Clay Roland‚ marshal of Paiute City‚ was on the street when the young stranger rode into town. Clay’s experience as a lawman told him that a stranger might mean trouble for him. He was in the open — his badge was visible. However‚ the stranger ignored him‚ riding to the livery stable and putting up his horse.
The stranger’s next stop was Kelly’s Bar. Clay went over to the livery to ask if the stranger had stated his business. He had. He was looking for Marshal Clay Roland. Then two shots were heard from Kelly’s Bar‚ and the stranger was dead.
Clay learns the stranger had a letter for him‚ now in the hands of the man who shot the stranger‚ Blacky Doane. Clay confronts Doane. Clay gets the letter and Doane leaves town. The letter is from a lawyer in Painted Rock‚ a distant town in the shadow of Skull Mesa. Clay’s father has died‚ leaving him the Bar C Ranch.
But there is trouble at Skull Mesa‚ and Clay should keep his arrival a secret. The letter poses questions to which Clay has no answers‚ and there is only one thing to do. He must leave Paiute City and ride the long distance to Painted Rock‚ where the trouble will prove a greater challenge than any he has ever faced.
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