Thursday, February 26, 2009

Katharine Newlin Burt, il. Vic Donahue
1965, Funk & Wagnalls Company, Inc.

In a flash, Stormy was in Trinket's saddle and had her out in the middle of the field. Watching, they saw him touch her lightly with his heel high up close to her cinch. With that, she leapt forward, seemed to "swallow" her neck, and started to buck. Stormy gave a shout, stretched out a balancing arm, and rode the rough, stiff-legged, hump-backed horse halfway to the edge of the pine wood, his hair flapping with the motion but his head held steady on his own neck.

On the Two-Bar Ranch, three kids tangle over one buckskin colt. Stormy Mapes, son of an aloof and mysterious local horse trader, had the horse first and named him Smarty. When his dad included him in a sale to ranch owner Alfred Keene, the ranch's head wrangler passed him along to his daughter Jenny, who renames the colt Taffy. And when Keene's son Roger, a talented but hard-natured Easterner, needs a new mount, he naturally takes over Smarty/Taffy's training.

A standard Western adventure story with a somewhat buried romantic angle in that the girl is aware of chosing between the two boys in a way that's never really explicit. The girl, of course, makes most of the concessions, and her big heroic moments are ones of sacrifice and nursing, while the boys get to race and compete directly. The characters are predictable but strong - Stormy's sudden temper, Roger's panic, Mr. Mapes the 'outsider,' etc. Engrossing action scenes and natural, impressive setting.

Tarbaby - black horse
Smarty/Taffy - buckskin colt
Trinket - bay mare

Shag - sheepdog

Author Information
Burt was a Wyoming author who lived in Jackson Hole and on the Bar BC Ranch. She was the wife of writer Maxwell Struthers Burt, and the mother of writer Nathaniel Burt. She also used the pen name Rebecca Scarlett, and it appears that most of the following books are romance/thrillers, best-selling popular fiction.

Other Books
Lost Isobel
One Silver Spur
Girl on a Broomstick
Escape from Paradise
Strong Citadel
Still Water
Close Pursuit
Lady in the Tower
Captain Millett's Island
Fatal Gift
No Surrender
If Love I Must
Men of Moon Mountain
Safe Road
When Beggars Choose
Rapture Beyond
Monkey's Tail
This Woman and This Man
Beggars All
The Tall Ladder
A Man's Own Country
Cock's Feather
The Grey Parrot
Quest: A novel
Snow-blind (available on Project Gutenberg )
Hidden Creek (available on Project Gutenberg)
The Red Lady
The Branding Iron (available on Project Gutenberg)
Penelope Intrudes

Several early films were based on her writing
The Silent Rider (1928)
The Way of a Girl (1925)
The Eagle's Feather (1923)
The Leopardess (1923)
Singed Wings (1922)
The Man from Lost River (1921)
Snowblind (1921)
The Branding Iron (1920)

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