Wolf Mountain


The title refers to the last big battle between Sioux and Cheyenne warriors and the American army, which took place in Montana during the fierce winter of 1877. The action begins in October 1876, when brothers Colin and Kevin McQuade begin rounding up cattle to fulfill an army contract with the 5th Infantry, headquartered some 200 miles down the Yellowstone River, at the mouth of the Tongue River. Before they can even leave their ranch, however, a roving band of Hunkpapa Sioux, recent victors at Little Bighorn, attack the brothers, leaving Colin crippled by a gunshot wound. It is left to Kevin and his young nephew, Sean, assisted by two hired scouts from a friendly tribe of Assiniboine, to drive the herd through hostile territory. They know that if they fail to deliver their 200 head in one month’s time, they will lose their home to their creditors in Butte.

This is pretty much standard western fare, with all the “types” associated with the genre. The culminating scenes are thorough, given the author’s attention to historical accounts of the actual battle. There isn’t a great deal of character development, and the dialogue is somewhat wooden, but the readers to whom this will appeal will probably not notice the lack. There is plenty of action and tension in the shifting plot, including scenes involving the family left behind at the ranch, the battle planning of both the Army and the Sioux/Cheyenne chieftains, and the nefarious schemes of the stock bad guys.



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