Three Kirby/Ayers reprints in this issue, all from RAWHIDE KID #17 (1960), the first issue of the revival of the series with a new lead (although they seem to have changed the order of the stories). The 7-page “Beware! The Rawhide Kid” tells the story of how the Johnny Bart was trained in gunplay and morals by his “Uncle” Ben, then taking revenge on two cowardly gunslingers who ambushed Ben in a shoot-out. The 5-page “When the Rawhide Kid Turned Outlaw” follows up on that, as the Kid investigates a cattle rustling, only to have the sheriff see part of a shooting, leading to the Kid running off rather than facing justice. Which doesn’t seem like what Uncle Ben would have wanted.
The third story, which was originally between those two, so actually occurred before the Kid was an outlaw, is the 6-page “Stagecoach to Shotgun Gap”. The splash page is a gorgeously detailed Kirby/Ayers piece of the Kid riding up behind a stagecoach. Turns out he was just trying to hitch a ride, and in the wild west bullets were used instead of thumbs.
The other passengers are an old lady who makes it clear she’s carrying her life savings and a boy and his father, who are also carrying around a lot of money to pay for an operation. They’re suspicious of the Kid, until real outlaws ambush the stage and the Kid has to save them with his guns and his fists.
The last page of this seems to be edited in order to include a statement of ownership (207,000 average paid circulation), so there are probably a few panels missing, which might explain why the ending seems so abrupt (and some of the art seems to be not too expertly touched up). Still some very nice bits in the story, especially the horses and backgrounds.