Books: Petticoat Terror

BELLE STARR—Burton Rascoe—Random House ($3).

Belle Starr went on trial in 1883 at Fort Smith, Ark., for stealing horses.

Newspapermen in distant cities called her: "The Queen of the Bandits,"

"The Petticoat Terror of the Plains." In this rambling, loose book, Burton Rascoe, who spent his boyhood in Oklahoma and is still an honorary deputy of Pottawatomie County, is at pains to show that such names were not altogether deserved.

As a historian, Critic Rascoe is angrily allergic to legend. He worries old news paper accounts like a terrier, impatiently separates fact from fiction, sometimes makes...

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