This novel by Elmer Kelton is based on actual events. The story is set in West Texas in the 1950s during a six year drought.

Charlie Flagg, a sheep and cattle rancher in his late sixties, personifies the best qualities of the legendary Texas rancher — independence, strength of will and self-suffici-ency. He loves and respects the land despite the hard times and his losses. He hangs on with pride and determination. His sense of right never wavers in his refusal to accept federal subsidies and price supports. He is determined to maintain his independence and his freedom from government red tape. Charlie says, “What I can’t do for myself, I’ll do without.”

Charlie is one of the old breed that still retains his frontier heritage of fighting his own fight. He is part of a dying breed of independent farmers and ranchers who act from conviction rather than from convenience.

As the reader follows Charlie’s struggle to survive the drought, he/she receives an in depth study of character and integrity. The book is a page-turner.


June Poucher (Feb.’10) adds, “Kelton is a native of West Texas and grew up among stockmen and dryland farmers.”

* from the mar 2010 instructions files *

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