Yee…hah! Five thousand plus head of cattle and two hundred horses bound from Virginia City to Deadwood.
Deadwood is a bonanza town for gold miners and the cattle drovers hope to get rich getting the cows to the hungry miners at boomtown prices before anyone else. The route is not for the faint hearted; passing through Sioux hunting grounds and crossing rivers like the Little Big Horn (that sounds familiar). Heading out at the beginning of March there is the snow to contend with, trying to find adequate graze for so many ruminants is quite a challenge. Graze for the cowboys is a challenge, too as the chuck wagon’s wheels frequently break or get stuck in the mud. Plenty of time to brew some more fresh coffee while the wheel is fixed and hope the sun will suck up some of the moisture. Horses and cows are easily spooked and a lot of the story has the cowboys searching their herds after a stampede with the help of a couple of Indians in their outfit.
The story is typical western fare with no big surprises in the plot. This is a book in a series about different trails and the text is often asterisked to refer to a previous books the characters appeared in.
My rating: 3 out of 5