"With His Pistol in His Hand": A Border Ballad and Its Hero

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University of Texas Press, 1958 - Social Science - 262 pages
3 Reviews

Gregorio Cortez Lira, a ranchhand of Mexican parentage, was virtually unknown until one summer day in 1901 when he and a Texas sheriff, pistols in hand, blazed away at each other after a misunderstanding. The sheriff was killed and Gregorio fled immediately, realizing that in practice there was one law for Anglo-Texans, another for Texas-Mexicans. The chase, capture, and imprisonment of Cortez are high drama that cannot easily be forgotten. Even today, in the cantinas along both sides of the Rio Grande, Mexicans sing the praises of the great "sheriff-killer" in the ballad which they call "El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez."

Américo Paredes tells the story of Cortez, the man and the legend, in vivid, fascinating detail in "With His Pistol in His Hand," which also presents a unique study of a ballad in the making. Deftly woven into the story are interpretations of the Border country, its history, its people, and their folkways.

 

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Contents

IV
7
VI
33
VIII
55
X
108
XII
127
XIII
129
XV
151
XVII
175
XIX
241
XX
251
XXI
257
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Page 3 - Then said Gregorio Cortez, And his voice was like a bell, "You will never get my weapons Till you put me in a cell." Then said Gregorio Cortez, With his pistol in his hand, "Ah, so many mounted Rangers Just to take one Mexican!
Page 3 - They cornered him after all; Though they were more than three hundred He leaped out of their corral. Then the Major Sheriff said, As if he was going to cry, "Cortez, hand over your weapons; We want to take you alive.

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