Author: Will Welton
Page count: 176 word count 106,068
Genre: Historical Western Fiction
Price: $10.00 -Createspace.com; E Book: $6.99 – Smashword.com
Growing up, in the Choctaw (McCurtain and Choctaw Counties) and Creek Indian (Okmulgee County) Nations of Oklahoma, with the spoken languages of Choctaw, Ojibwa, Spanish and English was an asset in my knowledge of story telling. A reporter for the McCurtain County Gazette told me, “Write down the stories and the things you have done in life for some day they would be useful in keeping the tales of the old folks alive after we all are gone.”
Working various jobs from cowboy and farmer to holding, the positions of Foreman of a bridge gang, with the Saint Louis San Francisco, Railroad and Command Sergeant Major in the Army, gave me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. Medically discharged from the military, I did construction work until finally being forced to retire completely because of my health. Moving near Russellville Alabama because my children came to this area to work and raise my grand-children.
Now I live and play near the Crooked Oak community with my seven grand-children. The older three have read all but two of my novels so there is not sexual intent or as much violence as on the evening news. I write short stories, young adult books, free lance magazine articles, articles for several news papers and write novels about the tales of the old folks when I was growing up. In addition, to the fifteen Western novels, I have written two mysteries of modern day times.
Tell us about your book:
In the old west you had horse traders that could sell anything with a lie. Then you had horse traders that really knew their business and were honest in their dealings. When I was growing up in Oklahoma I had the pleasure of knowing both kinds of horse traders.
The horse traders that would lie to you about the health or what was not straightforward about an animal were the kind that did not have much of a repeat of customers. Word would get out on the trader and not many people would be trading or buying a horse from this type of trader.
The horse traders that told the person the honest truth about the animal and still be able to satisfy the persons need in a horse had always repeated customers. These men would have people tell other people that he had never saw before and they would know that they would get an honest deal. These old time horse traders could take a horse that was in poor health or people thought the horse was ready for the glue factory, so to speak all most dead, and bring the poor creature back to health. My step-father, Frank Wesley Johnson, was such of a trader. The herbal mixtures wrote about in this book were some of many he used in getting horses healthy. He used such remedies on horse, cattle, and us kids from time to time. It the early 1900’s he was know to trade horses several times near Cache Oklahoma with Frank James and J. Frank Dalton (who he said until the end that it was the Jessie James he met when he was a boy at his fathers (Green W. Johnson) home on Only Creek near Stigler Indian Territory.)
Some of the horse traders were just local men that did not travel more than a hundred or so miles from home. While other horse traders might range from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border and from the Mississippi River to the Arizona territory. These traders usually had a covered wagon and might have ten or more horses strung out behind the wagon on a lead line. These men would have people hear of their trading skills and a person might travel fifty miles to the trader that was honest.
How long did it take to write the book?
Approximately two months.
What inspired you to write the book?
Stories I remembered from what my Step-Father had done before the 1920’s. These stories he told or neighbors told which lived near us and had known my Step- Father back at the turn of the twentieth Century.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I had to research the maps of old to come up with towns along Texas Panhandle which were in expectance in the 1860’s.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Trust other people unless they do something to lose your trust.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Sam Mountian Texas Ranger” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/24464
“Ghost RIders” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/24462
Appaloosa Run” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/22134
“Cane Longbow Range Detective” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/23993
“Treasures Of Indian Territory Of Oklahoma http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/21543
“Always Pardners” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/22131
“White Bear Clan Black Thorn” http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/21272
Tanner Oaks Texas Ranger: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/25728
Run From A Hanging: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/25673
Excerpt from book:
Close to half of the horses had been run through the squeeze chute and what had taken so long was the castration for most of the young stallions had been in the chute already. When Juanita and Maria came down to the corrals, they set two baskets of food and a two bottles of wine on a table close to the barn. The men stopped working the horses and washed up at the water trough. For some reason Joe took is pistol belt from the top of a corral post, strapped it on and settled it on his hip before going to where Juanita was setting the food out for the men. It did not take the men long to eat standing or squatting in the shade. After making them selves a smoke and they enjoyed the tobacco and wine. They were just getting up from the shade when they saw riders coming from the west. Roberto said, “I think maybe so they are from Major Hanson.”
The others left Joe and Roberto standing outside the corral and went their on way. As the riders neared the barn Roberto said, “The one in the front is the foreman of the Major.”
Joe had slipped the holding throng from his pistol and the riders stopped their horses out about twenty feet. The rider out front asked, “You Joe Blowdon?”
Joe just nodded his head yes.
“One of my riders told that your bunch has ambushed him twice and he has lost three men.”
“The man that told you that is a liar. The first time they ambushed me they were a good four hundred yards from where I was ridding and they shot the best horse I ever forked out from under me. The second time they ambushed use they shot the sombrero from one of my riders and parted his hair with a gash.” Joe let that sink in and he could see the man doing the talking face was turning a slight reddish tint. “Since I have kept my side of the bargain and the Major has either given the order or let his men do as they want and ambush me and my friends. I will start with the lying shit now. Now which one of your riders here is the one that told the lie for I’m going to kill that yellow belly lying skunk?”
From behind Joe the sound of weapons hammers being drawn back to full cock. The big man who was evidently the foreman said over his shoulder, “Bailey get off your horse.” There was no sound of anyone moving however the foreman looked to his left to see someone out of the corner of his eye and he said, “Bailey either you get off the horse are I blow you from the saddle.” The foreman turned his horse slightly to face to the left with his horse at an angle. The man who was Bailey said, “Hammer I told the truth they shot at us and killed Dickens, Arnold, and Bates.”
The foreman drew his pistol, from the holster, and he was bringing it across his body when Bailey fell out of the saddle to land on his feet unsteadily. “Bailey you have lied to me for the last time. The Major and I have both told you to leave Blowdon and any friend of his alone. I don’t know the Major’s reason and don’t care but I follow orders and so does everyone working for the Major.”
Joe side stepped a few steps to the left to get Hammer and his horse out of the line of fire. Hammer then asked, “Pearly is that horse Bailey ridding have our brand on it?”
“No it doesn’t Mister Hammer.”
“Bailey pull your gun belt off and hang it on the saddle horn.” Hammer said and Joe could not figure what was going on. Bailey took a second or to of hesitation before he did as told. “You no longer work for the Major or any part of the ranch. Start walking towards the north.”
Bailey fidgeted a few minutes and said in a whinny voice, “I got a months pay coming and have a horse back at the ranch and my war bag and bed roll.”
“When you went against mine and the Major’s orders you forfeited any and all of your possessions on the ranch. Get walking or I’ll kill you my self. You still got that hide out gun you keep behind the shirt. But you might want to put some distance between you and Blowdon. Or you can draw the pistol and face the music?” Hammer said and he cocked his pistol very slowly. Bailey turned and went in a stumbling run for he had on extra high heeled boots. However it did not take long for Bailey to cover some ground. Hammer, let the hammer down on the pistol, put his pistol back in the holster and turned in the saddle and said, “The Major has kept his part of the bargain. Keep the horses and Bailey’s gear as payment for your trouble. I hate anyone who shoots a good horse unless it’s necessary.” Hammer bumped the ribs of his horse easily with his spurs and the riders turning their horses moved out heading back to the west.
Joe watched Bailey hobbling until the man moved out of sight. Joe turned back to the corral squeeze chute, pulled of his pistol belt, and could see the rest putting their rifles close at hand for easy access but out of the way until they could finish the branding and cutting of the male horses.