The Legend of Bass Reeves: Being the True and Fictional Account of the Most Valiant Marshall in the West
(Gary Paulsen, Wendy Lamb Books)
Ten year-old Bass Reeves and his mother were slaves on Mister’s ranch. Bass managed the ranch almost by himself. There is another slave on the ranch named Flowers, who couldn’t talk because “…he was whipped and beaten, and it made the thinking part of his brain shut down.” The three worked under the watchful eye of mean-spirited Mister.
When Mister drank he got even meaner. He taught Bass to play cards so he could have some company. After Bass got good at cards Mister put up the money for Bass to play, starting with nickels until they got to fifty cents. One night when Bass had won all his money, Mister bet Bass his, and his mother’s freedom. Bass was nearly 17 and longing to be … Read More