Smith, the title character of this unusual cowboy western is no damn good. He’s not just a good bad guy, who wins your sympathy even while he breaks the law. He’s rotten to the core. And he shows his true colors from the opening chapter, as he shoots an Indian in the back, for his blanket. Born in Illinois, author Caroline Lockhart (1871-1962) grew up there on a family ranch. Working as a journalist, she settled in Wyoming, where she began a career as a writer of western fiction. An opponent of Prohibition, she acquired a weekly newspaper in Cody and actively promoted the preservation of western culture. Me—Smith was her first published novel. It is a wry, anti-romantic portrayal of cowboys and Indians. The setting is a ranch in Wyoming owned by the Indian widow of a Scots rancher. Lacking even an ounce of conscience or generosity, Smith hatches a scheme to get the widow’s money. Pretending to fall in love with her, he promises marriage, all the while putting the moves on a pretty schoolmarm who boards at the ranch.