Top Ten Western Short Stories For December
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Western Short Stories Bio. of Ernest Haycox
Ernest Haycox was born in Portland, Oregon. He published two dozen novels and close to 300 short stories.
His short story, Stage to Lordsburg was made into the classic western movie called Stagecoach and featured John Wayne.
His novel titled Trouble Shooter was the basis for the movie titled Union Pacific staring Barbra Stanwyck.
Hang Up My Gun
All afternoon Jastrow Brant, the pressure of whose big body against a lame hip had long since tamed him to a chair, sat on the porch of his High Pass tavern and watched the inevitable signals of another range war rise from the bald and tawny domes around him. Situated on the exact summit of the range, the world was for him an unrolled scene; below to the west the immense dun flatness of the Yellow Horn country—a feudal domain of cattle kings—marched mile upon mile into the horizon, overcast by a sultry haze that was itself like a portent of trouble. The sun was a shapeless glow in the sky. Eastward, on the other side of the range, the slashed and contorted badlands emitted a sulfur-bronze coloring, all the false beauties of its chemicals beckoning the inexperienced traveler into a labyrinthine trap. Read the full story HERE>>
On the third day of his confinement in the old line-riders’ hut, Tom Darrah looked at the sky and decided reluctantly to chance a run for Arrowhead. The driving Easter had stopped sometime during the night and the ensuing calm was profound and brittle—not the calm following a blown-out blizzard but rather that sort of a sullen recess auguring worse to come. There was no feel in the air of the bland chinook which erases and melts the effects of the harsher winds; there was, in fact, nothing to indicate change. Two feet of dry, packed snow lay along the ridge and trimmed the pine boughs. A slate-gray sky pressed its ceiling down within a hundred yards of the ground. The footing, he knew, would be bad and the travel slow. Nevertheless, Tom Darrah decided to make the try. Read the full story HERE>>
Breed of the Frontier
Tom Cruze was in the cabin-clearing chopping out fence rails when the warning reached him through the drizzling November rain. He dropped the bitt of his ax upon the cedar log and stared around the stump-littered field; there was nothing to be seen or heard that justified the vague, indefinite suspense in him. Yet in response to it—for he never disobeyed these instinctive danger signals—he swept the tangle of underbrush that choked the tree trunks of the encircling forest with a half-narrowed eye. Still there was nothing. Read the full story HERE>>
Invitation By Bullet
There was rain over in the distant hills. November’s clouds, scudding along the ceiling of the desert, were ripped wide by the jagged peaks and emptied of their liquid freight. The immediate foreground, too, had been touched by rain; the clay-and-sand ground was sodden, every depression of hoof and pad was carved clear and every rock bowl held water. Dampness weighted the air, the raw dampness of a swiftly approaching wet winter. It was high time for all wayfarers to be holing up, yet Indigo Bowers and Joe Breedlove still were on the roll, weatherworn and scarred veterans with a thousand miles behind them and no visible goal ahead. Read the full story HERE>>