In these strange times when bookstores are becoming rare, I find a lot of reading material in antique stores. I was with my wife, cruising a section of Phoenix that is coming back to life, when I found something interesting not far from a faded Diego Rivera print. It was little pamplet: Vicente Silva: The Terror of Las Vegas by Carlos C. de Baca (research revealed that the “C” was for Cabaza – Cabeza de Baca? Cabeza de Vaca? Any relation?). The illustrations showed shootings and hanging in a dime novel style, and had captions in Spanish.
Part of the Wild and Wooly West Books series from Filter Press of Palmer Lake, Colorado. 1978 was on the title page. The copyright was 1968. The illustrations were from de Baca's 1896 Spanish account. The last page dates “the present writing” at 1938.
He organized a gang of desperadoes with colorful nicknames like El Romo (The Roman), El Lechusa (The Owl), El Moro (The Moor), El Mellado (The Dull One), El Candelas (The Icicles), Piedra Lumbre (Hot Rock), Patas de Mico (Pussyfoot), El Indio (The Indian), El Galivan (The Hawk), and El Menguado, (The Shrunken One).