Sunday, April 13, 2014
“Branded Outlaw” is a Western novella originally published in the October 1938 issue of FIVE-NOVELS MONTHLY under the pseudonym Barry Randolph. The hero is Lee Weston, a young man from New Mexico who has gone off to Wyoming and acquired something of a reputation as a gunfighter. He returns home to his father’s ranch in New Mexico in response to a plea for help, only to find the ranch house burned down and his father dead. Lee knows that one of his father’s old enemies from trail-driving days has recently purchased a ranch in the area, so he’s convinced that the rival cattleman is responsible for what happened to his father. But when Lee gets shot up and it’s the old enemy’s beautiful daughter who rescues him and nurses him back to health, he figures there’s maybe more going on in the valley than he realized at first. If you’ve ever read many stories from the Western pulps or watched any Western B-movies, you won’t find any surprises in the plot of this one. I was impressed, though, with the quality of the writing. Vivid but not long-winded descriptions of the setting, a very fast pace, good action scenes, and believable dialogue combine to make this a pretty entertaining yarn.
"Branded Outlaw" e-book on Amazon
"Branded Outlaw" paperback on Amazon