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Mean As Hell: The Life of a New Mexico Lawman

This is hair-raising, frontier law officer’s memoir about violence and lawlessness in late 19th century West Texas and Southeast New Mexico where shootings were more common than handshakes.

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This is hair-raising, frontier law officer’s memoir about violence and lawlessness in late 19th century West Texas and Southeast New Mexico where shootings were more common than handshakes. In fact, there are so many anecdotes about flying lead that the pages themselves seem full of bullet holes. Mr. Harkey spins an entertaining tale of his exploits as a western lawman recounting dozen of times where shots passed so close to him he could almost determine their caliber as they whistle by him. Interesting, the only time he was wounded was early in his career when his sweetheart shot him in the stomach point blank while Harkey was arresting her father. Needless to add that took the air out of his first romance. Mr. Harkey recounts scores of crimes, gunfights, pursuits, and arrests in such exacting detail that one wonders at times how an eighty-year-old man could possibly remember fifty-year-old incidents so literally. But never mind that, this book is a testament to Mr. Harkey’s durability and success in his 30 years enforcing the law during an era in which most sheriff’s and marshal’s career life spans were measured in months.

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