When someone lives in a culture that is considered alien to the majority, it can build fear in them, destroy their confidence; or it can toughen them until they are the sort of person who can handle anything that comes along. Yaqui, Rafael Cordova, who was Cord O'Brian's deputy in Tucson Moon is of the latter sort.
As a man of the desert, Rafe has had a lot of things come along in his life that he didn't expect but nothing so painful as having his wife divorce him and take their baby. To Yaquis, family is everything, and yet he was left a man not raising his own son.
When the hoopla began for the Spanish American War, Rafe had no intention of going along with it, even though as a previous deputy to a U.S. Marshal, he was no stranger to guns and violence. He didn't expect his little brother to join up. He couldn't let him go alone.
Coming back from the war, he didn't expect to find love at a time he was least able to claim it. War has taken a toll on Rafe. He has a lot to forgive himself for, a lot to accept in the man he is.
For all Rafe had not expected, a lot more is to come.
Snippet from Comes the Dawn out as eBook 7/10/14:
Riding into the foothills, where the slope was too steep for his horse, he stopped, turned his horse, and looked back out at the valley. Somewhere out there, visiting Rose or maybe out with a young man who was more like her, would be Grace. He had blocked thinking of her since that fateful day in 1894 when she had… No, he wouldn’t think of that.
He did think of Ellen and her odd, almost crazy behavior. One moment she seemed to want him back. Then next she was ready to attack him at least verbally. What had been going on with her? How could he find out? The one thing he knew is he wasn’t getting back together with her. There were a lot of reasons for that but Ellen herself was enough of one that he didn’t need the others.
Until Ellen had taken his son, he had drifted along without much bad ever happening. He had had no preparation for that, not with how Yaquis were taught to value family. He had even condemned Cord for not being there for Grace, for leaving her with grandparents. What a fool he had been. Now, he could be with his big family, witness their sharing and joy, but he was not part of it. He wasn’t part of anything or anyone.