Louis L'Amour said that the West was no place for the frightened or the mean. It was a ''big country needing big men and women to live in it.'' The two stories in this collection (Big Country, Volume 1)provide a good sample of the kinds of people he had in mind. In Ride, You Tonto Raiders Matt Sabre is a young and experienced gunfighter. When he shoots a man who forces him to draw, to his surprise, the man on his deathbed gives him $5,000 and begs him to take the money to his wife who is alone defending the family ranch in the Mogollons. A combination of guilt, regret, and wanting to do the right thing leads Matt Sabre to make that ride. In War Party a boy on the brink of manhood, a resourceful frontier woman who has beauty as well as fortitude, and a strong male character who is single and hence marriageable come together in this powerful, romantic, and strangely compelling vision of the American West.