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Gunsmoke and Trail Dust

Gunsmoke and Trail Dust

by Bliss Lomax
Publication Date: 14/09/2018
RRP  $18.00 $17.75
Throughout the length and breadth of the sun-bleached cow town of Mescal, Arizona, seethes an undercurrent of suppressed excitement. In front of the town's blacksmith shop a group of Mormon homesteaders gather about their potential leader, Webb Nichols, in grave discussion. In a lodge room the special meeting of the Magdalena Stockmen's Association, comprising the big cow outfits of the county, has turned into a deluge of hot words and very pointed accusations. Is the long conflict between the homesteaders and the big outfits about to flare into violence again?

For years this particular part of Arizona has been a rustler's paradise. And as long as homesteaders like Webb Nichols and Shad Caney cover up for the rustlers, the notorious Steve Jennings among them, they're asking for trouble from the big cattlemen. The Association decides to bring matters to a head by calling in Clay Roberts, a lone wolfer stock-detective with a reputation for getting results.

"It don't seem like one man could make much hell for us, '' says Webb Nichols, but in that thought Webb, as he is soon to discover, couldn't be more wrong.

Clay Roberts has a couple of strikes on him from the beginning in Deputy Sheriff Dufors, a weak and embittered tool of the homesteaders, and in Webb and Shad, whose bitter, unreasoning feud is carried on by their children during school hours. These youthful hatreds make life miserable for the pretty new teacher, Eudora Stoddard, who is startled one day to find herself sheltering the head of the rustlers, Steve Jennings.

From then on matters get tougher by the minute. Men who should be seeing eye to eye regard one another with cold hostility, the grisly episode at Parley Scott's takes place, the rustlers move in on one of the big cowmen and Clay heads for the hills in deadly pursuit, only to find himself forced to save the life of the dangerous rustler he is hired to capture. And that is only the beginning of new trouble for the fearless stock-detective, the cattlemen, and pretty Eudora Stoddard, whom Clay had hoped to make his wife.
Publication Date:
Wildside Press
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