—Dale Walker, Rocky Mountain News
—Max Evans, author of The Hi-Lo Country and Rounders 3
—Duane Smith, author of A Tale of Two Towns
The Calling is a captivating story about a northern New Mexico cattle ranch, the Cross S or Piedra (stone), in the 1950s. The action unfolds through the eyes of a half-breed Indian top hand on the ranch, Frank Dalton, as he teaches an enigmatic young would-be cowboy named R. C. Roth the ways of cowboying, rodeoing, and life itself.
As Dalton educates Roth to the ways of "the calling," both men become embroiled in complicated love affairs-Dalton falls in love with the daughter of the top hand on a neighboring ranch, and Roth with Francesca "Kika" Jaramillo, daughter of a Hispanic rancher-friend of the Cross S's Boss Stone.
In addition, both cowboys are confronted with a puzzle begging to be solved—at the top of the formidable mesa overlooking the Stone ranch is a single, lonely grave marked with a granite headstone bearing the mysterious inscription "Abajo Verdad—Arriba Cielo" (below is truth, above is sky). As he unravels his tale of tragedy, deceit, and love in the land of enchantment, Hyson provides an absolutely fascinating reader-education in ranching and the cowboy life—including bronc peeling and controlling horses with a tendency to booger as well as respect for the old ways.