- Series: Hewey Calloway (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (November 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765309564
- ISBN-13: 978-0765309563
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Six Bits a Day (Hewey Calloway) Hardcover – October 27, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Hewey Calloway is a fun-loving cowboy who can't shoot straight; his younger brother, Walter, is a serious cowboy who, much to Hewey's horror, wants to marry a pretty girl and become a farmer. Both are looking for a job and a meal in 1889 West Texas. After being mistaken for rustlers and rescued from hanging by a friendly Texas Ranger (a terrific character from another Kelton series), the boys hire on with Mr. C.C. Tarpley's cattle ranch, working for six bits—75 cents—a day. Hewey volunteers them both to drive cattle from San Antonio back to Tarpley's ranch on the Pecos, hoping Walter will forget his fanciful notions. The trip has its share of excitement, but when their Texas Ranger friend asks for help in capturing a hard-boiled case, Hewey gets real nervous. Add some clever cattle stealing back on the Pecos, a range feud between two stubborn cattle barons, rival gangs of cowboys who would rather get drunk together and let their bosses fist-fight, and some of Hewey's pranks, and Kelton, who has more than 40 westerns to his credit, is riding high again. Not much six-gun action, but Hewey's smart mouth more than makes up for the lack of gunsmoke. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In this treat for western fans, Kelton shows us a new side to his popular character Hewey Calloway. It's 1889, and Hewey and his brother, Walter, have left home to find work as cowboys. They hook up with cattleman C. C. Tarpley. Walter, experiencing his first taste of adult life, dreams of settling down and marrying a girl he has just met; Hewey, on the other hand thinks his brother is off his rocker. To rescue Walter from certain doom, Hewey contrives to get the two of them hired on to a cattle drive. Naturally, plenty of danger, excitement, and good-natured fun ensue. Kelton, who seems to have been writing westerns forever, never misses a step in this dusty, noisy, completely absorbing adventure. Larry McMurtry might get lots of publicity and awards for his westerns, but Kelton is just as fine a writer in the genre. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
The book has all the elements of a pretty good western - cattle rustlers, scrapes with the law, a little bit of shooting - mostly "off-stage," good guys, bad guys and even a cattle drive. But Kelton's kind of western is usually a bit gentler, spoofing the kinda stuff you often got in the Saturday matinee westerns. Hewey is a bit cautious, if foolhardy, and doesn't fit the matinee model for white-hat hero. He himself admits to a Texas Ranger just before an imminent confrontation with a baddie: "I'd better tell you. I'm real consistent with a pistol. I miss every time."
But the truth is, Hewey has a good heart and a kind of down-home smarts that makes seem just heroic enough - a genuine "good old boy," if there ever was one. Having met Hewey as an older man, I'm glad I got this chance to have met him as young man, one who'd finally escaped the drudgery of his farming boyhood and traveling (farther) west to seek his fortune as a real cowboy. And his ambitions are pretty modest, as he comments one night by the campfire -
"This is the life we was born for ... Breathin' the clean outdoor air, eatin' from the fat of the land. We got good horses to ride and nobody around to boss us. Paradise couldn't be no better."
Indeed, Hewey. Who needs all the complications and responsibilities that come along with success and wealth? Ride 'em, cowboy.
- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
For this month's book, I'm recommending Six Bits a Day, by Elmer Kelton. This is the prequel to the story I told you about last month, The Good Old Boys. The same two main characters Huey and Walter Calloway are portrayed in this story as hardworking, cattle driving cowboys set on the ranches and ranges of west Texas. As always, Huey is easy going, fun loving, and doesn't care about saving a dime. His brother Walter, however, has matrimonial aims to settle down with a good woman and claim his own piece of land. Huey does his best to distract Walter from his goals by signing the two of them on to drive six hundred head of cattle back to C.C. Tarpley's Pecos River ranch. Huey's aim is to pull Walter away from the distraction of the branding fire stoked by the sweet girl who lives in the boarding house. Range wars, murderers and conniving saboteurs are out to snatch the cattle away before Huey and Walter can deliver them to C.C.'s spread.--Robin Moore
Also read 'The Good Old Boys' and 'The Smiling Country' for other adventures of Hewey Calloway.