“Sons of Texas” by Elmer Kelton
1989, A Forge Book
"Sons of Texas” by Elmer Kelton is a good western yarn. What gets better is that it is the first of 3 books Elmer has written about the Lewis family.
In this first book we’re introduced to the head of the family, Mordecai who is a wanderer. His family, wife and children, live in Tennessee. He makes forays out to find a better place to live. Along the way in this dangerous frontier country he comes upon situations he doesn’t talk about at home. He knows it is dangerous, but the wanderlust in his veins beats hot and uppermost in his mind is to find the best place of all to live.
His sons are growing up. Joseph is content to work the farm, but the next sons, Michael and Andrew are getting the itchy feet their father has, Michael more so than his brother Andrew. Both boys are skilled woodsmen. Michael can shoot with unerring skill and Andrew, a year younger than Michael, is the best tracker around.
Mordecai comes home from Texas and announces he’s going to make another trip. This time to gather up the wild horses that run free. Bringing them back to Tennessee will bring the family a lot of money. He needs men and horses to come with him and finds a group willing to brave the frontier.
Michael is not permitted to join his father in this adventure, but slips away after the group is gone to join them some days later on the trail.
What follows is a terrific adventure. There is danger. The choices the people make in this story are probably similar to the ones you and I would make if we were in the same position. And, the danger doesn’t always come from where you expect it to come from.
I’ve been a fan of Elmer Kelton’s work for some time and am looking forward to reading the other 2 books in this series.