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Langley, Joe. Joe Langley was created by William J. Lancaster and appeared in a number of stories in Short Stories, beginning with “Once a Horse Trader” (Short Stories, June 25, 1930).

In Benton Valley, somewhere in the American southwest, “Swap” Joe Langley is a horse trader. He was sheriff of Benton Valley for twenty years, but his eyesight is failing and he likes horse trading, so he retired to trade horses full time. Now, though, it’s the 1920s, and the current sheriff uses modern criminology and automobiles to solve crimes, and Langley doesn’t think much of either. Langley is drawn back into crime-solving and uses his knowledge of the valley and his old skills as a sheriff to solve those crimes.

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