Collected here are authentic accounts of the most colorful desperados of the Western frontier, written by an award-winning journalist, Howard Bryan, whom Tony Hillerman calls the fellow hardest to beat at the game of swapping anecdotes.
Based on 19th century newspaper accounts and on the author’s own interviews with pioneers who knew the outlaws and laymen firsthand, Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians includes stories about Clay Allison, rancher and gunman, who took his revenge on a quack dentist by pulling one of the dentist’s teeth; Davy Crockett, grandson and namesake of the Alamo hero, who for months terrorized a New Mexico town until the shotgun blast ended his brief career; Bronco Sue, a murderer whose feminine wiles saved her from the hangman’s noose; Charles Kennedy, proprietor of the infamous “Inn of Death”; Milt Yarberry, a trigger-happy town marshal who was hanged before an enthusiastic crowd of citizens; and Black Jack Ketchum, whose last days before his hanging are chronicled in rich detail.
Many of the stories are told here for the first time, written with the dry wit and casual style Bryan is famous for from the 38 years his Off the Beaten Track column appeared in The Albuquerque Tribune. Robbers, Rogues and Ruffians includes reports from early newspapers that transport you back to the days of the Wild West and reveal the humor frontier journalists often used to describe the dramatic and violent events of the day.
The book is illustrated with twelve vintage black and white photographs from photo archives,and contains a foreword by Tony Hillerman, the well-known Western author and novelist.