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Grant MacEwan.

Saskatoon, Western Producer Prairie Books, c1983.
156pp, paper, $13.95.
ISBN 0-88833-106-1.

Grades 10 and up.
Reviewed by Sister Mechtilde Byblow.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

Grant MacEwan has given his readers an interesting biographical account of the West's most memorable personality, Jack Morton, best known by the nickname, Wildhorse Jack. Jack Morton has been compared with the mythical Paul Bunyan and the legendary Robin Hood.

In fact, Morton was one of the most successful ranchers on the western Canadian frontier in the early 1900s. However, his claim to fame lies not so much in his thousands of horses and cattle, as in his great strength, his exuberant personality, and his overwhelming generosity. The book abounds in stories of Morton's pranks, his alleged misdemeanours, his versatility, and his generosity. He was frequently in trouble with the law, but those who knew him found it difficult to find fault with a man "who might steal your horse one day, and give it away to a needy homesteader the next."

Morton loved life. Wild horses, rodeo successes, chuckwagon racing at the Calgary Stampede, wrestling, these were his passions. But beyond his boisterousness, there was always the gentle man. Even his declining fortunes failed to crush his spirit.

Jack Morton died on August 9, 1944. In his tribute, the editor of Gleichen Call, August 16, 1944, wrote: "Jack Morton was an outstanding man. He was a big man, standing several inches over six feet and had a powerful physique which stood him in good stead throughout life. In his younger days he was the strongest man in these parts, so strong that he could throw a full grown saddle horse with his bare . hands. . .He was as big-hearted as he was big. He was generous to a fault."

Wildhorse Jack is a very readable book. An index and notes on each of the sixteen chapters give it reference value. Recommended for Canadiana collections on frontier and pioneer life and ranchers in Alberta.

Sister Mechtilde By blow, Sacred Heart H. S., Yorkton, SK.
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