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Delphi Collected Works of Max Brand US

Max Brand

  The Collected Works of




  The Dan Barry Series

  The Untamed (1919)

  The Night Horseman (1920)

  The Seventh Man (1921)

  The Ronicky Doone Trilogy

  Ronicky Doone (1921)

  Ronicky Doone’s Treasures (1922)

  Ronicky Doone’s Rewards (1922)

  The Dr. Kildare Series

  Internes Can’t Take Money (1936)

  Whiskey Sour (1938)

  Tizzo the Firebrand Series

  The Firebrand (1934)

  The Great Betrayal (1935)

  The Storm (1935)

  The Cat and the Perfume (1935)

  Claws of the Tigress (1935)

  The Bait and the Trap (1935)

  The Pearls of Bonfadini (1935)

  Other Novels

  Above the Law (1918)

  Harrigan! (1918)

  Riders of the Silences (1919)

  Trailin’! (1919)

  The Man Who Forgot Christmas (1920)

  Black Jack (1921)

  Bull Hunter (1921)

  Donnegan (Gunman’s Reckoning) (1921)

  The Long, Long Trail (1921)

  Sheriff Larrabee’s Prisoner (1921)

  A Shower of Silver (1921)

  Way of the Lawless (1921)

  Alcatraz (1922)

  The Rangeland Avenger (1922)

  The Garden of Eden (1922)

  Wild Freedom (1922)

  His Name His Fortune (1923)

  Outlaw Breed (1923)

  The Quest of Lee Garrison (1923)

  Rodeo Ranch (1923)

  Soft Metal (1923)

  “Sunset” Wins (1923)

  The Tenderfoot (1924)

  The Whispering Outlaw (1924)

  The Black Rider (1925)

  Acres of Unrest (1926)

  Werewolf (1926)

  Thunder Moon (1927)

  The Mountain Fugitive (1927)

  The Mustang Herder (1927)

  The Sheriff Rides (1928)

  Marbleface (1930)

  Sixteen in Nome (1930)

  The Hair-Trigger Kid (1931)

  The Lightning Warrior (1932)

  The Short Stories

  Miscellaneous Stories

  The Delphi Classics Catalogue

  © Delphi Classics 2018

  Version 1

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  The Collected Works of


  By Delphi Classics, 2018


  Collected Works of Max Brand

  First published in the United Kingdom in 2018 by Delphi Classics.

  © Delphi Classics, 2018.

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form other than that in which it is published.

  ISBN: 978 1 78656 112 1

  Delphi Classics

  is an imprint of

  Delphi Publishing Ltd

  Hastings, East Sussex

  United Kingdom

  Contact: [email protected]

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  The Dan Barry Series

  Late nineteenth century Seattle, Washington — where Frederick Schiller Faust (Max Brand) was born in 1892

  San Joaquin Valley, California — Brand moved here at an early age. In his youth he undertook gruelling labour as a cowhand, which may have partly caused the chronic heart disease that troubled him in later years.

  The Untamed (1919)

  Max Brand’s Dan Barry Series began in 1919, with the publication of The Untamed (1919) as a serial in All-Story Magazine. Barry is a mysterious figure, who roams the American West on his black stallion, Satan, with the faithful wolf-dog Black Bart in tow. Together, the trio are known as ‘the untamed’. His habit of whistling tunes to himself as he rides has earned him the nickname “Whistling Dan”. This is only one of the many features that earn him an almost uncanny reputation – he never shoots to kill, he comes and goes as mysteriously as a ghost and has an almost unearthly yellow gleam in his eye when he becomes angry. All of this is compounded by the mystery of his origins – his antecedents are unknown, as Dan was taken in by a cattle handler after being found wandering in the desert. Dan forms a quasi-romantic attachment with his guardian’s daughter Kate, which is developed as the series progresses.

  The first novel in the series centres on Dan’s pursuit of a gang of outlaws headed by Jim Silent. A sequel, The Night Horseman (1920), appeared the year after, followed by two further sequels, The Seventh Man (1921) and Dan Barry’s Daughter (1923). The latter is not a direct sequel, but rather the story of how Barry’s daughter Joan continues his legacy.

  In the Barry novels, Brand began an incredibly prolific and highly influential career as a writer of Westerns, transforming the genre from a mixture of romance and historical fiction to an almost mythic depiction of the old West as a land of heroes, outlaws and villains, who stalked a dreamlike landscape. In doing so, he was influenced by the classical education he received under the eye of his uncle, Thomas Downey, a high school principal that took Brand in after he was orphaned.

  Cover of All-Story Weekly, which first printed the story in 1918-1919



















  18. CAIN

  19. REAL MEN










  29. “WEREWOLF”


  31. “LAUGH, DAMN IT!”




  35. CLOSE IN!

  36. FEAR

  37. DEATH


  George O’Brien, who portrayed Dan Barry in the 1931 film ‘Fair Warning’, based on ‘The Untamed’


  EVEN TO A high-flying bird this was a country to be passed over quickly. It was burned and brown, littered with fragments of rock, whether vast or small, as if the refuse were tossed here after the making of the world. A passing shower drenched the bald knobs of a range of granite hills and the
slant morning sun set the wet rocks aflame with light. In a short time the hills lost their halo and resumed their brown. The moisture evaporated. The sun rose higher and looked sternly across the desert as if he searched for any remaining life which still struggled for existence under his burning course.

  And he found life. Hardy cattle moved singly or in small groups and browsed on the withered bunch grass. Summer scorched them, winter humped their backs with cold and arched up their bellies with famine, but they were a breed schooled through generations for this fight against nature. In this junk-shop of the world, rattlesnakes were rulers of the soil. Overhead the buzzards, ominous black specks pendant against the white-hot sky, ruled the air.

  It seemed impossible that human beings could live in this rock- wilderness. If so, they must be to other men what the lean, hardy cattle of the hills are to the corn-fed stabled beeves of the States.

  Over the shoulder of a hill came a whistling which might have been attributed to the wind, had not this day been deathly calm. It was fit music for such a scene, for it seemed neither of heaven nor earth, but the soul of the great god Pan come back to earth to charm those nameless rocks with his wild, sweet piping. It changed to harmonious phrases loosely connected. Such might be the exultant improvisations of a master violinist.

  A great wolf, or a dog as tall and rough coated as a wolf, trotted around the hillside. He paused with one foot lifted and lolling, crimson tongue, as he scanned the distance and then turned to look back in the direction from which he had come. The weird music changed to whistled notes as liquid as a flute. The sound drew closer. A horseman rode out on the shoulder and checked his mount. One could not choose him at first glance as a type of those who fight nature in a region where the thermometer moves through a scale of a hundred and sixty degrees in the year to an accompaniment of cold-stabbing winds and sweltering suns. A thin, handsome face with large brown eyes and black hair, a body tall but rather slenderly made — he might have been a descendant of some ancient family of Norman nobility; but could such proud gentry be found riding the desert in a tall-crowned sombrero with chaps on his legs and a red bandana handkerchief knotted around his throat? That first glance made the rider seem strangely out of place in such surroundings. One might even smile at the contrast, but at the second glance the smile would fade, and at the third, it would be replaced with a stare of interest. It was impossible to tell why one respected this man, but after a time there grew a suspicion of unknown strength in this lone rider, strength like that of a machine which is stopped but only needs a spark of fire to plunge it into irresistible action. Strangely enough, the youthful figure seemed in tune with that region of mighty distances, with that white, cruel sun, with that bird of prey hovering high, high in the air.

  It required some study to guess at these qualities of the rider, for they were such things as a child feels more readily than a grown man; but it needed no expert to admire the horse he bestrode. It was a statue in black marble, a steed fit for a Shah of Persia! The stallion stood barely fifteen hands, but to see him was to forget his size. His flanks shimmered like satin in the sun. What promise of power in the smooth, broad hips! Only an Arab poet could run his hand over that shoulder and then speak properly of the matchless curve. Only an Arab could appreciate legs like thin and carefully drawn steel below the knees; or that flow of tail and windy mane; that generous breast with promise of the mighty heart within; that arched neck; that proud head with the pricking ears, wide forehead, and muzzle, as the Sheik said, which might drink from a pint-pot.

  A rustling like dried leaves came from among the rocks and the hair rose bristling around the neck of the wolflike dog. With outstretched head he approached the rocks, sniffing, then stopped and turned shining eyes upon his master, who nodded and swung from the saddle. It was a little uncanny, this silent interchange of glances between the beast and the man. The cause of the dog’s anxiety was a long rattler which now slid out from beneath a boulder, and giving its harsh warning, coiled, ready to strike. The dog backed away, but instead of growling he looked to the man.

  Cowboys frequently practise with their revolvers at snakes, but one of the peculiarities of this rider was that he carried no gun, neither six-shooter nor rifle. He drew out a short knife which might be used to skin a beef or carve meat, though certainly no human being had ever used such a weapon against a five-foot rattler. He stooped and rested both hands on his thighs. His feet were not two paces from the poised head of the snake. As if marvelling at this temerity, the big rattler tucked back his head and sounded the alarm again. In response the cowboy flashed his knife in the sun. Instantly the snake struck but the deadly fangs fell a few inches short of the riding boots. At the same second the man moved. No eye could follow the leap of his hand as it darted down and fastened around the snake just behind the head. The long brown body writhed about his wrist, with rattles clashing. He severed the head deftly and tossed the twisting mass back on the rocks.

  Then, as if he had performed the most ordinary act, he rubbed his gloves in the sand, cleansed his knife in a similar manner, and stepped back to his horse. Contrary to the rules of horse-nature, the stallion had not flinched at sight of the snake, but actually advanced a high-headed pace or two with his short ears laid flat on his neck, and a sudden red fury in his eyes. He seemed to watch for an opportunity to help his master. As the man approached after killing the snake the stallion let his ears go forward again and touched his nose against his master’s shoulder. When the latter swung into the saddle, the wolf-dog came to his side, reared, and resting his forefeet on the stirrup stared up into the rider’s face. The man nodded to him, whereat, as if he understood a spoken word, the dog dropped back and trotted ahead. The rider touched the reins and galloped down the easy slope. The little episode had given the effect of a three-cornered conversation. Yet the man had been as silent as the animals.

  In a moment he was lost among the hills, but still his whistling came back, fainter and fainter, until it was merely a thrilling whisper that dwelt in the air but came from no certain direction.

  His course lay towards a road which looped whitely across the hills. The road twisted over a low ridge where a house stood among a grove of cottonwoods dense enough and tall enough to break the main force of any wind. On the same road, a thousand yards closer to the rider of the black stallion, was Morgan’s place.


  IN THE RANCH house old Joseph Cumberland frowned on the floor as he heard his daughter say: “It isn’t right, Dad. I never noticed it before I went away to school, but since I’ve come back I begin to feel that it’s shameful to treat Dan in this way.”

  Her eyes brightened and she shook her golden head for emphasis. Her father watched her with a faintly quizzical smile and made no reply. The dignity of ownership of many thousand cattle kept the old rancher’s shoulders square, and there was an antique gentility about his thin face with its white goatee. He was more like a quaint figure of the seventeenth century than a successful cattleman of the twentieth.

  “It is shameful, Dad,” she went on, encouraged by his silence, “or you could tell me some reason.”

  “Some reason for not letting him have a gun?” asked the rancher, still with the quizzical smile.

  “Yes, yes!” she said eagerly, “and some reason for treating him in a thousand ways as if he were an irresponsible boy.”

  “Why, Kate, gal, you have tears in your eyes!”

  He drew her onto a stool beside him, holding both her hands, and searched her face with eyes as blue and almost as bright as her own. “How does it come that you’re so interested in Dan?”

  “Why, Dad, dear,” and she avoided his gaze, “I’ve always been interested in him. Haven’t we grown up together?”

  “Part ways you have.”

  “And haven’t we been always just like brother and sister?”

  “You’re talkin’ a little more’n sisterly, Kate.”

  “What do you mean?”

ay! What do I mean! And now you’re all red. Kate, I got an idea it’s nigh onto time to let Dan start on his way.”

  He could not have found a surer way to drive the crimson from her face and turn it white to the lips.


  “Well, Kate?”

  “You wouldn’t send Dan away!”

  Before he could answer she dropped her head against his shoulder and broke into great sobs. He stroked her head with his calloused, sunburned hand and his eyes filmed with a distant gaze.

  “I might have knowed it!” he said over and over again; “I might have knowed it! Hush, my silly gal.”

  Her sobbing ceased with magic suddenness.

  “Then you won’t send him away?”

  “Listen to me while I talk to you straight,” said Joe Cumberland, “and accordin’ to the way you take it will depend whether Dan goes or stays. Will you listen?”

  “Dear Dad, with all my heart!”

  “Humph!” he grunted, “that’s just what I don’t want. This what I’m goin’ to tell you is a queer thing — a mighty lot like a fairy tale, maybe. I’ve kept it back from you years an’ years thinkin’ you’d find out the truth about Dan for yourself. But bein’ so close to him has made you sort of blind, maybe! No man will criticize his own hoss.”

  “Go on, tell me what you mean. I won’t interrupt.”

  He was silent for a moment, frowning to gather his thoughts.

  “Have you ever seen a mule, Kate?”

  “Of course!”

  “Maybe you’ve noticed that a mule is just as strong as a horse—”


  “ — but their muscles ain’t a third as big?”

  “Yes, but what on earth—”

  “Well, Kate, Dan is built light an’ yet he’s stronger than the biggest men around here.”

  “Are you going to send him away simply because he’s strong?”