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Everyone was right.
Everyone was wrong.
Everyone got hurt.
It's 1876 at Scalp Mountain and Colum McNeal is fleeing gunmen sent by his Irish-immigrant father. Colum pioneers a Texas ranch, a home which means everything to him, but struggles to stay there: José Ortero, a Jacarilla Apache, seeks revenge for the son Colum unwittingly killed.
At the same time, an old acquaintance, Mason Lohman, obsessively stalks Colum through the border country, planning to take his life. Colum has inspired the unthinkable in Lohman. In a time and place where a man's sexuality must stand unquestioned, Colum has ignited Lohman's desire.
Other characters include Texas Ranger William Henry, who takes Colum's part against his father while wrestling with his own demons. Henry's family was murdered by Comanches and he regrets the revenge he took; and Clementine Weaver, who defies frontier prejudice by adopting an Indian baby, must choose between Colum and her husband.
Scalp Mountain is based on the Southern Plains' Indian Wars.
Those wars were morally complex, and the novel attempts to reflect those profound, tragic and murderous complications.
Scalp Mountain Bibliography:
Indian Depredations in Texas, by J.W. Willbarger; Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick, by Mary Maverick; Empire of the Summer Moon, by S.C. Gwynne; Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas, by A.J. Sowell; Six Years With The Texas Rangers, by James Gillette; On the Border With Crook, by John G. Bourke; On the Border with McKinley, Robert Carter; An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre, by John G. Bourke; Scalp Dance, by Thomas Goodrich; Born Fighting, by James Webb; The Comanche, by Willard Rolling; The Texas Rangers, by Walter Prescott Webb; The Struggle for Apacheria, edited by Peter Cozzens, volume one of Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars 1865-1890 and Conquering the Southern Plains, Volume 3, Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars 1865-1890; A Fate Worse Than Death: Indian Captivities in the West, 1830-1885, by Gregory and Susan Michno; The Mescalero Apache, by C.L. Sonnichsen; The Evolution of a State or Recollections of Old Texas Days, by Noah Smithwick; Rip Ford’s Texas, by John Salmon Ford; Life Among the Apaches, by John Cremony; Jeff Davis County, Texas, by Lucy Jacobson and Mildred Nored; Early Homes and Buildings of Fort Davis, Texas, by Mildred Nored and Jane Wiant; The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy, by Bell Irvin Wiley and James Robertson; Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay, by Don Rickey, Jr.; A Terry Texas Ranger: The Life Record of H.W. Graber, by H.W. Graber; Apache Wars: An Illustrated Battle History, by E. Lisle Reedstrom; The Regional Vocabulary of Texas, by E. Bagby Atwood; The Memoirs of Charles Henry Veil, edited by Herman J. Viola; Lt. Charles Gatewood and His Apache War Memoirs, by Gatewood and with additional text by Louis Kraft; Southwestern Lore, edited by Frank Dobie; The Way I Heard It, by Walter Fulcher and Women Tell the Story of the Southwest, by Mattie Lloyd Wooten.