Will Denver is who I'm talking about, a sort of a dreamer, not necessarily a good sort or a bad sort, just a sort. He has fallen for the boss's daughter and who hasn't at one time or another, but his boss, Meade Rockville, is a bad sort. Meade wants his ranch boss, Verl Vandalia, to marry his daughter over this drifter Denver. But the Hell of it is, she has fallen for Denver, too, and this makes her father mad as Hell.
After a tragedy in the corral due to the stupidity of Ferris Rockville, Meade's son, Denver draws his pay and drifts on. He had nearly killed the son in a fight in the corral over the son's stupidity and decided he damn well better vamoose before Meade learns of it.
This novel is by Giles Lutz, writing darkly and more serious than in any story I've read in a long time. It's a Charter Book printed in June1985, but copyrighted by Ace Books in 1971, a paperback.
Well, Meade sends Ferris and Verl to chase down and kill Denver, because this time he's just madder than all get-out, and he decides he's gotta do away with Mister Denver so there will be no chance of him marrying his daughter, Millie, who runs off on a chase to catch up with her man. She wanted to warn Will that her father is sending Vandalia and Ferris after him. And to go on with this it would be more torture than telling you how it ends. Even Meade Rockville goes after Denver madder than a wet hen or an injured bear and meaner than the proverbial junkyard dog.
I don't recall reading any of Mister Lutz' other stories and he has written several like Stagecoach to Hell, The Honyocker, and The Wild Quarry. This one was Man on the Run and an exciting story it is, too.