In three books I tried to capture all aspects of the Old West—the rowdy towns, saloons, prostitutes, homesteaders, cattle ranchers, cattle rustlers, cattle drives, stampedes, canvas-covered wagons, wagon trains, wild horses, cowboys, Indians, miners and prospectors, fur traders, claimjumpers, sheriffs, outlaws, gunfighters, railroads and trains, stagecoaches, banks and holdups, love, life, and death—when I wrote the trilogy of “Once Upon A Time In The Past”.
Book One of Once Upon A Time in the Past, subtitled “The Sons Of Sam Logan”—involves four young boys, Chance William, Burt Wiley, Peter Wallace and Jesse Lee “Boots” Logan, a black youth who adopts the Logan name, who grows up and become outlaws—opens circa 1890 in Payton, Kansas:
Rancher Clay Miller sat behind his desk staring at four miniature porcelain horses: a black and white piebald; black, white-rump appaloosa; golden palomino with a white blazed face; and a black stallion with a diamond-shaped white dot on its forehead.
The rancher’s eyes then stared down at a necklace made with pure gold nuggets wedged together on a long string of rawhide-leather with a black, genuine Indian arrowhead at the end. He reached down and picked the necklace up. A shadow of sudden gloominess crossed his face as he gazed at the necklace. A finger fiddled unconsciously with the arrowhead dangling at the end of it, as he held the necklace in his hands, staring into space. The necklace brought back memories of the past—good times and bad times. His thoughts wiggled and waggled as his recollections took him back into time long before he was a man: