The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

they had hoped would be their private heaven turned into a hell because of the
severe depression that Jerry suffered, as well as her alcoholism and suicide at-
tempts, all of which were exacerbated by Ernie's long absences. Her death fol-
lowed his by only a matter of months.
The title of Melzer's book is misleading. It is not about Ernie Pyle and the
American Southwest; it is about Ernie and Jerry Pyle's unhappy life in Albu-
querque. And there is little in it that is not covered in Lee G. Miller's much
more complete biography, The Story of Ernie Pyle, published in 1950. Unfortu-
nately, Miller's book has been out of print for many years.
Thin and narrow as it is, Ernie Pyle in the American Southwest is the only readily
available work about an authentic American hero. It will be of interest to those
who remember him and still admire his work.
The Dallas Morning News BRYAN WOOLLEY
Judge Roy Bean Country. By Jack Skiles. Foreword by Elmer Kelton. (Lubbock:
Texas Tech University Press, 1996. Pp. xiv+419. Foreword, preface, ac-
knowledgments, illustrations, references, index. ISBN o-89672-369-0.
$18.95, paper.)
Buyers and readers need to recognize that Skiles's title means exactly what it
says. In other words, it is short on Bean (roughly forty pages), and long on
"country" (roughly 150 pages). The initial section regarding Bean's life and ca-
reer pulls together all the known facts, including a few not so well known. Sever-
al photos, including occasional rare ones, enrich the story. The author gives a
tidy, interesting, and well-written account of one of the Southwest's fascinating,
colorful characters.
While Skiles implies that most of the Bean information came from old-timer
interviews, and assuredly some of it did, to me, at least, Skiles seems to have
touched the correct academic bases. Granted, though the Bean biography might
have been rounded out more-becoming a full-length book in itself-the basics
of this controversial man nevertheless are set firmly in place.
The remainder of the book reaches back into early Spanish times in and
around Langtry, downriver from the Big Bend. We get a little of Jose de
Berroterin and Capt. Joseph M6zquiz, plus other conquistadors who led expedi-
tions into the area. There are stories of American explorers, Indian fights, and
wagon-train massacres. William Shafter, John Lapham Bullis, and Col. R. S.
Mackenzie get their share of space. Later on, the railroads arrive, bridges span
the Pecos, and homesteaders, ranchers, train-robbers, and cowboys fill the void.
On page 156 the author returns to the Langtry origins. English actress Lily
Langtry is discussed, as is the Mexican Revolution, the U.S. Army, Bean on occa-
sion, and some salty hombres who, in another era, might have made even the
Judge flinch.
This book fills a niche in Southwestern history.

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April

El Paso

LEON C. METZ

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/. Accessed February 5, 2016.