||Books premise starts with a "sleepy eyed" individual tossing a knife in the air and catching it on his thumbnail. I am forgetting most of the details, basic plot premise is the youth (under 20 I think) is in danger of losing his land (can't remember if it's ranchers or railroad). He uses his knife and a bullwhip throughout the story, ends up getting a large black man to work for him by beating him up. It's been a really long time since I read it but it was one of my favorite books. I have tried to find it through online searches off and on for years and to no avail. I believe it's either Max Brand or Zane Grey if you could help me find it that would be excellent thanks for your help
||I was an ardent Max Brand fan having read almost all of his Westerns. The novel you are looking for seems to be SHOTGUN LAW (new title: HAWKS AND EAGLES) with the main protagonist JOE GOOD, who does tricks with his whip. But he uses no knife. The knife artist is probably a different character.