| Quote #1
At daybreak Billy Buck emerged from the bunkhouse and stood for a moment on the porch looking up at the sky. He was a broad, bandy-legged little man with a walrus mustache, with square hands, puffed and muscled on the palms. (1.1)
It's the first line and already we're meeting Billy Buck, manly man and general ranching aficionado. He seems like a classic cowboy of the old west. Except there's that one word that gets tossed in there: he's "little." That doesn't sound all that manly to Shmoop.
| Quote #2
"Got the cows ready to go, Billy?" he asked.
"In the lower corral," Billy said. "I could just as well take them in alone."
"Sure you could. But a man needs company." (1.8-1.10)
These are strange words coming from Carl. He seems to like his alone time, and yet here he's saying men need company. What's that about?
| Quote #3
Nearly all his father's presents were given with reservations which hampered their value somewhat. It was good discipline. (1.21)
It's a fine line to walk, gift giving. Carl wants to give his son something he'll like, but he also wants that gift to have value. And by value, he means a built-in life lesson. Unfortunately for Jody, this pretty much spoils all the fun.