Books: It's a Long, Long Tale Awinding Lonesome Dove

by Larry McMurtry; 843 pages; Simon & Schuster; $18.95

Lonesome Dove, Texas, is a one-tart town and so quiet you can hear the lady's bedsprings a block away. For those with a thirst, there is the Dry Bean saloon, where customers pass time whittling the edges off the tables. It is the late 19th century. Pyramids of buffalo bones rise on the prairie, the red man is down to his last can of war paint, and a couple of old Texas Rangers have seen the future, and it works without them.

"Women and children and settlers are just cannon fodder for lawyers and bankers," McCrae said. "They're part of the...

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