The son of a WW II disabled veteran, Wesley Tallant is himself an ex-Navy veteran of the Viet Nam era. A widower with three grown boys, he lives in Blossom, Texas. After 24 years with the Paris Texas Fire Department, he is now retired and writes full time.
The Yellow Rose
In 1886, Bexar County rancher Mike Callahan goes for his yearly pilgrimage to honor the father he lost in the battle of the Alamo. While he is there on the fiftieth anniver…sary of the fall of the Alamo, his wife Rose is kidnapped. He leads a posse of men, including the county sheriff, in an attempt to rescue her. He is killed but questions soon arise as to who shot him. Intrigue and family betrayal follow Rose as she strives to keep the ranch that Mike named after her, running.
Whip Dodge: Man Hunter
Idaho Territory. A bank robbery and murder in the town of Eagle Rock prompts the town marshal to request the assistance of the legendary bounty hunter, Whip Dodge. A trek across the desert brings the murdering bank robbers to justice, but Whip soon finds that there is more afoot than just robbery and murder. An old enemy has surfaced and is trying to take over the valley for himself. With the help of a couple of visiting Texas Rangers, a crotchety old judge, and the townspeople themselves, justice prevails and peace returns to Eagle Rock.
Review of Whip Dodge, Man Hunter
This book is a classic story of good versus evil. The main character, Whip Dodge, is a veteran of the Civil War and a seasoned bounty hunter. When robbers strike the bank in Eagle Rock, killing two citizens, the town calls on Dodge to track down the men. But as Dodge trails the killers, an evil plot to take over the town begins to raise its ugly head, with Dodge stuck right in the middle.
Whip Dodge starts out rather slow, but the characters are very well developed, and Tallant makes sure that the reader doesn’t forget their names. The severe repetition of the characters’ names did compromise the flow of the book, but not so much that I wouldn’t recommend it. Dodge is overall a good read, and towards the end Tallant really steps up the action, leaving the reader wanting more.
Jake is a mountain man in 1838 Colorado who finds he is dying from Cancer. He isn’t given much time to live, and doc says it is going to be painful. He sends him off with some medicine to help cope with the pain. Instead of going home to die, Jake decides to set out on a last adventure to find the perfect secluded valley for his final resting place. His best friend, Joe Barnes, won’t let him go alone, and he brings along a deaf mute girl named Beth. Along the way they save some children from hostile Indians, guide a wagon train to safety, spend time with old friends, and settle an old score with a past friend.
Review of Jake Hardy and Two Other Western Stories
Ramble House paperback
This is actually a new edition of WWA member Tallant’s 2004 book, which was originally published by Silver Dollar Press.
Ramble House, with its quirky line of classic noir like Zorro creator Johnston McCulley’s outrageous Crimson Clown, seems to be a much better fit for Tallant’s tale – which cries out for John Ford bit players speaking the dialogue, and maybe Danny Borzage playing something melancholy on the accordion in the background.
The title character, cancer-stricken, sets out in 1838 on a final odyssey from Colorado Territory to a visionary Montana, accompanied by a deaf mute girl, and engaging in such adventures along the way as a knife-to-tomahawk fight for the release of three children captured by the Cheyenne Indians. I might wish that our author had not named his visiting Apache warrior Red Cloud at the very time when the illustrious Oglala Lakota of this name was living (and about sixteen), but there’s little else of which to complain. Unabashedly old-timey and traditional, and if this is how you like ’em, you will.
Jake Hardy takes up most of the volume, with Day of the Fast Gun only occupying eleven pages, and the final offering Little Big Toe a mere five; yet this last mystical fantasy of a small boy in a valley tribe will (I suspect) haunt you more than five pages’ worth, after you close the book covers.
THE LEGEND OF JAKE HARDY BARNES. The Adventures Begin
Jake has just turned fifteen when his father suddenly dies. A cattle baron from Texas, in need of a guide, hires Jake to lead his herd across the Rocky Mountains. Along with his Cheyenne brother and painted pony, Jake guides them through.
JAKE HARDY BARNES AND THE COMANCHEROS
Jake is on his way home from Santa Fe when he finds the smoldering remains of a covered wagon. The bodies of a man and two small boys lie near it. In a nearby cave, he finds a young girl. She tells him that her mother and sister were taken by the men who killed her father and brothers. Once the girl is safe, Jake organizes a band of the toughest men in the New Mexico Territory. Their mission: bring back the women at all costs.
The Wishing Elf
Visiting her Grandfather for the first time, little Andrea is told the story of a magical tree that grows in grandpa’s front yard – the home of the Wishing Elves, who grant wishes for children. Peter the elf lives there, but she has to leave before she finds him. A bad accident befalls Andrea on the way home and Grandpa hopes he can Wish her better. But will Peter be allowed to grant a grownup’s wish?
Little Big Toe
Little Big Toe has an important job. He just doesn’t know it yet. One day, while his friends are off participating in the hunt, the Wise Man takes him to a waterfall and to the cave beyond. What will he find there?
An important moral lesson for children.
Glodwyn’s Treasure Chest
Mister Sparks, the Firehouse Dog is a short story by Wesley in the first of the Crimson Cloak anthologies.
Steps in Time
The Road is a short story by Wesley in the second of
the Crimson Cloak anthologies.
Crackers is a poem written by Wesley in the third volume of the Crimson Cloak Anthologies.
The Dead Man’s Revenge, and The Prophecy and the Inheritance are two stories by Wesley in the fourth volume of the Crimson Cloak Anthologies.
The Day of the Fast Gun is a
short story by Wesley in the sixth volume of the Crimson Cloak Anthologies.