“Cattle King for a Day”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx. 2 hours

I’ve recently discovered the short stories written by L. Ron Hubbard during the mid-20th century, through Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press.  They have been releasing the stories that were originally published in pulp magazines of that era, creating their own pulp magazines, and even audio pulp.  All the audiobooks are about 2 hours in length and most contain 2 or 3 stories.   This release, scheduled to be released October, 2010, brings back a couple of stories from the old west.

I originally was intrigued by these books by the science-fiction genre and then I checked out some of the other genres, such as; mystery, air adventures, tales from the orient, and sea adventures, and have never heard a bad story.  Hubbard was a master storyteller and could weave a tale that not only kept you on the edge of your seat but as these releases prove pass the test of time.  I have never had an interest in western stories but with the enjoyment I’ve had from the other stories released by Galaxy Audio, I thought I’d give them a try.  My old friend that tried to get me interested in Louis L’amour stories is probably saying, “I told you westerns were fun.”  Well, thanks to L. Ron Hubbard and Galaxy Audio, he’s proven right.

Most of the props would have to go out to Galaxy Audio because without the superb production value in these audiobooks, I might not have given the westerns a listen.  Galaxy provides a talented cast of voice actors, mix that in with perfect sound effects and original incidental music these stories just flow through you making you feel you are in the middle of the action.

This release contains 2 stories from the golden age both telling tales from the old west dealing with men who have been snookered out of inheritances. One story takes place in Montana the other in Wyoming, which Hubbard used his personal experience of growing up in the area in the turn of the century.

“Cattle King for a Day,” originally published in “Western” magazine March, 1937 tells of Chinook Shannon who comes to Montana from Arizona after hearing his grandfather has died unexpectedly and has left him the family’s Slash S cattle ranch.  Chinook has always wanted to be a cattle king and arrives in Montana ready to run the ranch.  The only problem is that the ranch will be foreclosed on in 24 hours.  While it may only be one day, as it seems, Chinook is ready to run what he can.  As it turns out a mining company using cyanide mining methods has killed off the cattle and not much is left, however, Chinook finds that all things aren’t right in the area and that his grandfather’s death was caused by a murder.   Chinook has 24 hours to find out who murdered his grandfather and save his family’s ranch.  Be ready for double and triple crosses as Hubbard weaves the tale with the expected twists and turns that are always found in his stories.

“Come and Get It,” originally published in “Western” magazine October, 1938, finds another man getting rooked out of his inheritance when he comes from “out East” to inherit his father’s Wyoming land.  This time however the hero learns nothing is left of the land and takes on a job as a cook to go undercover to find his father’s murderer.  The real twist in this story which made me smile at the end of the book was the identity of the inheritor.

Two great westerns (I never thought I’d say that)  by the master story teller L. Ron Hubbard from the Golden Age of Stories

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