Gunmen of Glory by Clarence E. Mulford
Gunmen of Glory – Gunmen they were — nemesis of the lawless — and they flamed the fastest six-guns an outlaw rendezvous ever saw.
Gunmen of Glory (1936) – Gunmen they were—nemesis of the lawless—and they flamed the fastest six-guns an outlaw rendezvous ever saw.
When The Kid, sick and desperate, stumbles upon Hopalong Cassidy and tells him the gruesome story of his wife’s murder by Big Henry’s outlaw gang, Hopalong un-limbers his six-shooter and sets out to clean up a town full of outlaws. Tex Ewalt and Johnny Nelson come along, full of rage and frontier justice. The story of their raid on the bandits of Hell’s Centre is one of old Hopalong’s most daring and rapid-fire adventures. Gunmen of Glory is a full length novel of twenty six chapters.
Clarence E. Mulford (1883-1956) created one of the most famous of all Western characters: Hopalong Cassidy. Mulford wrote numerous stories and 22 novels featuring the lightning fast gunslinger. Hopalong Cassidy was so beloved a character that a radio series, a series of 66 movies and a television series were made about him.
Gunmen of Glory contains 2 illustrations.
Excerpt: Gunmen of Glory
A LINE of frame buildings stood shoulder to shoulder along one side of the street. Before them lay the more unregenerate part of the town, its southern limits the river. Between the two, acting as a dead-line, were the railroad tracks; a main line and several long sidings. The former led westward and eastward; the latter, to the shipping pens and freight platform. Back of Railroad Street sprawled the rest of the town, made up of two score or more private dwellings, several boarding houses, a frame schoolhouse of two rooms, a few scattered stores, and Boot Hill.
On Railroad Street the heat was as pitiless as elsewhere, but low-hung awnings made their hypocritical pretenses, and the dry interiors of weatherbeaten and sunbleached shacks provided havens of discomfort for the idle. There were, at this comparatively early hour, but few of these; the town was, generally speaking, still asleep, except in that more respectable section north of the tracks, whose citizens followed the common custom and used the night for sleep, thus preserving a balance. While one section ebbed, the other flooded, and when ebb and flood currents meet there is likely to be friction and rough water. While one worked, the other slept; while one slept, the other gambled, drank, and rioted; but in these latter days the rioting was much subdued.
The morning train which rumbled west, was poorly attended in the matter of curious idlers at the station, and the stop at Bulltown was not one to engender memories or to mark the town; but the evening train, rumbling east, was another story. This eastern train was the favorite, and its stop was well attended. If personal feelings chanced to coincide with its arrival, shots might arouse the weary passengers, and they might even see, if they were fortunate, some quick duel on the street almost under their windows, and take home with them a vivid memory of frontier lawlessness. For the moment we will ignore the evening train, and turn to meet the westbound in cheery expectancy, for on it there will be persons in whom we have interest; and we now watch them come out of the smoking car, each carrying a sacked saddle, pause on the platform, and then move lazily across it and toward a faded shack which served as a hotel.
All hotels on Railroad Street gave over their lower floor to a bar and its accessories. This hotel is no exception, and we follow the strangers, noting that one of them limps a very little, and that the thin hair below his huge hat is a faded red. Having entered the lower story of the building, let us sluice the top layer of dust from our mouth and throat, seat ourselves in a far corner of the room, between two windows, and watch the newcomers and the doors. Somehow, instead of marking us as strangers, this double watchfulness will tend to indicate that we are not strangers, but thoroughly cognizant of the present surroundings, even though it is broad daylight. Boot Hill, behind us and north of the tracks, is full of those persons who became careless of doors, windows, and newcomers.
While we watch, let us consider our position geographically. We are at the crossing place of two great trails; here, too, we have the meeting place and the parting place, and far too often the crossing of men from many sections, and men of many sorts. Should a cattleman remain in Bulltown a whole year around, there were few acquaintances he might not meet there.
Fate is tricky, delighting in the unexpected. One must admit that coincidences occur: to deny it would be to admit being blind in the face of facts. It is the theatricalness of effects which strikes through to our skepticism and arouses our ridicule, unless we understand the causative phases, the reasons underlying the course of each individual trend; and then we are struck by the coincidences of the causes, although they may be, and generally are, very dissimilar in their real natures. Now, having prepared ourselves for a strange and at first sight unusual series of coincidences, let us look variously over the map, covering great distances instantly and in the span of a short glance.
TWIN RIVER is a far cry from Gunsight; McLeod a long way in miles from Los Altos; and Cottonwood Gulch is far enough away from McKenzie to arouse our comment, especially if we were to cover the distance on horseback. Yet the occasion arises when these six towns were to meet, in the persons of individual representatives, at one common center. That center is Bulltown, not to make use of its real name.
The time is about even with the dying out of the Great Western Cattle Trail. Dates are irksome, and time has a way of spreading itself without sharp definitions; innately, it has none, for they are made by consciousness, by the flow of thought, by the rhythm of physical functioning, by the stressing of some certain actions in a steady flow of action. To something without consciousness there is no time. To say that this old cattle trail died in this year or in that one is to mislead or to be misled, since it died through several, and no one year bears the stigma alone. Also, dates chafe and restrict, like hobbles: and to hobble the imagination while depending upon it is foolish: it is almost to commit a crime.
We have to consider the meeting of seven men, arranged by Fate, and to see what came of it. All came to Bulltown for reasons sufficient for the making of the journey. One wanted to buy cattle; another, to sell. Two of these seven came for the sake of friendship, after considerable misspelled correspondence. One came again to taste the flavor of a hectic cow town in the height of its convulsions, to sniff memories from the dust of that northbound trail, and on the off chance of meeting old friends up from Texas. One came hopelessly out of the West, from a land of arid plateaus and frowning mesas; from the accursed proximity of a great lava desert; from the scene of his loss, his heartbreak, and his failure. Thrown off the rear end of that east-bound train where the main cattle trail crossed the tracks, and without the knowledge of anyone in the smoking car, he had limped dispiritedly along in the dust of the parallel but much older highway, his mind morbid and fast reaching a deadly state, his body weak from fasting. . . .
Excerpt From: Clarence E. Mulford. “Gunmen of Glory.”
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