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The Calling

by Dick Hyson

Hardcover Price $29.95

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"Hyson['s] . . . name ought to be mentioned along with the best cowboy writers—Max Evans, J.P.S. Brown, Sam Brown, and those no longer extant such as Will James and Andy Adams. [The Calling] is a captivating story."

—Dale Walker, Rocky Mountain News

"[The Calling is] one of the very rare, authentic, working-cowboy/rancher books I've read in my long lifetime. It will beautifully fill a gap now missing in Western American writing."

—Max Evans, author of The Hi-Lo Country and Rounders 3

"Hyson has captured the feel of the land and people of northeast New Mexico's cattle region as only one who has lived there can do."

—Duane Smith, author of A Tale of Two Towns

"[The Calling] presents readers with an expert view of ranch life. . . . Hyson's straightforward, no-frills storytelling delivers something rarely found in westerns—a good clear look at cowboy reality."



The Calling is a captivating story about a northern New Mexico cattle ranch, the Cross S or Piedra (stone), in the 1950s. The action unfolds through the eyes of a half-breed Indian top hand on the ranch, Frank Dalton, as he teaches an enigmatic young would-be cowboy named R. C. Roth the ways of cowboying, rodeoing, and life itself.

As Dalton educates Roth to the ways of "the calling," both men become embroiled in complicated love affairs-Dalton falls in love with the daughter of the top hand on a neighboring ranch, and Roth with Francesca "Kika" Jaramillo, daughter of a Hispanic rancher-friend of the Cross S's Boss Stone.

In addition, both cowboys are confronted with a puzzle begging to be solved—at the top of the formidable mesa overlooking the Stone ranch is a single, lonely grave marked with a granite headstone bearing the mysterious inscription "Abajo Verdad—Arriba Cielo" (below is truth, above is sky). As he unravels his tale of tragedy, deceit, and love in the land of enchantment, Hyson provides an absolutely fascinating reader-education in ranching and the cowboy life—including bronc peeling and controlling horses with a tendency to booger as well as respect for the old ways.


Dick Hyson is a voting member of the Pawnee Indian Tribe and has been a cowboy and rancher his entire life. He spent nearly twenty years as a professional rodeo cowboy. In addition, Mr. Hyson is a cowboy singer/entertainer. This is his first novel.

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  • Hardcover Price: $29.95
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-87081-510-2
  • Publication Year: 1998
  • Discount Type: Trade
  • Author: by Dick Hyson
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87081-510-2
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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