Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication, Map

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

Despite the vast amount written about the history and folklore of early Texas, one region remains relatively untapped, unjustly neglected in the state’s literature. That area lying between San Angelo and the Pecos River, and west to the edge of the Davis Mountains, has scarcely been scratched...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book was conceived the first time I stood at the cleft of Castle Gap, looked out across the greasewood plains of the Pecos, and watched the sinking sun melt into clouds of deepest indigo.
More the dawning of a new day than the dying of one, it spurred me into several years of prowling...

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Castle Gap

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pp. 1-24

At the western edge of the Edwards Plateau in Upton County, Texas, where the mesas and rimrock of the Castle Mountains yawn open to the greasewood lowlands of the Pecos River and its fabled Horsehead Crossing, lies Castle Gap. This mile-long, 421-foot-deep cut in a mesa...

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Horsehead Crossing

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pp. 25-45

Its banks knew drama from the time of Indians afoot to conquistadores to westbound wagoners and cattle drovers.
The very name “Horsehead Crossing” suggests the violent history of this ford on the Pecos River, southwest of Crane, Texas, and twelve miles west-southwest of Castle Gap...

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Juan Cordona Lake

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pp. 46-62

The animal trapped in the mire served as a monument to the white mineral of Juan Cordona Lake.
It was the 1920s, and Cowden Ranch cowboys rode hard across Pecos country sand dunes in pursuit of a mustang that was too fast for their lariats. Then a rider noticed that the chase was leading...

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Fort Stockton Sutlery

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pp. 63-80

On dark nights west of the Pecos in Fort Stockton, Texas, say those who should know, the black-draped form of a faceless spirit paces the rooms of an old adobe house in a foredoomed quest for peace.
The existence of el hombre vestido de negra, the man in black, is not often questioned...

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Lost Wagon Train

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pp. 81-95

Rising from the creosote and scrub mesquites east of the Pecos, the dunes that stretch two hundred miles north from Horsehead Crossing are governed by the wind. They shift at its command, burying and exhuming, and in 1901 the endless cycle revealed an anachronism in southeast...

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Sublett and His Lost Mine

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pp. 96-161

The gold nugget at his fingertips would baffle succeeding generations.
As large as a robin’s egg, it gave bulk to a chamois bag of gold coins, perhaps eight hundred dollars worth. Undeniable evidence of an enigmatic treasure he had found where such was unlikely to have existed, the nugget...

Notes

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pp. 162-188

Index

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pp. 189-198

About the Author

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pp. 199-200