1902. Wister, an American writer whose stories helped to establish the cowboy as an archetypical, individualist hero. The novel on which the TV series was based, The Virginian is set in the Wyoming territory during the late 1870s and 1880s. A courageous, but mysterious, cowboy known only as the Virginian works as foreman of a Wyoming cattle ranch. He meets and falls in love with the pretty schoolteacher named Molly Wood. The Virginian is forced to preside over the hanging of his best friend Steve, who has been accused and convicted of cattle rustling. Then the peace is threatened by Trampas, who also works on the farm. There is a climatic gun duel between the two men. Trampas fires first, misses and is then killed by the Virginian. In the end the Virginian marries Molly and rides off with her into the mountains. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.