The Old Spanish Trail


Author: Ralph Compton

Title: The Old Spanish Trail

Genre: Western

Publication Date: 1998

Page count: 278

Geographical Setting: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California

Time Period: 1862

Series: Book no. 11 in the Trail Drive series

Plot summary: Don Webb and his Texan posse are thrilled to hear their friend, Warren Blocker, has made his fortune in Santa Fe and has agreed to purchase five thousand head of cattle from them. But when the cattle drive arrives in New Mexico, the men are shocked to discover that Blocker and his wife have already been robbed and murdered by a group of renegades. The Civil War is looming back in Texas and money there is scarce. Rather than return home empty-handed, the cowboys learn of another buyer in Los Angeles and embark on a harrowing journey to California in hope of selling off the herd. The men follow the Old Spanish trail, a route infamous for its rough terrain and hostile Indians. To complicate matters further, the group is being tailed by two gangs of outlaws bent on revenge and robbery. The men’s bravery and heroism, though tested at every turn, never wane in this exciting tale of camaraderie and the American frontier.

Subject Headings: Cattle Drives; Cattle drives—Old Spanish Trail; Old Spanish Trail; Western stories

Appeal: plot centered, page turner, suspenseful, action oriented, details of old west, historical detail, unpretentious, simple, concise, rural, stark, violence, recognizable characters

Similar Works (fiction): Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry (cattle drive from Texas to Montana, suspense and perilous situations)

Dark Trail to Dodge – Cotton Smith (story of an ambushed cattle drive en route to Kansas)

Trail’s End – Frederic Bean (dangerous trails, details hardships of a cattle drive from Mexico to Kansas)

Similar Works: (nonfiction): Explorers, Traders, and Slavers: Forging the Old Spanish Trail, 1678-1850 – Joseph P. Sanchez (narrative history of the Old Spanish Trail)

The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends, and Lore – David Dary (historical accounts of another old west trail)

The Way West: True Stories of the American Frontier – James A Crutchfield, ed. (true life accounts of the American expansion westward)

Name: Suzanne


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