This story takes place on the fabled G4 Ranch, an enormous spread with its heart located in Block G4 of the Texas Land Survey.
The ranch consisted of 155,000 acres, more or less. Lush grassy deserts and stony mountains, bordered on the South by the Rio Grande River.
55,000 of those 155,000 acres were actually owned. The rest was leased, and some was just “roamin’ rights,” but at any rate, the place was huge by anyone’s standards, then or now. The ranch was in operation about ten years. Today, its lands are part of Big Bend National Park.
In 1885, at the time our story begins, the G4 is a brand-new venture.
Well-known lawman, Jim Gillett, a former Texas Ranger, has left his position as Marshall of El Paso, to be the foreman.
Gillett imports large herds of longhorn cattle, and hires a few capable hands to tend them.
Dangers include wolves, bears, panthers, bandits, cattle thieves, and small roving bands of Indians.
Protecting the herds, and keeping them from straying, is no small task, since this is the open range, and there isn’t a single fence anywhere on all those acres.
That sets the stage for Act II of our story.