It’s one of New Mexico’s perennial mysteries: What happened to Albert Fountain and his son Henry? By the mid-1890s, southern New Mexico attorney and special prosecutor Albert Fountain had made a lot of enemies. It wasn’t surprising that those enemies would take advantage of Fountains’ trip across the Tularosa basin to take him out.
As a matter of fact, he and his wife expected as much. That’s why Fountain’s wife insisted that he take their eight-year-old son, Henry, with him to Lincoln, where Fountain was scheduled to present evidence against suspected cattle rustlers. Surely no one was wicked enough to kill a little boy, or murder his father while he watched.
When Fountain and the boy disappeared, the entire Territory was stunned.
And that’s where Mariana’s Knight diverges from the historical record. To this day, no one knows what happened to Albert and Henry Fountain in early February 1896. All that remained of them was a patch of blood soaking into the southern New Mexico sand.
Michael Farmer provides an interesting and vivid take on what might have happened that day and afterward and, in the process, gives his reader a look at New Mexico in the late 1800s.
If you’re interested in the Fountain mystery or the history of southern New Mexico, or if you’re just looking for a riveting Western tale, you’ll find Mariana’s Knight a fascinating read. I recommend it!