The Ysabel Kid (Floating Outfit #1) (1968)

by J.T. Edson

Dusty Fog joins forces with the Ysabel Kid to run guns to the Mexican army for use against French invaders, thereby ensuring safe passage for a band of former Confederate soldiers whom Dusty and the Kid hope to convince to accept amnesty, give up support for the French, and return to the US.


Though the premise sounds a bit convoluted, it’s a very straightforward tale of straight shooting good guys and backstabbing bad guys.


Go to McMurtry or McCarthy for gritty novels about what a nightmare the Old West could be, but come to Edson for tales of camaraderie and bravery.


J.T. Edson

He is not a very good stylist, producing some sentences that are downright confusing and relying too much on repetition (we read that the Ysabel Kid is “Indian dark” dozens of times).


However, he does know how to set up an exciting action scene and that makes up for a lot. 

He also seems to know his stuff when it comes to firearms of the period, so it is interesting to read about how the capabilities of different types of gun influence the strategy and execution of the gunfights.


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