270 pages ; 23 cm
"First appeared under the title The Trail to Manhood as a six-part serial in Street & Smith's Western Story Magazine (4/13/29-5/18/29). Copyright © 1929 by Street & Smith Publications, Inc. Copyright © renewed 1957 by Dorothy Faust. Copyright © 2014 by Golden West Literary Agency for restored material." -- Verso title page.
"Tom Fuller, a scrupulously honest fellow, a person of extraordinary physical strength and owner of a savage horse, Rusty, that he alone was able to tame, is generally regarded as a half-wit. He has been summarily fired from every job he has ever had and even comes to regard himself as a failure. He makes one more try when he is hired on as a blacksmith's assistant by Boston Charlie. Finally here is a job that Tom can perform successfully, and his spirit soars. Oliver Champion, who stops at the smithy to have his wagon horses newly shod, is impressed by Tom's ability. Champion also recognizes Tom Fuller as the son of the late Washington Fuller, a renowned gunfighter. Boston Charlie, far from being impressed by this revelation, is outraged and fires Tom, insisting that he leave at once. Champion follows Tom Fuller as, downcast, he rides off to seek another job. Overtaking Tom, he asks Tom to join him, tying Rusty to the tailgate. Champion then makes Tom an offer. He proposes that Tom, who in addition to his physical strength is also an excellent shot, should become his bodyguard. Not having any alternative, Tom accepts Champion's offer. It is obviously a decision made in haste, though, since Tom soon learns that Champion is new to the West, that he is an escaped convict from a prison in the East, and that he has come as far as he has because he is in pursuit of a master criminal, Henry Plank, the man actually responsible for the robbery for which Champion was sentenced to prison. Champion has a tintype of the Leaning Horse, a mountain near which Henry Plank is known to have made his home and the base of his operations. Ultimately it is for finding the way to the Leaning Horse in unfamiliar country that Champion most needs Tom's guidance" --,Provided by publisher.