The Hanging Tree


The Hanging Tree

Dorothy M. Johnson

273 pages


November 1995


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The title story, The Hanging Tree, is based on a true episode in Montana’s gold-mining past. Three amazing characters meet: the cynical Doc Frail; the boy robber named Rune, whom Doc saves and enslaves; and Elizabeth, the young easterner who survives an Indian assault and comes under the care of Doc and Rune. In the gold-mining camp of Skull Creek Elizabeth becomes the mysterious Lucky Lady. A vigorous, psychological western, The Hanging Tree was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper.
The stories in this book consolidate Dorothy M. Johnson’s reputation for authenticity and artistic integrity. “Lost Sister” is based on the recapture of Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman abducted by the Comanche Indians. “The Man Who Knew the Buckskin Kid” tells of two married people and an outlaw who share a secret. Fully as arresting are “The Last Boast,” “Journal of Adventure,” “I Woke Up Wicked,” “The Gift by the Wagon,” “A Time for Greatness,” “The Story of Charley,” and “Blanket Squaw.”


“Short stories worthy of the most discerning of readers.”—Chicago Sunday Tribune

“Johnson writes with a clearwater style and has the gift for showing that even the most questionable characters are worthy of love.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Storyteller Johnson’s memories are authentic; she grew up in Whitefish, Montana, with wide ears for tall tales. . . . And she has a surprising quality of humor.”—Time

“Stories free from the patterns and stereotypes of western horse opera, with real men and women reacting credibly to the dangers and hardships of pioneer life.”—Horn Book

Also of Interest