In Montana territory, the cost of taking another man’s horse was everything you had and were ever going to have if you got caught. Still, there were those willing to take the risk, especially when there was a shortage of this valuable necessity. When the losses attributed to theft in eastern Montana reached epidemic levels in the 1880s, the vigilante response was swift, well planned, and brutally effective. Russell was a greenhorn wrangler when Stuart’s Stranglers, cleaned up the entire eastern side of the territory.