“He rode into our valley in the summer of ’89.” So begins the classic Western novel Shane. The ’89 is 1889, the valley in Wyoming Territory, and trouble is brewing. The local big cattleman is finding the handful of recently arrived homesteaders a nuisance. He wants the range for his own and is bent on driving them out. The land is theirs by right of settlement and guaranteed by the government, but the government is far from the “valley way up there in the Territory.” The nearest marshal is a hundred miles away. They don’t even have a sheriff in their town, which is “not much more than a roadside settlement.” Then a mysterious horseman rides into the valley. He’s not like other men. His past is obscure. The boy watching him ride in has never seen such “magnificence” in a man. The boy’s young, pretty mother immediately knows that the man is not just mysterious but the most dangerous man she has ever seen. The boy’s decent, hard-working father knows at the same time that the stranger is the safest man they could ever invite into their home. He will be the deadliest man in a fight, but his deadliness lies deep within a character of iron self-command, like the single-action Colt wrapped in his saddle roll, and is reserved exclusively for those who require it. The deadliness and the control and direction of it are inseparable parts of his completeness,

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