This is Nancy Wood's second novel (The Last Five Dollar Baby--1972) which all of Colorado's mountains, ravines, and stretches of sage cannot diminish even if they're doomed; ""was anything left that was not fenced or accounted for."" But there are a few durable old-timers left, like Muley Jackson and some wild horses. This is Muley's story during the time he's temporarily fired and rehired; and that of Faro Jessup who raised him and now has gambled his way into a debt he can never repay; and of his dog Ketchum he loses to coyote poison; and particularly of Crazylegs, the golden bay Muley is determined to best (and others are equally determined to kill as they destroy all the wild horses around). Muley finally releases Crazylegs, respecting all that he represents which is, after all, his own image--courage, pride, and tenacity. Muley's no ""Marlboro Man,"" no John Wayne, no Gabby Hayes with a phoney stubble; he's a real, sad, aging shadow of the stud he once was and he lends his stature to the book. ""The world was hard up for simple things""--it's also hard up for simple writers like Nancy Wood, who can tell a story which will catch you by the seat of your britches and summon up every sympathy.