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I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang [Kindle Edition]

Leonce Gaiter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $5.00 (50%)

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Book Description

In the waning days of Indian Territory, the multi-racial, teenaged Rufus Buck Gang embarked on a vicious, childish, and deadly 13-day rampage that shocked even this lawless place. Their goal was to take back Indian lands. Based on the true story, this is a tale of how real-life figures "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker, notorious half-black, half-Indian outlaw Cherokee Bill, one-quarter Cherokee "gentlemen bandit" Henry Starr, relative of the notorious Belle Starr, and the worst of them all, half-black, half-Indian Rufus Buck, collided during the summer of 1895. In lawless Indian Territory the end of an era approached. The U.S. government continued to co-opt Indian land for settlement. Judge Isaac C. Parker's judicial tyranny over 74,000 square miles of Indian Territory was coming to an end. Against this background, the teenaged Rufus Buck Gang embarked on their mad quest to reclaim Indian lands from US settlement. Rufus is guided by a sense of religious mission, by heavenly visions made manifest in the form of the extraordinary, 13 year-old Theodosia Swain. With his angel to guide him, he sets out to do the impossible with a missionary's zeal, a child's anticipation, and a grown man's violence. In "I Dreamt I Was in Heaven," famous, historical figures dance with fictional characters to create a turn-of-the-century tapestry of violence and innocence, love and betrayal, butchery and grace--mirroring and chafing against the backdrop of a burgeoning United States, and a disappearing American West.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leonce Gaiter’s noir thriller “Bourbon Street” was published by Carroll & Graf. His non-fiction has appeared in The Huffington Post, LA Times, The Washington Post, Salon, NY Times, NY Times Magazine and in national syndication. He has worked professionally in the creative ends of the film, recording, and marketing industries.

Product Details

  • File Size: 376 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615490107
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Legba Books (July 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005BQXZMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,369 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buck Wild In The West.... August 8, 2011
Format:Paperback
Before opening I Dreamt I Was In Heaven, I admittedly knew nothing of The Rufus Buck Gang; my knowlege of Wild West outlaws was limited to more popular and celebrated villians along the lines of Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and the like. Thus Leonce Gaines's latest offering into the badlands of the wild, wild West was a enlightening yet tragic history lesson.

The novel opens with a frenzied mob seeking revenge toward the recently captured gang entering town under the protection of marshals. Then via a series of alternating flashbacks that continue throughout the book, the reader settles comfortably into the 1880s Indian Territory. The era's political and social issues and injustices are rendered via the intersecting experiences and philosopies of four key colorful characters Rufus Buck, Cherokee Bill, Dapper Henry Starr and "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker. ''Both Rufus and the Judge are on conflicting missions of sorts -- Rufus, a wayward teen of Native- and African-American descent, and his multi-racial gang, wanted to instill fear into the hearts of whites and chase them from the Territory while the Judge practiced the law (a blend of God's, Natural (a la Darwin), and man's) in an attempt to bring order and civility to the region simultaneously weeding out the undesirable elements.

Inspired by Cherokee Bill's legacy, Rufus and his teen friends set out on a misguided rampage erroneously believing their antics would ignite an Indian uprising to reclaim their land. For nearly two weeks during the summer of 1895, the gang committed multiple acts of murder, rape, assault, thievery and arson; and they were quite successful at instilling fear amid the settlers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary read August 3, 2011
Format:Paperback
I loved this book! Not only was I completely entertained (didn't want to put it down), I was captivated by the distinct personalities of each of the players. The crazies were believably so, the politicians sly & crooked while the historical bad guys were vivid and animated. As the story was unfolding I found myself captivated by the naïve mission of the gang, sympathetic to their cause and sickened by their methods of exacting revenge. Gaiter has managed to blend just the right amount of historical fact, entertaining fiction and dark humor to create a narrative worth telling and re-telling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars gang of outlaws September 12, 2014
By BbP
Format:Paperback
288 pages---8/5/2011...auth//leonce gaiter.

RAMPAGE---the RUFUS BUCK GANG.

TERROR UN LEASHED in INDIAN (okla) TERRITORY.

the CREEK Indians did not have many outlaws, but there
were a few.
Among those was a band known as the BUCK GANG. Headed
by--CREEK mulatto-----Rufus Buck.

THE BUCK gang WAS EXECUTED FOR the CRIME OF rape.
never CHARGED WITH THEIR *murder AND *plunder.__5
MEN EXECUTED
ON one GALLOWS. THEY swung INTO eternity TOGETHER.

__judge parker sentenced them__!
---- LITTLE SYMPATHY WAS FELT - !

july 1 1896--after his death
in Rufus's cell__was found a POEM to his MOM &
her photo----------A L S O a drawing of JESUS.
He wrote a GOODBYE to his Wife.

bbp okc 65----------a library book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging! March 30, 2014
By DebbyM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Leonce Gaiter has written an engaging story about a human experience. I was thoroughly entertained. The writing was exceptional. Nicely done!
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4.0 out of 5 stars I Dreamt I Was in Heaven January 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have mixed emotions, about this book. It was my first time reading a novel, by Mr. Gaiter. I would certainly like to read more writings, by him. Rufus was a frightening character!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Should be a history text book. December 13, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This should be required reading for people in the mid-West, where I live. In Oklahoma where I recognize most of these towns.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story July 1, 2013
By TED L
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fascinating read about a little known story in American history. One of many little known ones that are an interesting read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang
Quick! Can you tell me if you knew that there was a multi-racial teenaged gang terrorizing the west? Read more
Published 20 months ago by Troy Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read!
I Dreamt I Was in Heaven... was a good read. My bookclub was looking for something outside of our normal genre and this fit the bill. Most members enjoyed it. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Nannypie
5.0 out of 5 stars Kristi Bernard via Book Pleasures
Today when we think of gangs our thoughts are of young punk kids who just don't want to work or go to school so they can get a job and join the ranks of the working class. Read more
Published on December 8, 2011 by Kristi Bernard
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary, but little known truth about gang activity in the...
Quick! Can you tell me if you knew that there was a multi-racial teenaged gang terrorizing the west? Read more
Published on December 5, 2011 by Alvin C. Romer
4.0 out of 5 stars "A half-breed: A white man's pride with a black man's history stoking...
In an ironic ending to "Hanging Judge" Isaac C Parker's tenure as the driving moral force in the Indian Territories, the Rufus Buck Gang is hung, Parker expiring soon after in... Read more
Published on October 19, 2011 by Luan Gaines
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling history and storytelling
"I Dreamt I Was in Heaven" is a gripping read, with fresh and powerful characters, relationships and narrative. Read more
Published on July 31, 2011 by J Brancato
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More About the Author

I like to write about the extraordinary. I have little interest in domestic drama, in small tales of internal struggle. I want to read and write characters who are extraordinary--larger than life. I certainly don't want to read or write about people who are "just like me." I want to read and write about those infinitely grander than I will ever be, willing to risk more, grasp more, love more, hate more, whose time and place demands more than you or I can probably imagine having to give... I guess it's my Southern gothic roots.


Official bio blurb below:

Leonce Gaiter is the author of the noir thriller Bourbon Street. His nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, LA Weekly, NY Newsday, The Washington Post, Salon, and in national syndication.

His short fiction has appeared in the literary magazine Archipelago. His thriller Bourbon Street was published by Carroll & Graf in 2005. His historical novel, "I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang" is from Legba Books, September 2011. He currently lives in Northern California

Raised in New Orleans, Washington D.C., Germany, Missouri, Maryland and elsewhere, Leonce Gaiter is the quintessential army brat--rootless, restive, and disagreeable. He began writing in grade school and continued the habit through his graduation from Harvard. He moved to Los Angeles and put his disagreeability to work in the creative and business ends of the film and music industries.


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