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It’s 1873, only a few years after the Civil War, and the West is changing. But there is still one town where good citizens can feel safe.
When the sheriff of Silver Vein is killed, it’s up to saloon keeper Curly Barnes - an admitted coward - to see that justice is done. Along for the ride are two legendary Texas Rangers, the soon-to-be-famous outlaw Johnny Ringo, and a couple of brothers who like to play with dynamite.
But as the body count begins to rise, who will be the last man standing?
5.0 out of 5 stars Western Adventure
A fictional 1926 personal narrative by one Curly Barns, the saloonkeeper of Silver Vein, Texas, recounting his experiences in a range war occurring in the lawless Texas midlands after the Civil War.
Partway thru Clay Shivers engaging book, I thought a 1960's screen adaptation might have featured Andy Devine as the hapless, befuddled narrator and central figure. But soon, after the heroic sheriff of Silver Vein, Jim Shepland, is killed, Curly emerges in heroic form, ultimately replacing Sheriff Jim in this most dangerous job. Dangerous all the more because the villainous Thorp Mayfair, owner of the Triple R Ranch, is always engaged in efforts to expand his holdings by whatever means.
Marauders is an intelligent western tale with salty language but a modern treatment of Native Americans and their relationships to the white invaders. It includes colorful characters like Curly's flatulent Texas Quarter Horse, Molly; the local girl hellion Dee Dee Yonder; Comanche leader nicknamed "Rattles" and his son, "Scout;" Texas Rangers Frank Kilhoe and Hap Morgan and, of course, Johnny Ringo and the Calico Kid, to name but a few.
In a modern-day film, who would play Curly Barnes? I would pick Jeff Bridges based on his Rooster Cogburn in the 2010 adaptation of Charles Portis' True Grit. Marauders is an adventurous and fast-paced read.