The two brothers, Tex and Mason McCormick, are often at each other's throats in S. E. Hinton's novel, Tex. The conflict stems from Mason's decision to sell both of the boys' horses early in the story, as well as the stress brought on by their father's long absences. Mason, the older brother, is forced to sell the horses because their father--a travelling rodeo performer--has been away from home for a long time, and the bills have not been paid. Tex cannot forgive Mason, however. Mason, a star basketball player at the local high school, hopes to earn a college scholarship, but he develops an ulcer and comes to realize that his college dreams are unlikely to come true. After both boys survive an encounter with a murderous hitchhiker, Pop McCormick returns to see them. Although he promises to repurchase Tex's horse, he is unable to do so, further alienating Tex and Mason. When Tex is wounded during a drug transaction, Mason beats up the youth responsible and cries when he finds that Tex will be okay. Mason announces that he will not pursue his basketball scholarship, but Tex tells him that he should go. In the end, Tex realizes he is in love with Jamie Collins, and the two brothers reconcile their differences.