(From the publisher):
Hewey Calloway, the best-loved cowboy in all of Western fiction, returns in this novel of his younger years as he and his beloved brother, Walter, leave the family farm in 1889 to find work in the West Texas cow country.
The brothers are polar opposites. Walter pines for a sedate life as a farmer with a wife and children; Hewey is a fiddle-footed cowboy content to work at six bits - seventy-five cents - a day on the Pecos River ranch owned by the penny-pinching C.C. Tarpley. Hewey, who "usually accepted the vagaries of life without getting his underwear in a twist," is fun-loving and whiskey-drinking. He spends every penny he earns and regularly gets into trouble with his boss - and occasionally with the law - often dragging innocent Walter along.
When Walter falls in love with a boardinghouse girl and begins dreaming of a farmer's life, Hewey jumps at the chance to rescue him from his fate worse than death. He convinces Walter to join him on a mission for Tarpley, driving six hundred head of cattle from beyond San Antonio to the Double-C ranch on the Pecos.
The journey is both memorable and dangerous: A murderous outlaw is searching for Hewey, and another ruthless character is determined to sabotage the cattle drive. When the drovers reach the Pecos, they find Boss Tarpley in the midst of a vicious range feud with Eli Jessup, a neighboring cowman. Hewey and Walter have to get the herd safely across Jessup's land - but how?
The events of Six Bits a Day precede those of Kelton's bestselling The Good Old Boys - (1978) and The Smiling Country (1998).
Original title: Six Bits a Day
Genre: Fiction→ Western→ Cattle Drives
Fiction→ Western→ Range Wars
Fiction→ Western→ Texas And Mexico