GALLOPING WIND by Zoltan Malocsay


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In what amounts to no more than a cover-to-cover chase scene, a young mustanger relentlessly tracks a wild black stallion. Shadow (Wind-That-Gallops to the Cheval Indians) gives 17-year-old Rube Tucker quite a run for his money. In their first set-to, he steals the boy's mare right from under him; then sneaks into the Tucker stables to claim all the other mares for his manada (his large and very compliant horse harem). And so for a year and a half Rube gallops through the Winding Stair Mountains in hot pursuit of the ""horse thievin' horse."" Finally he nabs him; is later forced to sell Shadow; and eventually finds himself once again chasing the escaped stallion through his stomping grounds--only this time Rube decides to let the horse ""run loose [and] be king of these mountains."" Oddly, Shadow is seen less as the noble savage than as a sort of stallion superstud: the mares in his manada are described (humorlessly) as following their ""sheik"" with slave-like devotion; the Denver heiress who buys Shadow treats him much like a pampered gigolo; even Rube's no-nonsense Ma acts all shy and flirty around him. It's a ludicrously exaggerated characterization but then most readers will find this equestrian version of hide-and-seek a lot of horsefeathers anyway.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam