Framing the Dialogue

Union Pacific

A colleague of mine likes westerns and I’ve noticed a number of Zane Grey novels in his office over the years.  I’d never been so inclined until I found one that sounded interesting, Union Pacific and modestly priced.  I guess that I characterize this as a western love story set in the backdrop of the construction of the Union Pacific railroad.

“The wonderful idea of the uniting of East and West by a railroad originated in one man’s brain and he lived for it. Later, one by one, other men divined and believed despite doubt and fear, until the day arrived when Congress put the government of the U.S., the Army, and a group of frock-coated directors with gold back of General Lodge, and bade him build the road.”

The main character, Warren Neale, is an engineer enjoying a rising career building the railroad.  During the race against time and the Indians who really do not like the intrusion into their territory, Warren falls in love with a young woman who had been traumatized while traveling back east with her family.  The tale, in my opinion, becomes a bit soap-opera-like as these lovers spend very little time together and often never know whether the other is even still alive when one or the other disappears or is taken.  It was an interesting glimpse into the wild west though it didn’t need the love story.


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