When two Melvins meet on the banks of the Red River in June of 1872, it turns into an adventure that neither of them could ever have anticipated that hot summer evening.

But that evening, when he stopped by a fishing hole in the Red River, Melvin met Melvin. Melvin Fitchett, Civil War veteran and retired cowpoke, met Melvin Smythe, teenage gold prospector and refugee from the Great Chicago Fire.

And that was the beginning of the strangest partnership either Melvin had ever experienced. And along the way, they got renamed Stick and Whittle, met some Indians, read a newspaper or two, exchanged their stories, met some outlaws and hunted down a gang of kidnappers, and searched for Big Melvin’s long lost sweetheart Evelyn.

This booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart.