This story is a collaboration with Chandler Whipple. Whipple’s pen-name is Robert Enders Allen. Whipple attempted to write the story, but got stuck and couldn’t figure out what to do for an ending. His agent suggested letting REH finish it. REH did, and they split the profits 50/50. Chapters 1-6 are by Chandler Whipple, the rest is by Howard.

‘Boot-Hill Payoff’ is one of Howard’s relatively few traditional Western stories. It’s packed with the action that the Western pulps demanded, but it also showcases a variation on the theme of the wandering hero. In this case, Buck Laramie, the only surviving member of a family of outlaw brothers, has been away from his home for a long time, but when he returns to the Texas cattle town of San Leon where he was raised, hoping to redeem himself and the memory of his brothers, he immediately finds almost every hand against him.

Alternative title: THE LAST RIDE

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