By Dac Crossley
CreateSpace paper book, November 2010
ebook, January 2011
Remember the Alamo! The defenders fought bravely. To the last man, giving their lives for freedom and the Republic of Texas. But suppose one of those warriors survived the battle? What could he do? Where could he go? He’s supposed to be dead.
Young George Hanks, a Tennessee lad called “Possum” by Davy Crockett finds himself on the battlefield at San Jacinto, wounded, confused and alone. He can’t go back to Tennessee because they believe he died at the Alamo. What’s become of his idol, Davy Crockett? Possum believes that Crockett must have also survived the Alamo battle, and undertakes to find him in South Texas.
Dac Crossley’s book is a well-written and extremely readable tale of a young lad’s journey to manhood. His search for Crockett, which is actually a very small part of the story, just serves as a link to the different situations Possum finds himself in, which include taking on Indians and bandits, getting arrested and put on trial, and then enlisting in the Texas Rangers.
This isn’t an action-packed shoot-‘em-up western of the type I usually read. Yes it does contain a bit of gunplay, but this mostly happens off-screen, meaning it’s the consequences that Possum has to deal with. The story is more a character study telling how Possum grows, is shaped by events and the people he meets.
Dac Crossley includes a lot of fascinating facts about the changes Texas and its people face after the fall of the Alamo, many of which help mould Possum as he finds himself having to make life-changing decisions himself, whereas in the past he always had somebody to make those decisions for him, such as Davy Crockett. As well as Crockett linking the different parts of this story, Dac Crossley also includes Grady Bleeker, a man who knows Possum’s secret, and threatens to reveal it. Bleeker turns up often throughout the book and also helps tie events together.
The final part of the story jumps forward a few years and sees Possum as a grown, strong man, no longer the frightened insecure lad he was portrayed to be at the beginning of the story. The closing sequences also ties up the loose threads neatly, such as what happens to Bleeker and Cassandra, the girl taken by Comanches early on in the tale.
If you have an interest in this time period of American history then this could be just the book for you.