Time of the Rabies: A Novella

Robert Laxalt, Author University of Nevada Press $16 (92p) ISBN 978-0-87417-350-5
Nevada ranchers and cowboys fight a 1920s rabies epidemic in this straightforward, warmly written western novella by historical novelist Laxalt (Dust Devils; Private War). Toward sundown on a spring day, a coyote viciously attacks one of sheep rancher Pete Lorda's ewes, in plain sight of a pair of Basque herders. Dumbfounded, the herders kill the coyote and bring its body and their tale back to the ranch. An examination by a veterinarian proves what Lorda already suspects: the coyote had rabies. Soon after the coyote attack, another of Lorda's ranch hands is chased by a rabid mountain lion, and it becomes clear that a full-blown epidemic is threatening the surrounding countryside. The job of battling roaming bands of deranged, flesh-hungry rabid coyotes falls to Tex and Slim, Lorda's veteran, shotgun-armed cowboys. Already difficult, their task is complicated by the actions of Michel, a stubborn young Basque herder in training and the love interest of Lorda's daughter. When Michel's collie is infected, the boy persists in believing he can nurse it back to health, endangering himself and everyone else on the ranch. A dramatic final rescue scene caps the cowboys' battle against the spread of the deadly disease. In this latest installment in his Basque series, Laxalt once again describes the lives of Basque immigrants in the western U.S., painting a convincing picture of ranch life. Though perhaps more suited to young adult audiences, the simple tale ably dramatizes a historic plague threatening man and beast alike. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.