3 Westerns by Lauran Paine
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Overview: Lauran Paine who, under his own name and various pseudonyms has written over 1,000 books, was born in Duluth, Minnesota. His family moved to California when he was at a young age and his apprenticeship as a Western writer came about through the years he spent in the livestock trade, rodeos, and even motion pictures where he served as an extra because of his expert horsemanship in several films starring movie cowboy Johnny Mack Brown.
Paine’s Western fiction is characterized by strong plots, authenticity, an apparently effortless ability to construct situation and character, and a preference for building his stories upon a solid foundation of historical fact. Adobe Empire(1956), one of his best novels, is a fictionalized account of the last twenty years in the life of trader William Bent and, in an off-trail way, has a melancholy, bittersweet texture that is not easily forgotten.
Sheriff Doyle Bannion tries to keep the peace in Perdition Wells, Texas, when a shooting claims the life of an innocent bystander.
When a shooting takes place at the Union Eagle Saloon, Dale McAfee, foreman of John Rockland’s mighty Texas Star Ranch, kills a range rider working for Clell Durham, a free-graze cowman. It’s a fair fight, but it’s marked by a tragic accident: the bullet that killed Durham’s rider went through his body and also killed an aged swamper. Several eyewitnesses tell Sheriff Doyle Bannion that the old man had ignored warning calls and continued sweeping, so Bannion rules the involuntary shooting death by misadventure. But the King brothers see things differently—and they’re bent on avenging their father’s death.
War At Broken Bow finds Buck Carrell happily in possession of his own small ranch. But the peacefulness of his life is interrupted when a woman collapses at his door. She claims she was on the nearby stage when it was held up so Buck goes to investigate. In Taos Man, Coke Bright has been a drifter, until he encounters a small wagon train. Apaches are a threat, and Coke agrees to act as a guide. But he finds the greater threat to his life comes from inside the immigrant train. After serving five years in Yuma Prison for cattle stealing, Ray Kelly in Gunman returns to the town of Welton. No one wants him there, including Sheriff Perry Smith, but Ray Kelly has lived too long with his lonely and bitter dream of vengeance to be dissuaded. Only a bullet will stop him now…