Monday, May 14, 2012


Stephen Bly  (1944-2011)

The man who called me on the phone the other night sounded friendly…maybe too friendly. It was the old, “Hi, Stephen. How are you doin’? How’s everything in Idaho? How’s the weather treatin’ the ranchers? Well, I know you aren’t thinkin’ about the busy fall yet, but I ran across a deal and you came to mind. Have you got a minute to hear about a truly great bargain?”

I took a breath and jumped right in. “I am rather tied up. Let’s get right to it. What are you trying to sell me?”

“Oh, well,” he stammered, as though I threw him off script. “Can I call back at a more convenient time?”

“I’ll be busy then too,” I insisted.
Dino Power air compressor

He finally admitted he felt sure I’d want to purchase his air compressor. I asked about the price, the quality. Then, I discovered my long lost ‘friend’ worked for a telemarketing company. I explained that a) I had no use for an air compressor, and b) I never buy anything on the phone anyway. 

(As a side note: A week later, I noticed the same product at a warehouse store for $150 cheaper than the phone guy stated -- when you added up the installment payments he emphasized). He had the nerve to try to hornswoggle me. 


Hornswoggle. . .that’s a great Old West term that nowadays means to try to hoax or swindle someone. But it originates with cowboys. It comes from the dodging and wriggling motion of a steer after its been roped, to attempt to toss off the loop thrown by the cowboy. The critter truly hornswoggles every time it escapes. A beast swindles a cowpuncher.

In the Bible’s warning against moral laxity (1 Corinthians 6:10 NIV), swindlers rate a prominent position on the list. To swindle is to misrepresent the truth, to outright lie, in order to take advantage of folks for one's personal gain, whether it's a matter of God's law or financial gain.

With time and experience, we learn to sense a hornswoggle a city block or country mile away. Better to detect the tendency in ourselves. . .when we bend the truth in order to escape some commitment. . .to our boss, our family, our friends, ourselves. . .even (especially) God.

When's the last time you were hornswoggled? How long did it take you to detect the deception?

Stuart Brannon's Final Shot
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK (as well as hardback & ebook):
(with Janet, Russell, Michael & Aaron Bly)

It's 1905. Two orphans flee Oregon's Tillamook Head. One of them is branded a hero. Dare they tell the truth and risk the wrath of a dangerous man? Meanwhile, a retired lawman searches for his missing U.S. Marshal friend while he grapples to learn the game of golf on behalf of a celebrity tournament.

Finishing Dad's novel was a family affair. Can a committee create fiction? We had the passion and four months to find out. 

Hard Winter At Broken Arrow Crossing

The first 3 original Stuart Brannon Series books now available in paperback and ebook: 
Hard Winter At Broken Arrow Crossing, 
False Claims At The Little Stephen Mine and 
Last Hanging At Paradise Meadow. 

False Claims At The Little Stephen Mine   
Last Hanging At Paradise Meadow

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