The only hope of finding a US marshal who suspiciously vanished in the desert is rotting in a New Mexico jail!Because of reports of a potential range war in Peñasco County, New Mexico, US Commissioner Guilford dispatches Deputy US Marshal Ed Church to help clean up the mess. But after arriving in Agua Verde by stagecoach and renting a horse to ride to the troubled area, Church disappears. At the same time, two top men from rival ranching operations are found killed outside town the day after Church arrived in Agua Verde, apparently the deadly result of a shoot-out.Guilford knows that Ed Church's best friend, Streak Mathiot, is currently sitting in the Pleasant City jail. Guilford visits and offers him the job of deputy US marshal to investigate Church's disappearance. If Streak will accept it, the commissioner's assignment will take precedence over any local charges against him, and the prisoner would be released into Guilford's custody. Streak accepts Guilford's offer to find his friend before it's too late. But little does he know he'll be dropped right in the middle of a fight that has already turned violent . . . and possibly deadly.Gunsmoke Masquerade finds Peter Dawson in top form, justifying his reputation as one of the most respected Western writers of all time.
Luke Barren, riding at night beyond Rattlesnake Mesa on his way to the Eagle Canon mining camp, sees an old woman cutting down a body hanging from a tree. A sign is attached to the body: Luke Barron, Beware! And things only get worse when Luke rides into the camp, determined to find out why anyone would want him dead. That's when he discovers that a certain Luke Barron, along with his gang, has been preying on the miners, and the miners are dead set on putting an end to it. If Luke wants to escape the hangman's noose, he has no choice but to take another name, find that other Luke Barron, and prove his own innocence before a case of mistaken identity becomes fatal!
After five years of virtual banishment because he sold out his small outfit to the Middle Arizona Cattle Company, giving it a foothold on the Mesa Grande range, violent-tempered Joe Bonnyman is summoned back to Lodgepole by his father when it appears that a cattle war between the syndicate and the various rangers is imminent.During his short stay in town, Joe has an unpleasant meeting with Ed Merrill, the brother of a girl Joe had once courted. Warned by Merrill to stay away from his sister, Joe whips the man in a fist fight. Later that same night Ed Merrill decides to ride out of Lodgepole to his ranch, rather than face humiliation the next day over the fight. On his way to the stable to get his horse, he sees a light in the Acme Land Company's office and realizes that someone is opening the safe. While he is deliberating what to do, the hold-up man comes out, sees him, and brings down his gun on Ed's head with a vicious blow. From a piece of evidence found at the scene of the crime, it appears that Joe Bonnyman did it.Troublesome Range is a classic story of good and evil, of a man forced to do whatever it takes to defend his honor and his town.
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