Book 54 in the Garden City Publishing pulp digest-paperback series is “The Bandit of Devil’s Own,” by Lemuel L. de Bra. It was originally printed within the 1st November 1923 edition of Ace-High Magazine.
Bob Branton is a customs officer riding the line between Mexico and the United States, and after a bit of undercover work across the border, has arrested a pair of smugglers. He is taken off-guard and overtaken by the duo, but is relieved when a group of riders soon arrive. Believing them to be officers of the law he is gobsmacked to eventually learn that he has landed from one frying pan, into one that is most certainly much worse. For, the group of riders are outlaws!
Strangely enough to Branton, he and the pair are taken into the custody of the outlaws and are brought deep into a range called “The Devil’s Own.” Clearly believing this to be the secret lair of the outlaws, Branton tries to leave clues behind on the trail in case “real” officers try to trace them. All for naught. The leader of the gang catches onto Branton’s attempts and eventually they are all blind-folded.
While trying to escape to the lair, one of the smugglers is shot down and confesses to Branton that the girl is not his sister, but an adopted Yankee whose family died while she was young. This part of the plot is useless to the story, as she really does not figure into the remainder of the novel.
Once in the enemy camp, he learns that the gang is mining for a lost lode of gold. This tale is firmly held up by an old codger name of Jeb whom seems to have lost his marbles.
After much literary padding, Branton, Jeb, and another custom’s officer (that was held prisoner) effect their escape and hold off the enemy long enough for the cavalry to arrive and save their lives….
Honestly, in my humble opinion, not one of the author’s better efforts. He is clearly utilizing his own former occupational background in the use of this novel effort.