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The war with the North was over, but Texas was still a battleground. Outlaw bands ravaged whole towns, drenching the Border Country with blood. Deadliest of all was the silent band of knife-artists known as "the Bad Bunch" ... Under Dusty Fog, the Texas Light Cavalry had held off the Yanks as long as the South had stood. Now they were called the Floating Outfit-and they were all that stood between Texas and the law of the blade!
No man walks away . . . For years, there have been none better at the trade than buffalo-skin hunter Kerry Barran. But he's taken part in too much killing -- of beast and man alike -- and now he wants to lay down his gun for good. But the hunter's got powerful enemies in Otley Creek -- and a "partner" who's unhappy about Kerry's refusal to finish one more job. If teaching the stubborn loner a lesson means breaking his bones, then so be it. In a town owned by his adversaries -- with a ruthless gang of toughs on his tail -- Kerry Barran's going to need all the help he can muster. And he's found it in the most unlikely quarters: with a dapper English dude and his sister . . .with a Texas gunslinger . . . and with a whip-wielding hellcat who goes by the name "Calamity."
In this game, the winning hand is the one that holds the gun! A cardsharp with a conscience, Frank Derringer comes to the crooked town of Tribune, Kansas, looking to even a score or two. But after cheating the cheaters who robbed a good friend blind in a fixed game, Frank's escape doesn't go exactly as planned -- especially after he hooks up with a sharp-shooting lady named Martha Jane Canary, better known as "Calamity." True to her moniker, Calamity Jane's soon leading Frank into a hail of gunfire that's surrounding a dead man's dying words and a fortune in stolen gems. Now, stripped of the one edge they've both always had -- the advantage of working alone -- Frank and Jane are riding hell for leather into a deadly free-for-all and a killer's ingenious trap. And it'll take a sharp eye, a quick gun, and a strong dose of gambler's luck to keep them alive long enough to rake in the pot.
This is the story of a Comanche warrior from birth until the day he rides off on his first war trail. It tells how he learned those things a brave-heart warrior must know; how to ride any horse ever foaled; to be skilled in the use of weapons; to follow tracks and locate hidden enemies; the way a man might move in silence and undetected; where to find food upon the Texas plains, and many other things. He built a name among his people by tangling with Piamempits, the Big Cannibal Owl, when only seven years old. At twelve he became the first Comanche to have had two Give-Away Dances in his honour at that age. Before reaching his fourteenth birthday he had counted coup on his first human enemy. His grandfather was Long Walker, famed war chief in the Pehnane band of the Comanche nation. Although the Pehnane medicine man named him Loncey Dalton Ysabel, to his people he was Cuchilo, the Knife. When the Mexicans along the Rio Grande came to know him, they called him el Cabrito, the Kid. Among the Texans he gained yet another name ... they called him the Ysabel Kid.
FROM THE BACK COVER: Tiny Crumble was nothing like his name. He was big, real big and strong as an ox. Yet, in spite of his great size and powerful muscles, Tiny was of a trusting and gentle nature, at least, that's how he seemed to the boys of the Floating Outfit. Then a robbery took place, one that could only have been committed by a man of exceptional strength. As Dusty Fog, Mark Counter and the Ysabel Kid looked down at the shattered skull of the victim, they began to wonder if the "Gentle Giant" was really as gentle as he seemed.
FROM THE BACK COVER: Like the man the mob was trying to lynch, the Ysabel Kid was half Comanche. He was a crack shot with a Colt Dragoon, a master of the border country art of "cut-and-slash", and the fastest shot with a Winchester Yellow Boy repeater Texas had ever seen. Of course, the mob didn't know that. All they saw was a baby-faced kid in black who needed to be taught a lesson.
Way back in the meanest badlands in West Texas, there is a town where the streets are paved with stolen payrolls-a town no posse can get to, because it is guarded by Pehnane braves with "yellow boy" repeating rifles. A deal has been made between the outlaws and the Comanches, a deal that threatens all of Texas. And the men of the Floating Outfit have a job to do: ride deep into the Palo Duro, find the renegade town called Hell ...and empty it. A FLOATING OUTFIT STORY
FROM THE BACK COVER: In 1873 the Colt factory at Hartford, Connecticut, produced a new revolver called, for want of a better name, the Model P. Dusty Fog of the legendary Floating Outfit bought a matched brace of the new pistols just before heading into Mexico to rescue an old friend of the Ysabel Kid's. By the time Dusty's job was done, the new Colts had a proper name, men called them the Peacemakers
Quiet Town was about as quiet as a hellcat's scream. Dusty Fog decided it was time to bring some law to Quiet Town. If that meant facing down every gun thug in the Montana Territory, Dusty was ready, willing ... and damned able!
Bloodlands . . . It seems when a lady's called "Calamity," chaos follows wherever she goes -- even to the mostly peaceful railroad town of Mulrooney, Kansas. Martha Jane Canary's always been free as the prairie wind, tied to no place or person, so she never expected to inherit a hardscrabble ranch that other folks have been working. She might have even ignored the legal summons to claim her property . . . if someone hadn't tried to kill her first. Now, whether she wants the spread or not, Jane's going to fight for what's hers -- taking on bushwackers, crooked lawyers . . . and a woman with a cold and greedy heart, and a plan to steal Jane's land with bullets and brutality. But Calamity's got an ally -- a baby-faced Texas gun called the Ysabel Kid -- not to mention stony courage, a strong and sure whip hand . . . and a mule-stubborn willingness to lay down her life for what's right.
A good town to die in ... There are six passengers on the stagecoach from Promontory to Ratchet Creek -- among them a beautiful singer with bad intentions, a lawman dressed in deacon's garb ... and a red-headed hellion named Martha Jane Canary, who's hell with a whip and quicker on the draw than most male gun artists. But Calamity Jane has met her match in Marshal Solly Cole, which is just as well, since they're both rolling into more bad news than ever. Because Ratchet Creek's home to a lot more than the lowlife swindler that Cole's been trailing; it's a hotbed of mystery and death that abandoned the law long ago. And for Cole, Calamity, and a kid named John Browning -- who, if he lives, could become the greatest gunsmith there ever was -- this snake pit in the Utah Territories might be a hard place to get to ... and a whole lot harder to get out of.
Man with a mission ... Danny Fog has a lot to live up to, being the younger brother of Dusty Fog, the legendary gun wizard from Rio Hondo. But Danny's still a lawman to be reckoned with -- and by breaking up the loathsome cow-thieving outfit that's terrorizing Caspar County, he'll be well on his way to writing his own legend. The gun-crazy outlaws and Mexican cutthroats standing in his way shouldn't be too much of a problem for the big and brash young Texas Ranger. But dealing with the lady boss of the rustlers may be more than he can handle without help. So Danny's going to fight female fire with female fire, joining forces with one Martha Jane Canary. But kicking in with this tough gun-toting seÑorita could be more trouble than Danny Fog bargained for ... once he learns first-hand why folks hereabouts call her "Calamity."
To Dusty Fog's eye, it seems like a killer's convention is set to convene in Corpus Christi in honor of the arrival of a European crown prince. And it's Dusty's job -- along with fast-draw artist Waco, a knife master called the Ysabel Kid, and other members of Ole Devil Hardin's Floating Outfit -- to keep his highness breathing while on American soil. But things are threatening to get seriously out of hand, because there're a lot more than just a few hired guns who want a shot at this royal target. And it's looking like Fog's going to be facing an old adversary again -- the world's most feared assassin -- even though Dusty's already killed him once!
Law beyond the limits ... In wide-open Arizona, outlaws run rampant, since the authority of the local marshal ends at his town's borders. A different breed of peace officer is needed, and rancher Bentram Mosehan has accepted the responsibility of organizing a new Arizona State Police force. He's looking for men who are brave, honest, and lightning fast with a six-gun -- talents that a drifter named Waco and his amigo, Doc Leroy, possess in abundance. But the two young Texans remember all too well their run-ins with the Lone Star law, and thelast thing Waco and Doc want is to wear a badge. But Mosehan knows these are men you need at your side when all Hell breaks loose. And Waco'll be facing one tough choice once the bullets start flying in earnest: serve ... or die.
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