Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clay Allison, Gunman

Ray Hogan wrote an exciting story with The Life and Death of Clay Allison. The cover says it's "The true story of a badman who found it took more than a fast gun to carve an empire in the untamed Cimarron country."

It starts off  with Clay Allison making note of the large amount of money the owner of the cattle received when they finished up the drive in Santa Fe in 1866 and decides that raising and selling cattle makes a man more than herding them across the country- much more. He decides that working cattle on the Brazos is not for him and relocates to the Cimarron, New Mexico Territory, with his brother, John, to raise or buy and sell cattle on their own. He finds the Cimarron to be profitable, but has to fight the syndicate and the Santa Fe ring to protect his interests and he faces all comers with guns or fists or the Bowie knife and becomes known as the leader of the homesteaders and landowners who are battling to keep what they own. Life on the Cimarron is tough. One day Davy Crockett (not THE Davy Crockett, but a friend with the same name) stops to see him and tells Clay that a Jim Wilson is gunning for him, and Clay figures he has to settle this right away and goes looking form Mr. Wilson. But he ends up having a run-in with Melvin Mills, a lawyer, who isn't afraid of him while looking for Wilson. But Doctor Longwell sorts it out and Mills and Allison cool down and go their separate ways. Clay marries Dora McCullough and they live happily together. Clay gets mixed up in some vigilante business and is accused of killing a man named Cooper, but is freed because the prosecution couldn't prove that Cooper was dead. And things don't look too good in Cimarron with things changing and they decide to move back to Texas along the Pecos and continue their business. Allison is again the hard-nosed man he's always been and sets out to settle some personal business with a couple of his hands when his life come to an abrupt and unfortunate end.

This book was a First Printing of a Signet Book published in 1961 and kept me on the edge of my car seat as I read it at various times while waiting for the wife to shop or whatever. A fine, true story of "the man who became a legend in the bold West of his own time."     


  1. Haven't read this one. I always thought Clay Allison was the perfect name for a gunfighter.

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  3. No problems that I'm aware of. You might say in each post that it is copyrighted by you

  4. Ray Hogan is good readin'! Just looked into one called THE IRON JEHU a while back and was not disappointed.

    I also want to check his bio-novel about Johnny Ringo. I hear it's good too.

    1. Thanks for the leads, Albie the Good. I'll check into the Johnny Ringo book.