About the author
Beulah Karney wrote four historical novels; two about American Indians, and two about an Irish family, though the action in the second moves to America when its hero leaves Ireland. I’ve listed the books in my usual bibliographical convention of date order, but Wild Imp is the sequel to Keepers of the Bell.
Finding the books
Both books are reasonably easy to find.
Links and sources
Horse Stories: An Annotated Bibliography – Terri Wear
Thank you to Lisa Catz for the summaries and photographs.
Bibliography (horse books only)
John Day Company, New York, 1960, 191 pp.
This story follows Keepers of the Bell.
Conal O‘Mellaine has been uprooted from his family in Ireland, and is now 14 and living in America. He trains horses by gentling them instead of breaking them, and gets a job on a ranch doing menial work, as none of the men believe he is able to train a horse. Then he gets a chance to prove himself by taming a beautiful, frightened stallion whom he names Black Imp. Eventually, he proves Imp’s value, and makes it to San Francisco, where he is able to pursue his beloved career, and finally get the schooling that his family sent him over for.
Keepers of the Bell
John DayCompany, New York, 1961, 190 pp.
Keepers of the Bell chronologically proceeds Wild Imp, even though it was written after it. The story takes place in Ireland in the late 1860s. Ordinary people are now allowed to own fine horses. Kevin, 20, and Conal, 8, are the oldest and youngest of eight brothers in the O’Mellaine family of
Donegal, hereditary guardians of the bell of Saint Patrick. The two brothers purchase a great black stallion, Ahaygar, with a reputation of being a killer. They tame and train the horse by secret methods their father taught them, and the horse points a way to liberty for the O’Mellaines when their power-mad landlord seeks to ruin them.