cover of book

The Devil's Fork
by Bill Wittliff
illustrated by Edward Carey
University of Texas Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-1-4773-1759-4 | Cloth: 978-1-4773-1758-7
Library of Congress Classification PS3573.I933D42 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54


The Devil’s Fork opens with the boy Papa exclaiming, “They was gonna hang my o’Amigo Calley Pearsall out there in front a’the Alamo down in San Antoneya come Saturday Noon and if I was gonna stop it I better Light a Shuck and Get on with it. And I mean Right Now.” And so Papa and his sweetheart Annie Oster set off to rescue Calley, thereby launching themselves into another series of hair-raising adventures.

The Devil’s Fork concludes the enthralling journey through wild and woolly Central Texas in the 1880s that began in The Devil’s Backbone and The Devil’s Sinkhole. Papa springs Calley from jail, but their troubles are far from over. Framed for murder, the two amigos have to flee for their lives. Joining their flight this time is o’Johnny, the evil Sheriff Pugh’s disabled little brother, who has uncanny abilities. Escaping danger for a while, Papa and Calley try to start a new life as horse traders, only to find themselves branded as horse thieves when o’Johnny and a mysterious white ghost horse begin rescuing abused horses from their masters. Can Papa and Calley escape the noose and save all the horses that Johnny and the White Horse liberate? Or will their own hot tempers send them down the Devil’s Fork, from which no one ever returns?

Proving himself a master storyteller once again, Bill Wittliff spins a yarn as engrossing as the stories his own Papa told him long ago, stories that inspired The Devil’s Backbone, The Devil’s Sinkhole, and The Devil’s Fork.

Nearby on shelf for American literature / Individual authors / 1961-2000: