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Ward was laid up after a mysterious accident when Woodford, a rival cattleman, demanded 600 head be delivered within 3 days under a contract that the two had entered into. The price had since dropped and Woodford was counting on Ward's inability to deliver to escape a loss on the contract. Woodford had chosen his time well. The cattle were far to the south across the Valley River and Ward had no choice but to send his brother, Quiller, to fetch the stock. A lot could happen on such a long trip as Quiller leaves childhood behind and learns lessons he will never forget about the world of men. Melville Davisson Post was a West Virginian and he set much of his work in the mountains and valleys of that state. His love of nature and horses, and his keen observations of people, show through in his over 200 novels and short stories.