Before he set down his pen, seven-time Spur Award winner Elmer Kelton—the Western Writers of America’s “Best Western Writer of All Time”—cut 50 notches on his gunbelt of classics. In this final novel of the Texas Rangers, a young lawman finds his mettle put to the test while bringing justice to a remote settlement. To stop a series of baffling killings and thefts, newly married ranger Andy Pickard is dispatched to a central Texas community where locals are quick to pin the crimes on two feuding cattlemen.
In the 1870s, buffalo hunters moved onto the High Plains of Texas. The Plains Indians watched hunters slaughter the animals that gave them shelter and clothing, food, and weapons. The battles at and near the ruins of a trading fort, Adobe Walls, became symbolic of the struggles between hunters and the Comanche.
Frontier mobster Big Boy Daugherty warns any who'd stand in his way: Get out or die. One man will do neither. Sheriff Dave Buckalew is a man too proud to give up and too stubborn to give in. He liked his town the way it was - before the bootleggers, brothels, and fortune-seeking roustabouts - and so did a lot of other hardworking, decent folk. Together they'll fight to win back their town - and their future. This is the story of their heroic stand.
One of America's greatest Western storytellers, Elmer Kelton has been voted the greatest Western writers of all time by the Western Writers of America. Dark Thicket is one of his many classic tales of the history of his home state of Texas. Young Owen Danforth rides home to Texas as a wounded Confederate soldier, at a time when his home state is as savagely divided as his nation. As a grievously wounded America staggers toward the inevitable end of the Civil War, secessionist "home guards" and staunch Union loyalists fight their own bloody battles on a more local scale.
Thomas Canfield descends from a line of Texas's earliest settlers. A proud man with a fierce-eyed stare, he inspires the Mexican of Stonehill, Texas to call him el gavilan - "The Hawk". When Branch Isom - an insolent, dangerous newcomer - seeks to build his fortune at Canfield's expense, an all-out feud ensues. Hurtling the town toward a day of reckoning that will shake the entire town to its very roots. Eyes of the Hawk is a classic tale of Western history, told by one of the most critically acclaimed writers of the American West.
Joe Pepper is a Texas badman with quite a past. In fact, there isn't much that Joe hasn't done in his 40 years of living on both sides of the Texas law - except face the hangman. Now, convicted of murder, Joe is about to get that privilege. But, before he goes, Joe has a few things he wants to say - and a few stories that he wants to set straight. With Joe Pepper, legendary western writer Elmer Kelton tells a fine and moving tale of the history of his home state of Texas.
As he flees to the sanctuary of Mexico, Chacho Fernandez is unaware of the fuel he has added to the already simmering racial hatreds in and around the quiet town of Domingo, Texas. Through events set in motion by a misunderstanding, Chacho becomes a folk hero to his people and a dangerous fugitive to a group of zealous lawmen.
As a slave, Isaac Jefford went to war and saved the life of his master, Major Lytton. As a free man, Isaac became one of the major's top cowhands, respected - but never totally accepted - by fellow cowboys: when they gathered around the fire to eat their dinner, Isaac took his food and sat on the wagontongue alone. When Pete Runyan, a bitter southerner, joins the crew, Isaac has to swallow his rage more than once.
Daniel Provost is the son of a farmer. Living up to his father's high standards for the farm is very hard work, but his life is basically comfortable, and a loving woman is waiting to become his wife. When a well-traveled stranger bearing a story of Jim Bowie's legendary silver mine appears at the farm, Daniel might just throw away everything for the chance at adventure he thought had passed him by.
Rancher Blair Bishop of Two Forks, Texas, has too many enemies...and they are closing in on him. Macy Modock, whom Bishop sent to prison 10 years ago, is out of the hoosegow. Modock is returning to Two Forks along with his sidekick, who is known to be a mean gunman. Also arrayed against Bishop is rival cowman Clarence Cass, who is running his animals on Bishop's land. Complicating matters, Cass' daughter, Jessie, and Bishop's son, Allan, are in love.
Joshua Buckalew has left behind the deserted battlefields that claimed his brother Thomas. The war has cost him much, but it has also given him a strong bond to the land and to the Mexican families who stood with him against the tyrannies of Santa Anna. Josh is travelling with Ramon Hernandez his best friend and the man who had fought with him, side by side. Where they are going, he isn't quite sure.
When former cattle man Dundee wanders into the town of Titusville, he's broke, tired, and itching for a fight. Instead, he gets a job offer...from none other than the top man in town, John Titus. Titus recruits Dundee to find out who's rustling his extensive herd of cattle. But for Titus, it isn't enough that Dundee find the missing cattle. He wants to place the blame on a specific person...Blue Roan Hardesty, a one-time friend turned sworn enemy of the powerful Titus clan.
Johnny Fristo and Speck Quitman, young, hardworking cowboys from Fort Concho, Texas, have worked six months - at $20 a month - on the Devil's River. Their boss, a hawk-faced cow trader named Larramore, reneges on the money he owes the boys, sneaks out of the cow camp, and heads for San Angelo. Fristo is tall and thin, his mind a hundred miles away; Quitman is short, bandy legged, and "bedazzled by the flash of cards and the slosh of whiskey".
Donovan was supposed to be dead. The town of Dry Fork, southern Texas, had buried him years before when Uncle Joe Vickers had fired off both barrels of a shotgun into the vicious outlaw's face as he was escaping from jail. Now Uncle Joe has been shot - in just the same way. And Judge Upshaw had found a noose hanging on his door.
Deputy Sheriff Jim-Bob McClain isn't sure he's ready to follow in his father's footsteps as the law in Coolridge County. In fact he has a hard enough time keeping the peace between the drunks in the local saloon. But with tough Sheriff Mont Naylor to back him up, he figures he can handle whatever comes his way. Jim-Bob's first real assignment is no piece of cake. He must escort a ruthless outlaw into the hands of justice. All seems well with the lawless killer firmly in Jim-Bob's custody. But nothing prepares him for an angry mob determined to take the law into their own hands.
In the early days of the Texas panhandle, starting a new life is hard - but keeping it is even harder. Espy Norwood is a troubleshooter who's got troubles of his own, and more troubles find him when he lands a job on a ranch on the Texas plains. Bitter landowners plot against him, determined cattle thieves sneak right under his nose, and his own son refuses to trust or even know him. Can he catch the thieves, save the ranch, and win his son's love?
Elmer Kelton, voted "The Greatest Western Writer of All Time" by the Western Writers of America, is a legend in the field of Western literature. Famous for his realistic characters and accurate depictions of the history of his home state of Texas, Elmer Kelton continues to write exceptional novels of American history.
In Bitter Trail, Kelton tells the story of a tough teamster named Frio Wheeler whose wagons haul cotton from Texas to Mexico.Sounds like a peaceable enterprise? The problem is that the Civil War is raging throughout the South and Wheeler's cotton is to be sold for gold--gold used to buy guns and ammunition for the Confederate army.