Rode

My sister gave me this book the other day; I looked at it and saw a horse on it and thought “not another horse book”!  but this is a great book, beautifully written and researched by the author.  The book is based on the song “Tennessee Stud” by Jimmy Driftwood and recorded by many country singers.  The author was intrigued with the story and the song, so he set out to research the orgins of the lyrics.

This is the story of Robert Johnson, a resident of Tennessee.  He lives on a small farm and wants to settle down, marry and raise horses from his special stud horse.  He is  in love with Jo, a neighbor’s daughter.  Her family does not want them to marry and they would like to dispute the ownership of the land Robert claims as his own.  They would also like to steal his horse.  They end up framing him for a murder he did not committ.  To escape hanging, Robert takes off through Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas, one step in front of the bounty hunter, MacDonald.  Riding his gifted and beloved “Stud”, they have many adventures, do some racing and come close to starving to death several times.  Set in the 1820’s, the horse and owner endure many hardships as they avoid being brought in by the bounty hunter.  They meet up with some Indians, who steal the stud, Robert’s belongings including his shoes and clothing and leave him to die in the wilderness.  Some Mexican vaqueros find and rescue him and the story continues.

Will Robert find his horse, return home to the woman he loves and prove his innocence?  Read and see.

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