The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 417
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during a good part of his life, in the way that a piece of river can
have meaning (for a whole river is usually too much to compre-
hend). On this part of the Brazos Graves had grown up and had
hunted and fished, gone swimming and camping. About a place
like this, the author comments, "either you care or you don't."
So Graves made his farewell trip down the Brazos, a journey
mostly rain-drenched, bitterly cold, and windy, and he went alone
except for the company of a six-month-old dachshund pup, called
merely the Passenger.
Graves recalls that much of the "Big History" of this region of
the Brazos concerns The People-the Comanches, "dextrous, cruel,
wild, joyful, unbearable, lousy, bowlegged, and magnificent." For
two arrogant centuries they were the steady winners; but eventu-
ally disease and the disappearance of the buffalo, the coming of
the frontier whites and of Ranald S. Mackenzie with his soldiers
decimented them and the few who remained went the way
Many proud names belong to the bends and the crossings of
the Brazos and to the land through which it winds, names like
Bigfoot Wallace, Oliver Loving, Charles Goodnight, Cynthia Ann
Parker, her son Quanah, and her husband Peta Nocona, Satank,
Santanta, Iron Shirt. Lesser-known names belong there too: the
hermit Sam Sowell, old George Slaughter ("a book in himself
if you wanted to write it"), Indian Joe (whose nickname was
probably inspired by reading Mark Twain), old Francisco San-
chez, drunken and shiftless Choctaw Tom, Old Lady Rippy, Bug-
Eye Tinsley, Jesse Veal, the Ezra Sherman family. There are tales
of heroism, of rascality, terror, revenge, and even of whimsical
humor. And almost always, even down into the present, there is
the shadow of The People, with their hard tarnished-copper
bodies and their flat glittering eyes.
Of the endless stories that have come from along the Brazos,
many have been "retreating into the fog for a long time." Some
of them Graves relates only briefly or simply mentions. Others he
tells in detail, like the one of Mrs. Martha Sherman's capture,
torture, and murder by a band of Comanche warriors, one of
whom was a green-eyed redhead, perhaps a captive like Cynthia
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/454/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.