The Big Hunt [NOOK Book]


No man walks away . . .

For years, there have been none better at the trade than buffalo-skin hunter Kerry Barran. But he's taken part in too much killing -- of beast and man alike -- and now he wants to lay down his gun for good. But the hunter's got powerful enemies in Otley Creek -- and a "partner" who's unhappy about Kerry's refusal to finish one more job. If teaching the stubborn loner a lesson means breaking his bones, then so be it. In a town owned by his adversaries -- ...

See more details below
The Big Hunt

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$0.99 price


No man walks away . . .

For years, there have been none better at the trade than buffalo-skin hunter Kerry Barran. But he's taken part in too much killing -- of beast and man alike -- and now he wants to lay down his gun for good. But the hunter's got powerful enemies in Otley Creek -- and a "partner" who's unhappy about Kerry's refusal to finish one more job. If teaching the stubborn loner a lesson means breaking his bones, then so be it. In a town owned by his adversaries -- with a ruthless gang of toughs on his tail -- Kerry Barran's going to need all the help he can muster. And he's found it in the most unlikely quarters: with a dapper English dude and his sister . . .with a Texas gunslinger . . . and with a whip-wielding hellcat who goes by the name "Calamity."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061931734
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/19/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 84,500
  • File size: 330 KB

Meet the Author

J.T. Edson brings to life the fierce and often bloody struggles of untamed West. His colorful characters are linked together by the binding power of the spirit of adventure -- and hard work -- that eventually won the West. With more than 25 million copies of his novels in print, J.T. Edson has proven to be one of the finest craftsmen of Western storytelling in our time.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Big Hunt

By J. Edson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 J. Edson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 006078430X

Chapter One

A Man Tired of Killing

It seemed that nothing could save the buffalo cow from death.

Concealed in a clump of bushes not two hundred yards away, Kerry Barran lined his sights on her rib cage at the right spot to make a lung shot. Under his right forefinger the set trigger of the Sharps Old Reliable rifle awaited the light pressure needed to move it rearward, release the sear and propel the striker on to the primer of a cigar-long .45/120/550 bullet in the breech. In his hands he held the ultimate in mid-1870's rifle power and accuracy. Driven by exploding five hundred and fifty grains of best imported British Curtis and Harvey black powder, the one hundred and fifty grains of lead -- cast and patched by his own hands into the required shape -- would rip into the cow's body, expanding and opening a large wound among the vital organs before coming to a halt against the hide opposite the point of entry.

With such a rifle, fired from a rest, a skilled man could not miss at short range. And Kerry Barran was skilled.

All his growing life he possessed the ability to hit a mark with a rifle. Even as a boy he carved his name as a deadly shot; not an easy thing to do when living among the accurate-shooting, rifle-wise men of Missouri. During the War between the States, he became a sharpshooter; the name given to special duty snipers assigned to pick off selected targets at long range. Since its end, he made his living with a rifle.

He might have lived out his life on the Missouri farm, doing no more than drop a buck, coon or turkey for the pot had it not been for the War; that terrible civil conflict of State against State which turned friends into bitter enemies and even set brother fighting brother.

At first the Barran family remained unaffected and unaligned. With the string of early victories to boost their morale, the Confederate supporters showed no concern or animosity over Pop Barran's neutrality. Not so the Yankees. Lane's Red Legs, a force every bit as ruthless, unscrupulous and unprincipled, as Dixie's Quantril, Anderson and Todd's bands, struck at Kerry's home. They killed his father and two brothers, strapped the boy to a tree and gave him a whipping from which he still carried marks.

That ended Kerry's neutrality. At sixteen he wore cadet gray and carried a rifle in a Missouri Infantry Regiment -- a hard, foot-sore job for a young man used to doing most of his travelling on the back of a horse. He soon found himself in the thick of the fighting and his deadly rifle skill brought him notice from higher authority. General Longstreet took the young man into his personal command, and Kerry learned a different kind of war. No longer did he stand or lie in line with other men and pour random shots at a number of enemies. Instead, he worked with an experienced sharpshooter as his tutor, then alone, not to fire indiscriminately into the massed Federal ranks but selecting a definite target, aiming at it and driving home lead with deadly precision.

Kerry's mentor died, victim of one of the Federal Army's sharpshooters, and the young man fought a long-range duel against the Yankee's superior Sharps Berdan rifle. Emerging victorious, Kerry took the Yankee's weapon as his prize. It served him well until the meeting at the Appomattox Courthouse brought an end to military hostilities, if not peace.

Nothing remained of Kerry's old way of life. His home had gone, with Lane's Red Legs -- now raised to the status of heroes -- running Missouri, he turned West. The railroads pushed out across the start of the Great Plains and screamed for men to work on their construction gangs. Good pay and decent food being offered. Kerry took work as a gandy-dancer on one of the rail-laying crews. Having intelligence, a sense of command, the ability to handle men and a pair of hard fists to back up his play, he might have become a king-snipe, gang-pushing section boss with a future ahead of him in such work. Unfortunately, neither food nor pay came up to expectations. After a few meals of salt beef and weevil-infested biscuits, Kerry unpacked his Sharps Berdan and went out to shoot some fresh meat.

So able did he prove himself that he was taken from the construction crew and assigned to shoot camp-meat. At first that had not been too bad, for the hungry crews wasted none of the meat and even the hides found use. However, once they struck the great buffalo herds, things changed. With meat so easily obtained, the crews became fussy and wanted only the best cuts, leaving the rest to rot.

Kerry complained, but nobody listened. "Take a look, man," he would be told. "What we shoot out of the herds won't be missed."

And on the face of it, studying the mass of black, shaggy-humped bison, the theory appeared to be justified. Kerry could not accept it. Deciding he had come as far west as he wanted to, he quit the railroad and sought for a fresh start.

A homestead seemed to offer a decent way of making a living, and might have been, only a small herd of buffalo -- not more than two or three thousand head -- stamped the place flat in passing one day while he was visiting a near-by town.

Broke and hungry, Kerry accepted Cyrus Corben's offer to be a hunter, his work to shoot bison. Not until everything had been settled did Kerry discover that only the hides were needed. The rest, almost two thousand pounds of meat, was to be left where it fell, discarded as of no use. Back East, tanners discovered that the flints, dried buffalo hides, made good leather and paid well to obtain vast numbers. Corben needed to know only that. He did not care how much good . . .


Excerpted from The Big Hunt by J. Edson Copyright © 2006 by J. Edson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)