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Cross Plains Public Library (TX)

"Ranger's Trail" by Elmer Kelton

Product Details

Our library has a lot of Elmer Kelton’s books. It seems that men prefer Westerns and women prefer Romances, but both can enjoy Elmer’s latest offering. Ranger’s Trail is the third in a series of books documenting the history of the Texas Rangers. The major character, Rusty Shannon falls in love in this novel. And the way of love is always difficult. Shannon was orphaned when his parents were killed by the Comanches, who took the young red-haired boy to raise. Escaping from the Comanches, he later befriends another boy, Andy, rescued from Comanches.

In this book, the two of them visit Austin to assist the newly elected Governor, Coke Stevenson, in taking his office in the capitol from the incumbent Governor Davis, who has asked President Grant to keep him in office by using Federal troops. This is the last reconstruction governor in Texas and there is a lot of bitter feelings. This book is an excellent way to encourage school kids to learn about Texas history with an exciting story. Rusty is asked to join the newly-reconstituted Texas Rangers and the book tells of his involvement in chasing the bad guys and renegade Comanches. Much of the story is set in our neck of the woods around Fort Griffin, which adds more local history to the story.

You will enjoy meeting the good guys and bad guys as Rusty and Andy, his Comanche-raised sidekick, who often expresses his Comanche point of view, join the Rangers and pursue a family who is out to get rid of them. Tragedy and love abounds. The book ends in a way that indicates that Elmer will have another tale in the Ranger’s saga to keep us reading more history told in an action-filled romantic novel.

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