While I did want to see an ending with more of a clash between the forces of Murieta and those pursuing him I thought the book was quite cool. It was interesting to see Murieta devolve to the point where all his noble intentions and chivalrous attitude were a thing of the past. The scene towards the end where he waits until Three Finger Jack has killed all the Chinamen before he says "That's enough" was to me the final piece to his completely leaving behind any semblance of the man that was there in the beginning. He at this point had given himself over completely to a life of crime and violence.
This story brought up some very interesting ideas for me. Murieta was walking a dangerous road by always blaming others for the situation he was in. I think doing this slowly eroded away all aspects of his humanity and left him with nothing. All of his actions became about himself, about profit, about his grand plan that he had in the works. To me, continuing to focus only on blaming others for his plight left him stepping further and further into darkness with each violent action. He became consumed with the idea of doing nothing more than getting back at those who had harmed him.
I wonder how this story could have been different if he had become more of a Robin Hood type character? Take from the rich and give to the poor. The potential was there in the beginning but ended up being lost. If Murieta had possessed an ideal of that nature to keep him focused I think this story would have been much better and would have fulfilled the mythical aspect of his character that was introduced in the beginning. This would have allowed him to become more of a iconic figure that just the common criminal he seemed to become in the end.