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Seen through the eyes of a young boy, the Argentine pampas was a land of freedom and endless exploration. In scintillating detail Hudson recalls its wild artichoke thistles, temporary lakes, spectacular storms, unforgettable trees and its pulsating bird life. He also captures the idiocyncracies of its human inhabitants and their multiracial households: Englishmen manufacturing sheep's cheese, obsessive breeders of piebald horses and long, companionable evenings filled with extempore ballads. Underlying it all are the violent realities of the times - tortured slaves, murderous, macho gauchos delighting in the agonising ritual of animal slaughter and the simple ever-present threat of nineteenth-century mortality.