The Dry Ridge Gang;
Little, Brown & Company: 1935.


        When Ray Whitcome invited his college friend home to spend the summer after their graduation, he talked pretty big about the West in general and the town of Porcupine, Montana in particular. He talked about buffalo hunts and Indian fights and cold-eyed gunmen and how his father, Sheriff Whitcome ran them to earth, until his Eastern friend fully expected a wilderness.

        When they stepped off the train at the neat station, into a waiting crowd of well-dressed men and women, Walter was very disappointed. Big Bend ranch, the Whitcome home a few miles out of town, turned out to be no more exciting. Walter decided that Montana would offer little more than trout fishing and that his friend had been a plain liar.

        Three nights later the bank in Porcupine was robbed for the second time. There were no real clues, but it looked like another job of the Dry Ridge Gang. Sheriff Whitcome set off into the bad lands with a posse. They returned, as they always returned when seeking the Dry Ridge Gang –empty handed.

        But it so happened that Walter had seen one of the gang during the robbery, without even knowing that a robbery was taking place. True, he had only seen a man’s face in profile through a pulled-down window shade, but it was a clue. And before he knew it, Walter was really seeing trouble –trouble which meant gun fighting and hard trailing, and eventually a startling capture.

"Hungry Hollow" - a deserted Spanish vineyard where the Dry Ridge Gang was written.