OTIS A. SINGLETARY, Editor
Why the Chisholm Trail Forks: And Other Tales of the Cattle
Country. Edited by Wilson M. Hudson. Austin (University
of Texas Press), 1956. Pp. xxxii+296. Illustrations. $4.50.
Here is what might be called The Best of Andy Adams and
what is certainly the most exciting news for lovers of Andy's
stories, for the author has selected for republication the most
spritely, the most sparkling of all Adams' stories. This is a most
welcome publication, because, except for The Log of a Cowboy,
all of Andy's books are out-of-print and difficult to come by. There
are fifty-one stories here, twelve from the Log, nine from A Texas
Matchmaker, eight from The Outlet, and seventeen from Cattle
Brands. The only new material included is made up of four tales
from an unpublished manuscript together with one story pub-
lished in a magazine in 1905.
These tales illustrate practically every type of story told by
Andy Adams. There is the sublime and the ridiculous, the true
and the false, the humorous and the pathetic, sentimentality and
stark reality, and the supernatural, some invented, some retold.
Extremes are depicted in most of the stories which have a wide
range of subject materials. Paraded in this book is cowboy life,
life in the West, described vividly enough that the reader vicari-
ously enjoys or deplores the situation. One feels the oppressive
heat of summer or the frostbite of a blue norther, or hears hoof
beats, sees and feels the terror of the stampede, the long drive,
horse-breaking, branding, fence-riding, calf roping; all are expe-
rienced before the reader has finished.
Illustrative of the things one may see and hear through the
words of Andy Adams is the following from the "Bear-Sign
But there came a rumbling of many hoofs from the bed-ground.
"There's hell for you," said half a dozen men in a chorus, and every
man in camp ran for his horse but the cook, and he climbed into the
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/. Accessed March 26, 2015.