The name of it is The Trail to Seven Pines published by Bantam Books. Right off, Hoppy figures trouble is coming when he runs across a dead man, Jesse Lock, in a stagecoach robbery and the fun begins. He is accused of killing the guy and he has to prove his innocence, and gets involved in a range war and more. The all-knowing, all-seeing, and omniscient Hoppy is on the trail of the real killer while helping out the Rocking R gang, who help him out, too. Just the name of Hopalong Cassidy strikes fear into the hearts of the evil-doers, but they tighten their jaws and brace up and stir up and conquer their fears and take on the Sage of the West (my words). After he wipes out the 3 G Ranch gang, he finds the killer of Jesse Lock with the help of Ben Lock, the brother, who falls in love with Katie, who runs the café where everyone gathers to talk things over, including Shorty Montana, who also appears to be trying to get Katie to marry him.
According to Beau L'Amour son of Louis, this manuscript was written by Louis L'Amour, but he never fessed up to it, having written it under the name of Tex Burns along with three other Hoppy novels. I found this interesting, and wonder why he Louis would not take credit for the writing which is just fine, but a little complicated. For whatever reason, I still enjoyed the story and will buy the other Hoppy's as I run across them. My only complaint was that this one didn't have the humor that I was expecting. But it was written in the early 1950's which may have something to do with it.?