Rivers have acted as cradles for civilization and agents of disaster; a river may be a barrier or a highway, it can support trade and sediment, culture and conflict. This Very Short Introduction is a celebration of rivers in all their diversity. Geographer Nick Middleton covers a wide and eclectic range of river-based themes, from physical geography to mythology, to industrial history and literary criticism.
After five years of virtual banishment because he sold out his small outfit to the Middle Arizona Cattle Company, giving it a foothold on the Mesa Grande range, violent-tempered Joe Bonnyman is summoned back to Lodgepole by his father when it appears that a cattle war between the syndicate and the various rangers is imminent. During his short stay in town, Joe has an unpleasant meeting with Ed Merrill, the brother of a girl Joe had once courted.