In Trail of the Spanish Bit,
by Don Coldsmith, conquistador Juan Garcia rides alone into an unexplored continent after becoming separated from his fellow explorers when his horse shies from a rattlesnake.
Recovering from the fall and his injuries, he discovers an ancient stone-aged tribe who ultimately befriend him, changing their lives forever. Garcia realizes they are people and not savages, with values his own civilization should emulate. The tribesmen meanwhile discover the value of horses–called elk-dogs in their vernacular. They are impressed by Garcia's abilities with horses and weapons, as well as his skill in in bringing down buffalo. Coldsmith combines the traditions of many Plains Indians in telling his saga. Additional books in the Spanish Bit
series follow the descendants of Juan Garcia and his Native-American wife. Well-drawn characters & well-researched history make this old classic an informative page-turner.