Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days
The Log of a Cowboy brings to life an important, yet short-lived, piece of the American Old West. It’s here that the cowboy earned his reputation and admiration, and it’s through protagonist Tommy Moore that we learn of some of the challenges of the legendary cattle drive. Run-ins with Indian tribes, cattle hustlers, shoot-’em-ups, and the lure of “good whiskey and bad women,” are just some of the troubles that Moore faces, all told with that classic cowboy swagger.
It’s not just the thrill of adventure that makes this such a fascinating tale; The Log of a Cowboy is often seen as a narrative of Andy Adams’s own life after twelve years in the saddle, and although some liberties were taken, it remains one of the most reliable accounts ever written, helping cement the lawless, and revered, Wild West into a national subconscious. Through Moore we learn cowboy colloquialisms like “drifting” and “cutting,” the perils of stampedes, and the innate intuition of these frontier men.
Adams deftly weaves stories within a story, bringing fabled cattleman Shanghai Pierce into this literary world, spinning tales of occult sciences, hitchhiking ox, and astonishing “bear signs.” Much like the Pony Express, the cattle drives of the Old West remain an essential part of American culture, and Adams’s narrative helps to keep it alive through the generations.
This is a must-read for any fans of the Old West, a time when courage and adventure were all part of a day’s work.