|About the Book|
August 1863 finds two con artists traveling with their embezzled cash to build their dream ranch in Washington Territory. But some Cheyenne Indians have different plans for those white settlers heading west, plans that cause the story of our conMoreAugust 1863 finds two con artists traveling with their embezzled cash to build their dream ranch in Washington Territory. But some Cheyenne Indians have different plans for those white settlers heading west, plans that cause the story of our con artists to become three stories.Chief of Thieves takes the reader into the disasters of early Western ranch life and the births of lawless Wyoming towns- inside Cheyenne villages and tipis, where this hunting civilization of people, called “the greatest horsemen and cavalry the world ever saw,” lived, raided, and were attacked and massacred as they slept- and into the relentlessly driven lives, internal conflicts, and the battles of George Armstrong Custer and his Seventh Cavalry.The three stories continuously interweave at an ever-quickening pace, from Colorado negotiations to battles in Oregon, Wyoming. Kansas, and what is now Montana, including the massacres at Sand Creek and the Washita River, before culminating on a beautiful June 1876 day on the Little Bighorn River. Custer’s Little Bighorn decisions under fire in real time become understandable on these pages as death comes to historical and fictional characters, con artists, U.S soldiers, and Cheyenne alike, and the three stories merge climactically on that fateful day in American history.Chief of Thieves, the sequel to Where They Bury You, is a murder mystery that tells the factual story of how Lieutenant Augustyn P. Damours conned the U.S. Army, the Catholic Church, and the New Mexico Territory out of millions of today’s dollars.It’s also a love story in which Damours meets his match in the form of Lily Smoot, former “working girl”—extremely good at the only real job available to young women in the mid-19th Century American West—turned con artist. Lily finds herself in the center of a triangle interwoven with the romance between the two of them and the reemergence of her “father figure” from her Santa Fe days.