PACHE WINTER, book 3 in the APACHE WARRIOR TRILOGY, describes the sad, closing chapters in the life of the Chiricahuas. It is the end of the wild and free Apache. In 1870, a former army scout, prospector, and rancher, Tom Jeffords, comes to Tucson. For ten years no white man has seen Cochise and lived to tell about it. Disgusted with the conflict and the destruction and loss of so much life and property, Jeffords decides to go see Cochise, personally, alone.
While in the Stronghold, he learns that Amanda’s love has married the Indian maiden, Cat Eyes, at his dying mother’s request, and they’ve a son together. When Tom returns to Tucson, he feels he must tell Amanda the truth. Amanda feels betrayed and cannot believe that Kayto would marry the one woman who had been her deadly enemy in the camp and had contributed to her abduction by a vicious white trapper. This heartache sends Amanda back to Baltimore to try to decide what to do now with her life. She takes her niece, Candice’s daughter, Gabriella, with her to see that she gets a proper education in a finishing school in Baltimore where the sisters had gone earlier in their young life.
Tom Jefford’s meeting is a real historical event and after reading several accounts of it, I have written it the way I’d like to think it went. It changed the course of history. General Oliver O. Howard was able to secure an honorable peace from President Grant for the Chiricahuas. A plan to have their own land back and their own Apache police force to keep order instead of having the U. S. Army govern them. Tom Jeffords actually did become the first Indian Agent on Cochise’s reservation, as Cochise would have no other.
After Cochise’s death, Tom Jeffords took a convocation of Apaches to Washington, D. C. that included Cochise’s son, Taza, to meet with Congress and President Grant to plead for better rations and cattle for the reservation. At the president’s reception, Kayto and Amanda finally meet again. In spite of betrayal, and the heartache of separation, they realize their love has survived but it will take some mending to make it right again.
In my story, Tom prevails upon Amanda to become the first schoolteacher on the reservation. This was a little untrue on my part as the Apache children were brutally ripped from their families and sent east to a boarding school in Carlisle, PA where they were stripped of everything they knew and were made to conform to a white man’s world.
However, even though this story ended here, I see a fourth one in the wings dealing with Amanda’s niece, Gabriella, and Cougar, son of Kayto by Cat Eyes. Sparks fly when they meet at this same reception in D. C, and Cougar tells her, “She has looked at him.”