Ride the Jawbone by Jim Moore
Ride the Jawbone weaves a compelling story of a gruesome murder and of a young lawyer who is called upon to defend the loathsome vagrant accused of the killing a young woman and throwing her body from the train.
When no established attorney will defend the alleged murderer, the judge all but orders young T. C. Bruce, newly licensed to practice law, to undertake the task. While tracking the efforts of the young attorney to save his client from the hangman, the reader is transported back in time to central Montana, its ranching communities, and the famous Jawbone Railroad, as they existed at the turn of the twentieth century.
Ride the Jawbone is a history lesson wrapped in a gripping mystery. Richard A. Harlow, without adequate financing is said to have jawboned the first railroad in central Montana into existence, a creation thereafter known only as the Jawbone. T. C. Bruce is the son of a rancher with a large spread near the newly created town of Two Dot. He loves ranching and is torn between pleasing his father, who wishes for him to take over the ranch, and his mother who wants him to put his education to use. Two young women, different in every aspect, lend spice to the story.
Lessons in the history and culture of place are most enjoyable when encountered in a story with rich characters and a challenging plot. Ride the Jawbone, a 225 page paperback original, fills this bill effectively. Readers will learn much about the way of life of ranchers and other citizens of that place and time. The rich, eye-catching cover is crafted from a 1904 painting by R. E. DeCamp, which shows the Jawbone Railroad as it traveled through Sixteen Mile Canyon. A comprehensive discussion guide is included in the back of the book.
About Jim Moore
He was born Perry James (Jim) Moore III in Lewistown, Montana on December 21, 1927. He grew up on ranches and in small towns in Montana: Two Dot, Martinsdale, and Lewistown—and then Santa Barbara, California before moving back to the Moore Ranch at Two Dot.
He attended the Two Dot grade school, graduated from Harlowton High School in 1945 and enlisted in the navy. Discharged from the navy, he enrolled in the University of Montana at Missoula in the fall of 1946. He transferred to Montana State University in the fall of 1948 and graduated from that institution in 1952 with a degree in Agricultural Economics.
At Montana State he met Kathryn Nash. They were married on June 28, 1954 in Holy Rosary Church in Bozeman and made their home on the Moore Ranch. Three children – Dianne, Perry and Steven were born to the marriage.
Jim studied the law at their home on the ranch and was successful in passing the bar examination. He practiced law in Harlowton and then in Bozeman, while maintaining his interest in the ranch. In addition to the ranch and his law practice, Jim was involved in a number of other activities and associations.