This is the tale of two boys who lied their way into the army when they were only fourteen. McLain fought for the North, C. C. for the south. They meet four years later on the last day of the fighting. They have nothing to go home to, so they throw in with General Jo Shelby and go to fight in the Mexican Civil War, where they are promised good pay and land. McLain falls in love with the daughter of a powerful Mexican aristocrat, who forbids the marriage. Heartbroken, she takes her own life, breaking McLain’s heart. The boys have known nothing but violence in their young lives, so they solve the problem by killing the father and running for their lives. The story follows them for the rest of their days, which are filled with more killing and heartache. They kill over a hundred men in one day at a railway camp in Colorado, where the railroad’s thugs are torturing and killing conscripted Chinese laborers. They are old, in their sixties, when they fight their last fight and discover, at long last, peace and redemption.
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