This synopsis is for the published 2008 novel, and the film with a deep cut of truth.


On the Oregon trail in 1859 at dusk, by a bright fire pit there are four men. A rattlesnake is heard. Brad Jamestown is one man, the other three are drunken bullies drinking whisky, spitting, and belching.  A wagon passes by, it needs  grease for a squeaking wheel. The drunks decide to start  trouble  with some soft singing pioneers close by. One rowdy boozer says,  "Lets teach them singing how ta turn a toe." Another slovenly drunk states, "I ain't beat no one senseless fer a month. The biggest drunk says, " Lets go play with them stupids."  The husky Brad Jamestown in a loud voice says,  "Find another place to play." The biggest bully  yells, "Mind ya  damn self."  Brad quickly stands up. "Play with someone who can beat you." The crazed bully pulls his razor sharp Bowie from its sheath, and madly charges. "Ya bastard."  Brad thrusts  his hands in front of the brutes face, to block the view of his foot. As hard as he can, Brad kicks the bully in his crotch. The screaming bully falls against the big fire pit. He knocks rocks into the pit, sending large flames, and a spray of red hot sparks high into the air. The bully is squirming on his stomach in agony. Brad quickly picks up the knife on the ground, grabs the bully's hair, and drives his knee into the pit of the bully's back.  Brad mad as a hornet slices a long bloody cut across the brute's ass.

In in the western adventure  Brad's mute son's fighting, drawing his weapon, and marksmanship are better than most other characters in past western adventures. His abilities are logical. The mute can't speak, so his senses of sight, and touch are sharper. His father also  has the son realize the importance of awareness, then more of his senses become assets. When killers in the untamed town of Shrike confront Sam, since he can’t speak, all of his attention is on their body movements, and evil attitudes. Audiences will be taken in when they see how Sam's father teaches him unusual bone breaking fighting, and how to skillfully use weapons. The silence of the mute gives the viewers constant chances to go deeply into the mutes thinking. A very tight wire of truth and logic runs throughout the tale that audiences' thoughts are drawn to. Even the unusual fighting methods are not made up. All impressive, and  violent moves are the same that the author used when he was involved in fights many years ago. The same  movements are seen.  All is not fantasy, this adventure is alive. The wire of logic attracts the viewers belief in the  adventure.

Prefatory input from the novel revels when Brad was a young lad, his parents were murdered. He no longer played with wooden toys but lived on the streets of the corrupt New York City. The  painful street beatings he received created a fanatical desire to learn how to street fight.  Two tough, but decent men who owned a saloon  took the young boy in during a cold, bitter, winters night. Jason was  a   terrifying fighting black man. He taught young Brad his vicious ways to fight. Yet, Jason told Brad, "If you’re going to fight every jackass you meet, be prepared to fight every day for the rest of your life."  To increase reality little known, very short, historical facts are revealed throughout the adventure to nudge more truth and reality to draw viewers to the tales tight wire. When Brad was a young reporter for the New York Times. His mentor told him, "Don't trust information. One writer convinced the New York Sun into printing an article. It stated immigrants were being brought to New York City from England by balloon. The writer's name, who created the true hoax was Edgar Allan Poe."

This western film is a tale of constant intensity, with quick twists and turns using distraction before action to keep viewers from thinking ahead. Violent surprises, and anticipation are always present.  When Brad goes west on the dangerous Oregon Trail, he meets his wife to be. Soon her father dies of cholera. When Ann and Brad walked away from his grave, she said,"You love someone, when they pass away, you realize you didn't say you loved  them enough."

The mute's personality falls between his parents. Brad  gives instant justice. He is a justifiable killer. Ann is a  believer. During one of Sam's lonely moods she said, "I know  what you're thinking son, why did the LORD deny you? Maybe HE put you on top of a mountain knowing your foes won't know how to climb. Wait and see." Big  school yard bullies pick fights with the mute, and some low life  townsfolk humiliate him. All give Sam  a natural inner streak of anger. When Brad becomes aware of Sam's bullying he believes he let his son down, and teaches the violence he learned when young to his mute son. He says, "I'm going to teach you how to handle bully boys, and how to  kill a man, if he has it coming.  If you know a man is set on killing you, cheat. Draw and kill the bastard. It isn't a card game." An instant look of wanting to learn appears in Sam's eyes like magic. As Sam's ability to shoot and fight became stronger his personality changes each day. He soon has his fathers same slight confident smiling eyes and lips. It implies, "Seriously, you want to try me." Brad constantly works on Sam's physical and mental habits. "Habit succeeds when thinking fails." Brad once said to Sam, "Don't ever think you can't be the best. That's like  being a bird in a cage you won't go anywhere." 

Sam's loneliness ends when he meets the smart, and bold Marianna Martinez. These young ones need each other. Today's youth will relate to their troubles. Their love has tenderness, but it should not include worry. Marianna's boldness starts their relationship. Brad didn't intend to live in a hell hole town like Shrike, California. Brutish and vicious men  live, and travel through the wild town of Shrike. All the characters will draw the audience closer to them. They will feel the depth of danger in the minds of Shrike's townsfolk. At this point in the tale viewers see the results of Sam's violent learning. Dangerous situations develop. Sam saves his father's life and close to his best he kills seven men in self defense. One is Mr. Bell's favorite son. .


All kinds of bastards released from a near by prison, work at the wealthy Bell ranch. It's a heartless realm.  Bell's three sons have nasty attitudes, as if they were ridden hard and put up wet. Bell's wife was killed by a wild, unbroken horse. She was kicked in the head. Bell had the horse tied to its stall and killed the horse with an axe. He also arranges the rape of Marianna. The rotten actions of Bell, the son of a bitch, causes his mind to become twisted. And his over whelming need for revenge to kill Sam for the death of his son, and the failures of professional gunmen  who think they are unbeatable is the last straw. Near the end of the violent tale Bell's crazed mind is like a broken shit house door hanging by one loose hinge. When Bell and his remaining sons kill Sam's parents for revenge, the tale leaps to an even higher level of intensity. When the unarmed Brad is shot in the back, and killed his hand instantly went to where his gun would have been.

Sam weeps when holding his dying mother trying to say I love you. She says "I know, do what your father ......" Viewers will  feel the mute's pain as he  holds his dead mother in his arms. The only sanity he has comes from the words that he put on  their cross. "No souls are buried here."  The man kneeling is not the same man that rises. He rides to Bell's ranch for a slaughter. Not enough killing takes place like Sam thought when he left Bell's ranch. Bell survives, and hires professional guns. He knows only the meanest, and  smartest can bring Sam to him. He can be shot up, but must be alive. Bell is loco, and wants to use his axe again. Viewers will be captivated by the many moments of vengeance. The blend of the Sam's silence, and  natural sounds, makes up for Sam's inability to speak. The blend keeps the story moving. The audience has one more element to think about. Is a sound an indication that something will happen, or is it meaningless? Even justified sounds can entertain. The blend keeps the viewers from thinking ahead. What will come first, distraction or action? This classic film shows how silence really is golden when mingled with natural sounds. To stay with reality the film could even be done without a musical score. This believable fresh adventure will capture viewers attention of all ages. Tears, bullies, fights, death, love, and little unknown historical facts keeps reality and belief in the viewers thoughts. 

The unforgettable ending has never  been seen in previous films. It will stay in the minds of audiences for months. Word of mouth and return viewers will be at work. Actors will give their big toe to play the unyielding mute, or the tenacious father. The reaction to natural sounds, and the town of Shrike's toughness keeps the adventure tight.  At times, hate and bullies of the past will remind some viewers of today. This adventure is alive!

Borden Davis, 805-777-7700

Original copyright 2008. Only purchase the book's fifth edition that will be available the last of 2019. The next edition will be far superior adventure.