Readers are fortunate to witness the life and times of John Hays through the perspective of his fictional , close friend John Caperton. We begin with young John Hays as he fervently wishes to join the army in the state of Texas. He has to prove his value, as does his friend. It doesn’t take long for them to show their great capacity for learning and open minds to new ways. It’s fascinating to see the creative ways they learn how to survive in the elements and against their challenging combatants, first Native American tribes and later the Mexicans.
At the height of his effectiveness, John Hays commanded a skilled band of Texas Rangers. It was a group of men who remembered grievous, recent times at the Alamo, and the masacre at Goliad. They were determined to defend their families and homes. They trained continually together and became feared by those who opposed them and called them Los Diablos Tejanos – The Texas Devils. Their leader, John Hays’ reputation preceeded him as he became known as Devil Jack.
In contrast to his disciplined army life and battles, there is also a tender description of his family life and wedding. This comprehensive story tells all of his life accomplishments , including a surprising turn after his time in the army.
Author David R. Gross is a retired Veterinarian, who also taught and did research at Texas A & M University; College of Veterinary Medicine for sixteen years . From his several , diverse books readers quickly realize his absolute love of telling a great story.