Heart of the West
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This one is set in a small border town on the Texas/Mexico border. Four rangers are guarding the bridge on the Texas side. They are expecting the Mexican outlaw, Garcia, to cross the bridge and wreck havoc at a cattlemen’s convention. Their goal is to stop him.
The “hero” of the story is one of the rangers, Bob Buckley. Everyone admires Bob for his extreme bravery. Bob sees himself differently.
Neither his friends nor his enemies had suspected him of aught else than the finest courage. It was purely a physical cowardice, and only by an extreme, grim effort of will had he forced his craven body to do the bravest deeds.
When the rangers hear gunfire in the village, Bob is the one who runs to the rescue. They figure it must be Garcia, but how did he get past them?
The story switches to introduce Senorita Alvarita, the beautiful Queen of the Serpent Tribe. Her eleven-foot asian python, Kuku, has escaped and she sets off to find it. Soon it all comes together when Bob meets both Garcia and Alvarita. He again puts himself in danger by trying to save Alvarita. There’s a nice little surprise involving the python.