The Texan Rides Alone
Stormy Merrill rides into the remote MaraisValley, gets taken on as a hand by the Proctor ranch, and ends up as boss by marrying Proctor’s daughter Jerry. Yet Toni, daughter of the Big B’s owner at the other end of the valley, shows interest in Merrill as well. Stormy ruthlessly incorporates both women into his unscrupulous plans for making a buck, but with a tragic end.
I understand that Paine was noted for historical accuracy based on personal experience. But this reader encountered prose that strayed too close to purple: “a livid memory carved in the soft parts behind his eyes”; and, “a groping wind… dragged its belly across the roof of the barn.” I also did not like a single character. Paine couldn’t have authored hundreds of Westerns under various pseudonyms without having numerous fans. Yet I’m afraid this book will not persuade me to join that camp.