Untamed Lust (Beacon, 1960)

Many of Hitt’s usual elements are here — the farm hand, the old farmer married to a younger woman, the murder plot.

Previous Hitt hired hands worked on dirt farms, union farms, and game farms.  In Untamed Lust, Eddie Boyd is a big guy who works as a trapper for, trapping snapping turtles, raccoons, and whatever else needs to be herded off the land and lakes.

Frank Jennings owns the land; he has a young wife, Kitty, who was a dancer. The day after their wedding, he got drunk and fell off a horse and is now stuck in a wheelchair.  He has a daughter almost the same age as Kitty, Carole, who wants Kitty out of their lives.  She makes a proposition to Eddy: sleep with Kitty and make her daddy find out, and he’ll get $5,000 for his testimony in court that Kitty was unfaithful; if he doesn’t, Carole will tell her daddy that he tried to get fresh with her and he’ll lose his job.

What’s Eddy to do?

And then Kitty says she wants Eddy to knock her up and they’ll pretend it is the old crippled farmer’s baby and he will be paid well for his stud service.

And then Kitty says, “Let’s kill him instead and share the bounty and live happily ever after.”

Alas, we’ve seen his set-up in way too many Orrie Hitt books that I had to drop the book.  On the Hitt Scale, this only gets a 5.

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