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by Elmer Kelton
Owen Danforth, a wounded Confederate soldier comes home to Texas. His family has been torn apart by the war. Owen is torn between duty and family loyalty.
Some who treasure Elmer Kelton’s novels – Time It Never Rained, The Good Old Boys, Slaughter and over thirty other titles – may not realize that he led another professional life as a livestock journalist. For forty-two years, he wrote fiction by night and traveled West Texas by day to report on livestock auctions, range conditions, and rodeo results. To those who know him as the retired associate editor of Livestock Weekly, his novels are less important than his knowledge of ranching.
Edited by Judy Alter and James Ward Lee
A story about Caprock, Texas which didn’t even exist until oil was found. It tells a story about everyone life changes with this new found discovery.
By Elmer Kelton
In 1999, with Forge’s publication of The Buckskin Line, Elmer Kelton launched a series of novels on the formative years of the Texas Rangers. In Texas Justice, the first three of these critically acclaimed books are now brought together in a single volume.
In The Buckskin Line, Kelton introduces the red-haired boy captured by a Comanche war party after the massacre of his family. Rescued by Mike Shannon, a member of a Texas “ranging company” protecting settlers from Indian raids, the boy known as Rusty is adopted by the Shannon family. In 1861, Mike Shannon is ambushed and killed, and Rusty follows in his footsteps and joins the Rangers. In the throes of the coming War Between the States, Rusty searches for the Confederates who lynched his adoptive father and awaits meeting the Comanche warrior who killed his family two decades past.
At the end of the Civil War, Rusty Shannon is thrown adrift when the Rangers are disbanded, and makes his way to his home on the Red River, where he hopes to marry the girl he left behind, Geneva Monahan. But as Badger Boy, the second novel of the saga, unfolds, Geneva has married another man in Rusty’s absence. Faced with this betrayal, he must contend with the hate-filled Confederate and Union soldiers infesting Texas and with the continuing Indian raids against innocent settlers. Rusty’s own childhood captivity returns to haunt him when he rescues Andy, a white child called Badger Boy by his Comanche captors.
In The Way of the Coyote, Andy rides with Rusty Shannon as the Rangers are re-formed in postwar turmoil. With Texas overrun with outlaws, disenfranchised Confederate veterans, nightriders, and marauding Comanche bands, Rusty tries to resume his pre-war life. When his friend Shanty, a freed slave, is burned out of his home by Ku Klux Klan and Rusty’s own homestead is confiscated by a murderous band of thugs, he must follow perilous trails before he can put the war and its aftermath behind him.
This is a tale of a man who flees to Mexico to escape punishment from a misunderstood incident.
Naked Came the Stranger set the format, but not always the tone or subject matter, for a whole string of books that appeared in the 1970s. Called collaborative or serial novels, the multi-author works were set in the suburbs, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Florida, the American West, but never in Texas. Now a dozen Texas authors have gotten together to create a good old-fashioned western novel. Each contributing author will write a chapter that builds on the work that precedes his or her chapter.
The plot features Noah, a plantation slave who escapes and makes his way to the Union forces and, finally, Texas, where he establishes a small ranch, runs a few cattle, and, with wife Nelly, begins to raise a family. But Noah, who has taken the name Freeman and named his ranch Free Land, cannot leave his past behind. The slave catcher Quint Carpenter is the local sheriff, and he’s out for blood— specifically Noah’s blood—after Noah’s sister kills Quint’s younger son. And carpetbagger Bear Coltrain, who once wanted to kidnap Noah and sell him back into slavery, now wants Noah’s land. And then John Malone comes along—Noah once saved the former cavalry officer’s life, and he wants to repay his debt. Can he help when someone kidnaps Noah’s baby girl? Can he help save the ranch—and, finally, save Noah’s life?
In Other Men’s Horses, a young 1880s Texas Ranger must track down a fugitive who gunned down a notorious horse thief. Reaching the West Texas town where Donley Bannister was last spotted, Ranger Andy Pickard follows Bannister’s trail across treacherous, unforgiving terrain. But when outlaws ambush Pickard, Bannister risks his life to rescue his pursuer-instead of high-tailing it in the opposite direction-and provides life-saving medical care. As Pickard recovers, he realizes how beholden he is to Bannister and wishes he weren’t duty-bound to bring him to justice.
Written by the most honored Western writer of all time, Ranger’s Law presents three novels from Elmer Kelton’s acclaimed saga of the formative years of the Texas Rangers.
In Ranger’s Trail, set in the decade following the Civil War, young David “Rusty” Shannon hopes to join the “ranging companies” being formed to curb depredations by Indian bands and renegade outlaws. Waiting will give him time to find and kill the man who murdered his fiancée – but the trail Rusty is following may lead to the wrong man.
Texas Vendetta pairs Rusty Shannon, now a Ranger private, with Farley Brackett, a Civil War veteran, to deliver a prisoner, Jayce Landon, to a sheriff of a distant county. The mission won’t be easy. Landon killed a member of a rival clan and Rusty and his partner are riding into the middle of a blood feud.
In Jericho’s Road, Ranger Andy Pickard, who as a child was taken captive by the Comanche and called ‘Badger Boy,’ is assigned to ride patrol on the Texas-Mexico border and finds his few miles along the Rio Grande in the center of a range war.
Two of the most recognizable Texas symbols – the Rangers and Elmer Kelton – come together in these unforgettable adventures in Ranger’s Law.
Crow Feather, a revered Comanche warrior, comes to realize that if the Indians cannot drive the white man from their domain, the buffalo will vanish and the People will be banished from their ancestral range. But many don’t share his feelings, including buffalo hunters Jeff Layne and Nigel Smithwick who inevitably clash with the Indians.