Free Western eBooks by Andy Adams


Andy Adams lived the cowboy life on the Texas plains. He wrote about his experiences in fiction to set Americans straight about life in the West.
Adams published six books on ranching life and helped shape the genre of western fiction.


Plot Summary

Cattle Brands is a collection of 14 short stories written only as Andy Adams could write them. These stories depict not only the life of the western cowboy, but also harrowing skirmishes, thrilling shoot-outs, attempts to recapture stolen cattle from the men who took them. 


Plot Summary

The Log of a Cowboy is an account of a five-month drive of 3,000 cattle from Brownsville, Texas, to Montana in 1882 along the Great Western Cattle Trail. Although the book is fiction, it is firmly based on Adams's own experiences on the trail, and it is considered by many to be the best account of cowboy life in literature. Adams was disgusted by the unrealistic cowboy fiction being published in his day; The Log of a Cowboy was his response. It is still in print, and even modern reviewers consider it a compelling classic. The Chicago Herald said: "As a narrative of cowboy life, Andy Adams' book is clearly the real thing. It carries its own certificate of authentic first-hand experience on every page." (Introduction by wikipedia)


Plot Summary

Two orphans face starvation on the prairie of northeastern Kansas during the terrible winter of 1885-86. Dell and Joel Wells, redheads who have barely reached shaving age, are about to abandon their dead father's claim on Beaver Creek because it won't grow crops. Then unexpected events, and a drover seeking aid, allow them a decent chance in life. The Young Cattle Kings shows what happens when experienced enterprise meets youthful energy. The boys develop their own ranch on the Beaver, without capital but with honor. No amount of savvy can entirely prepare them for the risks: cruel winters, rapacious wolf packs, summer droughts, mysterious Texas fever, the shifting circumstances of the cattle trade. 


Plot summary

The tale of "Uncle Lance" Lovelace, a sixtyish, thrice-married rancher with a penchant for finding mates for his ranch hands. The narrator, Tom Quirk, is his interpreter when he intervenes on behalf of his lovesick vaqueros and his willing pupil in pursuit of one Esther McLeod. This is, however, more than an amusing story; with Adams' characteristic authenticity, A TEXAS MATCHMAKER provides a wealth of detail about life on the great ranches of early Texas.


Preface

At the close of the civil war the need for a market for the surplus cattle of Texas was as urgent as it was general. There had been numerous experiments in seeking an outlet, and there is authority for the statement that in 1857 Texas cattle were driven to Illinois. Eleven years later forty thousand head were sent to the mouth of Red River in Louisiana, shipped by boat to Cairo, Illinois, and thence inland by rail. Fever resulted, and the experiment was never repeated. To the west of Texas stretched a forbidding desert, while on the other hand, nearly every drive to Louisiana resulted in financial disaster to the drover. The republic of Mexico, on the south, afforded no relief, as it was likewise overrun with a surplus of its own breeding...


Plot Summary

In the 1880's and 1890's, a young man named Reed Anthony spent eight years trail-driving cattle from Texas to markets in the north. This is a book of his first-hand experiences from that time.


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