The Outlaw Sheriff by Walker A. Tompkins
When Wayne Morgan, the Masked Rider arrives in Splitrock he finds the Sheriff barricaded inside his jail house protecting a cross-border outlaw from getting lynched. When a rider comes into town and announces he’s seen the camp of the Masked Rider and his compadre Blue Hawk, Morgan joins the posse to keep it away from their real camp. Then when the sheriff dies in an ambush, Wayne Morgan, the Masked Rider becomes The Outlaw Sheriff.
When Wayne Morgan, the Masked Rider arrives in Splitrock he finds the Sheriff barricaded inside his jail house protecting a cross-border outlaw from getting lynched. When a rider comes into town and announces he’s seen the camp of the Masked Rider and his compadre Blue Hawk, Morgan joins the posse to keep it away from their real camp. When the sheriff dies in an ambush, Wayne Morgan, the Masked Rider becomes The Outlaw Sheriff.
The Outlaw Sheriff (1950) – When the Masked Rider arrives in Splitrock he’s given a law star and told to go ride in search of —himself!
Chapter I – Possemen Wanted
Chapter II – Ambuscade!
Chapter III – Vow to a Dying Sheriff
Chapter IV – Scofield’s Story
Chapter V – Stella Hemingway
Chapter VI – Musto’s Spy
Chapter VII – At Blue Hawk’s Camp
Chapter VIII – The Quarry
Chapter IX – Rattlesnake Peril
Chapter X – Indian Code
Chapter XI – Holcombe’s Rise to Power
Chapter XII – The Masked Rider
Chapter XIII – Surprise at Boot Hill
Chapter XIV – To Bait a Mantrap
Chapter XV – Sunrise Showdown
Walker A. Tompkins was born on July 10, 1909 in Prosser, Yakima County, Washington. Tompkins grew up on a wheat farm outside Walla Walla before moving with his family to Turlock, California in 1920. He sold his first western novel to Street and Smith of New York, at the age of 21, just before beginning college at Washington State.
The Outlaw Sheriff contains 24 illustrations.
Excerpt: The Outlaw Sheriff
RIDING into Splitrock, Wayne Morgan’s senses—the keenly whetted instincts of a man long hunted by men—detected the pressure of suspense which gripped the cowtown built within the Winchester range of the Mexican border.
Some event of great magnitude in the affairs of this Arizona range had drawn the crowd before the columned facade of the courthouse, emptying every chair and bench along main street.
The focus of their attention was a door marked “Sheriff,” where the twin-bored snout of a shotgun was thrust through a window propped open a few inches by a beer-bottle wedge. That weapon was holding the sullen, explosive tempers of the mob in check.
“So this is why no sheriff was waiting for Blue Hawk and me when we crossed the mountains last night,” Morgan thought, and he felt an urge to ride on to the courthouse plaza and find out why this town had cornered its sheriff in his own office.
But there was no time for that. Blue Hawk, his faithful Yaqui Indian partner, was waiting for him out in the Seco Madura foothills, gaunt from two days’ riding without food. Morgan was taking desperate personal risks in visiting this desert outpost to stock up on supplies. He must remain inconspicuous, attend to his errand and fade out of Splitrock as quickly as possible.
Food and ammunition they must have, at whatever personal risk of capture, and Splitrock was the only source of supplies within a hundred-mile radius. Morgan could not return to his Indian compañero’s camp with empty saddle-bags. They could not depend on bagging wild game in this raw and desolate malpais country where animal life had been reduced to an occasional Gila monster or rattlesnake.
The odors of chili and coffee and barbecued meat wafted out of a restaurant window and reminded Wayne Morgan of his own acute need for food. He reined in the hammerhead roan he rode and half-hitched his reins to a chewed tie-rail. Dismounted, he was a towering six-footer clad in the hickory shirt, flat-crowned Stetson and bullhide chaps of a cow-puncher.
Ducking under the hitchrail. bar, he paused to adjust the weight of the cedar-stocked .45s, holstered low on either flank. His spurs made a faint jingling music to disturb the unnatural quiet of Splitrock as he crossed the plank sidewalk. Then he entered the arcade of the building whose false front carried a weathered sign:
BORDER MERCANTILE & CAFE
A gaunt oldster whose purple sleeve garters clashed with the faded yellow of his shirt halted in his job of grinding coffee in a big red-and-gold mill and turned to size up the rugged young stranger who approached him.
“Glad to see one man in town ain’t caught the lynchin’-bee fever,” groused the storekeeper, accepting the penciled list which Morgan dropped on the pine counter before him. “Coffee, beans, bacon, sugar, salt, canned peaches, spuds, matches, forty-five shells, thirty-thirty shells, dried prunes You must be headin’ into the hills on a prospectin’ expedition, young feller, to need all o’ this grub.”
MOPPING his face with his neckerchief, Morgan’s glance slid off the storekeeper’s face and focused on a reward poster tacked to a nearby shelf. Bold black letters read:
WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE! $2,000 REWARD PAYABLE FOR CAPTURE OF OUTLAW CALLED “MASKED RIDER”!”
No man in the entire West, with the exception of Blue Hawk, Wayne Morgan’s Yaqui compadre, knew that he was the Masked Rider, that Robin Hood rider of the frontier who had pledged himself to fight the lawless and aid the weak and oppressed. Was this storekeeper fishing for information? Morgan knew that his looks indicated that he obviously was a cowhand, not a prospector, as the storekeeper had hinted.
Excerpt From: Walker A. Tompkins. “The Outlaw Sheriff.”
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