A bank is robbed. People are killed. Chick Bowdrie arrives on the scene, does some detective work, some fighting, and solves the mystery. End of story.
This description might make "A Job for a Ranger" seem trite, but it's really a pretty good story—I was just trying to break it down to its most basic elements. What I found most compelling about it were the insights into Bowdrie's method and his outlook on crime. Bowdrie is an extremely efficient lawman who leaves no deduction undocumented and who solves crimes very quickly. L'Amour does a nice job in this story revealing clues as Bowdrie discovers them, but not revealing what Bowdrie makes of them until later. Like in this passage, where Bowdrie is hunting for clues in the wake of the bank robbery:
Something in the dust at his feet caught his eye, and he stepped down off the walk, running the dust through his fingers. He took something from the dust, placed it carefully inside a folded cigarette paper, and put it in his wallet
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