"He was a big man, wide-shouldered, with the lean, hard-boned face of the desert rider. His toughness was ingrained, quick, hard and dangerous--yet without cruelty. The wells of gentleness in him were carefully guarded. He was Hondo Lane, a man not soon forgotten by those he encountered on the danger trail. Hondo is a classic Louis L'Amour novel as well as a motion picture starring John Wayne."
Even though Western is on the list of genres I wouldn't normally read, (see the original post Ten Book I Thought I'd Never Read) it's not because I thought I would dislike them. There was just always something else to read. Since I'm drawn to historical fiction, I was pretty sure I'd like Hondo. It turns out that I loved it.
There are four main characters--five if you count the desert: Hondo Lane, Angie Lowe, her son Johnny, and Vittoro. The story takes place in Southern Arizona. Hondo Lane, a gunfighter, is now "ridin dispatch" for the army in their war against the Apaches. Angie Lowe is a deserted wife, clinging to the only thing she and her son have left--the ranch her father had built, and her son Johnny is a boy in need of a father. Vittoro is the leader of the Apache resistance who wants to claim Johnny for his own "small warrior".
There's trouble in Southern Arizona. The Apache are killing settlers and burning ranches. When Hondo Lane comes across Angie Lowe's ranch after a run in with some Apache, she gives him what help she can, but he can't convince her to let him take her and Johnny to the post where she will be safe. When he makes it to the post, the unexplainable connection he feels with Angie and her son, forces him to make the dangerous journey back to the ranch to protect her. All the while Angie is doing her best to cooperate with the Apache who come to her ranch on a daily basis, but she fears she may have made a mistake in staying. What good would the ranch be to them if they were dead?
I really liked the the character, Hondo Lane. On the surface he seems like a cold hard hearted man, but he is really an honest, brave man, capable of great love. He is a perfect example of doing what's right even when it's hard to do.
|Sonoran Desert National Monument in southern Arizona|
In 1953 John Wayne starred in the movie, Hondo. You can find the movie poster and trailer below. Enjoy!!