Growing weary of the Outlaw Trail, Milo Talon (whose mother's maiden name is Sackett) starts riding for the brand with the men of the Stirrup-Iron outfit. Riders in this part of Texas take careful measure of each other because valuable young stock is getting rustled from the T Bar T, the HF Connected, the Circle B, and the Stirrup-Iron. Wandering cowpokes are treated with extreme caution. Talon encounters an old enemy, Rossiter, in the Stirrup-Iron owner. Further complicating Talon's life is a mysterious gunman inexplicably on his trail, a killer longhorn called Old Brindle, and the fiery tempered Ann Timberly, whose father owns the T Bar T. Besides cattle and strong, silent men, Texas grows a flock of beautiful women. Blonde and bratty Barby Ann is Rossiter's daughter. A box social at the Rock Springs schoolhouse introduces Talon to a shy girl named Lisa. And we should definitely mention the wonderfully enigmatic China Benn.
Louis L'Amour does an excellent job of breathing new life into the familiar elements of the western story. His knowledge of the Old West is extensive, and it serves him very well. His western stories are rich in authentic atmosphere. L'Amour writes enthusiastically of the lure of distant trails, the freedom of the big sky country, and the Code of the West without sounding trite and over-influenced by movie and TV westerns. His books are a fast read that allows the reader to escape from the toil, tension, and clamor of contemporary life. Good reading.