In 1905, in the Texas-Louisiana border country, four men meet at Mmc. Mattie Fouquet's Mahogany Parlor of Recreation, Diversion & Entertainment. Foyt is a cowboy who has outlived his era. Karnes is an oil-field rigger, sick of his man-killing job. Boudreaux, a Cajun lumberjack, is fed up with swamps and water moccasins. And Wheeler, an ex-soldier, has never been quite right since taking a rifle ball in the head.
During an evening of carousing, these four, good men at heart, agree on one thing: There's got to be an easier way to make a living. They decide to turn badmen and rob a train that is bringing money to a brand-new bank down at a place called Teague.
But the train's arrival is a month off and 150 miles away. In an overland odyssey that includes cattle rustling, blistering heat, and a head-on encounter with a tornado, the foursome meet up with the roughest obstacles and toughest luck that ever beset a bunch of well-intentioned badmen. In addition, there is the complication of a beautiful woman and her feisty half-breed daughter.
When the Teague Bunch arrives at the hold-up destination, all the bad luck they have previously endured is forgotten--because they find out, for a fact, just how bad their luck can get...
In a novel that is rousing, hilarious, and even poignant, Gary Jennings re-creates that peculiarly American turn-of-the-century time of grit, sweat, and swift change. Here is the real Old West; this is the way it was.