Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 16:1 (Winter 1996). Copyright © 1996 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


To tell the group's story, Beasley has employed a kind of literary double helix-juxtaposing chapters which alternately flash back to summarize the massacre of 1890, then flash forward to chronicle the memorial ride of 1990. Occasionally tedious, the device fulfills one vital function: it provides a superb context while poignantly illuminating similarities between two events separated by a century. Beasley, a poet, is often at his best describing the almost unimaginable cold (temperatures of 40 below, wind chills approaching 80 below) endured by the group.