Monday, January 14, 2019

Gun Job


He dropped the badge into the dust of the street and hurried off, a man who had met defeat and accepted it, a man who could now go back to the clothing store and sell shirts and suits and overalls because that was the job he could do best. There was no indignity in Billy Long’s defeat. He had taken a role he wasn’t equipped to handle, and he was admitting it.
I have a fondness for Thomas Thompson. Many years ago, his was the first Western tale that really spoke to me. A story that showed me that the Western could be more than just formulaic shoot-em-ups, and admittedly, those carbon copies abound, but Thompson was the first author that showed me the humanity and maturity that could be explored in the genre.
My re-visiting this tale shows that Thompson’s power still holds, and I am grateful to him for being the finger that pointed to many fine authors, thrilling and heart-breaking stories, and more than a few places to pause  and ponder as the best of the authors hold a mirror up to ourselves.
Fine story, Mr. Thompson, and thank you very much.

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