Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Way of the Lawless - by Max Brand

Free US/UK Kindle Classic

Yeehaw!  Max Brand is free on Classic Kindle. Unlike other Western writers who place their cowboys before the “decline” of the West, Brand's characters in Way of the Lawless (1921) confront the new world head on. (US Edition)  (UK Edition) 

Pat Gregg was leaving the saloon; he was on his horse, but he sat the saddle slanting, and his head was turned to give the farewell word to several figures who bulged through the door of the saloon. For that reason, as well as because of the fumes in his brain, he did not hear the coming of the automobile. His friends from the saloon yelled a warning, but he evidently thought it some jest, as he waved his hand with a grin of appreciation. The big car was coming, rocking with its speed; it was too late now to stop that flying mass of metal.

But not everything has changed:

“Be on your way, Buck. Get out of town, and get out of trouble. My boy hears you been talkin’ about him, and he allows as how he’ll get you. He’s out for you now.”

The fumes cleared sufficiently from Buck Heath’s mind to allow him to remember that Jasper Lanning’s boy was no other than the milk-blooded Andy. He told Jasper to lead his boy on. There was a reception committee waiting for him there in the person of one Buck Heath.

“Don’t be a fool, Buck,” said Jasper, glancing over his shoulder. “Don’t you know that Andy’s a crazy, man-killin’ fool when he gets started? And he’s out for blood now. You just slide out of town and come back when his blood’s cooled down.”

Buck Heath took another drink from the bottle in his pocket, and then regarded Jasper moodily. “Partner,” he declared gloomily, putting his hand on the shoulder of Jasper, “maybe Andy’s a man-eater, but I’m a regular Andy-eater, and here’s the place where I go and get my feed. Lemme loose!”

Don’t you want to know what happens? Kick up your boots and sit a spell with Max Brand.

(Western readers may know Max Brand was the pen name of American Frederick Faust. What they may not know is Faust was a war correspondent killed in Italy by shrapnel during WWII.)

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