Heritage, Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 1989 Page: 29
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introduction about the prehistoric and
early historic chronology of Texas Indians.
The second and major section of the book
is the most appealing and intriguing. It
depicts Indian life through fictional accounts
that build on the chronological and
regional accounts of the first part of the
book. These stories correspond to the earlier
discussions of the Mission Indians, the
Caddo, the Tonkawa, the Delaware, and
the Comanche. Each story is sensitive and
interesting, and lavishly illustrated. The
third portion of the book deals with 20th
century Indians. The Tigers of El Paso, the
Kickapoo from Eagle Pass, and the Alabama-Coushatta
of East Texas are discussed
and documented with Bradshaw's
While this book is generally thoughtful
and well-executed, there are a few minor
problems. In this first sentence, author
Shaw says "...the Pleistocene Era, an age
that lasted 60,000 to 75,000 years..." The
length of the Pleistocene is a point of
disagreement, but the shortest estimates
are around two million years and some
experts think it lasted for four million
years. This is an error in the magnitude of
40 to 60 times. Another problem is in the
use of hand-lettered text. From an artistic
and design standpoint this is very attractive,
but is not easy to read, especially for
children. Even so, this book is an excellent
contribution to our Texana and Native
Review by Peter Nichols.
of the border country and officer, variously,
in the forces of Villa and Orozco-or anyone
else who had a fight going on. Of Evans
Means, who lived through the bad days and
the good, dying finally at the age of 88 by
falling off a ledge.
The Texas Rangers do not come off too
well, nor does U.S. Army Captain Leonard
F. Matlack, a product of his times, who
disregarded all international boundaries
and law trying to get his man, no matter
Part IV is where the book begins to find
its rhythm, with the story of Shafter, onetime
boom town now turned ghost, singing
off its pages. Miles wraps the book with the
heartwarming saga of Maggie Smith, godmother
of the Big Bend, a woman beautiful
in all the ways that matter.
We find it hard to account for the uneven
rhythm of this book. You're going to
get a jerky beat, trying to tell unconnected
short bites of folklore- it's to be expected.
But the brain gets a surfeit, jumping from
one short story to the next, and this section
of the book is meant to be picked up at
intervals rather than trying to read it
Anyone attempting this sort of book is
doomed to suffer by unfair comparison with
the singing word-flow of J. Frank Dobie or
'Doc' Sonnichsen-and Miles does so, of
And yet, as a 'grass-roots historian,' to
use Doc's phrase, Miles does more than an
adequate job. Light and enjoyable, and at
the same time invaluable as a source, More
Tales belongs on the bookshelf of anyone
interested in Texas and the West.
Review by Alex Apostolides
More Tales of the Big Bend
More Tales of the Big Bend, by Elton Miles;
Texas A&M University Press, (College
Station); 288pc; $12.95
This is a potpourri, if you will, of tidbits
and smallish bites of Texas folklore, sequel
volume to Mile's Tales of the Big Bend,
which came out in 1976. Miles is well
qualified in his subject, having been past
president of the Texas Folklore Society.
The book is a pleasant excursion in four
parts, but it doesn't really seem to get into
high gear until Part III, when the author
leaves the recounting of oft-told tales and
gets into historical storytelling.
The tale is told of Chico Cano, badman
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Write for our latest catalogue
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Rotan, Texas 79546
HERITAGE * WINTER 1989 29
A Pictorial History
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 1989, periodical, Winter 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45430/m1/29/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.