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From Hide and Horn

(The fifth book in the Floating Outfit series)
A novel by

Other States were carved or born,
Texas grew from hide and horn.

There were problems to be solved before that became true. Where to sell the cattle which swarmed across the Texas ranges and how to get them to the market; also whether sufficient longhorns could be delivered at one time to make a long journey to a market profitable.
Charles Goodnight thought he had the answers and aimed to prove it. Backed by Ole Devil Hardin's already legendary floating outfit, he set off with three thousand five hundred head of cattle for distant Fort Sumner. With Dusty Fog as his segundo, Goodnight meant to deliver his herd and so pave the way for Texas to grow from hide and horn.


John Thomas Edson was born at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on February 17 1928, the son of a miner who was killed in an accident when John was nine. He left Shirebrook Selective Central School at 14 to work in a stone quarry and joined the Army four years later.

As a sergeant in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Edson served in Kenya during the Emergency, on one occasion killing five Mau Mau on patrol. He started writing in Hong Kong, and when he won a large cash prize in a tombola he invested in a typewriter.

On coming out of the Army after 12 years with a wife and children to support, Edson learned his craft while running a fish-and-chip shop and working on the production line at a local pet food factory. His efforts paid off when Trail Boss (1961) won second prize in a competition with a promise of publication and an outright payment of 50.

The publishers offered 25 more for each subsequent book, and with the addition of earnings from serial-writing for the comic Victor, Edson was able to settle down to professional authorship. When the comic's owners decided that nobody read cowboy stories any more, he was forced to get a job as a postman (the job had the by-product of enabling him to lose six stone in weight from his original 18).

Edson's prospects improved when Corgi Books took over his publisher, encouraged him to produce seven books a year and promised him royalties for the first time. In 1974 he made his first visit to the United States, to which he was to return regularly in search of reference books. He declared that he had no desire to live in the Wild West, adding: "I've never even been on a horse. I've seen those things, and they look highly dangerous at both ends and bloody uncomfortable in the middle. My only contact was to shoot them for dog meat."

His heroes were often based on his favourite film stars, so that Dusty Fog resembled Audie Murphy, and the Ysabel Kid was an amalgam of Elvis Presley in Flaming Star and Jack Buetel in The Outlaw.

Before becoming a recluse in his last years, JT's favourite boast was that Melton Mowbray was famous for three things: "The pie, Stilton cheese and myself but not necessarily in that order."

Genre: Western
Used availability for J T Edson's From Hide and Horn

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Hardback Editions

November 1980 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-7091-8184-1 / 978-0-7091-8184-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 1980 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn (Ulverscroft large print series)
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-7089-0431-9 / 978-0-7089-0431-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Ulverscroft
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

December 1987 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn (Floating Outfit)
Author(s): John Thomas Edson
ISBN: 0-441-25831-X / 978-0-441-25831-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ace Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

August 1982 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumbTitle: From Hide And Horn
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-425-05760-7 / 978-0-425-05760-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-425-04621-4 / 978-0-425-04621-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 1969 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn
Author(s): J T Edson
ISBN: 0-552-08278-3 / 978-0-552-08278-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: From Hide and Horn (A Floating Outfit Western Book 5)
Author(s): J T Edson
Publisher: Piccadilly Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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