At 14 years old, Jesus ‘Chuy’ Perez Contreras Verazzi Messi is too small and frail to work the land on the family farm near the Rio Bravo in Mexico. The local padre’s tutoring reveals Jesus’s unending curiosity and fertile mind. Noted Las Cruces, New Mexico attorney and politician, Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain agrees to take his nephew, under his wing. Jesus ‘reads law’ with his uncle and shares adventures and adversity with the Fountains and other historic Mesilla and Tularosa Valley citizens. His coming of age story will take you into the wild southwest, a brewing range war, a territory struggling toward statehood, courtroom dramas, and the adventures and adversities of a boy’s quest for manhood.