When a tough, seasoned young Georgian named Heck Thomas went to work as an agent for the Texas Express Company in the 1870's, a small but highly effectual war was automatically declared against the western badman. This carefully detailed book tells the story of the famous lawman's career fighting train and bank robbers, killers, and renegade Indians. From early train robberies it takes the reader along with Thomas and his pearl- handled Colts to the wild streets of Fort Worth, to the tracking down and killing of the notorious Lee Brothers which made him famous, and to the job of U.S. Marshal in west Texas and Oklahoma. The story is crammed full of pursuits, gunfights, hangings, Oklahoma landrushes---and the peripheral but very human story of Thomas' attempt to raise a family on that wild, drunken frontier. Of especial interest is the account of how the moustached marshal tracked the famed Dalton Gang, narrowly missed a gun fight with their first contingent, then confronted surviving Daltons a few years later on. A very accurate, unromantic view of the turbulent West and an unusually brave and honest lawman. Somewhat limited in appeal however by close attention to names, dates and other details which the average reader might find tedious.