Sun in Their Eyes. By Monte Barrett. Indianapolis (Bobbs-
Merrill), 1944. Pp. 319. $2.75.
The time period of this book is one of great events and
ambitious men, revolutions and counterrevolutions, intrigues
and counterintrigues, duplicities and counterduplicities. The
American Revolution and the French Revolution were recent
memories. National liberty and individual opportunity were
mighty watchwords. This era knew the names of such men
as Nolan, Burr, Lafitte, Wilkinson, Long, Bean, Kemper, Magee,
Gutierrez, Sibley, Shaler, Toledo, Zambrano, Hidalgo - good
men and bad, soldiers and civilians, priests and buccaneers -
all with their faces turned to the west and to Texas. They, too,
had sun in their eyes.
W. L. George in his Blind Alley, in speaking of the first
World War, has one of his characters to say, "Everybody
liked the war except the man who had to fight it." If this
English novelist had been speaking of the period with which
Sun in Their Eyes deals, he could have omitted his conditing
clause because in those days everybody seemed to enjoy the
troublous affairs that beset Texas.
The fires of revolution which began on September 16, 1810,
when Hidalgo rang the church bell in the village of Dolores,
spread rapidly to Texas but were soon extinguished. Among
those Mexican revolutionists who would not despair was Jos6
Bernardo Gutierrez, who in high hopes the year before had
offered to the cause "my services, my hacienda, my life." Mid-
summer of 1811 found him on his way to Washington, tem-
porarily dispirited but still hopeful of Mexican independence.
On his return he enters the story of Sun in Their Eyes near
Natchez, Mississippi. His party is attacked by robbers, and to
the rescue came the hero, Jonathan Kirk, and a group of
determined men including the well-known historical characters,
Augustus Magee and Samuel Kemper. Most of the important
characters are presented at this point. Don Miguel Salazar,
the fictional financial backer of Gutierrez and one of the villains
of the book, has with him a beautiful Spanish blond, ostensibly
his niece but in reality his mistress. She 'rides in a coach,
resplendent in its silver mountings, which is reminiscent of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/. Accessed August 31, 2015.