In Elmer Kelton's inimitable style, a great story about the advent of barbed wire used to fence open range. A down-on-his-luck cowboy tries to help farmers protect their crops and improve their cattle herds by fencing in their land. The big open range ranchers resent it and war breaks out urged on by another cowboy who is greedy for his boss's power and land.
From the cover: Kiowa County, it said on the map, but the men who lived there called it "Rinehart County." Captain Andew Rinehart's R Cross Ranch sprawled haphazardly across the land, its boundaries unmarked - and uncontested. Rinehart had been the first man to move into the county and stay. Since then, no one had ever seriously challenged him. Now an upstart intruder was stringing wire for the farmers to keep Rinehart's longhorns out. His name was Monahan and he came from SOuth Texas. He was broke and he needed the farmers' money. And he wasn't the kind of man to run from Rinehart's threats ... or Rinehart's guns.