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Jar of Severed Hands, The: Spanish Deportation of Apache Prisoners of War, 1770-1810
By Mark Santiago. University of Oklahoma Press. 258 pp. Index. $29.95.
As he did with two excellent books dealing with this period (The Red Captain, 1994 and Massacre at the Yuma Crossing, 1998) Santiago carefully lays out the historical background. Then he illuminates the handling of the conflict between Spaniards and Native Americans showing readers both the theoretical and the practical. He’s a fine writer and the “story” flows freely. The title refers to an incident in which Spanish soldiers cut off one hand of each of the Apaches killed in a battle and preserved them in a jar to prove to their superiors that they were accomplishing their mission, which was to subdue hostile Apaches. []

John Slaughter Kid, A: The Story of May Watkins Burns
By Betty Barr. B Rocking J Books. 145 pp. Index. $15.00.
Here we learn that the tough old Sheriff of Cochise County turned to putty when a tiny child needed a home, the Indian, Apache May among them. Another was the subject of this story, May Burns who was among those fostered by Slaughter and his wife, Viola. The book is filled with vignettes about the numerous people who grew up or spent time at the ranch. Photographs and maps on every page add to the books historic interest. []

Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn't Tell a Lie / El hombre que no sabia mentir
By Joe Hayes. Cinco Puntos Press. 32 pp. $8.95.
In this re-telling of an old folk tale, a young ranch foreman is called, Juan Verdades because he never lies. (Verdades = Truthful)
One day Don Arturo, a rancher, bets his friend, Don Ignacio that he can make Verdades tell a lie. As the story goes on the reader is drawn into the challenge of discovering whether the rancher and his family can make Verdades lie about a beautiful apple tree the 'manzana real.'
The bilingual tale unfolds with trickery, romance and a surprising resolution.
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