One of the best westerns that I have EVER read.This story should be required reading for both high school and college. It describes with astonishing detail of man's struggles against man. The stories within the main story speak of pain of a recovering alcoholic. His struggle to over come grief. Another a story of preteen orphan boys who together survived hard ship and developed a lasting commitment to each other. Friendship and the struggles to overcome incredible unearned road blocks To life alone. The determination to overcome all odds and grief alone together would be a story well worth reading. And the alcoholic details his own way to survive obstacles to a posse that probably not survived without this encouragement. And the main story is of a deformity isolation and cruelty. This 16 year old saves another with unselfish, courages will to survive against physical and mental dangers with his own story to encourage another. Each of the situations combined examples share the struggle to live.