Cap'n Bob Napier, who reads westerns faster than I eat potato chips, offers these remarks...
Montana Passage, by Allan Vaughan Elston (Berkley, 1967, pb). A stagecoach is robbed and the driver killed. The bandit’s horse and saddle are identified as belonging to Jared Keith, a cowboy passing through town. Helena, Montana, in this case. When his cellmate is lynched Jared decides to run for it and find who committed the crime for which he’s accused. A solid read.
The Law in Cottonwood, by Lewis B. Patten (1979). The titular town is in Kansas, the terminus of a trail drive from Texas. Sheriff Morgan Gaunt is determined to keep the drunken revelry of the cowboys under control. Tops on his list is a No Guns policy. His problems with the townspeople who want a wide open town don’t make his job any easier, nor his determination to do the job without help.
Brand of Empire, by Luke Short (Dell, 1977; orig. 1937, pb). A Senator wants to own a large tract of Indian reservation land, and has hatched a scheme to get it. He uses front men to do his dirty work, Unfortunately for him, one of the people he tries to run rough-shod over is Peter Yard, a cowpoke who doesn’t run when trouble beckons. This is my first Luke Short book and I’ll read more as I run across them. His characters are real and he’s adept at putting a man in an impossible spot and getting him out again.