The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 344

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Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Siringo was, Pingenot observes, a romantic. He was romantic in sev-
eral senses. An idealist, a defender of truth and justice, Siringo was also
a dandy and something of a womanizer. He loved and married often-
but not wisely. His first wife died, but the others left Siringo after a
fairly short trial. Pingenot is able to give us only brief glances at the
wives. It is surprising that when Siringo tried to write a novel, he settled
on a female protagonist, a decision that may account for Siringo's fail-
ure to complete the novel.
If Siringo's failed marriages ever led him to greater understanding
of himself, we get little hint of it. The evidence suggests the contrary.
When late in life Siringo recast his early autobiographies for another,
his Riata and Spurs (1927), he wanted all references to his second mar-
riage and the birth of his son deleted. These, he declared, could be
of no interest to the general reader. A man of action and little fear,
Siringo was not highly introspective. He was cowboy, detective, and ac-
tion writer.
In describing that life, Pingenot prefers understatement. He does
not have a psychological thesis or key for unlocking Siringo's person-
ality; his account gives us the shape of the public Siringo only. Siringo's
life touches major themes of the American West, including, finally, the
securing of the cowboy myth in Hollywood movies. Just as when Will
Rogers called A Texas Cowboy "the cowboy's Bible," Charlie Siringo's ca-
reer continues to merit our attention. It is good to have Pingenot's ac-
count-to place next to Siringo's portrayal in Cooke's romance, to place
next to Siringo's portrayal of himself in his autobiographical writings,
and to deepen our understanding of the currents of American history
that made Siringo possible.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill JOSEPH M. FLORA
Tejanos and the Numbers Game: A Socio-Historical Interpretation from the
Federal Censuses, 1850-I9oo. By Arnoldo De Le6n and Kenneth L.
Stewart. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1989.
Pp. xi+ 119. Preface, tables, maps, epilogue, notes, bibliography,
index. $24.95.)
This impressive but brief book tells its readers about an important
source of evidence for the history of Mexican Americans in Texas and
proposes an attractive interpretation of their history. The authors col-
lected information about more than i ol,ooo Texans living in twenty
counties and enumerated in the United States Censuses from 1850 to
19oo. Their book analyzes this population in order to draw conclusions


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. ( accessed October 22, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.