Orville Stubbs, who is called “Rooster” by Lily because of his legs, is a friend of Jim Smith and also becomes a friend of her
He is Deputy in Red Lake
and the owner of the “wild” mustang Red Devil. When Lily wants to pick up her first paycheck, he plays a trick on her and makes her ride Red Devil, since he does not know that Lily is good at dealing with half-broke horses.
Orville Stubbs is not a very handsome man:
“a skinny guy with rooster legs and close-set eyes” (p. 92, l. 15)
Furthermore, he has a nasty habit: “He chewed tobacco and was a swallower, not a spitter” (p. 94, l. 13 f.). Lily wants him to become her pregnant sister’s husband, but Helen does not want him because of this habit. Rooster, on the other hand, “immediately took a shine to Helen. ’She’s real purty,’ he confided to me” (p. 104, l. 23 f.)
Stubbs likes Lily and could imagine marrying her, but Lily quickly makes clear to him that she does not want to marry again (cf. p. 95). Nevertheless, the two become close friends and Lily secretely teaches the analphabet
reading and writing (cf. p. 95).
The two stay friends even after Lily’s marriage and the move to the AIC ranch. Later, Rooster marries an Apache girl and comes to Rosemary’s wedding.