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The Range Dwellers

B. M. Bower

Book Overview: 

Ellis Carleton, son of a rich and indulgent father, has enjoyed a wasteful and irresponsible young adulthood. But on reaching 25 it is time to grow up, so dad sends him off to dad’s ranch in outback Montana with instructions to the foreman to pay Ellis the same as the other hands, but only if he earns it. A disputed roadway, an old feud with a neighboring rancher, a new one with his desirable daughter, all drive Ellis to delightful distraction.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Frisco, with Barney MacTague and the rest of the crowd; and part of the time, I know, I was telling dad what a mess he'd made of bringing up his only son.

That night we slept in a shack at the river—"Pochette Crossing" was the name it answered to—and shared the same bed. It was not remarkable for its comfort—that bed. I think the mattress was stuffed with potatoes; it felt that way.

Next morning we were off again, over the same bare, brown, unpeopled wilderness. Once we saw a badger zigzagging along a side-hill, and Frosty whipped out a big revolver—one of those "Colt 45's," I suppose—and shot it; he said in extenuation that they play the very devil with the range, digging holes for cow-punchers to break their necks over.

I was surprised at Frosty; there he had been armed, all the time, and I never guessed it. Even when we went to bed the night before, I had not glimpsed a weapon. Clearly, he could not be a cowboy, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

You will grin stupidly the entire book through.

A short, pleasant read, though without too much in the way of plot. Bower didn't write in first-person that often, and she doesn't seem quite as comfortable with it—the narration is a little talky at times, but there's a fair amount of her usual insight and humor. As for the story—a millionaire's...more

This was an okay story about rich young Ellis Carleton, who is sent to his father's Montana ranch to learn to be a man. I did not like Ellis much at first, he was too spoiled. A typical rich playboy, and at age 25 I thought he was too old for such foolishness. (Apparently so did his father, or el...more