TQR reviews Tom Sheehan's story collection JEHRICO
“The whole Earth is full of things worth collecting and using over again. I seen it done. Nothing dies easy.”
A large iron tub and a not-too out of tune piano fall to Jehrico’s expert salvage and removal mule train, making their way, thanks to his industry and pluck, into the warp and weft of life in Bola City.
Though set in the era of the wild west, Tom Sheehan’s locale has more in common with Andy Griffith’s Mayberry than Wyatt Earp’s Dodge City. Peopled with quirky characters like impromptu abbreviator Collie Sizemore and aptly named town crier Larrupin’ Lou, there’s always a kind of Greek chorus sitting around the saloon just waiting to pass its collective judgment on Jehrico’s machinations. And any fix our hero finds himself in is gotten out of most times by superior wit and cagey misdirection, in lieu of six shooters and hot lead. And fixes he fixes aplenty, not just his own. He even saves his future wife with a savvy bit of horse trading that is a delight to see. Not to mention the bath they communally take in the river once the trading’s done.
“…at the edge of the river, under a growth of trees that formed like an umbrella over one spot, she took off her clothes and stood there at the edge of the river waiting for Jehrico to undress.”
The stories are long verse poetics, where not only the language is beautiful but the outcomes ideal, the bad guys try to prolong their badness, but love and good intentions win out in the end.