Sunday’s Colt and Other Stories of the Old West Review
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Ever since I read Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, I’ve often searched for westerns that I could enjoy as much as I did that one. But I’ve been hard-pressed to find anything in the western genre I could truly get into—that is, until I picked up Sunday’s Colt and Other Stories of the Old West by Randy Smith.

In this collection of short westerns, you’ll meet Ty Lee Driscoll and Red River Sam Bonnet, two of the most interesting characters to ever hit the pages of a book. Both have been saddle pards for over two years, riding for a man named Dil Townsen. Ty Lee looks and dresses like a paroled prisoner, and he eats, sleeps, and rides with a pack of blue tick crosses who would just as soon bite you as look at you. But he’s the best Texas vaquero ever. Red River Sam is an educated man with a philosophical edge, prone to elaborate on the theories of cattle breeding, horse breaking, and biscuit making.

In “Ty Lee Driscoll and Red River Sam Go a Mavericking,” Ty and Sam decide they’re tired of working for wages, so they head for the Mesquite Canyon country to catch some cimarrones. It turns out to be a load of bad luck after Ty Lee loses his best dog, No-Good.

My favorite story from this book is “The Black Queen.” She’s a horse that no man has been able to break, and Arky Blue uses her to turn a handsome profit by running a betting ring, going from town to town, daring any cowboy to ride her. But then he meets up with Ty Driscoll—the best horse breaker in the country, with an approach that’s unique for the time. I absolutely loved the way this one ended.

Not all of these short stories are about Ty Lee and Sam, but the others are every bit as entertaining. In “Showdown Along the Cimarron,” despite the danger, you can’t help but laugh when a group of Comanches demand more and more gifts from the McKnight & Brady Trading Company for safe passage through their territory.

The above is only about half of what’s offered in Sunday’s Colt and Other Stories of the Old West.

Randy Smith is one of a handful of true storytellers. He brings his characters, animals, and places to such vivid life that you’ll be transported back in time to the harshness of the Old West. You can almost see the cattle drives, feel the wind rustling through your hair, and smell the stink of the cowboys as you read.

Mr. Smith doesn’t romanticize the Old West; he shows the cold, hard truth of what it was like to live there, making this read so much more real and entertaining than most westerns. His descriptions are so colorful that you might find yourself wondering if he somehow found a way to travel back to the Old West from this century to experience it firsthand.

Sunday’s Colt and Other Stories of the Old West is simply the best western I’ve read in ages. In fact, I loved it even more than Lonesome Dove. Trust me, if you’re a fan of westerns, you’ve gotta treat yourself to this one.

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