The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960

Book Reviews

or gun finger of the Kid to the editor of the Fort Sumner Daily
Optic (July 25, 1881). But was this Will Hale?
There are many more unanswered questions. Who was Will
Hale, or Will Hale Stone? Why are there only three copies of
this book known to exist? How much of this tale of the Border
can be accepted as fact? Clearly, not much. The over-all historical
periods and the general social climate of the Border certainly,
but most incidents as related are fantastic. The killing of num-
berless Indians and Mexicans would seem the grossest exaggera-
tion; yet when projected onto the known background of the age-
old feud between Texan and Mexican of the years 1836-1916,
the incidents do not seem so strange. It is too bad Will Hale could
not have been more moderate and truthful, but it was not his
nature or the nature of the Border itself to do things in modera-
tion, or to put limits on tales of its heroes and villains, where
stretching the tale might enhance it. FRANK H. DUGAN
The Cattlemen: From the Rio Grande Across the Far Marias. By
Mari Sandoz. New York (Hastings House), 1958. Pp. xiv +
527. $6.50.
Miss Sandoz is interested in history because of the good stories
it contains; temperamentally she is a storyteller rather than a
historian. Her book has some of the marks of historical scholarship
such as a bibliography, notes, and index, but the notes, which
are few in number and lack specific page citations, would hardly
lead a curious reader back to the sources. Viewed as history, The
Cattlemen is not a replacement for The Day of the Cattleman,
published by Ernest Staples Osgood in 1929.
There is no reason why Miss Sandoz should not draw on history
as a storehouse of story if she wants to, and she is not obliged to
produce an account of the development and course of the cattle
industry. In her foreword she says she sees the rancher primarily
as "the continuous and enduring symbol of modern man on the
Great Plains," a figure whose stories have become as numerous as
his own cattle. Then she states her approach: "I have tried,
through a few selected individuals and incidents, to show some-
thing of the nature and contrasts, something of the conflicts and

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/. Accessed March 5, 2015.