Arizona in the early twentieth century had more than its share of violent and lawless men who wreaked havoc as they roamed the Arizona Territory. The Arizona Rangers, a small company of tough men, were formed to deal with this criminal element. In a modern age, Rangers fought the outlaws with old-fashioned methods. On horseback with lever-action Winchesters and single-action Colts, they rode after the outlaws through the vast deserts and high mountains of Arizona Territory.
The author, J. Reeder Archuleta, was raised on the Mexican border and his roots are four generations deep in the region. He has great admiration and respect for those hardy folks who, in the face of great adversity, settled and thrived in the great Southwest.
The lawman sat on his bedroll with his back against several large canvas sacks stacked behind him, his legs flat on the wooden floorboard of the Southern Pacific Express car. Precious Pete sat on the floor, opposite him, with a hopeful smile on his face. The lawman noticed that when Pete began to smile there was something contagious about it. It made a person want to smile with him. Pete’s eyebrows lifted in the middle and his blue eyes sparkled, lighting up his handsome face. But when his full lips pulled up and back, his front teeth became the prominent feature of his face, and what teeth were not missing were yellow and stained brown from well-water minerals. Stained teeth were not uncommon in Arizona Territory, but it was the greenish, moss-like matter hanging between the teeth at Pete’s gumline that killed any contagious desire to smile with him.