Stray Tales of the Big Bend by Elton Miles. It is pleasant to stray in the Big Bend and Davis Mountains country of Far West Texas. The vast spaces, rugged terrain, and sparse settlement invite straying--and tale spinning. In Stray Tales of the Big Bend master folklorist Elton Miles continues to intrigue and enchant with stories of the region and its culture.
Readers will find in this volume new tales of Terlingua Desert mystery bells, spirit-guarded treasure, and the mock-sacrificial San Vicente rain dance with its pre-Christian vestiges. Travelers will enjoy learning the lore of the rugged land they visit. Historians will discover the most complete account of the Glenn Springs-Boquillas raid of 1916, as well as stories of the spirit-world-inspired "Old Orient" railroad, which ran from Kansas through the Big Bend to the Gulf of Baja California.
Here too is a story, with new information, about the controversial Big Bend tablet, discovered at Hot Springs and said to prove that Europeans were present there about A.D. 300. Miles recounts the recollections of cowboy preachers, camp meetings, and the reticent yet sometimes uninhibited religious attitudes of the cowboy, both open-range and modern. Texas A&M University Press. 6" x 9" softcover. 186 pages; 10 b&w photos. First edition, 1993.
"His stories of cowboys getting religion and of tent revivals sound a lot like Mark Twain or Ben Nye, though Miles is a folklorist, so Vance Randolph also comes to mind. . . . An enjoyable, out-of-the-mainstream collection."--Booklist
"The author's narrative is gripping . . . [his] probings have turned up details little known to historians. We are liable to have heard of Blackjack Pershing's foray into Mexico. But how many of us have heard of Major George T. Langhorne's invasion of Mexico with 110 cavalrymen, carsful of reporters . . . and the Major's Cadillac touring car?"--Texas Books in Review