“Coach” Dodge is a hard man of the Old West. He got his nickname from riding shotgun on the stagecoach. He’s still got his favorite shotgun, but both he and his gun have retired. At least he was until a gang came to town with his name notched on their guns…
Mr. Brown writes a pretty good western, showing how hard it is to survive and build a home in the wild lands. The biggest problem the Dodge family is this gang bent on revenge. They finally got out of jail and want Coach dead, just like their brother he killed.
The characters are bigger than life and have flaws just like all people do. One daughter has married a boy from back east and Moses is having a time trying to fit in. He works hard but he can’t do what those born to a ranch life can. It’s even worse when he has some hidden problems he can’t talk about.
The author puts this family through a trial by fire. First their ranch and outbuildings all burn down from a grass fire that has been set and then the gang starts tormenting them. It comes down to final showdown.
The author examines the philosophy of western life. Coach is ready to kill them to save his family. Moses would rather not kill. Coach’s son is like his father. It was like watching two cultures clash and I like how he pointed that out.
If you like westerns, you’ll like this story. Life is raw here, people fight and die to survive, and those still standing move on. There’s no sugar and sweetness here. Western life was a hard life and you’ll see that in this story. The author talks about working on a dairy farm and working with horses. That knowledge bleeds over into the book and makes it more interesting. Give it a try.
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