Texas Ranger Nate Stewart has been through a lot in his life—and his losses aren’t over yet. In the months that Nate has ridden with Captain Quincy and his Rangers, his best friend and pardner, Hoot Harrison, has been the rock Nate has depended on. But once beautiful Clarissa Hennessey comes into Hoot’s life, she sets out to destroy the friendship between the two young Rangers.
When the chips are down and Black Dog’s raiders attack the Hennessey ranch, there’s bound to be bloodshed and lives lost. Will Clarissa divide Hoot and Nate forever, or can Hoot prove that he’s A RANGER TO STAND WITH?
“Sure. Listen, Mister, take out your gun, slow and easy, and hand it to me, butt first,” Nate ordered. “No false moves, or I’ll drop you right where you stand.”
“Okay. Okay, Ranger. You’ve got me, all right. I’ll go peaceable like. Just don’t shoot me,” Jeb pleaded. He took the gun from his holster, then held it out to Nate, butt first. When Nate reached for it, Jeb, whose trigger finger, unnoticed by Nate, was in the trigger guard, spun the gun level, thumbed back the hammer, and pulled the trigger. A wad of cardboard slammed into Nate’s stomach, with enough impact to drive him backward and double him over. Gasping for breath, Nate fell to the dirt.
“And you just got yourself plugged in the gut and killed, Nate,” Jeb said. “That’s called the road agent’s spin. No one knows for certain who first came up with it, but it’s cost many a lawman his life. You never, ever ask a man to hand you his gun butt first. It’s a sure way to get killed. Either tell him to unbuckle his gunbelt and drop it, or take his gun out of the holster with two fingers, then drop it. Unless, like what just happened, you want a bullet in your stomach. Lesson learned?”
“Lesson learned,” Nate said. “I don’t reckon I’ll ever forget it, neither.”