SHOOTOUT AT HELLYER’S CREEK was Chap O’Keefe’s second sale to Black Horse, but the third published. It was the first Joshua Dillard novel(there are two more available, of nine total, as ebooks, one of which I’ve read). Ex-Pinkerton man, now a free agent, Dillard breaks up a stage hold-up by the Butch Simich gang after the $50,000 in bills and coin being transferred to the Hellyer’s Creek bank. The driver, shotgun guard, and Wells Fargo representative were already dead and the two passengers were about to be killed when he catches up to the coach.
A brief skirmish ends with the arrival of the young woman, Dorothy-may Pennydale, from the next stage station and her escape to bring help.
The two passengers were the wife of the town saloon keeper returning from a shopping trip and a young man from the East, a dime novelist seeking new inspiration here in the West. Clement P. Conway is his name, Nate Ironhorn his pen name.
When the posse from town arrives to take possession of the bank funds, Dillard sets off to follow the trail of the outlaw gang.
Chap O’Keefe gives us an action filled novel as Dillard sets out in a singleminded manner to find the outlaws. He has a hatred of lawbreakers, one had taken his wife from him. A lot goes on until the climax in town over the Wells Fargo cash, all the criminals unearthed, and a shootout on Main Street.
In the introduction to this first ebook release of the story, O;Keefe notes that Dorothy-May is likely a prototype for his Misfit Lil, heroine of a number of novels, a few of which I’ve read.
Had quite a good time with this one. reading it in one session during the early morning hours over coffee.
Recommended and can be found HERE.