I read a couple of short stories by Zane Grey this week from a book entitled The Westerners Frontier Stories published in March 2000 by Five Star in Unity Maine.
The first story was The Ranger about a Texas Ranger who reminisces about life in the past and hopes for the future before he is ordered to find out what happened to Roseta Uvalde. He and others think that she either ran away or was kidnapped by the Mexican Quinela, the bandit and "friend" of Senor Uvalde. Tex Medill, the Ranger, knows Roseta and thinks at times that he could resign from the Rangers and marry her and settle down on a ranch of their own. Now, he has the task of finding her and bringing her home safely. Turns out that everyone was right about her disappearence, she did "go on a ride" with a cowboy acquaintance for fun, and she was kidnapped by the Quinela gang of outlaws while on the ride. Quinela wants her and hopes to get revenge on Uvalde for a past misdeed.
Medill is captured, too, by the gang and must use his brain and ranger experience to get free and save Roseta. How he does this and brings Roseta back safely is a dangerous and difficult job and an exciting story by Mr. Grey. It is a fairly lengthy story, but that doesn't lessen the interest in it for me. I liked it.
The second story, Lightning, is almost as exciting as two brothers set out to capture the wild mustang that has been stealing horses from ranches. Lightning is a beautiful, grey horse with a long, white main that lives in Sevier County, Utah, in the cedars and forests of central Utah. How they go about capturing the animal makes for a fine outdoors story where they have to outsmart the animal. This story has no shoot-outs or gunfire to enliven it, but I really enjoyed reading it.
This book also contains a couple of unusual stories, one by Grey's son, Loren Grey, about whales. Not exactly western in nature, but very interesting. I will tell you about them when I get to 'em.