THE DAY THE COWBOYS QUIT by Elmer Kelton

THE DAY THE COWBOYS QUIT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It looks like the contemporary activist syndrome is stirring up the Old West again. It could lead to a whole new chapter of folklore. Imagine the revised angles -- ""HIGH NOON SHERIFF ON STRIKE AT 11:00."" In any case, on this particular day, way back in 1883, the cowboys did quit. And poor Hugh Hitchcock found himself in the middle. ""Hitch"" had been a typical, loyal-to-the-bore cowpoke on Charlie Waide's spread for years. But then all the other outfits started agitating and Waide, along with other ranch owners, was forced to an ultimatum -- among other things ""a blanket order that no man employed for wages be allowed to own cattle."" Now that just didn't set right with Hitch, who had his own tiny place with a head that he was nursing along. And Hitch had sworn that Waide would never sit still for such a thing, and if he did, Hitch had said that he'd strike. Well, there's a disloyal rustler complicating things but the big problem is that the cowboys soon find themselves not only put out to pasture but on trial. A prairie fire brings things to right and the West moves on. Not quite the same, though, and you just hope that they'll never think of the James gang forming a union.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1971
ISBN: 0875650538
Publisher: Doubleday