The 267,000 square miles east of Los Fresnos, Chihuahua, stretching 770 miles, both east to west and north to south, lies an area known in modern times as Texas, tejas, the Hasini Indian’s word for friendly. Its neighbor to the northwest, New Mexico, can throw another 121,600 square miles into the mix, an area on its own that is larger than New England, with the state of New York thrown in as well.
Humans are not native to this land of the southwest. Every race that came here arrived as visitors, invaders, wanderers, crossing a narrow land bridge from Asia.
They were hunters – hunting the sun – the sun that grows grass and browse – that feeds game. The hunter’s favorite place was Llano Estacando. There, the great ancient elephants thrived. Life was a hard, dangerous venture for these first, near-subhuman beings, killing the elephants, mastodons, ground sloths, huge beasts similar to buffalo, but outweighing them by a factor of four – all killed for food with spears tipped with stone, flint perhaps.
Over an unknown time, the animals vanished, as did those that pursued them with their crude spears. They were courageous beyond our limited comprehension of the full meaning of the word.
Then, perhaps on the same narrow spit of land that joined Asia to this new land, others came. Mongoloid skinned, to be called Indians when the fair-skinned Europeans came a few millenniums later. The Indians did not know themselves as Indians – they were the People.
The People shared at least one trait with their ‘smarter’ Europeans that invaded much later – they knew how to make war. War for sport or pleasure, but usually to defend their hunting grounds and their women. There was a place and station for all the People – all except the weak and cowardly.
CHAPTER 1 HE MIGHT’A STOOD TALL
Our high-heeled, mini-skirted, gum-popping waitress was something to behold. Shiny yellow high-heels, patterned hose, pink patent leather skirt, open blouse. The painted-on beauty-mark-mole added that little spice, icing on the cake. She jiggled by, paused while adjusting her blond beehive “do,” leaned over in a successful effort to show more than her cleavage, and left our check in front of the “man” among us. Sweetie, Alice’s man, finally picked up the scrap of brown paper sack that served as the tab at the Van Horn Diner. For a split second, I thought maybe Sweetie would stand tall and pay for the meal. Six sets of mascaraed eyes were on him.
He studied the tab with great care, “Forty-eight-dollars-and-sixteen-cents. That comes to six-dollars-and-eighty-eight-cents apiece.”
So much for standing tall.
Alice sat in transfixed awe. “I’ll never understand how he figures that out in his head. I couldn’t do that with a calculator. But, he’s a financial advisor, you know. Have I mentioned that to you all?”
Rhonda stood – all six feet of her. “Only about forty-eight times in the past two days.” As she put a ten-dollar bill on the table, she turned to me....