A Western Story
Weather and creaking joints permitting, Jim Hawkins could be found every weekend sitting in that rocker right outside the Manix Store in Augusta, whittling and spitting. But Jim Hawkins didn’t say much. Few knew what age Jim Hawkins might own up to, but Big Clem Ellis said he’d heard that Jim Hawkins was fifty years old, which might explain why his hair was so gray, or why he needed a scarred hickory cane to push himself out of that rocking chair, especially when it got cold, and it got bitter cold in Augusta. Especially the past winter.
Folks figured the Chinooks would never get there, and the warm winds didn’t arrive in time for many farmers. Come spring, homesteaders by the score gave up, saying good-bye to their mortgages, the unforgiving wind, and forlorn dreams. Still, Jim Hawkins said hardly anything. Ever. That’s how Henry Lancaster felt.
That all changed when Jim Hawkins took Henry along on a scouting trip. The man who so rarely talked told his grandson how it was during that winter he could so clearly remember, the winter of 1866. Now that was a hard winter, harder than anyone living could remember, and harder than any winter since
With hardly a shot fired, Spur Award winner Boggs delivers one of his best westerns. Jim Hawkins tells his grandson about his wild days as a teenage cowboy, riding with Tommy O'Hallahan and their mentor, John Henry Kenton. The three pards begin cowboying in Texas and make their way north to Montana, ending up working on the big cattle spread of William MacDunn. Kenton, however, goes to work for Tristram Gow, a MacDunn rival whose competition is close to erupting into a range war. As tensions simmer, Jim and Tommy are smitten by MacDunn's daughter, Lainie, but it is the brutal winter that gets top billing in this exciting tale. Snows deepen, winds howl and temperatures plummet, killing cattle and cowboys alike. Add a train derailment, feuds, a missing woman and a hard-case gunman wearing a lawman's badge, and Boggs has produced a tender and suspenseful western that doesn't need to rely on gun smoke.
Great book about a great time in America history. Make one think of what it was like during that time compare to today.