Bronson and his sister were both first drawn to the romance of the West reflected in the "blood and thunder" books that were contraband at Bronson's Groton. The history teacher berated the boys for reading such trash - perpetuating myths and falsehoods about the "noble savage."
From his first reading of accounts of the "Indian wars" Bronson knew of the ugly reality Native American's faced in the Territories. Their treatment in history was sad and embarrassing for the country. His interest piqued, his study of the Southwest expanded and included accounts of appalling losses of community land grant property among Hispanics to notoriously underhanded legal tactics.
Justine thought of moving first. Her maid showed her a newspaper advertisement for waitresses at Harvey Hotels on the ATS&F line. "Wouldn't it be fun to explore the wild West!" She was absently folding Justine's underwear in the chilly bedroom. Gas lights were hissing and the fireplace coals were meager warmth against a Long Island winter storm. She could hear her brother's coughs echo down the long hall.
He had spent the last long summer before his brother died, rock climbing with a friend in the Swiss Alps. His parents didn't approve of his forays into the mountains but it seemed to improve his health and mood, or at least as much as they were able to judge in their emotionally opaque younger son.
He returned to New York for the funeral. His favored older brother's death seemed to have plunged the family into collective depression. At his sister's suggestion he poured over accounts of archaeological excavations in the cliffs and canyons of New Mexico Territory. She also read aloud this section of the 1906 edition of "To the Land of Sunshine."
California's climate is good, Colorado's and Arizona's climates are better, but New Mexico's climate is best of all, both from the standpoint of comfort and salubrity. No where else, according to the United States Weather Bureau, is there such a high per cent of sunshine, year in and year out, combined with rarity and dryness of atmosphere, low range of temperature, cool summers and mild winters.
Together they hatched a plan to relocate themselves to the Land of Sunshine.