Mattie Ross and Little Blackie in True Grit


Audio Tabs

It's always fun to revisit classic scenes from epic novels, especially out loud. In today's Big Read audio pause, we're going to look at a heartbreaking moment from Charles Portis'sTrue Grit. This scene captures the indomitable spirit of the novel's young heroine, Mattie Ross, and her trusty pony, Little Blackie. After Mattie shoots Tom Chaney, the man who murdered her father, she stumbles back into a dark pit filled with venmous snakes. Mattie is close to despair. Suddenly, Rooster Cogburn, her true partner-in-crime and infamous outlaw sheriff, discovers her and lowers himself into the pit. With the aid of Laboeuf, the Texas Ranger, they pull Mattie up by a rope fastened around Little Blackie. The scene is telling in how it showcases the dire straits Mattie finds herself in all because of her obsession to revenge her father's death. We hear from several writers, including: Tope Folarin, Katherine Powers, Amanda Coplin, James Lee Burke, and Jay Jennings. And let's not forget the voice of award-winning author, Donna Tartt, who reads an excerpt that brings Portis's words to life.