Son of a Gun
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This Wild West parody was first published ten years ago. The Slocum Boys, a pair of mean and not too intelligent varmints, besiege Mrs Osgood Cabel Gains and her baby in their cabin at Benson's Bend while her husband the sheriff is out misdirecting his posse. The hero is eight-year-old Amos Gains, who escapes from the cabin and musters a rescue party comprising a couple of old-timers, a mountain man, a troupe of dancing girls, a division of US cavalry, and a band of Choctaws under the polyglot Chief Afraid-of-his-Mother. This is a rambling romp of a book, told in the meandering drawl of a campfire yarn, with perhaps a little more rambling than is justified by the romp. It has great potential as a read-aloud and is warmly recommended to children and adults who don't mind seeing a happy ending come galloping over the horizon half way through the action. The story is illustrated with splendid miniature portraits and a very useful map.