From the Author
I have tried to show the important "challenges" facing west Texas forts after the Civil War: the Comanche, Mexican bandits, and the Apache. All of these factors were real threats in Texas, and most times, it took soldiers to stop them.
I've learned how difficult life on the frontier was, most of the forts had no walls, relying on their soldiers and superior fire power. Housing for the men was scarce, and for families, especially difficult to find. Often, officers and their families, lived for long periods in tents or in Texas, what is known as a "jacale," which is a Spanish word. Roughly, it translates to a wooden hut, and they were made by driving posts into the ground, next to each other, leaving chinks between the wooden posts, and being covered with a tarp, like a tent. Even after limestone homes were built at some forts, jacales were used as outdoor kitchens to keep down the possibility of fires spreading.
I learned that many of the marching commands we associate with the infantry are used for the cavalry. Simple commands, of course, like: attention, forward, left, etc. I was amazed at how similar the commands are for soldiers on foot or on horseback.
In short, I learned a lot about life at forts, how the divisions, companies, and patrols are formed and garrisoned. What they did for fun, and what were their greatest fears on the frontier.
This Trilogy has truly been a learning experience for me that I've enjoyed greatly. I hope my readers will feel the joy I had creating these characters and will learn to love them as I have.
From the Inside Flap
She turned the bundle over, admiring the soft, white ostrich feather, the creamy yucca blossoms, and especially the blue ribbon. It had been a long time since she'd had a ribbon for her hair.
He fetched the cane-bottomed chair from the corner and set it a few feet from her bed.
"Thank you, Jacob... that's your name, isn't it? Nellie said it was."
"Yes, ma'am, my name is Jacob Wells."
"So, your father was..."
"A white man. Yes, ma'am. A soldier."
"Oh, and you're a soldier, too?" She gazed at his deerskin jacket, fringed along his forearms, wondering why he wasn't in uniform.
"No, ma'am, I'm not a soldier. Just a scout. Half breeds are seldom allowed..." He stopped and cleared his throat. She thought she detected a hint of flush on his tanned face. "That is, ma'am, I'm not--"
"My apologies again. I wasn't thinking. I know Nellie mentioned you're a scout." And she understood his half-spoken, bitter words and shame.
When she'd been carrying her child, she'd often wondered what would happen to him. If he'd stayed with his father's people, he would have been accepted. But she'd dreamed of escaping and taking her baby to safety.
The Comanche way of life was hard, and she doubted they could last much longer. Their numbers were dwindling, as they fought the onslaught of soldiers and settlers.
But if she'd brought her child back to civilization, would he have been shunned and made to feel inferior?
Gazing at Jacob's strong face and seeing the wounded look in his eyes, her heart squeezed, knowing she had her answer. Even though her son would have been treated... "different" by her people, the knowing didn't lift her sorrow. She would have found a way to protect him, no matter what.