by Gene Hoopes
Jim Dawson, Head wrangler of the Lazy R. Dude Ranch, and a man of remarkable character and imagination, is the central figure of these wise and entertaining tales of the Far West.
With his slow grin, his drawling speech, his guitar, and his seemingly inexhaustible supply of stories, Jim was the terror and delight of the dude ranchers. There was never the occasion when Jim lacked a story to tell. Many of these purported to come from his own experience, as when he was asked to join Buffalo Bill’s Wild-West Show; shot a man in a saloon brawl; or when he watched baby rattle snakes dancing to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.” He also had a rich supply of Indian and western folklore, drawing on a stock containing such wonders as moving mountains, “Methuselum” crickets, superstitious snakes, and Indian-snatching buzzards.
Those familiar with American folk-heroes and legends will recognize in Jim Dawson the composite appeal of a host of popular characters. Those who love a good yarn for its own sake (and who doesn’t) can open any page at random. Here's a feast!