Monday, March 18, 2013

Dundee Times Two

I just read a couple of short stories by Wayne Dundee that are well worth your attention. As it happens, both are Westerns, but not really traditional Westerns.

"Adeline" is based on the Orphan Trains, the effort to take orphaned children from the East and find them new homes in the West. Adeline is one such orphan who finds herself in a far worse situation than she was in before, and it's up to an unlikely hero, a bounty hunter named Rawson, to get her out of it.

"Quick Hands" is the story of a traveling medicine show, a staple of Old West fiction, but this troupe includes a boxer named McMahon who faces off against the locals in bouts staged in the towns where the medicine show stops. Eventually, however, McMahon and his friends find themselves in trouble where his pugilistic skills won't help, and he has to turn to another talent to save them.

As you'd expect from the work of Wayne Dundee, both of these stories are gritty and hardboiled, fast-paced and tough, but they also have a huge, compassionate heart at their center. He has a unique voice that's one of the best in the business, and you won't go wrong with either of these yarns.

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