Tall tales were one of the forms of entertainment for cowboys in the old west. The more outrageous the better. Lying was an art cultivated, in this respect, and the better the liar, the more popular the storyteller. Author James C. O’Donnell gets it right in his new collection of tall tales. All suitable for all ages as well.
Pecos Bill puts in an appearance trying to tame a cyclone. We have tales with Wyatt Earp(where we learn the ‘real” for the famous gunfight), Jesse Chisholm, Judge Roy Bean, Bible Banging Billy, and Casey Jones’s nephews.
Herein we meet an old bull with twenty foot wide horns, cowboys that can’t sing, people riding hundreds of miles in scant time, trains going so fast they leave the tracks and take to the air.
Other folks that made appearances in these tales are Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Wild Bill Hickok, Jesse and Frank James, the Younger Brothers, Mark Twain, Doc Holliday, and others.
The frame work around them is an unidentified traveler stopping in a dusty town and going into the Last Chance Saloon for a drink. He’s accosted by an old man claiming to be Billy The Kid(a quick calculation by the traveler tells him that would make the old man a hundred) and begins to tell him the tall tales over drinks.
It’s broke down into chapters, though even there there are breaks with smaller tales within.
Chapter 1: BILLY THE KID(ALLEGED)
Chapter 2: PECOS BILL TESTING HIS GRIT
Chapter 3: JUDGE ROY BEAN AND THE RIVERBOAT SCOUNDRELS
Chapter 4: WYATT EARP FINDS THE MOTHER LODE
Chapter 5: THE CASEY JONES BROTHERS AND DEADMAN’S CURVE
Chapter 6: TELLING TALES ON THAT OL’ CHISHOLM TRAIL
Chapter 7: BIBLE BANGING BILLY AND HIS RENEGADE HOMBRES
Chapter 8: THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF “COWBOY”
Chapter 9: PECOS BILL’S RIDDLE
THE FINAL WORD
I had a fine tme with this one, laughing out loud at times. Completely outrageous tales most of the time. Just as they should be.