I recently stumbled across the book, and was impressed with both Yates' wonderful New Yorker humor and her insight. I've studied southern Montana ranches of that era, but I learned a great deal from this book -- including some material I wished I'd better understood before writing the chronicle of a ranch about 50 miles west of Yates'.
Regarding a neighbor named Spear, Yates writes:
he had begun to suspect (he had a very practical and persuasive wife, a little on the sharp side) that his father's way of life wasn't working very well for him. He found himself with one foot in the past and the other on a banana peel… What was good enough for Pappy was good enough for him. The trouble was that what was good enough for Pappy had ceased to exist for all practical purposes outside of a Spear mind and romantic fiction.
Regarding her role as a woman in this macho world, she writes:
Anonymity of gender can be maintained only by insisting on a share and share alike of all hard work and hardship and being rather on the modest side in asking relief or comfort. If you fail to follow this basic precept, unless you are very beautiful, you're a bloody bore.
And, most to my surprise, when offered a job at a newspaper in Sheridan, she hesitates:
I had a notion, too, that a rugged Western community might not like the idea of a woman editor. True, Caroline Lockhart had done it in Cody. But she had done it in spite of her sex and because she had a fighting personality and years of newspaper experience behind her. She was one in a million.
I'm always interested in feedback, via info at johnclaytonbooks...