Friday, June 20, 2014

The Feud at Single Shot

Luke Short's western, The Feud at Single Shot, is a gritty tale of an attempt to take over a ranch near the small town of Single Shot. Dave Turner, half-owner of the ranch with his sister, and Rosy Rand are finally freed from the Yuma prison and return to Single Shot to pick up where they left off. Mary, the sister, has been working the ranch with the assistance of a couple of no-good cowboys and her slick-garbed husband, Ted Winters, who is more interested in gambling than the ranch. On the way home from the train station, they are ambushed and Dave is shot, but not killed. Dave and Rosy thinks it was set up by a man named Hammond, who began mining below the ridge next to the ranch property, and a fellow named Crowell has offered to buy the ranch.

This story is also a mystery of sorts as Dave and Rosy work to find the person behind the shooting and the ranch offers, believing it is not really Crowell who wants the property. The cliff where the only water supply lies in a lake on the Turner ranch is blown to smithereens and the water runs out over the mine of Hammond on down the gulley to the desert floor. And the plot thickens as they find out Hammond wasn't behind either the shooting or the explosion.

And there are more twists and turns as Dave is kidnapped and tortured and made to sign over his half of the ranch to Crowell. But why does somebody want the ranch so bad? I will leave that answer for the reader to find out as Rosy and Dave and Hammond all work together to catch the unknown villain of the story. This was another of Luke Short's fine stories which took my mind away from the daily grind for a couple of hours.


  1. I wonder if Single Shot was named after an accurate gunman or miserly barman.

  2. I'm trying to remember if I've read this one. The plot sounds familiar.

    1. It's a fairly old one. Like me, you may have forgotten it.

  3. About half way through your review I remembered reading it. I read a bunch of Gliddens in a row one summer... it's hard to remember them by title though. I still think he could be really good at times. The 40s stuff is tight and well crafted.

  4. I usually forget reading a particular novel by title and have to read about half of it to kinow that I read it once before. I agree with you on the 40's stuff.