January 22, 2008

Sources for Comanche Moon

Here's what Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana apparently based the events of Comanche Moon on:

Great Raid of 1840The Great Raid of 1840 was the largest raid ever mounted by Native Americans on white cities in what is now the United States. It followed the Council House Fight, in which Republic of Texas officials attempted to capture and take prisoner 33 Comanche chiefs who had come to negotiate a peace treaty, killing them together with two dozen of their family and followers. The Texas Officials were determined to force the Comanche to release all white captives among them. To avenge what the Comanche viewed as a bitter betrayal by the Texans, the Comanche war chief Buffalo Hump raised a huge war party of many of the bands of the Comanche, and raided deep into white-settled areas of Southeast Texas.

The Great Raid of 1840 was the largest Indian raid on white cities in the history of what is now the United States—though technically when it occurred it was in the Republic of Texas and not in the United States. The war party literally burned one city to the ground. They stole over 3,000 horses and mules, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of other plunder, ranging from silver to cloth and mirrors.
Battle of Plum CreekThe Battle of Plum Creek was a clash between militia and Rangers of the Republic of Texas and a huge Comanche war party under Chief Buffalo Hump, which took place near Lockhart, Texas on August 12, 1840, following the Great Raid of 1840 as the Comanche war party returned back to West Texas.

Texas history says the Rangers won this battle, although the Indians got away with a great many of the stolen horses and most of their plunder. However, 80 Comanches were reported killed in the running gun battle, unusually heavy casualties for the Indians (although the Texans only recovered 12 bodies).
Buffalo HumpIn early 1844, Buffalo Hump and other Comanche leaders signed a treaty at Tehuacana Creek in which they agreed to surrender white captives in toto, and to cease raiding Texan settlements. In exchange for this, the Texans would cease military action against the tribe, establish more trading posts, and recognize the boundary between Texas and ComancherĂ­a. Comanche allies, including the Wacos, Tawakonis, Kiowi, Kiowi Apache and Wichitas, also agreed to join in the treaty. Unfortunately, the boundary provision was deleted by the Texas Senate in the final version, which caused Buffalo Hump to repudiate the treaty, and soon a resumption of hostilities occurred.

Finally, in May 1846 Buffalo Hump became convinced that even he could not continue to defy the massed might of the United States, and the State of Texas, so he led the Comanche delegation to the treaty talks at Council Springs that signed a treaty with the United States.

As war chief of the Penateka Comanches, Buffalo Hump dealt peacefully with American officials throughout the late 1840s and 1850s. In 1849 he guided John S. Ford's expedition part of the way from San Antonio to El Paso, and in 1856 he sadly and finally led his people to the newly established Comanche reservation on the Brazos River.
Comment:  Let's compare the facts to the fictions in Comanche Moon:

  • Buffalo Hump's big raids occurred in 1840, not 1858.

  • The raids occurred five months after the Council House Fight, not 50 years after it. It's ridiculous to portray Indians as so full of hatred they hold grudges for half a century.

  • As far as I can tell, the Comanches never mounted a major attack on Austin, the capitol of the Texas Republic. Their raids may have been bad, but they weren't "assault on the seat of power" or "attempt to destroy the Republic" bad. In other words, the goal wasn't to eliminate white people from Texas.

  • The Comanches primarily used guns, not primitive weapons.

  • From what I read, I gather the Comanches killed 12 people in Victoria and three in Linnville. As Wikipedia notes, other people "fled prudently." This relatively light death toll is a far cry from what looks like a massacre in Comanche Moon.

  • The Texas Rangers followed Buffalo Hump's Comanches and got a measure of revenge at Plum Creek. The Comanches didn't get away scot-free.

  • Buffalo Hump continued to raid Texas settlements, but not with a genocidal hatred of whites. He also continued to seek peace with the double-dealing Texans.

  • So...Comanche Moon gives us 50 years of genocidal hatred, raping and massacring with primitive weapons, and no efforts to make peace. In other words, it makes the Indians look much worse than they really were. It stereotypes them as savages and killers.

    30 comments:

    russell said...

    Writerfella here --
    Show writerfella a picture of either Larry McMurtry or CBS claiming that COMANCHE MOON was a documentary or a historical treatise or even a docu-drama. Otherwise, comparing fact to fiction completely and totally is an exercise in futility, revelent of the fact that some people have an awful lot of time to waste...
    All Best
    Russ Bates
    'writerfella'

    The Local Crank said...

    Good overview of the real history, Rob. The treaty of Tehuacana was the one I was thinking of in my previous comments. Buffalo Hump was a very shrewd and canny negotiator in addition to being a bold military leader. I think if things had gone a little differently, he and Sam Houston might have come to some agreement short of the disaster that happened.

    The Local Crank said...

    It's also a good example of cultural differences: to the whites, they were "captives" held by the savages. To the Comanche, they were Comanche, adopted members of the tribe. True, some were treated poorly, but most (like Cynthia Ann Parker and her brother) became members of Comanche families. When Cynthia was "rescued" by her family, she and her baby daughter Prairie Flower were exhibited before gawking school children in Fort Worth like sideshow attractions. Her brother (John, I think) eventually ran away and returned to the Comanche. Cynthia, her daughter dead of disease, having learned her husband Petit Nocona was dead, and believing Quannah to be lost as well, died of a broken heart not long after her "liberation."

    Rob said...

    To Russ:

    "Second to religion, I think movies have been the most damaging thing to Indians."

    --Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), filmmaker, quoted in Indian Country Today, 4/20/02

    Note to DMarks: Yes, this is probably a case of hyperbole. But since Russ hasn't gotten the point yet, hyperbole seems both necessary and appropriate.

    P.S. to Russ: Quoting Wikipedia doesn't take nearly as much time as writing long-winded comments about your unpublished scripts, your court cases, etc. Try quoting a source for once and you'll see what I mean.

    Rob said...

    Another note to Russ:

    Newspaper Rock gets about 1,000 hits a day, so I wouldn't call it a waste of time. Too bad we can't say the same about your constant sniping. If you've said anything useful about Comanche Moon, I must've missed it.

    FYI, I'm emulating some of the great American writers who were also critics. For instance, Mark Twain, who criticized James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking novels for not portraying Indians realistically:

    "If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook (pronounced Chicago, I think), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed the way to find it. It was very different with Chicago. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases—no, even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader."

    --Mark Twain, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses," 1895

    If he can criticize works for their literary quality, so can I.

    Rob said...

    To Local Crank: Good point about Cynthia Ann Parker. Comanche Moon showed her briefly but shortchanged her situation. She wailed when the Rangers removed her, but they said she'd get over it. Viewers were left with that as their final impression.

    In reality, her plight demonstrated the depth and substance of Indian cultures. She couldn't bear to leave her (new) people. As you noted, she died shortly thereafter.

    Nor was her attitude unusual. When whites tried to rescue Indian "captives," the captives preferred to stay where they were. For various reasons they liked Indian cultures better.

    In contrast, the superior COMANCHE MOON graphic novel didn't waste time with cardboard cowboys such as Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae. Writer/artist Jack Jackson concentrated on the stories of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker. He realized where the real drama lay: with the people caught "between two worlds."

    dmarks said...

    rob said = "It's ridiculous to portray Indians as so full of hatred they hold grudges for half a century."

    Yes. It is impossible to imagine something like, a Kiowa Native who holds grudges againt the entire Cherokee Nation over long gone 19th century events, or one who also hates a modern-day Chickasaw astronaut due to acts blamed on the Chickasaws before the astronaut was born.

    No Native could possible hate like that. It might be perceived as kind of racist.

    russell said...

    Writerfella here --
    Too bad that writerfella's "constant sniping" in fact constitutes 500 words less (or even less) than Rob's constant reiteration of his own opinions about the role of Native Americans in popular culture. And that is because writerfella himself has had a role in popular culture, whereas Rob merely has been a force in 'Rob' culture...
    All Best
    Russ Bates
    'writerfella'

    russell said...

    Writerfella here --
    Enter Rob's archive oblivion and find ONE example where writerfella projected 'grudges' about the Cherokee tribe, and writerfella will give you a cookie. Then, arrange to meet John Herrington IN PERSON and thence to discover that he is whiter than YOU are! Why are Natives 'invisible' in modern America? Because the ones who proclaim their Native existence could not stand in a high wind in Oklahoma and suffer a nosebleed, because then they would have to surrender their CDIB cards. writerfella's half-Siamese cat DeeDee has more Indian blood than Herrington ever could prove...
    All Best
    Russ Bates
    'writerfella'

    Rob said...

    You have nothing to say about my Mark Twain quote, Russ? Then I'll simply reiterate how ignorant you are about the role of critics in the arts.

    Stating my opinions about the role of Native Americans in popular culture is the point of this blog. If you don't like it, leave.

    My role in the popular culture includes publishing comics, lecturing at museums, and appearing in a documentary. I couldn't care less if you denigrate this role while you tout your own accomplishments endlessly.

    I'm glad you've convinced yourself you're a major writer because of one mediocre Star Trek script. If that comforts you in your declining years, so be it.

    Regardless, you've proved you're a hypocrite by wasting your time telling me I'm wasting my time. Perhaps "hypocrite" is another word you don't understand, like "decimate," "semantics," and "appropriate."

    Rob said...

    Here's one example of your "grudge" against Cherokees:

    "You cannot find a Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole, or Chickasaw in any of writerfella's stories, and you never will."

    For more on the question of Russ's alleged racism, see Every Tribe Invited to Capital.

    russell said...

    Writerfella here --
    No cookies for you, Rob writerfella only was expressing a simple truth: the so-called 'Five Civilized Tribes' never were native to the Plains until they willingly were marched to Indian Territory by Americans who lusted after their plantation lands and towns and settlements. Now, the Chickasaws call The Trail Of Tears "the removal, and the resettlement." Ever hear of 'revisionist history?' The Chickasaws are full of it and they even say so in their statewide TV ads...
    All Best
    Russ Bates
    'writerfella'

    Rob said...

    "Willingly were marched"?! Uh, wrong. Stupidly and tragically wrong.

    One could write a whole book on the idiocy of that statement. But I'll leave that for others.

    In any case, who cares why you were expressing your so-called "simple truth"? It's still evidence of your grudge against the tribes.

    Why should their being removed from their original homes prevent you from writing about them? Most people would say their history offers more fodder for stories, not less.

    In fact, you've forgotten your alleged reason for not writing about them. Or you're lying about it. Here's the reason you stated before:

    "These were not honorable people so there is little reason for them to be honored in my writing."

    Again, what does their removal have to do with their honor? The correct answer is "nothing," I'd say. It sure sounds to me as if you have a grudge against these tribes.

    russell said...

    Writerfella here --
    That only is because the 'Five Civilized Tribes' have made it their pursuit in life to be that they were the 'only Indians' extant in 'Indian Territory.' Even today, the "Five Civilized Tribes' do not accord the Arapaho, the Comanche, the Wichita, the Caddo, the Shawnee, the Apache, the Pawnee, the Osage, the Modoc, the Ponca, the Quapaw, the Sac & Fox, the Delaware, the Alabama-Quassadta, the Cheyenne, the Iowa, the Wyandotte, the Kickapoo, the Miami, the Thlopthlocco, or the Kiowa, or any of Oklahoma's other 14 tribes as having status as Native tribes occupying the same territory. 'We' do not exist, as far as 'they' are concerned. In fact, the 'Five Civilized Tribes' even attempted a lawsuit in Federal Court seeking any and all BIA funding to be paid ONLY to them. They lost, fortunately. Therefore, should or should not any one from the above tribes bear a 'grudge?' writerfella does not, but he could!
    All Best
    Russ Bates
    'writerfella'

    Rob said...

    What is this...the third or fourth reason for your grudge against the five tribes? They tried to cheat you, they left their homes willingly, they have no honor, and they deny your existence. Do you have any other excuses, or is this it?

    I don't think the "Five Civilized Tribes" call themselves that anymore. It's mainly a historical label. So if that's the source of your grudge, I suggest you get over it.

    I'll wait for the evidence that these tribes deny the existence of Oklahoma's other tribes. But I won't hold my breath. I suspect this is another of your fanciful inventions--i.e., lies.

    Rob said...

    True, the Cherokee have battled the Delaware. But that's a far cry from saying all five tribes have ganged up on three dozen other tribes. I'm confident that no lawsuit pitting five tribes against 35 (by your tally) exists.

    The facts on the Cherokee vs. Delaware lawsuit:

    http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=461

    In 1998 a civil lawsuit was filed by the Cherokee Nation against Bruce Babbitt, Kevin Gover and the Delaware Tribe of Indians.

    In Cherokee Nation vs. Bruce Babbitt, Kevin Gover, and the Delaware Tribe of Indians 1:96CV02284 (TFH), the Cherokee Nation maintained the 1996 federal recognition of the Delaware Tribe was done illegally. The nation held that the Delaware were nothing more than a splinter group absorbed in 1867 by the larger Cherokee Nation and demanded that the federal government reverse a decision regarding the tribe's federal recognition.

    Rob said...

    Of course, you yourself have denied the existence of the Kickapoo tribe. So why would you be upset if the Cherokees et al. agreed with you? It does not compute.

    IndianThenNowForever said...

    McMurtry is a novelist. Novelists write fiction. Some of McMurtry's fiction is historical fiction, meaning it has some basis in fact. Maybe his story is representative of what happened to nearly every tribe on the Plains once the Europeans arrived. If you watched the miniseries, the scene with Cynthia Ann Parker DOES NOT even imply "she'll get over it." It says, straightaway, that she WON'T get over it...and the DVD version, which I just watched, elaborates on that. Have you even read any history of the Comanche??? They most definitely wanted to eliminate whites from their country. If someone came into my home and told me I couldn't live there anymore, I'd want to get rid of them, too. (What do you think the Ghost Dance was about, and why whites feared it?) There is so much "politically correct" crap on TV and film about Indians that it was refreshing for a change to see a story about Indians and whites that didn't judge either side--that presented both as neither all good nor all bad, but HUMAN, flaws and all--and as the Indians having backbone and not bowing down to the white man's demands to either leave or die or become captives in outside prisons (i.e., reservations), like BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE presented them. The only respectable portrayal of an Indian in that HBO mess was Eric Schweig's character. Educate yourself. In other words, don't let your mouth cut your throat.

    Rob said...

    I've addressed the "it's just fiction" argument many times. See Educating Russ About Historical Accuracy and "It's Just a [Fill in the Blank]" for more on the subject.

    I definitely watched the mini-series, and I'll stick with my summary of the Cynthia Ann Parker scene: She wailed when the Rangers removed her, but they said she'd get over it. Viewers were left with that as their final impression. If you disagree, quote the specific lines that prove me wrong. And don't quote anything from extended scenes on the DVD, because only the aired version counts.

    Have I read any history of the Comanche? Yes, and I've cited and quoted it. In this posting. Directly above. (Duh.) If you can't read what I've written, let me know and I'll try to help.

    Local Crank is a Cherokee from Texas, I believe, and he undoubtedly knows more about the Comanche than I do. Nevertheless, he said I presented a "good overview of the real history." Who are you to say otherwise? Where's the evidence that anything I've posted is wrong?

    The Ghost Dance movement occurred some 30 years after the 1858 date of the mini-series, so it's irrelevant to this debate. It took place mostly in the north and west, not the south. And it was mostly peaceful.

    I didn't praise Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee much more than I praised Comanche Moon--which wasn't much. Take your foot out of your mouth and educate yourself about what I've written. Only an idiot thinks I favor movies where Indians don't show any backbone.

    Did you watch Comanche Moon? When the cowboys are the heroes and the Indians are the villains, I'd say the show has judged sides. In case you forgot what you claim you viewed, read my take again:

    Let's sum up the Indians we've met. There's Blue Duck the attempted assassin. Kicking Wolf and Three Birds the horse thieves. Ahumado the torturer. An unnamed Comanche rapist. And Buffalo Hump, the genocidal revenge seeker.

    Other than speaking Comanche, these Indians show no evidence of culture. They have no religion, no beliefs, no ceremonies. They live to steal horses, capture women, and kill white men. Scull apparently describes them accurately when he calls them "those torturing fiends."

    Rob said...

    To quote myself from Dense, Depraved, and Diabolical: Whenever writers say they want to portray both good and bad in Native characters, you can bet they're rationalizing portrayals that are mostly bad, stereotypical, even racist.

    Anonymous said...

    The woman, fearing rape, starts to lacerate her chest with her fingernails to make herself undesirable.

    She screams and wails.

    CHARLIE GOODNIGHT
    This woman could be the long-lost Parker girl.

    MAJOR FEATHERSTONAUGH
    Who’s the Parker girl?

    WOODROW CALL
    Cynthia Anne Parker. Got stolen
    nearly twenty-five years ago.

    GUS MCCRAE
    What makes you think it’s her, Charlie?

    CHARLIE GOODNIGHT
    (direct)
    I’ve been around Parkers ever since
    I came to Texas, that’s why I think
    it, and this woman looks like a
    Parker to me.

    WOODROW CALL
    They say Peta Nocona is her husband
    and Quanah her son. They’re the
    Comanche leaders now.

    GUS MCCRAE
    She’s been with them so long she
    doesn’t know English anymore. She
    was born a Parker, but she’s a
    Comanche now.

    MAJOR FEATHERSTONAUGH
    If you’re certain she’s a white
    woman, we have to take her back,
    Mr. Goodnight.

    GUS MCCRAE
    We know that, Major. But what you
    don’t know is the hell her life
    will be, once we do.

    WOODROW
    (to Goodnight)
    It would have been merciful if you
    had just shot her.

    CHARLIE GOODNIGHT
    We can’t shoot her and we can’t
    leave her. Take her back to
    Austin. Her folks can claim her
    there.

    This is the exact dialogue taken from the broadcast version of the miniseries. Go back and look at it again. This is EXACTLY what the characters say. (The DVD version has an additional scene between Gus and Call, who speak about what happened to Cynthia Ann later.)

    The Ghost Dance had been in existence in some version for decades in other native cultures, long before 1890 and Jack Wilson's (Wokova's) vision. And yes--it was certainly peaceful on the part of the Indians; but the whites saw it as a threat of some kind, since one version prophesied whites disappearing from earth and Indians resuming their rightful place once again. That white paranoia regarding the Ghost Dance is what ultimately prompted the massacre at Wounded Knee.

    The Comanche moved down the plains from the north and were descendants of the Shoshone. The Comanche were nomads, and the tribe at any one time consisted of 12 to 15. They were celebrated horseman--perhaps the most accomplished of the Native riders--and legend has it that the horse was created for the Comanche. The Comanche held their horse thieves in very high esteem, and a man's expertise at stealing horses was considered admirable among the Comanche. Your own prejudice and ignorance about the Comanche culture in criticizing their portrayal as expert horse thieves--looking at it as you do from a modern white man's perspective--simply demonstrates your own arrogance and ignorance. I'd continue to elaborate, but it's clear you value only your own world view...and consider yourself an expert. You're a legend in your own mind, sir.

    Anonymous said...

    CORRECTION: "...The Comanche moved down the Plains from the north and were descendants of the Shoshone. The Comanche were nomads, and the tribe at any one time consisted of 12 to 15 different bands..."

    Rob said...

    You're the one who appears to be ignorant of Comanche culture to me. If you think Comanche Moon displayed the breadth and depth of Comanche culture, give us some examples. Go ahead...we're waiting.

    I never said the Comanche weren't horse thieves, bright boy. The point you so evidently missed is that portraying the Comanche only as horse thieves is one-dimensional. It's prejudicial and unfair. So unless you agree with the producers that the Comanche had no culture other than horse thieving, you lose the debate.

    Yeah, I consider myself an expert...not. That's why this posting consists of long excerpts from Wikipedia written by people other than me. That's why my contribution is merely a summary of these postings.

    As for the Ghost Dance, see Ghost Dances Promised Death? for more on the subject.

    Rob said...

    FYI, I was referring to the Ghost Dance movement, not ghost dances in general. To reiterate, the Ghost Dance movement occurred some 30 years after the 1858 date of the mini-series, so it's irrelevant to this debate. It took place mostly in the north and west, not the south. And it was mostly peaceful.

    Source: Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Dance

    Noted in historical accounts as the Ghost Dance of 1890, the Ghost Dance was a religious movement incorporated into numerous Native American belief systems. The traditional ritual used in the Ghost Dance, the circle dance, has been used by many Native Americans since prehistoric times, but was first performed in accordance with Jack Wilson's teachings among the Nevada Paiute in 1889. The practice swept throughout much of the American West, quickly reaching areas of California and Oklahoma.

    Rob said...

    As for the other points you raised, see Cynthia Ann Parker in Comanche Moon for how the mini-series whitewashed Parker's story. See "Comanche Heritage" in Comanche Moon for how the mini-series ignored many aspects of Comanche culture.

    Anonymous said...

    I think someone said this in a previous post on this blog: you're a legend in your own mind, pal. Since you so obviously believe your way is the ONLY way, we'll leave it at that. COMANCHE MOON is a work of fiction. Not a documentary. The dialogue from the scene you so incorrectly paraphrase is also listed on this blog, and nowhere does any character say, "she'll get over it." You didn't respond to that, did you. I don't see the whites portrayed as heroes in that miniseries--seems to me they charge into a Comanche camp and massacre most everyone, including women and children. Anyway, I'm done with you. And by the way: I'm not a boy, but a tribal elder, and female. Good day, Ron.

    Rob said...

    If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger, eh? Nice trick if you can get away with it.

    I consider myself a "legend in my own mind" the same way I consider myself an "expert." That's why this posting consists of long excerpts from Wikipedia written by people other than me. That's why my contribution is merely a summary of these postings.

    Since your attempt to criticize me failed both times, you might want to come up with a new criticism. Pretending that I'm pretending to be an expert isn't working for you, clearly.

    Comanche Moon's white characters rescued various people from the marauding Indians and kept the marauding Indians from burning down the town after raping its women. I'd say that makes them heroes rather than villains.

    I addressed the Cynthia Ann Parker issue at length in the posting I linked to in my previous comment. Read it if you're interested in the subject.

    P.S. My name is Rob, not Ron.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree, that the history is not quite accurate, but it is a work of fiction. Besides, Comanche Moon was written mostly from Call and Gus's point of view, thus their perceptions of the comanches are the ones we are given. If any of you criticizing the novel had actually read the book (and books) in their entirety I believe you would realize they were far more than cowboy cut-outs. In reality they were extremely real and fallible humans who were in extreme situations most people couldn't even comprehend. Also, in reading, you would find that when Mcmurtry told the story from the comanches' view, they were also portrayed as humans, just trying to live with their own culture in a rapidly changing world. A bit of advice, reading can be illuminating!

    Rob said...

    Comanche Moon is a work of fiction and I've criticized it as a work of fiction, Anonymous. To reiterate, its Indian characters were one-dimensional and stereotypical. What part of this don't you understand?

    I've already addressed the "it's just fiction" argument many times. Why don't you address my arguments rather than repeating your "argument" as if it's valid? It isn't valid and I've explained before why it isn't valid.

    FYI, I read constantly--50 to 100 books a year. But I don't have to read Comanche Moon the novel to criticize Comanche Moon the mini-series. It's a self-contained work that should be able to stand on its own.

    Recall that McMurtry co-wrote the Comanche Moon screenplay. He was dealing with his own Indian characters. And a six-hour series is more than enough time to make these characters well-rounded. If he can't do a better job than he did, he deserves to be criticized.

    Beverly said...

    McMurtry is a racist. It's that simple. All the whites, esp. the Rangers, that he even depicts as shotting at anything that moves first, are portrayed as "civilization" and the Native Americans are brutal, merciless cutthroats. However, if he co-wrote the screeneplay for "Comanche Moon", he unwittingly has portrayed the white Texans as being reckless, ignorant, no respect for sacredness of life, even toward their own kind, not to mention the culturally opposite Natives. Example, when Pearl has been "ruined" by being gang raped by another race of men, her Billy isn't grateful she survived, he has even given her a gun to kill herself if she believes she will be "ruined", but hangs himself when he can't bear the thought that non-white men sullied her,so he takes his own life. If Texas women really had had backbone, as the myth goes, she would have left him for even suggesting her life is less important than his male pride. Conclusion, even McMurtry makes the white Texas settlers look ridiculous, kill happy, and barbaric. (I was routing for the Comanches to wipe them out. And if a Comanche looked like Adam Beach (Blue Duck), I would have volunteered to be his love slave.) The miniseries not only reinforced the stereotypes of the native tribes, but also the low-life poor, white trash that stole their land. I'm not sure if that was McMurtry's purpose in writing his fictional books about those settlers.