Max Brand

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Pierre Ryder is not your average Jesuit missionary. He's able to ride the meanest horse, run for miles without tiring, and put a bullet in just about any target. But now he's on a mission of vengeance to find the man who killed his father.

The journey will test his endurance to its utmost--and so will the extraordinary woman he meets along the way. Jacqueline "Jack" Boone has all the curves of a lady but can shoot better than most men.

In the epic tradition of Riders of the Purple Sage, their story is one for the ages. 

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The legend of Robert Fernald is narrated by Max Brand in three related short novels gathered here for the first time in book form. 

Fernald has been brought up from childhood by his uncle, James Dinsmoore, with endless tales about the great days of the Wild West and the escapades of his father and Wild Bill.  There has always been a certain vagueness about which side of the law Fernald's father was on.  But in any case, at the time of his death he left enough money for Robert's uncle to send the boy to college and, while there, for him to engage in collegiate prize fighting, varisity football, and competition with firearms. 

Now Robert is back in the West.  He has no ambition but to pursue on his own legendary exploits similar to those he grew up hearing about.  In this Robert is aided by a very special ability.  He is amazingly accurate with the automatic pistol he carries in a shoulder holster, not only able to hit any kind of target but possessed of a lightning draw.  No one is more aware than James Dinsmoore that there has been more than a little exaggeration in his tales of yore, but this is of no matter.  Robert would be unwilling to hear anything to the contrary, espcially at this late date.  Robert wants his change as long as it is still possible.  Robert is not without resources.  His uncle has given him $500 to ease him on his way to find adventure.  It marks the beginning of a new legend that is certain to shadow Robert Fernald and all that he does, one belied completely by his outward docility and apparent gentleness.

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For twenty-two years Silas Durfee was a Texas Ranger.  Finally he quit, wanting instead to try his hand at ranching.  There is a way he can make this dream come true. 

Thomas Bunce, a wealthy rancher, proposes to hire Durfee as mentor and protector for his nephew, Henry Vincent, someone to teach him how to hunt, to fish, but to prevent him from riding rough horses, using a handgun, and keeping away from anything that could be considered dangerous.  There is one other thing.  Durfeee must protect young Vincent from the notorious outlaw, Spot Lester.  Durfee has reason to know all about Spot Lester.  Several times as a Ranger he went up against him and each time was bested.  Against taking the job is young Vincent himself, who seems indifferent to everything, perhaps out of an inherent dullness of spirit.  In the end it is the temptation of acquiring a ranch and sufficient money to stock it that overpowers all of Durfee's reservations, but he soon realized it was a poor choice.  There is nothing dull about young Vincent when he goes up against a mountain lion in a dark cave and kills it with only a knife.  That experience is totally exhilarating for Vincent, and it occurs to Durfee that Bunce's real reason for wanting to keep Vincent away from danger is the effect the experience would have on him. 

Enter Spot Lester.  His whole tale is a total fabrication, but believing it and acting on it will turn Vincent into a murderer and a fugitive - and that is exactly what Spot Lester wants.

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 "Brand practices his art to something like perfection."  -  THE NEW YORK TIMES

"The name Max Brand is synonymous with Wester novels." - Booklist

"[Brand] is one of the top three Western novelists of all time." - The Tombstone Epitaph

Tom Fernald may not be the smartest man alive, but he certainly knows when he's in trouble.  And he's in it deep.  A bandit name Bill Ransome just stole all the money Tom had gathered to pay off the mortgage on his sheep ranch.  Now he'll be broke and landless with no way to scrape enough cash together to get another herd.  Unless he can find a miser's fortune rumored to be buried in the area.  When Ransome gets wind of the windfall, he figures he's in for more easy pickings.  But he hasn't counted on the simple sheepherder learning a few tricks of his own.

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A mocking challenge from a border outlaw was all the Montana Kid needed to spur him over the river and back into treacherous Mexican territory.

He knew for sure that he was riding into trouble, but he was lured by the memories of a beautiful dark-eyed dancer, and the chance to trade fire with a band of corrupt soldiers who were looting churches across the land.  There was only one way to stop them.  He would join forces with the bandit Rubriz and force a showdown.

Max Brand was the favorite pseudonym of Frederick Faust, creator of Destry, Dr. Kildare, and many other popular fictional characters.  His stories have been translated into every major language and adapted for film and television.

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In Cuttle's Hired Man Bill Warner and Chick Newton are two cowboys who formed a friendship.  Seven years later, Chick Newton encounters Bill Warner again in a small desert town in Arizona Territory.  Time has aged them both, but Chick is sure that it is the same man, only Bill Warner denies it.  His name, he insists, is Joe Tucker.

The Girl They Left Behind Them is an extraordinary story about big Jack Innis, who finds himself attracted to Stella Cornish, daughter of the local sheriff.  The problem for Jack is that Miles Ogden claims Stella as his girlfriend and has terrified or intimidated every other man who has ever dared show any interest in her.

Speedy is a loner, able to outwit and outmanoeuvre even the deadliest men without the use of a gun.  Speedy lives in obscurity because of his enemies, but in Red Rock's Secret, Jessica Fenton Wilson is on his trail.

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The stories in this first collection dedicated to Max Brand's crime and mystery stories embrace a wide range of protagonists; a boxer paid to take a fall, a treasure-hunting western badman, a pickpocket, a stubborn cop, a murderous husband, and a spy in the mean streets leading to World War II.

Masquerade, the 24th in the Lost Classics series, collects ten stories oroginally published between 1935 and 1938.  It is edited with introduction and prefaces to each story by Max Brand's biographer, William F. Nolan, Jr.

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When  Captain Slocum's four huge guard dogs were about to run him down, Don Grier didn't flinsh.  And for that he earned the imtimidating captain's respect.  Slocum even agreed to fund Don's quest for the truth about the murder his father hanged for.

Brave as he is, though, Don's still just a tenderfoot going into a rough-and-tumble mining town.

If he wants answers, he'll have to prove himself to the cutthroats and thieves who'd just as soon put a bullet in his back.

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