Curtis follows his lethargic oater Pepper Tree Rider (1994) with a high-caliber tale of Montana revenge. Starting off a week in jail after his quixotic attempt to squire lady-of-the-evening Ruby Campbell to the right side of the tracks in order to buy medicine for an ailing friend, Sawtooth Ranch hand Clint Durby isn't around for Lee, his aspiring journalist kid brother, to consult when he stumbles onto evidence of a syndicate snapping up all the available Crow Reservation land by hook or crook. Next thing Clint knows, Sheriff Earl Cox is telling him that Lee's been mistaken for an elk and accidentally shot dead. Clint's impromptu nighttime exhumation of Lee's body shows three bullet holes placed by hunters who couldn't have mistaken Lee for any elk at that range, and a further search turns up a telltale notebook that unsurprisingly identifies the members of the Sawtooth Cattle Syndicate as railroad magnate Big Jim Ralston, Sen. Lorenzo Cooley, and Percival, Duke of Dorset--all of them perverted sportsmen who'd hunted Lee down by having their hired guns drive him into an ambush. But what can Clint do with the evidence that Lee had gathered? The sheriff indicates his eagerness to vault onto the Syndicate payroll by arresting Clint; his snakelike deputy starts by promising to help Clint, then demands Lee's notebook as his ticket to an endless Syndicate paycheck; and Clint wonders if even Judge Chamberlain, due in Sawtooth at the end of the week, will be worth waiting for. What can one lone avenger do with powers like these arranged against him? Cut them down with a .44, that's what, in a bloody, simple-minded finale that'll remind frustrated crusaders everywhere why vigilante fantasies like this will always have a place in the popular imagination.