LONE STAR LAW
Twelve thrilling Western tales that celebrate the proud heritage of the TEXAS RANGERS
Louis L'Amour leads off this powerful collection with a stunning tale featuring his legendary Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie. Here, too, are superb, action-packed entries from today's outstanding Western storytellers -- distinguished award winners as well as daring newcomers, including
Peter Brandvold · Randy Lee Eickhoff · Marcus Galloway · Ed Gorman · Elmer Kelton · Rod Miller · Robert J. Randisi · James Reasoner · Dusty Richards · Troy D. Smith · L. J. Washburn
Edited by renowned author and anthologist Robert J. Randisi, Lone Star Law spans the existence of this elite investigative law enforcement agency. From fending off hostile Comanche to tracking serial killers, from aiming Winchesters and Colt revolvers to firing up laptops and state-of-the-art forensics technology, from targeting rustlers and outlaw gangs to leading harrowing hostage negotiations, the men and women who don the badge and white hat of the Texas Ranger stand as steadfast deliverers of American justice -- the Lone Star way.
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February 28, 2005
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Excerpt from Lone Star Law by Louis L'Amour
While the only true series Louis L'Amour wrote in novel form was his tales of the Sackett family, he did write a series of short stories that featured Texas Ranger Chick Bowdrie. Some of the stories were published in a collection called Bowdrie. Most of them were written between 1940 and 1947 and appeared in the magazine Popular Western.
The one I've chosen for this anthology shows Bowdrie acting not only as a Ranger, but as a detective as well.
There were two bullet holes in the bank window, and there was blood on the hitching rail where the cashier had fallen while trying to get off a last shot. Lem Pullitt had died there by the rail, but not before telling how he had been shot while his hands were up.
Chick Bowdrie stood on the boardwalk, his dark, Apache-like features showing no expression. "I don't like it," he muttered. "Either the holdup man was a cold-blooded killer or somebody wanted Pullitt killed."
He glanced up the street again, his eyes searching the buildings, the walks, the horses tied at the rails. Many men kill, but killing a game man when his hands were up...it just wasn't the way things were done in Texas. And Lem had been game or he would not have stumbled out there, dying, trying for a shot.
The bandits had come into town in two groups. One man with a rifle dismounted in front of the Rancher's Rest while the others rode on to the bank. One then remained outside with the horses, and three had gone inside.
When shots sounded from inside the bank, men rushed to the street; then the man with the rifle opened fire. He covered the retreat of the four men at the bank, but what had become of the man with the rifle He had not run the gauntlet in the street.
Henry Plank, clerk in the stage station, had stepped to the door and opened fire on the fleeing bandits. He claimed to have winged one of them. Bowdrie pushed his hat back on his head and studied the street, scowling.
A large man with a blond mustache emerged from the bank and walked over to where Bowdrie stood. His face was florid and he wore a wide, dusty Stetson.
"Are you the Ranger "
Bowdrie turned his black eyes on the man, who felt a sudden shiver go through him. There was something in those eyes that made him feel uncomfortable.
"Name of Bowdrie. Chick, they call me. You're Bates "
"Yes. They call me Big Jim. I am the banker. Or maybe I should say, I was the banker."
"Is it that bad "
Bowdrie's eyes strayed up the street. That was the direction from which the bandits had come. They could not have been seen until they were right in the street, and when they left, it was in the opposite direction, which put them behind some cottonwoods within a minute or two.