Wayne D. Overholser

Wayne D. Overholser
  • The summer warpath began in late spring 1876 and was one laid out under the command of General George Crook, perhaps the most experienced Indian fighter in the United States Army at that time. Among other officers under Crook’s command was the daring and resourceful Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry. The purpose of the campaign was to round up the wild tribes of the Cheyennes and Sioux and place them on reservations.

    Walt Staley is a drifter, a man who works only long enough so he can get enough money to be traveling again. He rides for Fort Laramie, where he successfully enlists as an Army scout under General Crook.

    Before Staley arrives at the fort, he is forced by roving Indians to stop at an Army hay camp, where he meets Dave Allison. The two become friends, especially after Allison is transferred to active service under General Crook.

    Finally, there is Patrick O’Hara, who considers himself the ace reporter at the Chicago Herald. He wants most of all to be attached to Custer’s regiment, believing that Custer alone will be able to subdue the wild Indian tribes. He is disappointed when his editor instead sends him to be attached to General Crook’s expeditionary force.

    The events that follow will change the lives of these three men forever.

     

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  • Black Mike

    Sam Cassidy comes home to find himself in a series of tense confrontations. His father expects Sam to work for him at the local bank, and Sheriff Ben Faraday, for whom Sam worked the previous summer as deputy, is suffering from a terminal disease and wants Sam to become a deputy again. "Black Mike" Nickels wants to expand his use of public land and bring in more sheep, backed by guns. The Cattlemen's Association has vowed to stop Black Mike, but Sam's decision to become a deputy could make enemies of them both.

    Gun in His Hand

    Dane Coe is returning to Ogallala in Nebraska Territory at his father's request. He is met at the train depot by Ed Lanning, ramrod for Sam Drew's ranch, and Frank Ashton, a young gunfighter. Sam Drew will do whatever it takes to get the railroad to end its track on his own land rather than the land owned by Dane's father.

     

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  • In the title story, Murdo Morgan left Paradise Valley sixteen years ago, after his brothers had been killed at the hand of the Turkey Track outfit. One year later, his father died a broken and defeated man. Broad Clancy, owner of the Turkey Track, has remained the controlling force in this area of high desert in Oregon, considering all the land to be open range, including the six-mile strip on both sides of the old wagon road which belongs to Cascade and Paradise Land Company. He fears that Morgan will return to exact his revenge for the death of his brothers. But Morgan is not driven by revenge but by a desire to carry out the dream of his father—to settle a thousand farming families in Paradise Valley. To that end, as the owner of the Cascade and Paradise Land Company, Morgan arrives with a plan for the sale of the land already under way and he is willing to risk his life and every cent of money he has to do it, despite the backlash he will receive from the Clancy dynasty.

    In “The Fence,” an Oregon sheriff must race against time to capture the men responsible for brutally murdering the father and grandfather of his former fiancée—before she becomes the next victim.

     

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  • Stories included:

    • “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”

     

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  • Small ranchers in Harmony Oregon are up against it with the price of cattle down and Skull Ranch, owned by a syndicate, trying to buy them out. Dan Riley spends a month trying to find a bank to help them, but he fails. When the editor of The Clarion is shot, the ranchers blame Black Mike Sand, the manager of Skull, in spite of the circumstances of the shooting. As pressure mounts, Riley is determined to find out who is really in charge of the syndicate, and the only man willing to help him is Andrew Daniels, a former newspaper man whose courage comes from a bottle.

    Ex-gunman Rod Devers has started up a ranch, but small things going wrong on his land make him think someone might be trying to drive him out. In addition, the $2,000 he borrowed to buy his herd is coming due in a few months, and he refuses to marry his fiancée until he’s debt free. His brother George ramrods the Spade, the biggest ranch in the area owned by Karl Hermann, who is on his way to Spade. The two-bit ranchers are convinced Hermann is coming to grab up all the land, and they organize a group of vigilantes, the 99, to protect themselves. When Rod refuses to join the 99 and accepts his brother’s offer of a temporary job to protect Hermann and his daughter during their visit, the small ranchers turn against him.

     

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