, the rustlers, the rattlesnakes, the country store,


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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