A HARD TRAIL AHEAD
Sixteen-year-old orphan Tyrell Breen means to become a cowboy, just like the ones he's read about in the half-dime novels, so he sets out for San Antonio, where his Uncle Cliff has a ranch. On the way, he runs afoul of a gambler and is robbed of his money and his horse, and shows up at Cliff's ranch a mighty sorry sight...but not as sorry as Cliff himself, who's been neglecting pretty much everything lately--except his whiskey bottle. Cliff had built up quite a reputation years before as a trail boss, and that's good enough for a neighboring rancher, who asks Cliff to boss a trail drive for him and get his cattle to market. Even as he accepts the job, Cliff knows he'll face more than the usual dangers and hardships of the trail--he'll have to tend to young Tyrell along the way...and he'll have to give up drinking if he wants to stay alive.