Lawless Center
Photo of Las Vegas by Roadsidepictures used under a Creative Commons license.

Walter van Tilburg Clark, The Ox-Bow Incident (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1962).
A Western set in and around the (fictional) cow town of Bridger’s Wells, Nevada, and taking place in one long day in 1885. A boy from a ranch outside town arrives in a cloud of dust with the news that rustlers have killed a cowboy named Kinkead. The sheriff is away, and there is little appetite to wait for the law to act so a posse forms and sets out after the rustlers. A novel that works as a story and also as a parable about what happens when men take the law into their own hands. First published in 1940 and made into a 1943 movie.

Wikipedia has a brief bio of Clark. The Nevada Writers Hall of Fame at University of Nevada – Reno has a short bio and a long bibliography. Writing about the book are Jonathan Yardley, Melissa Howard, Bryan R. Terry, and Willa. Law professor Robert Louis Felix writes about the book and the film in Legal Studies Forum.

Buy it at Amazon.com.

Advertisements