The Walker

The Untold Story Of Black Bart

Fiction - Historical - Personage
109 Pages
Reviewed on 09/14/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I decided to become a writer when I was quite young. Stories about real people that few people knew about or understood have always intrigued me. When I moved to the Nevada City area I found newspaper articles and recollections about Charley Boles ( Black Bar)t. I began to investigate his life and learned there was far more about him than anyone had previously explored...

    Book Review

Reviewed by Geree McDermott for Readers' Favorite

In this fascinating narrative account of Black Bart, we travel back in time to the Old West and learn that when Wells Fargo Bank ruins Charles Boles’s successful gold mine operation, he stops mining and starts robbing ... Wells Fargo stage coaches, that is. The only way Charley can think of to hit Wells Fargo Bank where it hurts is to steal the cash boxes and mail bags off their stage coaches. In his fifties, he starts robbing stage coaches and eventually is known as the bandit Black Bart, but acquires other names as well, such as The Gentleman Bandit because he was polite while he robbed the stage coaches and never stole from passengers. Also known as The Walker, he never rode horses and walked to and from his robberies. His age and his habit of walking helped him avoid apprehension because lawmen looked for a young man galloping away on a horse, and not an older man who casually walked down the road. In all, he robbed 28 stage coaches before his arrest.

Bruce Bradley’s The Walker is the exciting life story of the outlaw Black Bart. Based on facts, the untold story of Black Bart revealed in a believable, thoroughly researched, and well written, fast paced narrative is a pleasure to read. Bruce Bradley does a magnificent job of writing The Walker in the voice of Charles Boles/Black Bart. He also provides details of his extensive research, which I appreciated and enjoyed reading almost as much as the story itself. Well done, Mr. Bradley, this is a must-read!

Bruce Arrington

The Walker: The Untold Story Of Black Bart, by Bruce Bradley, is a fascinating account of the “Gentleman Bandit”, otherwise known as Charley. It recounts his life from his early childhood and up to his sixties, and the many adventures he had. Every once in a while I luckily stumble upon a book I truly enjoy, and this is one of them. It is superb in every sense of the word. The writing style is flawless, the tone exactly like I would expect to hear from Baxter Black. In fact I think I hear his voice in the narrative. Black Bart and Baxter have something in common, I think.

I read this book in one setting. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. It carried me away to a time long ago in the past, when things were simpler, and a lot harder. Life was tough for Charley and his contemporaries. If you caught a disease considered easily curable by today’s standards, you might as well put your affairs in order. I thought the simple, straightforward first person approach was effective, and I appreciate that a lot of the story was based on facts, and referenced in the end of the book. Obviously this author has gone to a lot of work putting everything together. I heartily recommend The Walker: The Untold Story Of Black Bart by Bruce Bradley for both young and older readers alike. So sit back, and take a bit of time to let this wonderful story take you back in time.

Jane Finch

The Walker: the Untold Story of Black Bart by Bruce Bradley tells the story of Charley Bowles, who eventually became known as Black Bart, a notorious highway robber of Wells Fargo stagecoaches. The story follows the young Charley through his early life, his marriage and his family, as he struggles to make a living through farming. Lured by the promise of riches, Charley sets off for the West with a group of men to look for gold. Battling illness and all manner of trials, he finally runs a fairly successful mining operation with a companion, until the company, Wells Fargo, try to buy him out and later scupper his operation. Determined to seek revenge, Charley turns to crime by holding up and robbing stagecoaches run by Wells Fargo, whilst at the same time working in a sawmill part time to provide him with board and lodging. Living a dual life works well for a while, until the detectives hired by Wells Fargo track him down.

The author, Bruce Bradley, has crafted this fact-based story well. With the story written in the first person, the reader becomes familiar with Charley Bowles and empathises with him and his actions. A very interesting interpretation, clearly well researched, and well written with a clear timeline and supported by researched information. The use of photographs and original documents also adds to the authenticity of the work. A very enjoyable read, enhanced by the original facts and the knowledge that such a likeable and appealing character truly existed. A story that any budding adventurer will enjoy. A job well done, and Bruce Bradley is to be congratulated.