Battle At Rattlesnake Pass by Tom West
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mike O’Brien's father is accused of rustling cattle and is killed. Hot-headed O’Brien shoots the fella that killed his father and gets himself tossed into Yuma for five years. Upon release he heads home to Jackass Wells where he is branded as a rustler and shunned. When cattle starts disappearing everyone assumes that it’s his doing. O’Brien befriends a crippled gunslinger and falls for a sheepherder’s daughter as he tries to defend his honor and identify the rustlers. This half of an Ace Double was written by Tom West, who wrote a lot of them. Although copyrighted in 1965 his use of cowboy lingo and vernacular is impressive, much like the pulpsters of a earlier era. Good story and well written. Definitely a throwback to to pulp novellas, even ending with a wedding. Good enough to keep me reading more from Tom West when the mood strikes me.