Western legend Grey (Lorna Doone, Riders of the Purple Sage) wrote this novel in 1913, but it was rejected by his early publishers, who believed it contained too much gunplay and not enough sentimentality. Buck Duane is the son of an infamous gunfighter. Although Buck is warned by his family to avoid the outlaw trail, his quick temper, steady nerve and lightning-quick hand promptly get him into trouble. After killing a bully, Buck flees the law and heads off into the harsh badlands of southwest Texas, where outlaw gangs roam the Mexican border. Buck falls in with a bad crowd, but an exaggerated reputation and a couple of nifty shootings keep him alive among the ornery rustlers and robbers. He grows into a steely-eyed gunfighter with a conscience and a saddlebag full of regrets. Despite the notches multiplying on his gun, however, Buck is a decent fellow. He rescues a young girl, Jennie Lee, from the abusive clutches of the Bland gang, only to see her abducted again. In despair, Buck hides out for several more years, dodging the law and the bushwhackers, all the while searching for Jennie Lee. When the Texas Rangers finally catch up with Buck, it's not to kill him but to make him an offer he can't refuse. This may have been too bloody a story for 1913, but it follows formula in the end, as the outlaw settles down, albeit with a haunted mind, to a life of humble domesticity. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996 Release date: 08/01/1996 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-8439-4430-3
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