Montana 1948 Character Description

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Wesley Hayden Born in 1910 Mercer County and grew up on a large cattle ranch outside Bentrock. David’s father. Doesn’t like conflict. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and pleasant looking. He moved to Bentrock with his parents and his brother in the early twenties. He practiced law but was put on the stand as the Sherriff of Mercer County due to his father’s “popularity, influence and the weight of the Hayden name.” He served second term as Sherriff. He was racist but still treated Indians with respect “He believed Indians, with only a few expectations, were ignorant, lazy, superstitious, and irresponsible.” He was disabled by the horse accident as a child. He died from cancer. David Hayden 12 year old narrator. “The problem with me was that I wanted to grow up wild.”pg.21 He wanted to live in the country. He thought his town was meant for “storekeepers, teachers, ministers, for the rule-makers, the order-givers, the law-enforces.” He felt like he never understood “how town life worked.” His character was shy and too serious and he blamed his town for that. He wanted to escape. He “loved” Marie, though his love for her was, “as a twelve-year olds love often is, chaste.” He was an outgoing person, he “did what boys usually did and exulted in the doing.” He rode horseback, he swam, and he hunted. He believed school or any of the usual human communities seemed to “weaken or scatter” him. He was confused about Frank’s betrayal because he idolised him- “Charming, affable Uncle Frank was gone for good.”pg.49 Gail Hayden- Gail was from North Dakota. She was strong-willed, “She’s staying here.” Pg.43 She met Wesley while he was in Law school and were married soon after they met. David was their only child. She wanted to move back to North Dakota because she was concerned about his future, she didn’t want David to become a Hayden and take after his father to become a

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