"The Buckskin Line tells of Texas' chaotic early years, when a ragtag group of irregular volunteers fought to defend the far edges of settlement from incursion by Indians and frontier outlaws. In time, they would become known as the Texas Rangers."—Elmer Kelton
This is a story of the early days when...
An intense, red-haired young man named Rusty Shannon rides into Fort Belknap on the Brazos River and joins the Texas Rangers. Years before, Mike Shannon rescued Rusty from a Comanche war party and became his adoptive father. Not long ago, Mike Shannon, was bushwhacked and killed, and his death still haunts Rusty. Rusty thinks he knows the identity of Mike's killers. But with Texas now in the throes of seceding from the Union, Rusty has his hands full fighting for the law in lawless Texas and for the life of the woman he loves. If that were not enough of a burden, Rusty is also heading for a showdown with the Comanche warrior who killed his family over twenty years ago.
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Six-time Spur Award-winner Kelton, author of more than 40 westerns (The Smiling Country, etc.), once again presents a solid story of murder, revenge and Indian fighting, in which almost everyone but the unlikely hero is quick on the draw. Rusty Shannon is a young Texas Ranger in 1861, full of lofty ideals and a sense of duty. After his parents were killed in a Comanche raid, he was raised by Mike Shannon, a tough Ranger veteran. Now, as the Civil War looms and secessionist fever runs high, Mike is murdered for his outspoken political views, and some of Rusty's friends are lynched by a Yankee-hating zealot. Rusty vows revenge, but revenge must wait. With Union troops gone from Texas, there is a constant threat of bloody Comanche raids on the undefended frontier. Meanwhile, the Rangers must ride the dangerous middle ground between strong pro-South and pro-North sentiments. Still undecided about which side to take, Rusty makes his fair share of mistakes, but in the end, murder and lynching are resolved, and he finally meets his parents' killer in an Indian fight. This is a rousing tale of the Texas Rangers, early Texas history and of a brave and thoughtful young Westerner.