Book Review: Without a Penny in the World

This is a short western story written my Max Brand about a young westerner who initially felt that he would plot his way in life by using the availability of money. The main character Steve Borrow was always on the look out for a bargain because he knew that that money saved would come back to him when he married Jess Fanning’s daughter and the ranch became his. The beginning of his fall was when he used a mans weakness for liquor to sharpen his deal and actually inflate the price he would receive for the cattle he sold.

In the past he had loaned money at high interest rates to cowhand to help bind them to the ranch and then dictate to them the way he wanted things done. Using the fear of not having any money and not loyalty drove his crew to do the things he wanted done. Caught in a lie was the beginning of the end for Steve as he finally admitted his deceit. He gambled everything on the turn of a card and lost through the deceit of the owner Jess Fanning. Steve gave up his sham relationship with Jessica Fanning, lost his ranch and cattle and was out the door with out a penny to his name. He had changed and it was for the better. The new beginning of his life would be hinted at as he made his final activities on the ranch.

I recommend this short story in this trio book called, The Gold Trail, by Max Brand. This story alone would be reason enough for you as a reader to take up this book and read all three western stories by Max Brand. A western and modern life truism is outlined and highlighted in this story.

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