Milo Talon Review Essay

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Summary

The story starts with a cowhand named Milo Talon meeting with a rich man named Jefferson Henry. Jefferson Henry hires Milo Talon to find a girl that had been “missing” for years. He meets a girl named Molly Fletcher in a restaurant, who seems to be a lot more involved in the fishy situation than she lets on. Milo Talon befriends Molly Fletcher, and acquires a job at the restaurant for her, where she will make some money for herself and be safe. As Milo Talon delves further into his search, he realizes that the situation is much more dangerous and complicated.

He also realizes that he is not the only one searching for this girl, and that the others mean to do her harm. The dangerous people (as well as Jefferson Henry) are motivated in their search of the girl because the missing girl is believed to inherit a fortune of millions from her dead stepfather Nathan Albro. Milo Talon has many tangles with these dangerous people and is almost killed. However, he had made friends in the town (Pablo, Felipe, German) and they come to his aid. As the action progresses, he becomes aware that the pretty girl Molly Fletcher is much more involved than he suspected.

In fact, Molly Fletcher is being hunted by others as well, and she is even kidnapped once by them. Milo rescues her from the kidnappers. Finally, Milo Talon discovers that missing girl is someone he had known of for a while, but went by a different name. The “missing” girl, Anne (or Nancy) had been the one to orchestrate Molly Fletcher’s kidnapping. As Milo Talon informs Jefferson Henry that the girl has been found and collects his gold, he comes to the correct conclusion that Molly, not Nancy, had been the one to inherit millions from Nathan Albro.

Since his job is done and Molly is relatively safe, he decides it is time to leave the small town. The story ends with Milo Talon riding off into the countryside, where he will later meet and marry Molly Fletcher. Characters Milo Talon Milo Talon is a cowhand, who is known as a drifter and is very familiar with the Outlaw Trail. He is very, very intelligent and clever. Milo Talon is described as athletic and apparently, a very good fighter/gunman. His quick thinking, strength, and determination led to a relatively happy ending in the story. He is also portrayed as a man of honor.

He takes the job offered by Jefferson Henry, not knowing how dangerous it is. Once he realizes that his life is at stake, he debates quitting, but decides not to because quitting feels wrong to him. This shows just how bold and courageous Milo Talon is. Molly Fletcher Molly Fletcher is a pretty young girl that meets Milo Talon when she asks for money to pay for her meal in a restaurant that they both happen to be in. Milo Talon obliges, and they become friends. Molly Fletcher takes up a job at German Schafer’s restaurant, to make a little money and be safe.

As it turns out, Molly is actually the heir to millions that Nathan Albro left her in his will, before he died. However, everyone thinks the heir is Nancy (Anne) so instead of looking for Molly, they are looking for Nancy. Molly knows her life could be in danger, so she keeps the information a secret, although she reveals it to Milo Talon later on. Towards the end of the story, Milo Talon proposes to her and she later becomes Molly Talon. Jefferson Henry Jefferson Henry was described as a man accustomed to command. He is sixty years old, or more, but appears to be younger.

He is very neatly dressed, and his manners are also just as neat. He is a short-tempered man, and does not like to be thwarted in even the smallest thing. Jefferson Henry, right from the very start, earns the distrust of Milo Talon. Without telling Milo Talon, he employs a man named John Topp to keep an eye on Milo Talon and keep close tabs on whatever discoveries that Talon makes. In the end, just and Milo Talon suspected, Jefferson Henry is revealed to have had shady motives for wanting to find Nancy. Henry, as well as many others, is after the rumored Albro fortune.

Pablo

Pablo is a Mexican rider that Milo Talon befriends while in town. Pablo comes to Talon’s aid many times, and also has his life saved by Talon. Pablo is a loyal friend to Talon, and regards him with the utmost respect. Pablo’s friend Felipe also aids Talon on occasion. Although Felipe is known to not be very friendly, any friend of Pablo’s is a friend to him. Milo Talon’s kindness towards Pablo proves to yield great rewards, and Pablo helps Talon in his endeavors very often. Favorite Character The character that I liked the best was Milo Talon.

He was clearly the author’s favorite as well, as he was portrayed as a classic hero. Milo Talon was incredibly smart, helpful, honorable, resourceful, physically strong, had great character and morals, and skilled. When a girl he doesn’t even know asks for money to pay for her supper, instead of making some excuse, he replies that “It would be [my] pleasure” and then proceeds to inquire about her family, and what she is doing in this town alone. He is genuinely concerned for this complete stranger, and wishes her well, with no bad intentions. Something that I found very interesting was that he did not seem to have any flaws.

I think that Louis L’Amour purposefully made him such a compelling and endearing character, because he wanted his readers to take Milo Talon’s side. Even when Milo Talon kills men, he is shown to do so in such a way that I couldn’t help but to take his side and not blame him at all for killing someone. Milo Talon was clearly the protagonist of the story. As well as being generous, he is also has a sense of dignity. As he delves into the case presented to him by Jefferson Henry, he becomes aware that he is not the only one searching for the missing girl, and that his life is in danger.

He considers, for a moment, “dropping the case”, giving Jefferson Henry back the remaining money, and leaving the now-dangerous town as fast as possible. However, he “had never left a job unfinished” and one could argue that his ego was the reason he kept digging. I also found another thing very interesting about his character. Usually, when an author creates a hero, the hero always has a negative aspect that brings about his downfall. This negative trait is most often hubris (pride). And this is what made Milo Talon different than other written ‘heroes’. He was not arrogant, and while he did have a sense of self respect, he was very modest.

Throughout the story, he remained level-headed and realistic, and did not let his success interfere with his work. I believe that this is what enabled Milo Talon to complete his task and have a happy ending.

Historical Context

The setting of this novel was in a country mostly west and south of Pueblo, Colorado, during the opening of the west. There is a town called Beulah, which used to be called Fisher’s Hole. The North Creek Road was, for some time, the only practical route into the Fisher’s Hole. The route used several times in this story was a horseback trail that western people frequently used.

In the beginning of the story, I did not feel that the background was very realistic. However, as the story developed, the setting felt more real and natural as it went along. The book did seem factual and real, and there was mention of the completion of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, which I thought was great because I had just finished reading about that in our textbook. Also, the town was described well, and I could clearly picture the small Western town in my head. For the most part, the characters did talk in a real way. However, some aspects of the novel did not seem real.

To be specific, Milo Talon did not feel real. He was a very likable character, but he did not have a single flaw. I don’t think a person like Milo Talon would exist. His uncanny ability for getting out of tough situations seemed unrealistic as well. I simply did not understand how, with all those bad and dangerous men lurking around, he did not get killed. Otherwise, the plot and characters did feel real and believable. Conclusion I was pleasantly surprised by this book. To be honest, I wasn’t very keen on reading it and I didn’t find it very interesting at first.

However, as the plot developed and the pace of the story picked up, I found it a lot easier to read. I really enjoyed how the author developed the story and added more dimensions to it. I had to force myself through the first few chapters, but after that, I got into the zone of reading it and finished it within a few hours, in one sitting. I was very satisfied with the ending, and I felt that the author did a great job of tying up all the loose ends and answering any lingering questions. At some parts, I felt that the story got a little repetitive, slow, and dull, but it would soon pick up again and I was able to enjoy it quite a bit.

Another minor complaint is that I felt like there was too much going on at times, and a little too many characters to keep up with. I felt like the author made the story a little more complicated than it needed to be, and sometimes I had to re-read certain parts just to understand what had happened. However, once I understood it, it was well worth the effort. In conclusion, this was a better book than I expected it to be, and though I did actually enjoy reading it, I probably wouldn’t spend my time re-reading it again.

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