First Edition. Presumed Artzybasheff dustjacket art. Rare title by this Native American mystery author of Choctaw descent. Downing was raised in Oklahoma but spent considerable time in Mexico and provided travel tours between Mexico and the U.S. during the 1930's. This is the author's most highly regarded title and one rarely found in original illustrated jacket. The mystery is set on a Mexican ranch with "a strange group that had also sought refuge from the storm. These varied from two American underworld characters to a frightened Texas schoolteacher; a manufacturer of religious articles to a notorious soldier of fortune... Two other murders were to occur before Rennert was able to penetrate the secret of the floor, the broken phonograph needle, and the small, cotton-stuffed box". Very Good plus, some minor wear, front cover some spotting, fore-edge of rear endpaper trimmed, in Very Good plus dustjacket, few shallow chips and rubbing to spine ends.