Much Ado About
by Jacquie Rogers
Today's Six Sentence Satur-day features Much Ado About Mavericks, the third book in the Hearts of Owyhee series by Jacquie Rogers. All the stories in this western historical romance series are set in Owyhee County, Idaho Territory, in the early 1880s. Much Ado About Mavericks is set in Henderson Flats (what is now Marsing, Idaho) in 1885.
Benjamin Lawrence is a highly respected attorney in Boston, but in Idaho Territory, they still think of him as that gangly awkward boy named Skeeter. When he goes back home to settle his estate, he's confronted with a ridiculous will that would be easy to overturn--but can he win the regard of his family and neighbors--and the foreman?
The Bar EL's foreman, Janelle Kathryn aka J.K. aka Jake O'Keefe, is recognized as the best foreman in the territory. But being the best at her job still isn't enough--now she has to teach the new owner how to rope, brand, and work cattle before she receives clear title to her own ranch, the Circle J. The last thing she expects is rustlers. Can she save her ranch without losing her heart?
Early on, cowhands had to have a little fun, so it's only reasonable that they'd compete to see who was the best rider. We call these rodeos today but in the Old West, they were called tournaments, contests, or doin's. Bronc riding had different rules then. The cowhand had to saddle (with the help of two or three friends to hold the horse), mount, and ride as long as he could stick, or until the horse stopped bucking. The man who rode the longest on the wildest horse won.
In this scene, Ben explains to his Bostonian friend, Reginald, how all this works.
Ben decided Reginald might as well know what he’d gotten himself into. “While the wranglers hold the horse, Fred has to saddle him, then ride for as long as he’s able.”
“What’s that old man doing?”
“Biting the horse’s ear. He won’t move while Crip has his teeth sunk in.”
“Good god.” Reginald wiped his hands over his face. “I think I’ll stick with polo.”
Romancing The West
Hearts of Owyhee series
#1: Much Ado About Marshals
#2: Much Ado About Madams
#3: Much Ado About Mavericks