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Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Texan by James B. Hendryx

I'll start right off by giving this novel five stars, which it deserves in my opinion. I say, if you like stories about a cowboy from Texas now living in Montana and may be or may not be looking for a wife and has a French-Canadian metis for a partner, this book is for you. Oh, yes, and it is written in the vernacular of a cowboy that twists his words and prolongs the sentence endings by adding typical colloquialisms of an earlier time. It reminds me of Wolfville by Alfred Henry Lewis and is just as humorous.

The story begins in a saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he meets the half-breed, and quickly moves on to a small town in Montana. There is a train wreck nearby and the regularly scheduled train has to pull aside and wait for the tracks to be replaced. On the train are two easterners, a man and a woman, and the woman wants to experience the real west, but the man only yearns to return east. It so happens that they've come upon a day of celebration and a perfect excuse to partake of some local color. The man (called a pilgrim throughout or a tenderfoot by the cowboys) stays on the train and the woman walks into town and gets ready to watch the rodeo. She finds a seat on a pile of lumber just as a breeze carries way her white handkerchief. The Texan and another cowboy happen to see it flutter to the ground and they race to pick it up and that's the first meeting of the Texan and the lady.

The story moves on with the pilgrim getting himself in a terrible fix only to be saved and taken from the town by the Texan with the woman tagging along.

The tale becomes more complicated as it wends its way to the end and it kept my attention to see what was going to happen next. I found it to be funny, suspenseful, interesting, and a break from the usual modern day western. Mr. Hendryx certainly did a fantastic job putting all that old cowboy talk together.   

6 comments:

  1. I liked Wolfville, if this is as good it looks like a terrific read.

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  2. High Praise. I will have a look see.

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    1. I really like the stories using the cowboy blarney.

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