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Old 01-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #1
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Brand, Max: Gunman's Reckoning. v1. 13 Jan 2013

Frederick Schiller Faust (May 29, 1892 – May 12, 1944) was an American author known primarily for his thoughtful and literary Westerns under the pen name Max Brand. His other pseudonyms include George Owen Baxter, George Evans, David Manning, John Frederick, Peter Morland, George Challis and Frederick Frost.

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The fifty empty freights danced and rolled and rattled on the rough road bed and filled Jericho Pass with thunder; the big engine was laboring and grunting at the grade, but five cars back the noise of the locomotive was lost. Yet there is a way to talk above the noise of a freight train just as there is a way to whistle into the teeth of a stiff wind. This freight-car talk is pitched just above the ordinary tone--it is an overtone of conversation, one might say--and it is distinctly nasal. The brakie could talk above the racket, and so, of course, could Lefty Joe. They sat about in the center of the train, on the forward end of one of the cars. No matter how the train lurched and staggered over that fearful road bed, these two swayed in their places as easily and as safely as birds on swinging perches. The brakie had touched Lefty Joe for two dollars; he had secured fifty cents; and since the vigor of Lefty's oaths had convinced him that this was all the money the tramp had, the two now sat elbow to elbow and killed the distance with their talk.
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