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The Day The Cowboys Quit

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Ben Wiest

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of The Day The Cowboys Quit

The Day The Cowboys Quit

By: Elmer Kelton
The story is Historical Fiction. It is about the cowboy strike in Texas Panhandle of 1883. The reader quickly becomes familiar with the main character Hugh Hitchcock (who goes by Hitch most of the time). He worked as a wagon boss for rancher Charlie Waide. Hitch's best friends Rascal Mcginty and Law Mcginty (brothers) who also worked for Charlie Waide.
Hitchcock and Rascal had found the men who killed their friend Law, who go by the names of Torrington & Dodge. They took them to court but they started leaning in judges favor. Starting to feel unjust Rascal took out his colt and shot Dodge in his arm!
Thank you and the End!
Rising Action
At he end of a week of listening to the brothers arguing whether a cattle's brand should be LR or the number four at Waide's ranch a man by the name of Joe Sand was injured on the job and Hitch was responsible to take him into town to see a doctor. While in town Hitch discovered while looking for a room for Joe to stay in, that his fellow cowboys Gossett and Cottingam were in a local bar in the town. They tried to convince Hitch to join the cowboy strike but he said he was loyal to Charlie and that he couldn't imagine joining the strike.
Rising Action Cont.
Hitch went to the sheriffs to declare the ranchers of murdering his friend without the due process of law. The sheriff had quit unknowingly the day before Hitch arrived so he ran a campaign for sheriff. He won the election and his old friend Rascal became his deputy. The men now with power were out seek justice for their long lost friend. The following week they went to the judge and received warrants for the man who had killed Law.
Rising Action Cont.
The following week Hitch went to a meeting with Charlie to discuss the cowboys rule. Charlie was persuaded by his superior Selkirk, to take away the cowboys right to own their own cattle or forbid them to have their own horse in the company but he couldn't say yes to his demands. On his way home from the meeting they stopped at Law's home expecting him to be home but it was instead it was Law's wife Kate who was worried. The next day Hitch followed Law to see if he was visiting another girl but instead he was stealing #4 cattle from Charlie's ranch. Hitch told Charlie what he had witnessed d the other cowboys became very upset about this topic because Charlie now had to enforce the cowboys rules to them.
Rising Action Cont.
Hitchcock was now forced to strike with the other cowboys (even though he didn't want too) because he had promised them that once Charlie betrayed them he would support the strike. Hitch found out that the strikers were actually very lazy. He then became an unofficial leader of the strike and was able to send requests and demands to ranchers all across the state. One day Charlie embaked on Hitch and told him the ranchers had found out Law was stealing cattle and were out to hang him. He was then informed by Law's wife Kate (who he secretly loved) that Law was last heard going to an abandoned mine shaft. Unforgivably by the time Hitch arrived his friend had been set up by the ranchers and had been hang.
Falling Action
Both men were found guilty of first degree murder.
The town became the central focus in the west after the trial.
Also many of the towns people were glad to have found out who murdered Mr. Law as well as Hitch's closest friends and family.
After the shooting Rascal is placed in prison but only for a week while in the mean time both men are accused of first degree murder. They are both sentenced to death however Dodge dies of his gunshot infection be for he is hanged. The story ends with Hitch having a cup of coffee in his office as Kate winks at him as she walks past. This book has taught me to look at both sides of an issue before addressing it.
Meet the Author
Elmer Kelton (April 29, 1926 — August 22, 2009) was an American journalist and writer, known particularly for his Western novels.
Kelton was born at a place called Horse Camp on the Five Wells Ranch.
When Kelton was three years old, the family moved to the McElroy Ranch located in the counties of Crane and Upton, Texas.
After graduation from Crane High School, Kelton attended The University of Texas at Austin in 1942-1944.
From 1944 to 1946, Kelton had served in the U.S. Army, with combat infantry experience in Europe during World War II.
Eight Kelton novels,
Buffalo Wagons(1957)
The Day the Cowboys Quit(1971)
The Time It Never Rained(1973)
Eyes of the Hawk(1981)
The Far Canyon(1994)
Many a River and The Way of the Coyote(2002)
, have won Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America.
I would highly recommend this book to any of my friends or to my fellow students! My myself never had a dull moment because the story was very dynamic and contained a lot of action. It also wasn't a super long novel to complete either.
Hitchcock's Revolver
Kelton, Elmer S. The Day The Cowboys Quit. Garden City,
N Y: Doubleday, 1971. Print.

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