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The List Young Jake McIlroy is living his dream. He is learning to be a rancher. His father is dead, so his grandfather takes over the role of nurturing the youth into manhood. It is a dangerous time for Texas and Texans. The Civil War is raging, and Texas has not been spared. However, Jake is too young to understand the depth of hatred held by both sides in the American Civil War. Jake's grandfather decides to let Jake accompany his band of Texas ranchers as they journey across Texas into Mexico to purchase cattle and horses for their ranches. Along the way, the party is intercepted by a detail of Confederate Cavalry. Things happen, and anger arises on both sides. The ranchers are ordered to accompany the Confederates back to Camp Verde, a Confederate outpost, with the promise that they will be freed shortly. The promise is not honored, and the ranchers are inexplicably hanged by the Confederates. Through cunning and good fortune, Jake manages to escape, but what will he do? How can he even survive? He knows that the Confederates will discover his escape. But his grandfather, one of the victims of the hanging, has taught Jake very well. He does survive, and he launches his campaign to extract vengeance. Is he successful? How does he go about it? What happens as he and Confederates play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse?