“A consummate Western storyteller with an eye for character and dialogue.” —Booklist, praise for the author
- Ten Feet Tall
Edited by Stephen Overholser
Read by Ramiz Monsef
Release Date: 2019-01-01
- “The Woman from Cougar Creek”
- “The Price of Pride”
- “The Devil and Old Man Gillis”
- “Shooting for a Fall”
- “It’s Hell to Be a Hero”
- “The Tongue-Tied Cowboy”
- “From Hell to Leadville”
- “The Deputy with a Past”
- “Judge Peterson’s Colt Law”
- “The Breaking of Sam McKay”
- “Fugitive from the Boothill Brigade”
- “The Man Ten Feet Tall”
Saddle tramp Sam MacKinnon is in trouble. Double-crossed by his partners after robbing a saloon and gambling hall, MacKinnon has been left behind in the mountains of southern New Mexico with busted ribs, a banged-up head, no gun, and no horse. And no chance—because aging lawman Nelson Bookbinder and his Mescalero Apache scout, Nikita—both made legendary by dime novels MacKinnon has read—are leading a small posse hot in pursuit of the bandits. Miraculously, MacKinnon escapes the law, finds his horse and rifle, and, despite his injuries, sets out on the vengeance trail. But fate has something else in mind for Sam MacKinnon.
Miles away in the desert furnace between Ruidoso and Roswell, nineteen-year-old Katie Callahan has troubles of her own. Her mother has died of tuberculosis, and her worthless stepfather has abandoned the family, leaving Katie with her younger sister and five-year-old stepbrother, a busted wagon, a blind mule, little water and food, and her mother’s body that needs to be buried. When the wounded MacKinnon rides into that camp, he’s faced with a choice.
Fate, however, still has a few other surprises in mind for the saddle tramp, the young woman, MacKinnon’s partners, and even that aging New Mexico lawman.
Inspired by Pasó Por Aquí, the classic 1926 novella written by Eugene Manlove Rhodes—“The Bard of the Tularosa”—and filmed as Four Faces West (1948), seven-time Spur Award winner Johnny D. Boggs tells a story of the detours, road blocks, and sidetracks along the journeys to justice, love, vengeance, and redemption.
The small town of Ballester owes its prosperity to the confluence of three big ranches—Snowshoe, Mexican Hat, and Rainbow. Its single lawman, Deputy Sheriff Percy Whittaker, known as Perc, didn’t have to deal with much lawbreaking other than the occasional drunk on a Saturday night. Until a drifter named Sam Logan rode into town looking for work.
The first problem came when a rider from the Snowshoe ranch provoked a gunfight with Logan, and lost. He was followed to the grave by another rider from the same ranch looking for revenge. Both killings were deemed self-defense, but it rattled the peaceful community.
But when a preacher comes to town to save souls and starts by knocking out three cowboys, Perc starts to wonder if he’s in over his head—or if Logan and the preacher might be working together.
Badger Kershaw was becoming a familiar figure on the frontier after the War between the States. Riding an Appaloosa with Lobo, his dog-wolf hybrid, often by his side, he was feared by most outlaws on the dodge on whom there was a bounty. It was not a savory profession, perhaps, but Kershaw was honest about what he did. Frontier lawmen for the most part were accustomed to dealing with Kershaw. When the fugitive was willing to surrender—which was less frequent than it might be thought—Kershaw would bring in an outlaw alive, but it was not an option he encountered very often. Generally it was one man against another, but in what would possibly be Badger Kershaw’s greatest feat, the odds were quite different.
Colonel Benjamin Grierson had been Kershaw’s commanding officer during the War between the States. When, years after the war’s end, Grierson’s daughter was one of the four women seized in a train hold-up and taken prisoner, Grierson appealed again to the man who had once served under him to rescue the women from the outlaw gang. Kershaw surprised the army when he chose to do the job entirely alone, despite the incredible odds against him.