The cover is black with silvertone letters. 387 pages; b/w illustrations. The subject is a Quarter Horse; some of the setting is rodeos. The endpapers have a pictorial, color map, with Brazos River on the east and stating, "Houston 70 miles --->." Laid-in is a leaflet from the publisher listing 24 uses for a cowboy's bandanna, with references in the book for some of the uses. Scans e-mailed upon request. Bookseller Inventory #
Synopsis: Book by Jouannet, Monique Louise, Roberts, Gary Lynn
From the Inside Flap: Old Black is a story of honor and dishonor, of courage and cowardice, of love and hate, of rollicking humor and dismal sorrow. The rural setting of fictional Winchester County, Texas, is populated by a diverse set of characters -- the county bosses and their parasites, middle-class landowners, both honorable and corrupt officers of the law, and the remnants of a fading class of society who are materially poor but rich at heart -- people who religiously adhere to their own strict standards of human decency while enduring hateful injustices with stoicism and gentility. There are memorable animals as well, one of which is Old Black.
Old Black is an eighteen-year-old Quarter Horse who holds the world record time in the calf-roping event, won with an explosive response to a near disaster that calf ropers still rave over. Old Black fairly relishes rodeo life with its invigorating aromas and the symphonic clamor of the rodeo grounds, horses and cowboys aplenty to socialize with. But what he positively savors is the raging action in the arena. Just this last month he and his master, Buck Jones, won second money in calf roping at Houston, the world's largest rodeo this side of the National Finals. As the cowboys were disbanding, Buck merrily forewarns one and all: "Me'n Old Black'll see you fellers in Austin," the next rodeo on the circuit.
Buck doesn't show up at Austin, and Old Black's lifelong rodeo career is over. Buck has discovered he has cancer. Before entering the hospital for what might be a one-way trip, he begins a desperate search for a good home for Old Black, not in rodeoing, though, where purse-hungry cowboys might ride the aging campaigner into the ground. He finds the ideal new life for his beloved horse in the hands of ten-year-old Jim Bradley. Jim and Old Black will compete in youth horse shows.
Like latecomers to the cast of a school play, Jim first sees himself and Old Black as mere bit players, which is the impression some contestants have of them. Old Black is no longer the flyer he once was, but the gritty old campaigner makes up for waning speed with cunning and determination.
One of the regular contestants is a boy who rides a superb, lightning-fast chestnut gelding outfitted with silver-mounted tack. He and his band of unruly followers amuse themselves by ridiculing Old Black's funny way of running. But they have seriously underrated the savvy old pro. He's been in mortal combat with the clock all his life and, once introduced to the youth events, it takes him no time to figure out this new kind of rodeoing. Before long, the boy on the flashy racehorse begins to find himself running second behind the new kid riding that old black gelding.
It is not in an arena, though, that Jim and Old Black face their most crucial challenge ever, but during a bloody, horror-filled afternoon at the spooky, deserted settlement of Klanke's Mill. Out exploring deep in the woods one day, they stumble onto the County Sheriff, who has been gravely injured in an ambush by dope smugglers and left to die in an abandoned well. Certain that his mighty horse can hoist the sheriff to safety in no time, Jim begins a rescue that starts out well, but then deteriorates into an ordeal that he soon despairs is doomed to fail. Through grit and ingenuity they succeed, but the totally exhausted horse is down and gasping what Jim dreads are his last breaths.
Old Black recovers over time, and when he returns to the games he's stronger and perkier than ever. But it's Jim Bradley who seems to have been left marked by that dreadful day at Klanke's Mill. The first time he laid eyes on Old Black he knew the horse would never have made it in the halter arena, even in his prime. And that was fine with Jim -- he wanted a performance horse and a pal. But now he astounds everyone when he begins showing Old Black at halter.
Jim's friend Alexandra Meridith is a wondrously adorable teenage girl who also competes in the games. Alexandra knows Old Black doesn't stand a chance at halter; she positively dreads to see Jim lead him into an arena. Once, she even withdrew her horse from a class to reduce the entries to nine: Old Black would win a ninth-place ribbon at last. But it was not to be. Before the judging even began, Old Black was excused from the arena on account of his battle scars, going out the gate amid hoots from the taunting bunch about a horse that couldn't win ninth place in a nine-horse class.
In the end, Old Black does win at halter. He wins big, and in the biggest youth Quarter Horse show of them all. It turns out, too, that the hot-dog in the silver-mounted saddle isn't really a bad kid, after all.
Title: Old Black: A Novel
Publisher: Beverly Publishing
Publication Date: 1997
Illustrator: Gary Lynn Roberts, Edsel M. Cramer, Monique L. Jouannet, and Jean-Claude Louis
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: Limited Edition
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc. Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 2832951230
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc. Condition: As New. Like New dust jacket. Seller Inventory # V16E-00176
Book Description Beverly Book Company. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Seller Inventory # G1881287122I4N00
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc. Condition: As New. First edition copy. . Very Good dust jacket. In protective mylar cover. Seller Inventory # X09B-00074
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc. Condition: Good. Hardcover This item shows wear from consistent use but remains in good readable condition. It may have marks on or in it, and may show other signs of previous use or shelf wear. May have minor creases or signs of wear on dust jacket. Packed with care, shipped promptly. Seller Inventory # E-06-0560
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First ed. Inscribed by author to local Judge; 8.50 X 6.20 X 1.10 inches; 400 pages; Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 127967
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Seller Inventory # S_213461571
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Seller Inventory # S_215295483
Book Description 1997. Condition: Fine. First Edition. Houston: Beverly Publishing Company, (1997). 1st Edition. 387 p. Hardbound with Dust Jacket. A bright and clean copy. Illustrations by Edsel M. Cramer, Monique L. Jouannet, and Jean-Claude Louis. The author's second novel. Fine/Fine. Seller Inventory # 500
Book Description Beverly Publishing Co. Inc., 1997. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1881287122