Thursday, January 31, 2019

Isley’s Stranger by Henry Wilson Allen


He rode a mule. He was middling tall, middling spare, middling young. He wore a soft dark curly beard. His bedroll was one thready army blanket, wound round a coffee can, tin cup, plate, razor, camp ax, Bible, copy of the Rubaiyat, a mouth harp, some other few treasures of like necessity in the wilderness.
This is one odd tale. On one hand, our stranger is an unusually competent and confident greenhorn whose adventures and calm cool nature in the face of opposition are a delight.
On the other, well, I don’t want to spoil this one for those who plan on reading. Allow me to say the resolution of this stranger’s identity is like nothing I’ve encountered in the genre before.
I’m not sure I’m fully on board for the “reveal” but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t enjoy the journey to that point.

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