"I reckon you don't know who you're talking to, mister. I'm Monte Lyman, and I'm not afraid of anybody, let alone a saddletramp drifting through town. Hell, I wouldn't even waste my time looking at you, except that I can't let folks get the idea that it's healthy to tangle with a Lyman... All right, boys, go get him!"

But the man Lyman was "teaching a lesson" was no fiddlefoot drifter. He may have looked like one, but he was Jim Dixon, a fast-shooting, fast-thinking freighter who had come to town alone to scope out its business possibilities. Dixon's men and wagons weren't far behind either, and together they made a hard-fighting partnership no man could stand against. Lyman had given Dixon a reason to stay, and so had his meeting with Ellen Carter, a gentle woman with exceptional strength—but who was married to one of the slimiest tinhorn gamblers in the West. Lyman held the entire town of Cottonwood in a grip of fear and everyone paid tribute to him. But not Jim Dixon. He was the only man who dared stand up to this two-bit tyrant, and soon the trails into and out of town were ringing with gunshots from one of the deadliest battles the range had ever seen.

Because the only lesson Dixon learned from the midnight beating was that he'd better waste no time lining up his six-guns on Lyman's whole sidewinder crew. Dixon's only fear was that he would have to kill Ellen's husband—and that meant he could never marry her. But Ellen and the women of Cottonwood had their own plan for dealing with the war.

Either way Lyman and his men were about to be tagged "fast freight for Boothill."

EDWIN BOOTH was the author of over fifty classic westerns. Like his contemporary LOUIS L'AMOUR, he was born and raised in the west, primarily New Mexico, Nebraska and California, had worked on ranches, and knew the old-time sheriffs and gunfighters as a young man—which gave his work an unusual level of depth and authenticity. It's not surprising that his books were often compared to those of L'Amour and were published by the same publishers.