Hennesey pointed his bay north. ‘Let’s go, boy.’
Seven turned back for one last look at the shack and saw the old woman peering out after them through a cracked window. ‘She sure didn’t care for the Rangers.’
‘They like you best when they’re in trouble.’
‘She seemed to’ve liked Flood.’
‘Everybody does. Till he kills ‘em.’
Jim Flood was a born killer. He’s as fast as lightning and just as indifferent. Hated everybody in general, no one in particular. The Lieutenant sent Seven Smith to hunt Flood down because Seven had pinched his girl. Seven was a green young ranger and not exactly quick on the draw. No one gave much for Seven’s chances.
This is an extremely entertaining read with the character of Seven Ways From Sundown Smith being an engaging hero (you want an explanation of his name then you’ll have to read the book – it made me laugh). Seven’s inexperience with a gun leads to some humorous moments as he attempts to become more proficient.
Flood is also another standout character, he comes across as a likable man, yet there’s always the feeling that he might up and kill Seven at any moment, which leads to some excellent exchanges between the two. A good half of the book sees Seven and Flood riding together as Seven attempts to get his prisoner back to the Rangers headquarters.
Along the way there’s plenty of action, fights with Apaches, soldiers and bounty hunters. There’s love interest for Seven in Joy, which also means there’s the jealous Lieutenant to deal with.
All in all this is a worthwhile read from Clair Huffaker - a man who also wrote for a number of television series, such as 'Rawhide', 'The Virginian' and 'Bonanza', and had seven of his books made into major motion pictures.