The Conquest of Don Pedro Author:Harvey Fergusson Leo Mendes was a man of many lives. In a sense, he was a conquistador... if you can imagine a conquistador from Manhattan's lower East Side. But as a young man he moved to Santa Fe and to another life. — These were the days following the Civil War. New Mexico was on the verge of change, balanced between the new ways and the old. Powerful Span... more »ish families still ruled the land, resisting all inroads of American civilization, backing and filling against the inexorable tide.
As a peddler, Leo Mendes had traveled throughout the Southwest, building a flourishing trade in the small towns and outposts. As the novels opens, he has decided to start a permanent store and trading post in the sleepy little village of Don Pedro... and by this step runs headlong into conflict with Don Agustin Vierra. Gringo storekeepers are not welcome.
In sense, The Conquest of Don Pedro is the story of Leo Mendes, his successes and his failures. But, in a larger sense, it is the story of a land and a people.
Harvey Fergusson knew the wild and beautiful country of New Mexico all his life. He knew it well and loved it deeply, and this gives a special warmth to his writing; a sharp and personal brilliance to his characterizations.
Long after you have read The Conquest of Don Pedro you will be haunted by the character of Dolores Pino, the strange, passionate witch woman of Santa Fe; you will remember Padre Orlando and wish that you, too, might have known his warm charm and benefited from his wise counsel; you will think of Aurelio Beltran, and wish that you had really shared those lonesome hunts through breathtaking wilderness and you will always wonder what part you yourself might have played in the unquiet life of Dona Lupe.
These are the characters who come alive as naturally as the scene itself. The Conquest of Don Pedro is a distinguished novel in every sense of the word - and that means that it is also an exciting and rewarding reading experience.« less