After being chased out of Texas again, Victorio's luck has run out. The Apache chief and his band are cornered by
the Mexican Colonel Terrazas and his soldiers. Ninety-three of the Apaches, including twenty-two women and
children, are killed and sixty-three women and children taken captive.
Outraged by this massacre, the seventy-four year old Apache, Nana, is bent on revenge against the "white
eyes." He gathers together a rag-tag band of guerillas to challenge the U. S. Army's Ninth Cavalry in New Mexico.
It is clear to the U. S. government that the only solution is to capture or kill the elusive renegades, but these
Apaches are as hard to capture as a wisp of smoke as they carry out raids against everyone in their path and
manage to evade the Army.
This exciting novel is based on well researched historical fact, and includes characters from the history
books. Lew Wallace, the territorial governor and acclaimed author of Ben Hur, is friends with Colonel
Edward T. Hatch, who is in turmoil from the badgering of his superior officers, the press, politics, and now
the Apaches. Billy the Kid is terrorizing the southern part of the territory, and other characters and their
conflicts add to the hullabaloo. Dave DeWitt tells us how the Apaches changed forever when they were shuffled
to reservations and of their resistance to losing their way of life. I especially enjoyed the details describing
the traditions and customs of the Apache Indians, and their rituals as they venerate their gods.
DeWitt has a flair for writing about history and the photographs add to the realism of the characters. He
heats up the action and puts your interest level in high gear. This powerful and absorbing story of the Apache
rebellion in New Mexico in 1881 had me cheering for both sides of the conflict, since the Apaches and the Army
are given equal voice in this unique novel that is one of the best I've read this year. New Mexico lore really
comes alive, and the legend of Victorio's gold leaves you to ponder the real mystery of the treasure that may
still be out there.