Monday, July 5, 2010
"The sky is not less blue because the blind man cannot see it." Danish Proverb
Virgil Cole and Everett Hatch return to Appaloosa where they had enforced the law in the past.
Currently, the town is run by Amos Callico, an ambitious, corrupt, chief of police and his twelve lawmen. Callico's always looking for personal gain and his manner of providing justice is to demand kick backs from the businessmen and town residents.
Virgil and Everett are hired to provide personal security by Lamar Spec, at his saloon, the Boston House.
Callico comes to Virgil and Everett complaining that they are taking money that belongs to him, then he asks if they would join him. However, he is rebuffed.
Word spreads and soon, the two men are providing honest security for all the saloons in town.
One day, their old friend Pony Flores and his half brother, Kha-to-nay, arrive. Kha-to-nay doesn't like white men because they took his and his people's land. Pony only speaks to Indians, and in this case, Pony is the only Indian around so any communication is through him.
Pony tells Virgil and Everett that his half brother killed a crooked Indian agent and robbed a bank. The government agents and the Pinkerton's are after him.
Parker is a master story teller. As I breezed through the pages, I kept thinking of Gary Cooper in "High Noon" and was humming the theme song from that movie.
Parker's visual descriptions and entertaining characters make the reader want the story to go on and on.
I really enjoyed the book and felt that I was sitting at a ring side seat as the realistic action was unfolding before me. Robert Parker passed away recently and all of literature will be sorry that he's not still with us, providing entertaining stories and believable characters who we'd like to emulate.