“A skillful blend of legend and reality.” —Publishers Weekly on Soldier in Buckskin
In this duo’s title story, twenty-eight-year-old Dave Bradford is close to achieving his dreams. In an effort to expand his cattle ranch and marry Sirral Drury, Bradford plans to sell four hundred of his cattle in Wichita. But JJ Farman, owner of the biggest ranch in the basin, calls a meeting and warns Bradford he best not try to take the cattle across Texas Flat, even though it’s open range. Going around Texas Flat would add two hundred miles to the cattle drive, another ten to twelve days to the journey. Bradford knows that if he caves to Farman, who is backed by his hired gunmen, Farman will not only control Texas Flat, but all the ranchers in the basin. Can Bradford make it to Wichita without being caught? And what will happen if the drive is stopped?
Although Cole Rinnegar can little afford to leave his ranch in Black Cañon, New Mexico, he decides to make the ten-day trip to Rock Springs after receiving a summons from his brother Harvey, who he hasn’t seen in five years. Cole is supposed to look up a woman by the name of Mattie Foster, who he figures to be a saloon girl. Instead he meets a respectable businesswoman who runs a local bakery. Mattie has been hiding Harvey, who robbed the local bank and was shot. His dying wish is to return the money to the bank, but Cole discovers there are plenty in Rock Springs who do not want that to happen.
Ray Hogan (1908–1998) was born in Willow Springs, Missouri, but moved to New Mexico with his parents at the age of five. Before he began his writing career, Hogan worked as a truck salesman, a bookkeeper, and a tire store manager. He took a correspondence course in journalism as well as some English courses and began to write short stories for magazines, later becoming a regular contributor to sports journals such as Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and Hunting & Fishing. Hogan’s first book, Ex-Marshall, was published in 1956. He went on to write over a hundred novels.