News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Oregon author spins tale of outlaw

Renowned Central Oregon writer and historian Rick Steber will launch his latest book this week at Rick Steber - MAKERS showroom, located at 131 NE 5th St. in Prineville.

The event is set for Saturday, February 13, from noon to 3 p.m. Redmond artist KC Snider will have limited-edition prints of the cover illustration available for sale. Both artist and author will be on hand.

“The Last Outlaw” is the true story of Tobe Skiens, a 23-year-old Texas buckaroo, who rides into Eastern Oregon in 1906. He soon takes up the outlaw trail, stealing horses and running them across a 2,000-mile swath of desert country — a no-man’s land that remained wild and outside the fringe of civilization long after the remainder of the country had been settled and gentrified.

Tobe sells his stolen horses in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, and then turns around, steals more horses and drives them north to Oregon. Stealing horses is the most dangerous and exciting of all occupations. It is played for the highest of all possible stakes — a man’s life.

The crimes Tobe is accused of quickly escalate from rustling cattle and horses to kidnapping a young girl and keeping her for more than two years — fathering a child with her — and finally the killing of an unarmed man in a cold-blooded shootout, followed by a posse giving chase for 10 long weeks. Out West, any of these indiscretions, if a man is caught, will have him dancing at the end of a short rope.

Steber, long considered the voice of Eastern Oregon, has over 40 titles under his belt and more than 2 million books in print. He has won many national and international awards, five of his books have been optioned for movies, and he is the only Oregon author to have been presented with the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award — Best Western Novel.

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