When I purchased those few books at Quartzite, I didn't take any time making the choices. I went strictly by the covers and titles, and when I grabbed Legend, it appeared at a glance to be a book of short stories from all the names on the cover and I thought I would be getting a variety of reading in one book. But as many of you know it is the story of Lyle Speaks and Sam November written by Elmer Kelton, Judy Alter, Loren D. Estleman, James Reasoner, Jane Candia Coleman, Ed Gorman, and Robert J. Randisi. Each wrote one part in the lives of the two characters in a seamless effort with Mr. Randisi writing the transitions.
The main character is Lyle Speaks, Sam November being his partner and backup from the day the Speaks family were slaughtered by the Comanches to their "retirement" in Montana. A journalist named Fellows was sent from back east to write the story of the Legend and Speaks and November tell him relevant parts of their history as the three go looking for some horses stolen from them. Speaks and November, being well-aged, creaky and stiff in the muscles and joints when they begin the search for the thieves soon find out that being back in the saddle is just like old times, practically, and the life stories progress from one escapade to another with girls and love and romance thrown in until they catch up with the horse thieves in a tight little valley somewhere in the northwest that is vaguely familiar to them.
Fellows, the greenhorn journalist, is given a gun and told that he must do his part when the time comes to round up the dastardly men who stole their horses, and reluctantly sticks the gun down his pants behind his belt and gets awful saddle sore, and he writes it all down in his notebook. The ending came as a surprise and I won't divulge it here; you'll just have to find a copy and give it a read.
Once I began reading the story, I had a hard time putting it down. It is full of excitement, action, romance, and all the good things associated with the Western, and also the bad, the killing, the fears of the men, the tortuous deeds of the Indians and the bad guys. Legend is a fine Western written by great writers in an unusual project of combining talents to make one story.
Legend is a Leisure Book published by Dorchester Publishing in March 1999.
(NOTE; No gift or money was received for this post.)