The English Horses
The English Horses is subtitled “a Western story,” and that is what we have. This is the tale of Gordon Meiklejon, a younger son sent from England with his family’s financial support to make his life in America. The story is told by Meiklejon as he looks back on 1912, his first year in New Mexico. That was where he found land with promise, a place where he could raise good beef cattle. The problem he ran into was that whilst he was accustomed to fenced grazing where he could control the breeding of his cattle, the ranchers owning the land around him had been used to letting their livestock range freely across everyone’s land. Meiklejon used barbed wire to fence his property and than had to live with the problems it caused, particularly with Burn English, the stranger, who made his living trapping mustang. Meiklejon is determined, but so is English. In this novel there are no open gunfights or heroes riding into town, which one associates with the western genre, just people in conflict, living with consequences of the fences and the choices they make because of them.