In 1979, this writer interviewed Alberta Begay in a nursing home in Alamogordo, New Mexico. She was the youngest daughter of Massai, a Chiricahua brave. This warrior slipped off the prisoner train several hundred miles east of New Mexico in 1886 when the captive Apaches were being relocated to Florida.
Massai walked back to New Mexico without being detected, stole a Mescalero woman, who bore him five children. Massai and his family roamed, raided and killed as free Indians in New Mexico and Arizona Territories as well as Mexico. In 1906, cowboys finally killed him and cremated his body.
The life and times of Massai are riveting to say the least; although history knows few details concerning this wilderness family saga. Unfortunately, those exciting exploits are lost to the grave forever. This effort is, of necessity, a historical fiction based on the known facts of Massai's life. If this not the way it was, it is the way it could have been.