RANCH ON THE RUIDOSO by Wilbur F. Coe

RANCH ON THE RUIDOSO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The name Coe is hardly a household commodity, but the New Mexico which the author's father Frank and his brothers staked out--its hardships and ructions--is part of the familiar Old West legacy to song and screen. Frank Coe first came to New Mexico in 1871 from Missouri. After a solo foray with some buffalo hunters, Frank tried his hand at just about everything until settling down with his brothers in Lincoln County to farm. With the first rumblings of the Lincoln County ""cattleman's war,"" the Coes' nervous camaraderie with Billy the Kid began, hired as a hand in his merry Bonney days. Billy was a top grade worker and there was nothing Billy liked better than Frank's fiddle playing. However, after Billy watched the cold-blooded shooting of his friend John Tunstall, with whom the Coes had sided, Billy's repeater just kept on repeatin'. Once Billy moved mournfully out of their lives, the Coes, who had had their share of narrow squeaks, stepped into a still strenuous but more prosperous and less dangerous life. By the time Wilbur appeared, the Frank Coes (Frank had married a lovely, accomplished girl from Canada) were established on the Ruidoso, raising children, cattle and apples. Wilbur's life--although busy and enterprising--seems tame compared to Daddy's doings. However, this is entertaining Americana with a bonus in another candid of the Kid.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1968
Publisher: Knopf