Author: Louis L’Amour
Performed by MacLeod Andrews
Released March 2019 by Random House Audio
Category: Western Adventure, Audiobook Review
For years Milo Talon had been riding the outlaw trail, looking for a man who had betrayed his family. Only Hank Rossiter wasn’t the man he had been: old now and blind, Rossiter was trying desperately to hold on to a small ranch to support his daughter, Barbara. Suddenly Talon found himself in the middle of a range war, siding with the man he’d marked for payback. But had Rossiter really changed? And could his daughter be trusted by either of them?
In the mood for something different as I looked through the new releases on Audible, I saw The Man From The Broken Hills narrated by MacLeod Andrews. It fit the bill perfectly, although I didn’t realise at the time it was part of a series. As it happens, it can easily be read, or listened to, as a standalone.
Narrated in the first person by Milo Talon, a drifter enjoying seeing and experiencing the wild American West from the back of his horse. Born and raised in Colorado, he grew up on one of the largest ranches around and has his mother’s blessing to roam the country for as long as he needs to. He can handle himself when necessary and is known to be good with a gun but doesn’t look for trouble, loves to explore the country and enjoys working with cattle.
Picking up jobs on his travels he happens upon three cowhands round a camp fire. Stirrup-Iron, the small outfit they work for needs extra hands for a roundup. Milo had a moment when he learned the outfit was run by a young woman and a blind, old man—but he was a man of honour who sticks by his word and dislikes those that use threats or force against others. It transpires a war between the neighbouring ranchers is threatening to erupt over cattle going missing, each rancher blaming the other. From the short exchange Milo and the Stirrup-Iron men just had with several men from one of the other outfits who seemed too aggressive, Milo’s decision to join the Stirrup-Iron was reenforced.
Maybe there was a wildness in me, for I had a love for the wind in the long grass blowing, or the smell of woodsmoke down some rocky draw. There was a reaching in me for the far plains, and from the first day that I could straddle a bronc it was in me to go off a-seeking.