Anyhow, I suspect that while no Louis L'Amour book is really forgotten, some are less well-known than others. Besides, I was reading this one, and I needed something to talk about today.
This volume contains two L'Amour items, a short story and a novella, plus a lengthy intro by John Tuska, though you'd never know that from the cover, now would you? Do you think Leisure Books might have wanted people to think it was a novel? I wonder if they fooled anybody.
The intro is a reprint of Tuska's article in A Variable Harvest, published by McFarland in 1990. I didn't see it there, so I was glad to get it now, many years later. If you haven't read it, and if you have an interest in L'Amour, I recommend it highly. It confirms everything you've ever suspected about the lack of editing in L'Amour's later books, and it explains why L'Amour didn't want to acknowledge the Hopalong Cassidy novels he wrote. And a lot of other things, including the fact that L'Amour never renewed the copyrights on most of his stories. Great stuff.
The short story in the volume is "The Sixth Shotgun," a story that originally appeared in Ranch Romances. It's good L'Amour, with an outlaw hero who's really just a good old boy at heart, some romance, and a nice narrative movement. The ending will be obvious to just about everyone after a few pages, but it's still fun. I haven't read the novella, "The Rider of the Ruby Hills," but I'll get to it one of these days.