The Night of the Tiger Author:Al Dewlen With $17,000 bulging his saddlebags, Julius Rupp knows he can go back to his home town without shame. As he approaches Coldiron, his mind is filled with a pleasurable, though uncertain, sense of anticipation. What of the beautiful young bride he left in anger eleven years ago - of the townspeople who could only think of him as a hotheaded fool... more »? But the money, the stake he promised himself when he left, would ease his home-coming to Jessie and the town would have to accetp him as a man in his own right.
When he spots the campfire by the trail, Julius Rupp's only thought is to ask the camper to share his fire and campsite for the night. Too late he discovers it is a rustler's branding fire with the calf tied and thrown nearby. No sooner does he realize this than he is taken by surprise by three men who accuse him of being the rustler. He is tied, thrown to the ground, and his chest branded with "T" for thief. When he comes to the next morning, he finds his $17,000 gone and a few handfuls of dry range grass stuffed into his saddlebags.
A new Julius Rupp rides into Coldiron, his chest raw and burning with its new wound and inside a thirst for revenge - a compulsion to destroy as he had been destroyed. With all his guilt and pride, Julius finds his wife, Jessie. She is planning to marry Brooks Durham, a town banker, but she has never forgotten Julius even though she believes him to be dead. Julius also finds Maria Quintera, the lovely Mexican girl afire to repair her sullied reputation.
Julius' revenge brings to each of the men who branded him a scar just as horrible and painful as the one they burned into his chest. In the first flush of his mission of reprisal, Julius enjoys the sweet taste of revenge, but it deos not last, as therealization comes to him that the implications of his original desertion of Jessie and his return are more subtle and complicated than he first suspected.« less