The Ox-Bow Incident By Walter Van Tilburg Clark Character Analysis Moore

Moore's part in the story is small, but significant. Our first view of Moore is in Canby's saloon. He is an older cowhand, Drew's foreman; in addition, he is an imposing physical man, one who is broken inside from too much bronc-busting when he was young. Clark uses Moore's smoking as a symbol of the man: he inhales the smoke; then he exhales, only a little smoke comes back out, and that is thin. His standing among the men is clear when Art Croft says of him that he is the only man (presently there) who could take the posse to catch Kinkaid's killers, but he won't do it.

Moore rather fades during the book's mid-section, but he reappears to give some reluctant testimony about Drew's customary method of selling cattle.

When Tetley finally feels constrained to call for a vote to determine whether the execution shall be carried out, there are only five votes to postpone the hanging: Sparks, Davies Gerald Tetley, Carl Bartlett, and Moore. Moore has heard the evidence against Martin accumulate. He has not had Croft's opportunity to hear Davies and Gerald Tetley and Sparks. But he has come to a rational and moral conclusion. That Croft is not moved to vote with him (as he probably would have done earlier) is clear evidence of how social pressure, the storm, the night, and his wound have moved Art Croft from an ethical position.

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