Rock Bannon was a killer and a hero. All the settlers understood was that he was a killer, and where they came from killing was wrong and justice left to the police. So Rock's warnings of peril went unheeded and the settlers forged onward, lured toward certain destruction by a glowing promise of a cheap rangeland paradise that didn't exist.
Then Mort Harper, the worst killer in the territory, took Rock Bannon's fiancee, and Rock came to get her.
"Figured you'd haul for this place if you knew the country at all," Bannon said. "So I cut across country."
"There's no other trail," Harper said.
Bannon replied, "I make my own trails. I don't try to follow and steal the work of other men."
Harper laughed and his hand swept down and up ... the two guns boomed together.
...Showdown Trail was first published in Giant Western magazine, Winter 1948, under Louis L'Amour's "Jim Mayo" pseudonym. Years later, when L'Amour was first starting out as a paperback novelist, it was rewritten as The Tall Stranger. One of the earliest L'Amour westerns to be adapted for the movies, the film version starred Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo and Michael Ansara.
The cover for this ebook edition is reworked from the original magazine cover for the Winter 1948 Giant Western and was scanned from the publisher's personal copy.