Another volume of early Gardner pulp fiction (cf. The Human Zero, 1980)--with nine all-stereotype modern-dress cowboy stories about desert rats and prospectors. Six of the Depression-era tales feature Bob Zane, a desert rat who shoots kidnappers, claim-jumpers, and mining-payroll thieves. He also solves a gold-shipment robbery, eats well in Mexicali, teams up with assorted beautiful women (""She was a typical desert girl, strong and self-reliant, vibrant with personality--a daughter of the sun and sand""), and repeatedly tells doubters that ""The desert is a wise mother when you know her ways."" Some readers may enjoy the enthusiastic desert description and a few amusing sociological curiosities of the period. Otherwise, however: a grab-bag of magazine-story potboilers that weren't even especially good in their period or genre--which is why Gardner wisely abandoned the form and moved on to Perry Mason.