The Loop Garoo Kid, a trickster god of the Hoodoo religion, appears incarnated as a circus cowboy in the Old West. His circus is about to play in Yellow Back Radio, its last town for the season, when the children of the town—all armed—surround them. The children had run the adults out of Yellow Back Radio and are about to do the same to Loop’s troupe, until they realize that these adults are not normal adults; circus performers, they find, still have a bit of child in them.
The circus performs for the children. Meanwhile, the town’s adults are holed up at Drag Gibson’s ranch outside town. They sign the town over to Gibson in return for his promise to slaughter the children. After the circus performance, Jake the Barker beguiles the children with tales of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola; they all decide to go off searching for it. Before they can, however, Gibson’s men arrive, shooting everyone in sight. Loop rides off to draw their fire.
Stuck in the desert, Loop has to shoot his horse for food. Bo Shmo and his posse of neo-social realists find him and bury him in sand up to his neck. They smear his face with jam so that he will be eaten alive by insects. Loop is rescued by Chief Showcase, a high-tech American Indian who drops from the sky in a homemade helicopter, scares off Bo’s gang, and revives the hero with a canteen filled with champagne.
Meanwhile, Gibson’s men return to the ranch and report the slaughter of the children. Just when he is most confident, Gibson hears a mysterious voice and sees a pair of giant black hands at the window. He shoots at the reanimated collection of various animal parts—his wife—and calls in the local doctor to make her death legitimate with a certificate. In a desert cave, Loop performs Hoodoo rituals to send curses on Gibson and his men.
The next morning, Mustache...
(The entire section is 764 words.)