Wandering young Joe Good returns to his Fort Willow homestead to find his peaceful father, Vincent, gunned down on orders of land-grabbing rancher Hugh Alton. The apparent reason, Vincent’s refusal to sell his few acres.
Joe, a thinking as well as wandering young man, decides there’s two kinds of men—hawks and eagles. When hawks seize their loot, eagles swoop down to carry it all off. If Alton is a hawk, then Joe will be an eagle. Six-guns may rule the West, yet the young avenger chooses the deadly blacksnake whip and becomes a virtuoso with the one weapon all dread at close range. The book’s three inter-related novelettes follow Joe’s battle against the Alton Clan and its paid gunmen, sheriff and local judges. Though he’s shot at, imprisoned and knocked around, Joe inexorably drives Hugh Alton toward a final confrontation in the lofting hills above Fort Willow, where Eagle battles Hawk. Another awesome Max Brand novel! What more can the lucky reader want? —William Garwood