The cowboy and the writer who did as much as anyone to recreate the West for American readers gets a curtain call here in a narrative biography that conveys much of the excitement of the life he really lived. A slim, small boy in Kansas in 1876, Gene was soon to move to New Mexico with his family where the years of ranching in the San Andres Mountains were to provide the vivid background of his many novels and stories. Vivid itself, the biography seems to prove its point- that Rhodes didn't need to invent material- for as he grew, ranched, went to college and wrote, one exciting thing after another seemed to happen to him. As a child he rescued his baby brother from a wolf; at 12 he was busting broncos; as a rancher and struggling writer he fell in love by mail and went East to marry May Davidson. For the audience, a better than average ""western"" pays tribute to days of glory.