WHAT WENT WRONG in a blood soaked ravine down in Mexico was unavoidable—a misunderstanding. He had no choice. He did what he did and now he is on the run. Not that an Apache scout shooting another Apache scout is unforgivable, but he rides off on a white-eye cavalry officer’s prized horse.
A sorry-looking skeleton of a young man, his olive-drab breeches sag in the hind end. Long and slim, his features sharp. A persistent toothsome uplift of his mouth lacks warmth. He carries a weary expression all the time like he’s slinking around. Like he’s always hungry giving the impression that he’s miserably forsaken. None of it true, for the most part.
Shoodii Bill’s job is simple; bring back Lieutenant Ely’s horse stolen by the Mexicans. However, hidden in the shadows his whole life, and nearly forgotten, a voice, barely a whisper, floats on the heated air—“Shik’isn Ba’ ts’ose,” Could it be the sound of the wind or is it coming from his Sargent who openly holds him in disdain? Tremors shake his body. Squeezing his eyes shut, he claps his hands over his ears shaking his head to dislodge the whispering voice.
And for reasons unknown to the other Apache scouts, Shoodii Bill raises his rifle and shoots Sergeant Big Chow, an Apache scout. The sergeant drops from sight. Shoodii Bill knows he cannot explain his peculiar reason for shooting the sergeant. No one moves a muscle to stop him as he swings aboard the big bay and lights out.
The Calvary calls it murder and desertion. Shoodii Bill sees it differently. No one will believe his story. He knows this to be true from living among the white-eyes. They consider him an Indian and never trust him. To the Apache he is said to be a Ch’iin—an evil spirit—a ghost. How Shoodii Bill came to live with the white-eyes and ride with the Apache scouts down into Mexico, chasing Mexican horse thieves, and his flight into the great unknown, is a long story . . .