Post by franklinmarsh on Mar 26, 2008 16:43:35 GMT
Edge No 28 - Eve Of Evil - George G Gilman. NEL Sept 1978.
'To the townspeople of Rayne, Wyoming, the coming Christmas was going to be very special. They reckoned they were about to witness the birth of the new messiah. Edge did not. There were the shepherds, the three wise men and one or two miracles sure enough, but there was also the Lassiter gang, the robbery and the killings. And to Edge, once again fighting for his life, that did not add up to a nativity.'
I hadn't read one of these for ages, but when a copy of this Edge oddity fell into my grasp just as that owlhoot J K Dunham rode into town, well, what's a cowpoke to do?
As we've reached no 28 the extreme gore of previous Edge adventures has been toned down. People still bleed if they're shot, and if three Winchester slugs hit a guy's head at roughly the same time it'll still explode, showering bone chips and grey brain matter around, but we're not talking knee-deep rivers of blood.
Edge has taken shelter from a snowstorm in the saloon of a ghost town. In the morning, two cowboys show up and hang around. A buggy moseys into town with a pregnant girl and her miserable young husband aboard. Seems the two desperados are her Daddy's hired hands, out to take her home and dispose of hubby. She sees Edge peering out from above the batswings and he reluctantly becomes involved, gunning down one hired hand, whilst the husband takes care of the other.
The buggy rides out of town one way, while Edge continues in the other, followed by the dead men's horses.
A little further on, he's confronted by more of Daddy's men, who realise that the two horses belonged to late employees. As they draw on Edge, they are gunned down from the woods by some sheepmen whose flock they have massacred.
Before dying, one of the men told Edge it was Christmas eve, and now, in the company of shepherds, and remembering that the young couple were called Joe and Maria, Edge starts to get nervous about yuletide parallels.
The story trots along quite nicely, with regulation shoot outs every now and again, plus the introduction of a downright weird priest with a gun concealed in his hat, accompanied by 'Angel', an ex-whore who drops 'em for him every time he shoots someone in their way.