The marshal's name was Borden Chantry. Young, lean, rugged, he's buried a few men in this two-bit cow town -- every single one killed in a fair fight. Then, one dark, grim day a mysterious gunman shot a man in cold blood. Five grisly murders later, Chantey was faced with the roughest assignment of his life--find that savage, trigger-happy hard case before he blasts apart every man in town... one by bloody one.
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October 25, 2004
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Excerpt from Borden Chantry by Louis L'Amour
Dawn came like a ghost to the silent street, a gray, dusty street lined with boardwalks, hitching rails and several short lengths of water trough. False-fronted buildings alternated with others of brick or stone, some with windows showing goods for sale, some blank and empty.
A door slammed, a well pump came to life, complaining in rusty accents, then a rooster crowed . . . answered by another from across the town.
Into the end of the street rode a lone cowboy on a crow-bait horse. He saw the sign of the Bon-Ton Restaurant, and turned toward it, then his horse shied and he saw the body of a man lying beside the walk.
He glanced at it, dismounted, then tied his horse at the rail. He tried the restaurant door and had started to turn away when the sound of footsteps drew him back. The door opened and a pleasant voice said, "Come in. There's coffee, breakfast ready in a few minutes."
"I ain't in no hurry." The cowboy straddled a chair, accepting the coffee. "Dead man out in the street."
"Again Third this week. You just wait until Saturday. Saturday night's when they let the wolves howl. You stick around."
"I seen it here and yonder. Ain't figurin' on it. I'm ridin' over to Carson an' the steam cars." He jerked his head toward the street. "You seen him "
"No . . . don't aim to. I seen a dead man. I seen two dozen of them, time to time. Ain't nothin' about bein' dead pleases me. Some drunken fight, no doubt. Happens all the time."
A woman came along the street, her heels clicking on the boardwalk. She passed the dead man, glanced back, then turned her head away and walked on to the post office.
A man crossing the street turned aside and bending over the dead man took the head by the hair and turned the face around. "Him Prob'ly had it comin'," he said, and walked on.
Down the street another door slammed and somebody sang, off-key, of the streets of Laredo. Another pump started to squeak.
Finally the woman emerged from the post office, glanced at the body, then went to the door of the marshal's office and rapped vigorously.