Houston: Space-Age Vigilantes

The plot that launched a thousand westerns starts with the town's God, fearing merchants up to their sleeve garters in fear and frustration. The black hats are many and merciless, the lawmen feckless and few. The community antes up for its own gunmen, and the action begins. Now, in real life and modern dress, the city of Houston is playing out the old melodrama.

Despite the space-age image that Houston seeks to convey, a group of businessmen has hired shotgun squads to protect their retail establishments from the holdup men—called hijackers in Texas—who...

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