Colonel Jim Brewton
Colonel Jim Brewton, a pioneer rancher. He stages a bitter but losing fight against the encroachment of homesteaders who come west to fence and farm the free range. A proud man, the colonel claims his range as his empire, and he has only contempt for the “nesters” who would destroy it with wheat crops. He marries a vivacious young woman from St. Louis who brightens his home and his life for a time. After bearing three children, one not his, she tires of her rough, monotonous existence on the ranch and deserts her husband for a period of fifteen years. Although aware that one of her children is not his, the colonel rears the boy as his own and buries him as a full-fledged member of the family.
Hal Brewton, the colonel’s nephew, who deplores the inevitable changes he sees taking place all around him. He detests the homesteaders who spoil the range, and he resents Lutie’s “Eastern ways,” which mean new furniture, flowers growing in the yard, and frequent guests and visitors. Returning home from medical school to establish his practice, he finds that the sea of grass of his youth is gone forever.
Lutie Cameron, a charming young woman who comes to Salt Fork from St. Louis to marry Colonel Brewton. She soon turns the ranch house into a center for gay parties and distinguished guests, and for a while she seems to adjust satisfactorily to...
(The entire section is 491 words.)