THE GOOD OLD BOYS by Elmer Kelton


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Kelton's newest feed bucket is more ambitious than The Day the Cowboys Quit or The Time It Never Rained, but it's got the same sentimental veneer, TV-western values, and early 1900s mesquite. Hewey Callahan is the easy-riding brother, Walter the married, home-tied one scratching out enough to meet a bank loan in parched Pecos River country. Hewey returns after two years to angry feelings in Waiter's pinched wife Eve and new distrust from his two nephews--who used to favor his San Juan Hill hero stories and breezy lifestyle. Will he finally settle down? Schoolteacher Spring Renfro wants to rope him in, and Walter, hearing his naive misgivings, gives encouragement: ""you're worryin' about a ladder when there ain't even a wall."" And when Hewey is indirectly responsible for Waiter's broken leg, he does, predictably, stay on to tend the place, outwit the fat cats, and meet the bank loan; he also negotiates the unhappy son's departure for friendlier territory. But it's goodbye time when Snort Yarnell mentions some horses down Mexico way--even Spring knows his brand. Back in the saddle again, with a few nice background touches (first automobile sightings), some strong faces, and a likable rerun plot.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday