Third volume in Party's hardcover turn-of-the-century, dime-novel--styled Nathan Blaylock series, about the bastard son of Wyatt Earp. In the splendid The Winter Wolf(1996), Nate's dying mother left him $20,000 if he'd kill his skedaddled dad, famed ex-marshal Earp. Later, in The Wolf's Cub (1997), we found Nate searching the Yukon gold fields for his own lost bastard son by a Chinese concubine. Now, still up north and tough as rawhide, young Nate again falls in with aging gunslinger Jim Riley. The two find themselves facing E. T. Barnette (of The Wolf's Cub), banker, mayor, postmaster, and would-be governor of Alaska, who has opened a trading post at Tanana Crossing. The discovery of gold has turned the tent-camp outpost into brawling Fairbanks, with Barnette's big bank the single safe place to hoard one's gold. After Barnette's men jail Nate and break his arm, a letter from Jim Riley (also wounded) to Wyatt Earp in Nevada brings Earp, his friend Frank Canton, and Buckskin Frank Leslie (the two bearded Franks become the famous Smith Brothers) to Fairbanks on his son's behalf. Not as dead-on verbally as Charles Portis's True Grit, but a sportive good time is assured, told in steel-tipped prose that reads like a black-and-white etching on an old Police Gazette.