||In the 1870s, buffalo hunters moved onto the High Plains of Texas. The Plains Indians watched hunters slaughter the animals that gave them shelter and clothing, food and weapons. The battles at and near the ruins of a trading fort, Adobe Walls, became symbolic of the struggles between hunters and the Comanche.|In this aptly titled novel, Texas novelist Elmer Kelton shows his uncanny ability to present both sides of a clash between cultures. With a firm grasp of Comanche life, Kelton presents The People as very human and very threatened. Equally clear is the picture of Anglos found on the high plains in those days - Jeff Layne, a Confederate veteran and now a fugitive; Nigel Smithwick, an English "second son" and gambler; Arietta, the lone woman among these men (one woman was at Adobe Walls).|Layne, like many of Kelton's protagonists, embodies honesty and integrity, strength, and independence. He knows the land and attempts to understand and appreciate the people living there. He has empathy for the Comanches' age-old connection to the earth even though they are among his adversaries. In spite of the difficult and dangerous work, along with the continual fight for survival in a harsh land, Layne, unlike most of the men around him, possesses a sense of fair play. The understated nature of the hero has become a typical and respected marker of Kelton's stories.