The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Book Reviews

tones that "it is West Texas" (p. lo03). Actually Bowie County, with
Texarkana as its seat, snuggles against Arkansas. Obviously Adams con-
fused the location of a northeast Texas county with that of a north
central (not west) Texas town. An alert editor should have caught that.
Quite possibly other "Adams errors" have escaped this reviewer's
notice. Even so, no western historian can safely venture to write about
gunmen without consulting Adams. That lesson should have been
learned with publication of Burs Under the Saddle in 1964. Now there
is a worthy supplement to peruse.
Institute of Texan Cultures AL LOWMAN
From the High Plains. By John Fischer. (New York: Harper &8 Row,
1979. Pp. 182. Prologue. $1o.)
From the High Plains is John Fischer's "attempt to document some
remnant of the last frontier as it was remembered by eyeball witnesses"
(p. 2). To do this he has drawn on stories, most of which he maintains
are true. Fischer defines the High Plains as mostly the panhandles of
Texas and Oklahoma and overlapping regions of adjacent states. His
own family settled in the area with the first pioneers, and through them
he came to know many of the individuals mentioned in the book-in-
cluding Charles Goodnight. His grandfather was a friend of Geronimo,
and his family were cowboys, ranchers, or farmers.
The book is broken into stories which range from specific experiences
of the author and friends to sayings, legends, and speculation. "Mr.
Baxter and Butchering," for example, is an account of the hard and
unromantic work and hard facts of cattle herding and butchering. It is
graphic and informative. "Anybody who thinks his present job is a bore
should try contemplating the rear elevation of a steer for a few days"
(p. 6).
Fisher discusses the late settlement of the High Plains, describes the
advantage of the bow and arrow over early guns, relates the varied and
full life of Charles Goodnight (he married for the second time at age
91), and talks about barbed wire and how to string it, about Geronimo,
and Amarillo, and growing up. "Texas is a fine place for men and dogs,
but hell on women and horses" (p. 137). Or to give a more graphic and
personal point of view: "A young housewife once spilled a bucket of
water as she was climbing down from the barrel wagon. 'Oh, God,' she
said, 'how I hate a country where you have to climb for water and dig
for wood' " (p. 124).

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/. Accessed July 25, 2014.