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Wanderer Springs

A Novel

Robert Flynn

Publication Year: 1987

Wanderer Springs is a dying town in Northwest Texas, one of that string of dusty towns left to wither away when the highway from Fort Worth to Amarillo bypassed them. For travelers on that highway, the harsh and unforgiving countryside passes as no more than a blur. For Will Callaghan, that country and the town of Wanderer Springs are carved into memory, indelible in their clarity.

Called home from San Antonio by a funeral, Will begins a journey, both physical and imaginative, that crosses not only geographic and cultural boundaries but darts back and forth in time, mixing stories of the town's frontier past with episodes of Will's high school days. In sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful detail, Will relives the football game where he dropped the pass that lost the championship for Wanderer Springs forever, the time he got his gum stuck in his girlfriend's hair, the strangely distant but close relationship of a motherless boy and his taciturn father. Equally clear are the tales from the past--the Turrill family's desperate wagon ride to find a doctor for their daughter, dying of appendicitus, or Lulu Byars who danced and danced in town and caught pneumonia riding back to her dugout in a norther. Wanderer Springs said she died of frivolity.

Through it all, the clear voice of Will Callaghan, a good old boy grown into an intellectual, gives meaning to the chaos, seeks sense out of the past, recognizes our inextricable link to the past.

Wanderer Springs is a wonderfully witty, sensitive novel that will stand out as one of the more serious, thoughtful, and memorable novels to come out of recent Texas writing.

Published by: TCU Press

Title Page

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pp. v

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County Names

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pp. 1-10

Ma Lance, who brought her cattle to the county, and her three sons: Wilbur, who broke his back in a fall from a horse Earl, who shot Oscar Spruill, and probably Wilbur Delmer, "Earl's...

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San Antonio

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pp. 11-30

GOING back was a mistake but it was one of those mistakes I had to make. Not [Q go back would have been bigger than a mistake, it would have been a sin. A mistake is something you do to yourself, like shooting yourself in the foot. A sin is something...

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The Road To Red River

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pp. 31-64

I LEFT San Antonio early in the morning to catch the sunrise on the hill country. It was at best an eight-hour drive to Wanderer Springs, and after the hill country there was a lot of distance between scenery. Like most roads in Texas, it was a good one. The...

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Center Point

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pp. 65-75

I KNEW I was in Wanderer Springs County when I crossed Starvation Creek. Llrissa Bell had lived on Starvation Creek. Her husband had died of some unknown ailment and Larissa had stayed on. Indian braves had tried to steal chickens from her, and...

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The Farm

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pp. 76-113

AtFAD of me, larger in my mind than in my eyes, had loomed the old bridge of disappointment, that had been buHt in the wrong place, that had broken Chris Arp ~ hean, where Delores had died. I turned onto the county road that...

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The Corner

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pp. 114-138

IT'Str ue what they say about small towns, they never change. I hadn't been back to Wanderer Springs in ten years but it looked the same as ever. "The town is well arranged," Grandmother had written. The first photograph showed it to be a on...

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Hide City

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pp. 139-156

O NLY the rails remained to mark the spot where Dad had been born in a boxcar beside the tracks. No train had stopped in ten years. That link to the past and future was gone, that umbilical cord, that line dividing the land while drawing it together...

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pp. 157-168

I drove down the old road to Prod. At one time as far as the eye could see from horseback everything belonged to the lances, held together by Earl, a slight little man who walked in quick, shon steps, his bomheels resounding, his chin and eyes jerking...

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Lost Lake Farms

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pp. 169-291

PAST the cemetery, beyond the broad wheatfields leased by Ira Ferguson, all the way to Red River on both sides of the road what once was me Prod ranch was now Lost Lake Farms, owned by a Dallas development company headed by Bitsey Bryant's father...

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Turtle Hole

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pp. 292-305

I PARKED in front of the live and Let live. I could have parked anywhere I wanted, but once farm wives had competed for places in front of the store so they could judge other women by the size of their grocery lists. Bought bread meant a woman too slack...

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Medicine Hill

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pp. 306-334

WE drove back to Wanderer Springs, quickly this time by the Interstate, to go by the funeral parlor and view jessies body before the service. Not to have done so would have been like..

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San Antonio

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pp. 335-340

IT took longer to say goodbye to Marshall, It's hard to know what does and what does not go without saying. 1 probably wouldn't see Marshall again for years but the most imponant part of a person is the pan of them that you have when they're not..

E-ISBN-13: 9780875655253
E-ISBN-10: 0875655254
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875650715

Page Count: 340
Publication Year: 1987