Stray Tales of the Big Bend

by Miles, Elton


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--from mysteries in the desert to cowboy revivals.

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. 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, 188 pages
Available in softcover


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