Jericho’s Road

Set in the 1880’s in the State of Texas, the war of northern aggression is concluded, a rough period of Union Army supervised reconstruction is over and outlaws are running amok in the lesser populated areas of the State.

  • Rating: A
    Author: Elmer Kelton
    Book: Jericho’s Road
    Genre: Western

Private Andy Prichard, company B, Texas Rangers is new to his job. He is being reassigned from a relatively comfortable post in east Texas to the outlaw riddled south Texas-Mexico border area. After a harrowing trip to the ranger headquarters in Austin for his orders, Andy heads south on horseback to his new assignment. He quickly learns that the Texas Rangers are hated by the Mexican population on both sides of the Rio Grande river and are widely mistrusted by the Anglo settlers in the area too. Andy is a young Ranger in a new duty station where he doesn’t speak the language, however he quickly learns who are the outlaws and who are the good guys along the Rio Grande.

The premise of the story is based on a white criminal on the Texas side of the border that uses threats and intimidation to drive all of the honest Mexican settlers back across the Rio Grande, despite the fact that they have legal deeds from Mexico showing they own their land. This story is occurring not to long after Texas gained its independence from Mexico after defeating Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Almost everyone on both sides of the river had a husband, a father, or a brother killed in that bloody conflict.  There is also a Mexican criminal on the south side of the Rio Grande that thinks Texas is still part of Mexico and he raids across the border at will to steal cattle, horses, and anything else that’s not tied down or guarded.

Andy’s job, along with several other Rangers in his company is to stop the violence and crime along the border and to protect the citizens of Texas. As a young twenty year old law enforcement officer he often makes mistakes that sometimes puts him in harms way. His Ranger sergeant rides his ass like a tired burro every time he makes a mistake and it seems like private Andy Prichard is always tripping over his own feet everywhere he turns. Through many violent twists and turns Andy quickly learns his job and the criminal element on both sides of the river are thwarted in there violent endeavors, and peace is restored.

For lovers of old west stories this is a good read. I was a Texas Peace officer for almost four decades and I could see a little of myself in Private Andy Prichard, and I’m just glad I didn’t work back in his day, mine was dangerous enough.

Junior’s Boy

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Tags: Elmer Kelton, Jericho’s Road, Juniors Boy, Texas

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