Monday, June 24, 2019

High Saddle by William Hopson

“You have come a long way, I think, senor,” she said.
“Yes, a very long way.”
“And you have far to go?”
“A bit further, I think. To Mexico.”
“My home was in Mexico, senor. I came he with my husband. He is buried out her behind the corral.”
He was sloshing water over his clean-shaven face, washing away the suds. He turned, towel in hand. “Then why do you not return?”
She shrugged as only a Mexican woman can shrug. “I have two children and no money, senor.”

This brief 1952 novel from Hopson has much going for it. The terse style, laconic fatalism embodied in shrugs and gestures, and a cold-eyed look on life reminds one of what was later to be found in the Westerns of Elmore Leonard. 

This novel may not be the finest in a genre that has much to offer but it does make this reader want to go back to the William Hopson well for another dip or two to see what else is there.

Hellbenders: A Traditional Western Novel by Richard Prosch

  The locus of the skirmish was an oversize longhorn calf, its wild neck and shoulders straining against a wooden yoke. It was caught betwee...