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Former prospector Buck Ford walked into the government land office in Socorro and stepped to the wall map. Tracing a rectangle with his finger, he looked over at the man behind the counter and enquired, "Anybody own this spot?"
The bespectacled land clerk, deep in a book, was at first irritated by the interruption. But after seeing the location indicated by the obvious newcomer, his expression changed to one of surprise. "Not unless you like trouble."
Buck raised an eyebrow. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Means nobody owns it legal, but somebody does in another way."
"What other way is there?"
The book-reader frowned. "New around these parts?"
"Maybe. How about answering the question."
Irritation creased the man's face and he closed the book with a snap. "Alright. Man by the name of Myron Grafton uses it of a summer. Rafter H Ranch, down there at the bottom of Long Canyon. Powerful man with a bad temper. Got madder'n hell at me when I wouldn't let him file on this very piece of property." He reached out, tapping his finger on a smaller map he'd produced to emphasize the words.
Posted November 4, 2002
This second western by Mr. Kelling is even better than his first. Much more detailed; many more characters. Especially delightful was his use of John J. "Blackjack" Pershing, and Elfego Baca. Territory descriptions were excellent, as before. Ditto for moral standards. You really feel like you're there, transported back into the old west. Like it's YOU on that horse. YOU behind that gun. YOU falling for that gorgeous waitress. This book is not to be missed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 1, 2012
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