Fools Coach

Colleen Wheeler, Author, Richard S. Wheeler, Author M. Evans and Company $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87131-560-1
This mildly diverting western concerns a desperate flight in a broken-down coach from the rough-and-tumble Montana goldfield towns of Alder Gulch and Virginia City, where road agents--highwaymen, bushwackers, thugs--make travel hazardous. While you can make a fortune in this hardbitten territory, you'd better not try to leave town with it. Nevertheless, doughty miner Aristotle Scrimshaw, Professor Randolph Figaro, an honest gambler, and Angelica Ramirez, a whorehouse madame with a heart (and 600 pounds) of gold, have their reasons for decamping. Fortitude Hays and Calvin Creed help fix up a coach and borrow a team to make an unscheduled run for it. Once nefarious characters get wind of the treasure (totaling a hard-to-tote half-ton of gold dust), the travelers are attacked and harassed all along the treacherous coach route. Though plot twists and mounting tension move toward a heartwarming finale, Wheeler's ( Dodging Red Cloud ) dialogue rings hollow, stock characters ``retort'' and ``guffaw'' overmuch and disbelief--present from early on--finally triumphs. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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