When a cowboy takes a tumble down an arroyo, he is rescued by a young “Indian brave,” who believes the cowboy is meant to be his guide.
Joe Lundy is rounding up stray cattle when something spooks his horse and the pair tumble down an arroyo wall. Joe puts the horse out of its misery, then sets out for the ranch with a badly injured leg and arm. Fortunately, a young member of the Nuchu tribe (or Mountain Utes) named Gray Owl Waiting finds Joe. Gray’s uncle sent him out on a personal quest, but Gray became lost. He climbed a tree to get his bearings. “Here the Great Spirit spoke to me in a dream. He said I must wait for one who needs you. Follow him.”
Despite Joe’s protests, Gray is determined Joe is to be his leader. He helps him to his feet and manages to get him back to the ranch. There, the rancher’s wife, Amy, “knew from her Civil War experiences,” that she would have to remove his leg. Although Joe assumes his riding days are past, he is soon back on the trail, Gray beside him. While they help maintain law and order, Joe is also in pursuit of a pair of ranch hands he believes intentionally spooked his horse.
From page one, this story moves with action, twists and trouble. The pace is just right, tempered by unexpected characters, including a grizzly bear named Grover Cleveland and the loveable prospector Elias and his donkey, Penny. It’s a fun tale, grounded in Wild West color and lure, including romances, saloon fights, and tender-hearted, can-do women.
While there are occasional editing errors (for example, using “Wastatch” for “Wasatch” or “our” for “out”), none are serious enough to undermine the story.
Readers looking for a well-spun tale—and particularly fans of an American frontier setting — are sure to enjoy The One-Legged Cowboy.
Also available as an ebook.