The Ballad of the Laurie Swain is my attempt to chronicle a range war by reconstructing a fictional ranch owner, Gregory J. Eley, who is building a vast ranching empire and has hopes and dreams of becoming the largest ranch in all of Texas, lining his deep pockets with beef contracts to the Army. He uses his money to peddle influence with local law enforcement and seeks to push out the smaller ranches that border his land, especially the sheep ranches.
Joseph McGinty is a northerner who has travelled west to seek his fortune by joining his uncle, “Armadillo” Jack Delancey in Texas. Armadillo Jack has been on the frontier for long years, serving in the mounted Dragoons. They are joined by Emmett Jackson, a former Confederate of immense passions whose love for fighting is rivaled only by his love for ladies and drink.
As one might expect, a misunderstanding turns deadly, and Jack finds himself on the wrong side of the law … one thing leads to another and soon enough the whole trio find themselves in the unwitting employ of Mr. Eley, serving in ranks of his personal ranger company, tasked with forcing the smaller family ranches into submission.
Follow the adventures of this unlikely threesome as they try to escape their bond to Eley before they become wanted for even greater crimes – or are killed!