Alex Boyles

Alex Boyles
  • Deadwood, Dakota Territory, was filled with luckless miners and diggers, as well as more than its share of lawlessness, and more often than not, there was nothing Marshal Fred Nolan and his two deputy marshals, Wentworth and Grubb, could do. So when a teen hustler, known as Gitalong because of his crippled leg, was hoorawed by a trio of Texas drovers, the law wasn’t called in. Besides, two strangers had come to Gitalong’s aid, confronting the drovers and forcing them to give Gitalong three silver dollars. While it was the most money the teenager had ever had, he knew it would only bring him trouble. He was right.

    The three Texans returned with even more men, and another confrontation with the two strangers takes place that ends in one of the Texans being killed, and Gitalong trying unsuccessfully to give the money back. This time, though, Marshal Fred Nolan and his two deputies see the fight and order the Texans out of town, but not before Grubb recognizes Tevis Blankenship, a trail driver with a tough reputation. Still afraid, Gitalong heeds the advice of others and leaves town on a coach, which ends up crashing and injuring Gitalong badly. Meanwhile, Marshal Nolan’s job just got harder, because he needs to be ready to escort a bullion coach through his area, always a dangerous job.

     

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  • What’s a sixteen-year-old boy to do when he learns that his stepmother and a local judge have murdered his father and now plan to kill him, too? Well, when it’s 1906, and you can play pretty good second base, you join a barnstorming baseball team making its way across Kansas. It also helps that the team is the Kansas City National Bloomer Girls. After all, who’d look for a runaway boy disguised as a girl on a women’s team that competes against town-ball teams of male players?

    Of course, it’ll take more than long hair, a Spalding glove, and a quick bat to stay alive. Luckily, another Bloomer Girl, Buckskin Compton, alias Dolly Madison, is on the dodge after some shootings and beatings in Wyoming—and he takes the kid under his tutelage.

    Staying alive won’t prove easy for either of the reluctant female impersonators as they deal with a budding romance, hitting slumps, a crooked manager, bean balls, drunken teammates, bank robbers, lousy umpires, a revolution for women’s rights, and a rapidly changing Western frontier. Baseball isn’t always fun and games—especially when one bad play might leave the both of you cut from the Bloomer Girls … or just plain dead.

    In a novel very loosely based on fact (Bloomer Girls teams of mostly women players did barnstorm across the country in the early 1900s), eight-time Spur Award winner Johnny D. Boggs blends America’s pastime with the American frontier. This episodic, tongue-in-cheek adventure showcases what made, and still makes, America and the Wild, Wild West great: Strong heroes. Stronger women. And a good, clean game.

     

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  • Walt Hodge had delivered eighty horses to Whipple Barracks for the Army and he wasn’t in a big hurry to get home. He traveled down the Saginaw Mountains and into the upland cow country of Sunflower, Arizona, seeking only a cold glass of beer, food, and a bed for himself, along with feed for his horse. He should have listened and turned around when he asked the hostler what was going on and was told: “Trouble, mister. Bad trouble.” After he had a drink, surrounded by silent cowmen, he discovered why the town of Sunflower was so unusually quiet and empty. He had walked into the middle of an emerging range war over water rights in the middle of a blistering summer. Being mistaken as a one of Jim Bricker’s B-Back-to-Back men, annoyed Walt, but being knocked out by a Bricker rider, who said Walt was a Mike Weedon man, was just more than he could take. Then he met Bricker’s daughter. It doesn’t take long for Hodge to find himself in the middle of things once he is blamed for the killing of a Bricker man. By the time the war was over three men would be dead, the town of Sunflower would find its self-respect, and a jailhouse would be full of demoralized cowmen.

     

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