by Banjamin Capps
Story of a man who helped build the West. As a young man he was a sergeant in the Confederate Army in Georgia, saw nothing there for himself when it was over. Left his girlfriend in Tennessee and traveled West with a buddy to see if he could make a success of something. Ended up in the vast land of Texas (at least, it seemed endless at the time). Started out catching wild cattle and taming them for use, selling some, eventually hiring a crew of men and breeding cattle. Follows his endeavors through the years as he gradually took ownership of more land, improved his cattle stock (quite a few breeding experiments, one with imported beef cattle and another with bison) and eventually brought his sweetheart out to live with him. Must have been a rough life for her (not much from her perspective). Eventually Chance became known around the region as a cattle baron- but he always felt indignant at those who challenged his use of the land, owing to all the work he\’d done to build his ranch up from absolute nothing. As the book closes he\’s an old man, having watched the world change, a town grow up around him, the native americans and bison disappear. He\’s not apologetic for his part in that, either. There\’s some rough and brutal parts, a lot about the hard choices he has to make as a rancher, always trying to decide what\’s best for his animals and the land, even if others don\’t see it that way.