An occasional look at the West, wild and otherwise, in fiction and nonfiction, comics, moving pictures, radio, music, and in ways yet determined or created. Caveat lector: Irregular postings from The Woodstove Whittlers and Wrangling Association may include a tall tale whose veracity may be difficult to ascertain, but whose sincerity should never be doubted. This blog may go on unexpected hiatus due to natural disasters, stampedes, seasonal roundups, or spontaneous potluck suppers. (Oh, and everything here is copyright Duane Spurlock unless otherwise noted.)
Fargo is a character from the near-end of the wild western era, operating during the Mexican-American War, playing gun-runner or troubleshooter for whomever will pay him to do the dirty work.
Fargo (New York: Belmont Tower Books, 1971) is the first in this series. Hard-boiled, muscular, manly -- there's as much sentiment in these stories as Fargo has fat registering in his body mass index. Imagine Lee Marvin in a southern Texas-northern Mexican setting with a bandoleer of brass cartridges, bristling with arms like a rabid porcupine is prickly with barbs. Without using Lee Marvin's name, that's pretty much how the author -- Ben Haas, masked by the John Benteen pseudonym -- describes his anti-hero.
In this opening novel, Neal Fargo jumps right in on the Pancho Villa revolution, setting out to help some Yankees haul a pack-mule train of silver from their mine before the revolutionaries grab it. On the way, he encounters a sadistic Spanish land owner, some beautiful women, and some double-crossing Americans.
There's plenty of action, and the pace is quick, full of action. Reading this story is so manly you just want to build a fire and grill a steak and drink a beer with a tequila chaser while you turn the pages.