With Book 64, the publishers, Garden City Publishing, focused entirely on westerns, a clear indication that this genre outsold all other genres in the original series.
The rear covers on second-state editions announced forthcoming titles along with dates of publication, each on a monthly basis, beginning with this title, “Texas Men and Texas Cattle,” by E. E. Harriman, published 1st February 1926.
This edition also marks the first shift from 124-page to 188+ page volumes. The thicker volumes allowed the publishers a ready option to bind remainder stock later as hardcovers (which they did, on many of the future titles).
This long novelette hails from the July 1925 edition of Frontier. The cover art, by Nick Eggenhofer, originates with the 10 July 1924 edition of Short Stories.
The story is straight-forward from the onset, and heavily padded to the point of feeling quite dull at times. It’s neither a good book, nor a bad book, just the author’s choice of dialogue and dragging pulls down the value of this to me.
Will Stratton owns a ranch and is deep in debt. Loan sharks tricked him into a higher interest rate than verbally quoted, and years gone by, he is near bankruptcy. However, when a man from out West spends the night, traveling East, he learns that while cattle in Texas is worth pennies, folks in Arizona and California are in dire demand of beef, spending $25-40+ per head.
Breaking the law, he herds his cattle, along with two other neighborly ranchers, West, fighting their way past stampeding buffalo, Comanches, Apaches, rustlers, etc, before landing in Arizona and facing off against corruptly deputized men from Texas, serving a warrant. However, prior to this, the men had successfully sold the entire outfit and Stratton, by express, has posted due funds back to Texas, to his lawyer.
The three are intermittently jailed and post bond, await trial, and after two weeks go by, no word returns by express to set Stratton his fellow ranchers free. Thankfully, as luck would have it in the closing pages, an express man runs into the courtroom carrying a Texas-stamped envelope, with a letter from Stratton’s lawyer. The situation is deftly handled, and our men are free to roam….