Saturday Morning Western Pulp: Range Riders Western, December 1945
This week's scan comes to us again from David Lee Smith. It's from a Western pulp I like quite a bit, RANGE RIDERS. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, RANGE RIDERS was a character pulp, one of many from the Thrilling Group. By that I mean it had a lead novel in every issue featuring the same character, or in this case, group of characters. The other such pulps from Better/Standard Publications were TEXAS RANGERS (featuring Jim Hatfield), RIO KID WESTERN, and MASKED RIDER WESTERN. The stars of RANGE RIDERS were Steve Reese, Hank Ball, and Dusty Trail, a trio of range detectives who worked for the Cattlemen's Protective Association. The stories were billed as Steve Reese novels, but Hank and Dusty always played major roles, too. The series was created by Oscar J. Friend, or at least I assume it was since he wrote the first several novels. Many of the usual Thrilling Group suspects contributed to the series, including Tom Curry, Walker A. Tompkins, Gunnison Steele, T.W. Ford, Samuel Mines, and in this particular issue, Johnston McCulley. I haven't read this one, but I've enjoyed all the others I've read. Also in this issue is a story by Harold Cruikshank in his Pioneer Folk series (also know as the Sun Bear Valley series). These are pretty mild tales about a group of homesteaders. I haven't read one in years, but this series was never a favorite of mine. They might be better than I remember, though. I guess Cruikshank wasn't familiar with a novel entitled RED HARVEST by a guy named Hammett . . . or didn't care.