464 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
C. H. McKennon transcends the type. He grins from the dust-
wrapper, seated at typewriter, note-box and file basket at the ready,
firearms mounted overhead. He meticulously lists 115 "Primary
Sources," being interviews with pioneers, surviving relatives, authors,
deputy marshals and sheriffs, collectors, etc. He also tabulates news-
papers (some contemporary), records and periodicals, and a scat-
tering of books. The detailed index and twenty-three pictures, duly
annotated, inspire confidence. The lack of footnotes does not.
The purported conversations, plus a tightly paced narrative, lend
verisimilitude and suspense. Occasional slips can be forgiven as plac-
ing Oklahoma City in "I.T." (Indian Territory). Only a pedant
would belittle each split infinitive, dangling element, mixed meta-
phor, and incomplete comparison. This pedant questions as strained
the use of words such as "disgorging" (said of a safely . And what of
this rich sentence: "Outnumbered and intimidated by the iron throats
that barked flame and lead, the dogs lent their quiet to the precipitant
The book has three distinct parts. In the first third McKennon
sketches the post-1865 rise of lawlessness in his home country, Clarks-
ville, Arkansas. For forty pages Isaac Parker, famed "hanging judge"
of Fort Smith, holds the center stage. He yields to his deputy mar-
shals, of whom Paden Tolbert, also of Clarksville, dominates the re-
mainder. Assorted bad men in Arkansas and Indian Territory come
briefly to notice, flourish, and meet their inevitable doom either by
noose or bullet.
"A Saga" in the subtitle catches the meaning. In words ascribed
to Tolbert the author writes: "A lawman is a necessary part of a
community, especially of a community that can go bad unless there
is a good man with a badge to stop it." And stop it he does, with
occasional racism, sadism, and plenty of gore-as bullet or shell enters
shoulder, knee, neck, head, face, or eye. And always suspense. It is,
then, popular, significant, and pioneer. Take it for what it is worth.
Oklahoma State University THEODORE L. AGNEW
Catholic Influence on American Colonial Policies, z898-190o4. By
Frank T. Reuter. Austin (University of Texas Press), 1967. Pp.
xiii+ 185. Bibliography, index. $6.oo.
Frank T. Reuter, an associate professor of history at Texas Chris-
tian University, has written a good book of considerable orginality
on this limited complex subject.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed December 20, 2013.