Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Owl Hoot Trail by Bennett Foster

Couldn't find much on Mr. Foster on the net. Amazon has a list of twenty books on his Author's Page, but no bio. Among the books are: Gila City, Badlands, Trigger Kid, Pot Luck, Payoff at Ladron, Bullets for a Badman, Rough Mesa, and others, including The Owl Hoot Trail.

In this one, the Wyoming Kid as he became to be known was innocently caught up in a bank robbery, sent to jail, busted out by the real outlaws and joins up with Brick Mahoney, one of the outlaws. At first, he is reluctant, but as he gets further involved, he begins to believe that there's no way out and turns into an outlaw, almost. He was about to inherit a ranch when he got caught up in the robbery, and finally gets some help to get the mess straightenend out from someone he never expected.

How he got into and out of this mess is an interesting read, and the outlaw Brick Mahoney had no small part in it. They both have to fight off their partners in crime and the law to eventually prove his innocence and ride off into the sunset with his new girl.

I liked this one. The book I have is the Second Printing, 1945, by the World Publishing Company. Although the dust jacket is still intact, it is in bad condition, being torn up the back. The front is still in fair condition:  

The pages of the book are faded to a a light-brownish orange color, but still very readable.

(No money or gift was received for mentioning this book.)


  1. This is an interesting theme in westerns - the good man who gets mixed up with outlaws and ends up on the wrong side of the law - and possibly at the end of a rope. It's there from the beginning in THE VIRGINIAN. It reflects a psychological reality about everyone, that even heroes have dark sides.

    BTW, I really like the cover.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Ron. I may have to re-read The Virginian it's been a long, long time, but the theme makes these novels enjoyable and you have to keep reading to see how they come out.

    I was surprised to find the cover still intact after 60+ years.

  3. The big issue in THE VIRGINIAN is that the Virginian's friend Steve gets mixed up with the villain Trampas and gets caught with some stolen horses and hanged. The same scene happens in LONESOME DOVE.

  4. Yes, I can see why this theme would keep recurring.

  5. Sounds like a book I would enjoy and top cover.

  6. David, I think our reading tastes are similar.

    1. Hi,
      I read this about 15 years ago ( a Pocketbooks Edition I think), it is pretty good and I concluded that it was really inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's "KIDNAPPED". Foster was a very good traditional style Western novelist and all his books are worth reading