Sam Heller is a Yankee, a Kansas man who tries to live by the precepts of the Bible and the law but by doing so often finds himself on the wrong side of evildoers cloaked in the guise of authority. Johnny Cross is an outlaw and gunfighter who professes to believe only in his own raw nerve and lightning-fast draw, yet whose sense of fair play more often than not finds him fighting on the side of the angels. The common thread binding these two unlikely allies is a Texas town called Hangtree, a lonely outpost on the edge of civilization, which will battle the forces of savagery and destruction to become a cattle country empire in the county, which bears its name. Hangtree is located on the Pecos River near the West Texas border. It takes its name from a lone, lofty, lightning-blasted oak which served as a gallows for a gang of renegade deserters during the Mexican-American war who terrorized the region until decent folk banded together to eliminate the outlaws by stringing them up from the tree. The tree still stands as a symbol of justice in a lawless land and more men will swing from the hang tree before peace can come to town.
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