Sonora Trail

By Hank McCoy (Reginald Alec Martin)
First Published 1951 by Werner Laurie

First edition dustwrapper. Click to enlarge and see full picture
First edition dustwrapper
Werner Laurie 1951
To Carson Holt's Ranch in Sonora rise Larabie (Hunch) Hoyden and his young brother Billy. Carson has sent for Hoyden's expert help in driving a beef herd to Yuma down the Trail, as his ranch and living is threatened by an ambitious Mexican, Lorenz Torres. Torres seeks to close the last two hundred miles of the Sonora Trail, declaring it as Mexican territory and claiming toll from all who pass over it. The trail is the only outlet to the cattle markets in Yuma. If Carson Holt's herd does not get through in time he loses his ranch and his lands. This is the dramatic background on which the Texans match their whipcord nerve and leaping guns against the Mexicans' cunning.
This book is more than just a Western. It is the authentic story of how a cowboy learns his trade, how he lives, and sometimes . . . how he dies.
First Edition:
Werner Laurie 1951:
Hardback with dustwrapper; boards 130x190mm; yellow cloth, blue blocking spine only including logo of cowboy in saloon doorway (seen below); 192pp; title page lists the first four of the series; rear of title states Copyright 1951; book not illustrated.
Dustwrapper illustration full colour, wrapping to include the spine (see enlarged picture) artist signed Wilding; front flap has story description 'blurb' (reproduced above); cover price 7s 6d net.

spine of book
Spine of first edition
The rear flap of the dustwrapper lists the four previous books in the series and the following quote from the Birmingham Weekly News:
"In less than two years this author has come to the front as a writer of these full-blooded yarns."

It also carries this telling description of the author's life:
Hank McCoy was born in England but emigrated to the United States. He became fascinated by the colourful "Rodeos" of the far West, and became a wandering cowboy. He first started writing "trail lyrics", and the sound of his words, sung by his fellow cowboys, rang so sweetly across the darkening trails that he became obsessed with the idea of writing books on the simple pleasures and dangerous hardships of the ranchmen's life.
McCoy has experienced the rigours of driving "beef", and has seen the dark canyons where six-guns spat hot lead and men fell from the saddle choking on their own blood. Of his early notes, written in preparation on the trails, he says, "Me, I never had none of my works criticised. Why ? Guess maybe on account that I never had no pardners who could read."

Shakespeare Head, Australia, 1952:
in Western Monthly magazine, issue No. 45, January 1952
The main story in this issue of the cheap 'pulp' magazine. With a new cover illustration; cover price '1/6'.
The cover of the magazine can be seen on the Galactic Central site on the page devoted to this magazine via this link.

This page is part of the Reginald Alec Martin Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup and Mike McGarry
created 15th August 2011
Last updated 26th May 2013