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Hart: The Regulator Books In Order

Wes Hart started out as a soldier in the Confederate Army; it was a tough war, especially for Confederate soldiers and when it ended Hart found himself on the wrong side of the law. He teamed up with outlaws becoming part of the Regulators, the most famous of whom, was William H Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid.

Belle Starr, known as Queen of the Oklahoma Outlaws, ran a cattle-rustling set-up. She took on a band of desperados known as the Quint Boys. They caused havoc and mayhem all over the state. Hart got the appointment as Regulator to clean them up real good! For seventy-five bucks a month, he could afford to take a few chances as well as tangle with a band of trigger-happy Cherokees.

When a double-crossing gunman named Quint stole Hart’s horse from outside a saloon in Stillwater, Hart went all out to get him. What he found: Quint’s blood splattered over the Eufaula prairie. The trickle of blood from a scalped corpse in a death quiet Stillwater saloon told Wes Hart that the Cheyenne had paid a deadly visit … but there had to be a reason and he set out to investigate…

The trail of discovery leads Hart a loud-mouthed cowboy and crooked rancher named Fredericks. This piece of work really deserves what he has coming. In the mix of hard hitting, hawk eyed gunmen Hart finds that he has to take on the psychotic, two bit, rustler called Belle Starr. All the while, the Cheyenne are lurking in the shadows. Hart gets involved when they eventually dabble in one shady deal too many and get their come-uppance.

When Hart appointed as regulator, in the silver-mining town of Tago, really has his work cut out. Here he finds “Crazy John Carter”, cold-blooded murderer of two kids. Carter tries to burn Hart alive. Cool as you like, the slick gunman lets Carter have it with his Colt .45 and the man goes down with a gutful of lead. Tago turns out to be one hell of a mining town and Hart takes it all in his stride. He deals with rapist and silver thief, Jake Henry: Stops Dan Waterford from blowing the brains out of the punk who killed his brothers: and gets rid of a scheming Lacy, whose last wish is to see a big red hole in Hart’s head.

There is also a soft side to this hard hitting, gun slinging man of the “wild west”. When Hart meets cute little Alice he is taken in by her forthright charm. Alice’s father offers West Hart a large sum of money to escort his daughter to Denver and Hart agrees: the price is right; seems like easy money. Hart is mad as a snake when he finds that he is actually escorting silver bullion, which Alice’s father has stashed away in the stagecoach.

Lee Sternberg’s gang found out that too. They figured on blowing Hart’s head clean off and making a quick exit with the loot. There is a bloody ambush of the stagecoach when Alice is kidnapped. Hart is agonized by the thought of the little girl of whom he should have taken better care. There is a brutal, pulse-pounding showdown between Hart and the renegades at a Rancho Nuevo whorehouse in town to rescue little Alice and get her to safety. To the hard living man for all seasons, it was all in a day’s work.

Hart’s career as the regulator goes on to Caldwell, where the good citizens of town had raised a “fistful of dollars” to pay for the railroad that would bring the Santa Fe thundering to their town. It was not a very popular idea with Clancy Shire, the local cattle baron. Then the money “went like a dollar bill lost in a dust storm”, carried off by three of the nastiest desperados even the border country had ever seen. The town’s folk called on Hart; they need his kind of muscle for protection. It seems like just another job, but not every job has a pretty widow woman as well as a payday; could make a man sentimental. Hart takes to the family and life gets comfortable, for a while. Then the worst happens as far as Hart is concerned – someone messes with the safety of these very special people in his life.

Those same desperados he had fought before, back in Caldwell attacked the train. Lead flies like a red-hot hailstorm, and one of the victims is one of those children. Hart has a vengeance run on his hands now. Those killers will pay in blood and he will do the debt collecting. With a little help from a friend called Rose, a lady-of-the-night with her own reasons to get even.

In Arkansas Wes Hart is hired by the father of a boy who is killed by seven nasty, lawless and seemingly, fearless individuals who have broken out of the Arkansas State Prison, led by John Wesley Hardin. Hardin had grown up in the Old-West, where gun fighting was a trade you started early. Wes Hart had killed his first man when he was still in his teens and so had Hardin, who went on to carve himself a notch in the history books. He had all the virtues of a renegade rattlesnake and the enough notches on his gun handle to let people know what kind of killer he was.

Wes Hart, the Regulator, joins the posse of Rangers who have marked Hardin down for the reckoning. He had just disposed of a killer with some neatly applied lead poisoning out west in California, when he got the wire from Fowler. Fowler was a detective with two friends in the world. One was a bottle of bourbon and the other was the Regulator. A gold-rich-lady hires Fowler, to find her runaway son, and he needed some extra muscle to hunt down the boy in the brothels of Frisco [San Francisco]. West Hart supplied reliably good extra muscle and was the man Fowler called to do the job.

In California, Wes Hart finds that he can get the same kind of work he knows back in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He is very surprised by the kind of money left in a small farmer’s will. Old Jedidiah Batt left a thousand dollars in gold to his brother Aram, an old-time trapper living up in the northern hills. News of the gold leads Jedidiah’s hoodlum sons to follow Wes Hart on his quest to deliver the gold to Aram and they get drunk and trigger happy just thinking about what they are going to do when the get their hands on the loot.

But their plans don’t fit in with the Regulator’s as he rides up into the norther hills, very aware that he has a bunch of dangerous idiots on his trail.

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