Rope the Wind
Author: Norman A. Fox
Cover Artist: John Leone
First Published: 1958
Reviewed Edition: Dell 1020 (1960)
Norman Fox set most of his westerns in Montana, roughly following actual history. He differs from many of his contemporary western authors in his strict adherence to authenticity.
Rope the Wind is the first novel by Fox I have read and I plan on reading more. The plot is simple enough: a drifter floats in to town and finds a wild Appaloosa he wants to catch, draws the ire of the headman for a widow’s large-scale horse rancher, and falls in love with the down-on-his-luck small horse rancher’s daughter. What makes this story stand above the clichéd premise is the mystery surrounding two Civil War soldiers’ disappearance. The drifter, Terry Mullane isn’t strictly a drifter, but after information concerning the missing soldiers. Everything plays out pretty much as the reader would expect, but adding the mystery layer to what would have been a run-of-the-mill western revenge story is what makes this book stand out a little.