Monte Walsh has never met a horse he couldn’t ride, and Chet Rollins has never met one he couldn’t rope. For a decade they are unbeatable and inseparable, working as trail hands throughout the West until finally settling with Cal Brennan’s Slash Y. Their rough cowboy ethics see them through every imaginable challenge: blizzards, rustlers, outlaws, and card games gone wrong. Partial to pretty women, gambling, and practical jokes, Monte is often on the receiving end of trouble, while Chet is always there to break him out of jail or serve as a decoy until Monte can get out of town in a hurry.
As the West begins to change, however—the automobile replacing the horse, the herds breaking up—the two friends part ways. Chet marries and goes on to become a successful merchant, banker, and politician; but Monte, unable to imagine anything but the cowboy’s way of life, refuses to the end to leave the range.
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The publication of Shane in 1949, also available in a Bisons Books edition, brought Jack Schaefer (1907–1991) instant recognition as a major interpreter of the American West. But it is in Monte Walsh, first published in 1963, that Schaefer finds room to express the breadth of his understanding of and affection for the West of cowboys, cattle drives, cow towns, and wide-open spaces.Review:
“With humor and pathos author Schaefer chronicles the passing of the Old West. In loosely connected episodes he vividly portrays the life and times of working cowboy Walsh, side-kick Chet Rollins, and other memorable characters of the Slash Y. Here are shootings, cattle drives, winter storms, and spring floods; cattle rustling, romancin’ and horse breaking. Man and beast, pushed to the limits of their endurance, survive or perish.”—Kliatt (Kliatt)
"Simply one of the best literary works of the West."—Mark Evans, True West (Mark Evans True West)
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