City Marshall Andrew Cummins had the town of Purgatory under his thumb. Eight deputies for three hundred people. Matt Jensen didn’t know all that when he rode into town, intending to get a drink and food. A deputy braced him for the five dollar “visitor’s tax” and Matt decided to ride on out of town.
Stating he still had to pay the tax and, when Matt refused, the deputy went for his gun. Matt was faster and there was suddenly one dead deputy.
Just as suddenly, he was arrested, tried, and found guilty of cold-blooded murder. All in less than an hour. To make it legal, a deputy was to take him to Yuma to be hanged.They had to ride the express car on the train to get there.
Then Cletus Odom and his gang decide to rob the train, causing a derailment that kills a number of people, including a four year old girl, kill the deputy, and make off with twenty thousand in cash. Matt witnesses the whole thing while hiding.
He helps the real law rescue a number of passengers and helps treat them. No one knows who he is because they never saw him in chains. He hears that Matt Jensen probably caused the wreck, murdered the deputy, and stole the cash.
Now his problems are twofold. He has too clear his name on two different crimes and bring the real criminals to justice. Lethally if they want it.
This book is part of the publisher’s program to keep the late William Johnstone’s characters alive with different writers. I applaud their efforts