Triple Play

Written by James D. Crownover

The early game of baseball is played by ranchers on young Tucker Beaver’s ranch, with a fascination as to how to make a “triple play.” When Tucker turns 15, his father provides him with his own wild cattle on the range, to set up his own small herd. He soon gets help from friends Rance Brown, who lives in town, and Cindy Nealy, who lives on a local ranch. An experienced stranger named Pete shows up and helps Tucker learn the ropes for handling and branding cattle. When the cattle are stolen a few years later, Tucker heads for Mexico, chasing after the thieves. Here is where the action picks up. At 18, Tucker must travel alone through unknown territory, dealing with a gang of cattle rustlers, and then face a major earthquake in the area. This coming-of-age western is written in the first person. Be prepared for a surprise ending! I’m not sure I understand how the title “Triple Play” enters into the main storyline, but it doesn’t really matter. Still, the author is knowledgeable of western cattle ranching; the action is fast-paced, especially during the last several chapters. A thoroughly worthwhile read for western lovers. Highly recommended.