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Captain Call Hangs Up His Holster
on 15 September 2000
This would seem to be the last of the Lonesone Dove novels and its certainly one of the best and most poignant. We find Captain Call an old man having been hired by the railroad company to find a very young and ruthless mexican killer who has been robbing trains in the South. There are some great characters as usual, not least of which is the railroad accountant Mr Brookshire who accompanies Call to keep tabs on his spending but mostly to report to the railroad on their progress. The contrast between Call and the life the accountant represents is very clearly drawn. There is a wonderful scene at the start of their quest when the man's hat blows off as they wait for the train and the man watches helplessly as it is carried away on the breeze. He is about to leave the civilsed world behind. Call is still able to frighten most men on the basis of his reputation alone but this book is about the transition a man has to make when he is too old to live life on the frontier. It is littered with men who are coming to the end of their time, characters like Charlie Goodnight who appears in several of the previous books. Call replays the past as he chases his prey and slowly begins to change. Pea Eye joins Call's quest only to change his mind and return to his wife and children. Call is left to fight on even though he he knows that his time for fighting has past. Call's vulnerability rings true and the outcome of the story is in doubt to the last.