The Rugged Trail of Vengeance (Preview)

Chapter One

Hal Allcott looked out the window of his cabin at the scenic view of trees, green grass, and a few narrow trails. His wife Emma had been delighted when they were able to buy the small house on a hill outside of Lumberton, Colorado. Almost every day, she commented on how beautiful the scenery was. There were trees on all sides of the cabin, although they were thickest on the west side. Down about a mile was a sparkling creek that wound across the land.

He stared that way, wondering if he would see his wife Emma and son Charlie walking back to the house. They had gone to the creek so Charlie could do some fishing, an activity he enjoyed immensely. Emma might bait a hook, too, but the fish typically stayed away from her lure. Charlie, on the other hand, always seemed to catch something. Many a dinner in the cabin was supplied by the boy’s fishing skill.

The yellow sun eased down in the dark blue sky. There had been good weather lately. No storms, no high winds, and enough rain to keep the crops watered.

The two should be coming back soon. Often, Charlie wanted to stay longer, and he would persuade his mother to remain fifteen or more minutes. The creek flowed through a picturesque area, so at times Emma just sat and watch the creek and the forest. The forest was full of bustling activity if one knew where to look. At times, a deer would gently step out of the forest and look around between the trees, seeking the sweet grass that they liked for lunch. She had also seen a bear prowling around one day. Bears could be dangerous, but only on rare occasions. Most of the time, they sought smaller prey. They would occasionally hear stories of a bear attack, but those were few and far between.

But twice Emma had spied a cougar prowling. She had an appreciation of animals. To many, a cougar was dangerous, and they would have fled to a safer area. But Emma was an animal lover and she saw the cougar as a sleek and beautiful animal, one that wouldn’t harm anyone if they just let him alone. She loved her husband, but she often wondered if she would be happy with just a cabin full of provisions in a scenic area where forest animals came by every day to say hello. Often, she was uncomfortable in crowds—crowds of humans, anyway. She didn’t think she would feel uneasy around crowds of animals.

She looked over at Charlie dangling his fishing bait in the creek. He stood on the bank next to a thicket of trees. No one else was around. Occasionally, there might be others out fishing or simply taking a walk, enjoying the beauty of nature. Emma dipped her hand in the water. It was cold, as usual. A breeze had picked up and it blew water drops from the stream at her, spotting her dress and chilling her skin. She wiped the water from her face with a small cloth.

She enjoyed hearing the chirps and sounds of the small animals in the forest, demonstrating a vibrancy in nature and the wilderness—a reminder that the forest was not stagnant but ever alive and bristling with life. It gave one hope, she thought. In towns and other places where men lived, there was always an element of danger, if slight. You never knew when a man could pull a gun, or when an outlaw gang might ride in for trouble. Or a drunkard would finish off his drink and decide to pull a gun and shoot something. Nature was full of violence, but it was not senseless or reckless violence or violence for violence’s sake. Animals hunted for food. When they killed, there was a reason. The action was needed to survive, to feed their young, to carry on the species. They did not kill for money or malice the way men did. To her, that was what made the “savage” animal kingdom more civilized than the human kingdom.

The violence in man’s kingdoms had nothing to do with survival, but other motives such as revenge, or greed, or power. All such attributes were evil and showed the truth of the Biblical statement that man was a fallen race. Before man fell, the creatures of the woods and forest did not live in violence and did not kill one another. Only after the fall was bloodshed on the planet. It was only after Adam had disobeyed that everything changed. It was only after the fall that God reluctantly told men they would have to hunt for food and for survival.

Emma had seen man’s depravity and had seen the dignity of the great bears that roamed the woods, the mighty antelopes that roamed the mountains, the elegant deer that slipped through the woods in almost total quiet. It was paradise before man destroyed it. She sighed. It was true men could build beautiful monuments and buildings—and cabins, for that matter—but they could also destroy.

She didn’t want to live in towns because there were too many people there. She loved the country. And being at least partially isolated. If you put too many humans in a place, she thought, bad things happen.

Looking back at the running brook, she smiled. She hoped strife and bloodshed never intruded on this peaceful area.

Charlie stood up as his bait was in the brook, but Emma was focused on the flowing brook. She didn’t see the hand with the gun come out of the bushes. It raised up and, using the butt of the gun, hit Charlie’s head, knocking him to the ground. He didn’t move.

The man eased out of the tall bushes and walked toward Charlie’s mother.

***

Still watching out the window, Allcott looked at the sun, now lower in the sky. While he wasn’t worried, he did think it was time Emma and Charlie should be headed home. He had been working on a few odd jobs in the house, but he was through with his chores. If he had completed the tasks earlier, he would have walked down to the creek, but since it was late afternoon when he finished, he’d decided to just wait for Emma and Charlie.

He opened a kitchen cabinet, grabbed a bottle of whiskey, and set it on the kitchen table. He found a glass and poured some whiskey in it. He turned and nervously looked back down the trail toward the creek. He still wasn’t concerned, but a trace of worry did cross his mind. He sipped the liquor, telling himself to relax. It was easy to lose track of time when you were fishing or just down by the creek. The creek was close to a forest, but it wasn’t really isolated or out of the way, and the road on the perimeter of the forest was regularly traveled. He took another sip of the whiskey and sat down in a chair.

But he didn’t stay sitting. He was edgy. He was usually calm and unemotional. He faced problems without getting upset or nervous. He was a tall man with wavy brown hair, brown eyes, and a ruddy complexion that came from often being in the sun. He was a kind man, too, and he and his family were almost always in church on a Sunday morning. He was friends with the pastor, Reverend Robert Johnson, a good man who could preach a good sermon. Very rarely did Allcott’s mind wander during the Sunday morning service.

And he wasn’t usually edgy.

It bothered him. If he was edgy now…

He slipped his gun belt on, opened the door, and began walking toward the creek. When he got there, Emma would probably laugh at his nerves, and they would have a good chuckle together. But it was getting dark as he got closer to the creek. He could hear it now, the running water moving swiftly over rocks and ground.

“Emma!” he yelled. “Emma! Charlie!”

There was no answer. He quickened his pace and ran the rest of the way. A bolt of fear went through him when he got to the creek and saw no one standing or sitting by the water.

“Emma! Charlie!” he yelled again.

He looked around frantically, taking a right because he knew Charlie’s favorite fishing place. As he ran, he saw Charlie come into view, but the boy wasn’t walking properly. He was stumbling, almost falling. When he saw his father, he tried to smile and wave, but his arm didn’t look strong enough to reach over his head. Again, he almost collapsed.

Allcott grabbed him. “Charlie. What happened?”

His son shook his head. “Don’t know. His fingers touched his head. Think something hit me.”

Allcott examined the spot where Charlie’s fingers were. He had been hit—something had left behind a huge red mark.

“Something sure did hit you,” Allcott said. “Do you know where your mother is?”

“No, I was fishing and she was sitting beside the creek. That’s the last thing I remember.”

He eased his son down on the ground.

“You rest here now, just for a minute. I’m going to find your mother.”

He walked onto the other side of the creek and looked around. He saw nothing. Frantically, he searched right and left, up and down. But there was nothing there.

Then, he saw the blood. There wasn’t a lot of it, but on a log by the shore of the creek, there was red spot. He went over and touched it with his fingers. Sticky. It was definitely blood. And it looked fresh. He turned around, but there was no human in sight. Only the creek and the blood.

In the distance, he heard a rider. When he came into sight, Allcott recognized Nathan Wales, one of his neighbors.

Wales quickly halted his horse. “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know yet, but can you do me a favor? I’m guessing you’re headed to town?”

Wales nodded.

“Can you go by the doc’s office and ask him to come out? Charlie’s been hit by something or someone. I want the doctor to take a look at him. And please get the sheriff, my wife’s missing.”

He nodded. “I’ll ride as fast as I can. Don’t worry.”

“Thanks, Nathan.”

Charlie was still standing, unable to walk steadily. Allcott gave one final look but didn’t see any sign of Emma. There didn’t appear to be a fight or scuffle. He was a good tracker and he saw no indication of a fight or disturbance on the land.

He put his arm around Charlie. “Come on. We’re going back to the house.”

After walking back slowly, he eased Charlie into his bed, then put a bandage on the wound. There wasn’t much blood, but the red spot was large. Once he got in the bed, Charlie fell asleep quickly—and Allcott waited on pins and needles until he saw the sheriff riding out and the doctor’s carriage behind him.

The sheriff wasn’t alone; four riders rode with him. Nathan had been true to his word. He must have broken a speed record getting to town.

Doctor Dan Miley stopped the carriage, grabbed his bag, and walked toward the house. Allcott opened the door for him.

“Think Charlie fell or was hit. He’s in his bed, asleep. Down the hall. The first room.”

The doctor followed the directions and disappeared into the room. The sheriff and the posse rode up.

“What happened?” the sheriff asked.

“Emma and Charlie were down here by the creek. They were late, so I went to see them. I can’t find Emma and Charlie got banged on the head. I think someone hit him and then kidnapped Emma.”

The sheriff turned back to his men. “Okay, let’s look for some tracks. If you see anything suspicious, give out a holler.”

After they left, Allcott watched as the doctor took a look at Charlie. He first examined the bump on the boy’s head and grunted. To Allcott, it seemed to be a positive sound. The doctor was thin and had gray streaks in his black hair, but he didn’t look or seem old. He moved quickly, with precision to his movements. He took out his stethoscope and put the orb on the boy’s chest. He grunted again.

“I like that. That’s good. His heart’s beating regularly. And I don’t see any blood. Another good sign. “

“He looks…” Allcott didn’t finish the sentence. Suddenly, he was very scared for his son, and full of anger at the man who had hurt him.

“Don’t worry about how he looks. Tomorrow, he’ll look better. You wouldn’t look too good if you were smacked by a pistol, either,” the doctor said.

“Pistol?”

“Yes, I think he was pistol whipped, by a man who had done it before. The good thing is, I don’t think the assailant meant to kill him, only wanted to knock him unconscious. I’m thinking he’s good at what he does. If he wanted to, he could have killed the child.

“A blow to the head is always a dangerous thing, but there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions here. When Charlie wakes up, I think he’ll be fine except maybe for a slightly sore head. But there’s no permanent damage. First thing you do is get him to write something. You want to make sure all functions are fine and not damaged. He’s a strong young lad. Think he will do fine. If not, give me another call.”

“Thank you, Doctor.”

He snapped his bag shut. “Hope the sheriff can find out who did this.”

Allcott’s hand went to his gun. “If he doesn’t, I will. But I don’t know why anyone would want to do this family harm. We haven’t hurt anyone.”

“Can’t answer you that. It’s a shame there are criminals and outlaws around, but there they are,” the doctor said.

After the doctor left, Allcott just looked at his son. He slept peacefully. That was a good sign. Allcott didn’t think he would be sleeping peacefully anytime soon.

***

Winston forded the small stream with an unconscious Emma across his saddle and his fellow outlaw Hank Benton by his side. They crossed to the other side and kept going.

“You’re a little bit anxious with that gun of yours,” Benton said. “You wanted her alive, remember.”

“She’ll be fine. I know just how hard to hit and where. With the kid and with the woman. She may have a slight headache for a day, but she’s not permanently hurt. Neither is the boy. His ears may ring when he wakes up, but he won’t carry permanent damage.”

“We need to keep to the back roads. It looks suspicious to have woman slung over the saddle. A lawman would ask a few questions about that,” Benton said.

“That’s why we’re staying on the back roads, and we’ll camp not too far from here and hide from the law. Tomorrow, she’ll be riding, and it won’t look suspicious to anyone.”

“Except those lawmen who look at posters.”

“We’ll still go the back roads, just to make sure. That ground back there was rocky. I don’t think any posse will be able to pick up our trail. I checked that beforehand. Rocky ground. No prints will be discernible, not even to an expert tracker. We don’t have to worry about being followed. If they try, the lawmen will find nothing,” Winston said.

His partner nodded. “Good. Carrying a woman over a saddle, any posse in the West could find us. They can ride fast. We can’t.”

“We won’t have to. In about fifteen minutes, we’ll find a camp and settle down. Then, tomorrow morning, we can take it nice and easy when we go back. So don’t worry about anything, partner. You always worry too much, Hank. You have to learn how to relax.”

Benton snickered. He probably did need to learn how to relax. His partner didn’t seem to have a nerve in his body. He was cool and calm even when the bullets were flying. Nothing seemed to upset him. Not even when he lost that big poker hand to that noisy stranger’s full house. The guy said his name was Lance Brennan, but no one in the casino had ever seen him or heard of him.

He certainly hadn’t looked like a professional gambler in his rather dusty clothes. But, boy, could he play poker. And he played straight. There was no way the man could have cheated. After riding so long with his partner, he knew the man’s emotions. Winston was about to spit cotton when all the cards were turned out, but he stayed silent and just frowned. He kept his cool. Of course, he had planned to kill the man later that night. But Brennan had somehow slipped away in the night. It was one of the few times he had seen Winston get the tail-end of a deal.

As the horses waded through the water in a small creek, they stopped to let the animals drink.

“Buddy, we came a long way for this gal. And you never did tell me why you wanted her so bad.”

Winston struck a match and lit a cigarette.

“She’s my wife,” he said.

Chapter Two

The woman slowed the carriage and stopped near the edge of the Allcotts’ house. Alice Knowland, the wife of the owner of the general store, stepped down and walked to the door. Allcott opened it for her before she knocked.

“Alice, thank you for coming. I appreciate it.”

“I’m glad to help out. I know this must be a very trying time for you,” she said.

“Yes, I want to talk to the sheriff and then do some hunting, but Charlie is still in bed. He’s recuperating but it seems to be talking a little time, and I don’t want to leave him alone.”

Alice nodded. “I know how you feel. I’m a mother. There are times when I didn’t want to leave my children alone. But they’re almost grown, and they can handle being by themselves for a while.”

“Charlie protested but I overruled him. He’s sleeping right now, but I told him with his injury I wanted someone here just in case. I also told him that you volunteered to cook and that you were the best cook in town.”

Alice chuckled. “Well, I wouldn’t say I’m the best cook in town, though I don’t mind when other people do. He’s not skin and bones, but maybe I can put on a few pounds on him while you’re gone.”

“Thank you. I know the opinion in town is Emma just wandered off or ran away, but I know she didn’t. And I want to search for her. I just can’t leave Charlie alone.”

“I’ll be here. If you’re gone more than three days, I’ll move Charlie into my house and he can live with us until you come back,” Alice said. “But after such a trauma, I don’t think a move would be good for him. Right now, he needs stability and his own home, at least for a few more days.”

Allcott nodded. “I appreciate the help. If I can’t pick up a trail or find some type of evidence showing what happened to Emma, I’ll be back. But I want to take one last chance to see if I can find her.”

His voice deepened and he clenched his fist to emphasize his point.

“I know she didn’t run away. It’s impossible. We had a good marriage. We had a few hard times, which every couple does, but nothing that would split a marriage. We might have been going through something of a dry spell lately, but all couples go through those. “

“Don’t blame yourself, Hal. What happened out there by the creek, whatever it was, wasn’t your fault. It had nothing to do with anything between you and Emma. Don’t blame yourself for something that wasn’t your fault. Emma wasn’t the type of woman to run away, not from you and not from her child. She wouldn’t leave Charlie unless something forced her to do it.”

“That’s my view, too,” Allcott said.

“You go on your way and don’t worry about your son. He’ll be taken care of. I’ll see to that.”

“Thank you.”

He walked outside. He had already loaded his horse with everything he needed. He patted the animal.

“Okay, Mitch, we’re going to do some riding. Some will consider this a wild goose chase, but we’re still going to look. “

He put his boot in the stirrup and swung himself over the back of Mitch, his horse. He turned the animal around and headed toward the brook. He was going to try to piece together the few clues he had to see if he could come up with an answer.

He walked down to the creek, to a spot where he knew Emma sat often. It was a grassy area on the north side of the creek, with the bubbling brook before her. Down a little was the spot Charlie liked to use for fishing. He could stand up or sit down on the rocks and still be comfortable.

He eased his horse into the flowing water, looking back and forth. He realized that Charlie would have been out of Emma’s eyesight. The creek slightly curved after passing Charlie’s fishing spot, just enough to hide him from Emma’s sight. And Emma couldn’t be seen from where Charlie was. But if someone yelled or cried out, they would be heard. He spurred Mitch and the horse wandered a few steps in the water.

Allcott had previously thought there was only a single attacker. But now he thought he was wrong.

What if the assailant tried to grab Emma and made a mistake? She would have screamed, and it would have alerted Charlie. It might even have alerted him. Sound carried in the quiet hills. And Charlie might have escaped and ran home to tell his father. The criminal wouldn’t have wanted that.

Or, if a single assailant tried to silence Charlie and made a mistake, a shout or scream would have alerted Emma. She might have run toward Charlie or, if she noticed something out of the ordinary, might run to the cabin and yell for help.

“There were two of them,” Allcott said. “And they were not amateurs. They planned it so nothing would go wrong. But if they wanted to kidnap Emma, why? I don’t have the money to give them a good ransom. Why did they want her?”

He shook his head. He didn’t know the answer.

He spurred his horse on. He guessed the two men who’d kidnapped his wife rode horses, but which way did they go? And, he reasoned, it was wrong to say she was kidnapped since he had received no ransom demand. He wasn’t rich enough to pay a ransom, even if the men had taken his son, too.

He looked around. There were mountains to the north, but would the outlaws go through and over the mountains? To the immediate south were a few small towns but not outlaw habitats. The west was a little more populated and had a few more towns. Would anything interest them there? The east had some towns but the closet one, about fifteen miles away, had a sheriff name Aaron Wade, and he had a good reputation. If you were an outlaw, you didn’t want to be in his jurisdiction.

Besides, did the two men just have two horses? If they had planned to kidnap Emma, did they bring three mounts? If not, they would have carried Emma and any lawmen would be suspicious to see a woman draped over a horse. If Mr. Wade had seen it, he would have put his hand on his gun and rode over to ask a few questions. The outlaws wouldn’t want that.

Say they went west. There was a lot of trees and forests that way. The ground was rocky and almost impossible to read tracks. But they had to camp somewhere. It was late evening when Emma went missing. Another hour or so and it would have been dark and tough navigating with a woman slung over your saddle. And to camp, they needed a campfire.

He needed to look for a campfire.

He turned Mitch west and spurred him ahead.

He hated to admit it, but his quest might be futile. Could he possibly pick up a trail after a few days? They had three days of a head start. Any signs would be obliterated over several days. Maybe it was a foolish quest. Maybe he was kidding himself. Perhaps he should have stayed back with Charlie; a boy needed his father at a time like this.

But he had to make one more try. Charlie would understand that.

“Campfire. Back to the campfire,” he said. “They wouldn’t have gone too far in the dark. It’s a dangerous country to be traveling at night.”

He had lived in the area for many years. He knew after about a day’s ride the ground hardened again and it was almost impossible to pick up tracks. To find the outlaw party would take a little luck.

In about an hour, he did find signs of an old campsite. The ashes were still on the land, and there was evidence of horses and two riders. That might be a sign of hope, he thought. He did his best to pick up the tracks of the horses, but the ground was stony. The trail disappeared about five miles from the campfire. He searched for hours without any results, and finally found a small stream and let Mitch take a drink.

The trail was dead. Allcott knew he had come to the end of the road. He had not more tracks to follow and no more clues.

He sighed and lit a cigarette.

He would have to tell Charlie the bad news. He had to go back; he had no more clues to follow. But there was something more than met the eye in this case. Kidnap a ranch wife? Why? There was something about this situation, possibly about Emma, that he didn’t know. There was something missing, some fact or facts that would explain it.

He threw the cigarette down and stomped it out with his boot. He wouldn’t find that fact here, and he had no idea where to look for it.

He climbed on his horse and headed back to his horse. There was nothing else to do. But if he found the culprits, he would kill them. There would be no need for a trial or a verdict by the jury. They would die by one of his bullets.

He spurred his horse. He had to think of more mundane items now. First, he had to plan a funeral for Emma. Her body hadn’t been found, and Allcott believed she was still alive, but the whole town considered her dead and more than one person wanted to pay their last respects. He imagined the undertaker had done services without a body before. It was a bit atypical but was not unheard of. He would ask Reverend Johnson to conduct the services. He had been to two services where the reverend gave the eulogy and Allcott thought he had done a fine job. With Johnson running the services, they would be dignified. Perhaps people needed such a service to say goodbye. He would ask the teacher in the local school to spend a little extra time with Charlie. He would have a tough time for a while, and the youngster had spoken of his admiration for the teacher.

Allcott regretted that he’d found nothing, but the chance of a breakthrough was slim. He would make sure Emma had a good funeral, although he still wasn’t convinced she was dead. Even so, under the circumstances, a funeral would be appropriate. Besides, it would be nice to have time to listen to people saying admirable things about his wife.

***

Three days later, Allcott was pleased that the church was more than half full on the day of the funeral. The congregants sang three hymns to begin the service and he thought the songs were beautiful. Lydia Houston, who knew Emma, had a beautiful voice and she used it to perfection during the songs. A tear came to Allcott’s eye as the song ended.

Reverend Johnson walked behind the pulpit.

“Good morning. I’m sorry this is so sad an occasion. This is the day we will say goodbye to Emma Allcott, a woman beloved in this community. You may have noticed we have provided papers and pens in the back of the church. If you desire, I would like for you to take a sheet and briefly write about Emma. In coming years, her husband and her son can read these notes and know how much the people in this town loved and admired Emma. If you have taken one, do so now. We have a box to collect in the back of the room. I know from past experience that this will mean so much to her family. We are going to give you a chance to write because I’m going to ask Lydia Houston to use her beautiful voice to sing one more song. That will give you time to write down your recollections.”

He gestured to Mrs. Houston, who walked to the front. As several men and women wrote on their papers, she sang “Amazing Grace.” At the end of the song, the pastor stepped to the podium again.

“Thank you, Lydia. I’m sure they don’t sing that well in heaven.”

Lydia smiled and sat down beside her husband.

Reverend Johnson opened his Bible. “A few years ago, I went to one of the congregants in the church I was then servicing. The doctor had given him only a short time to live. But he was a Christian man and he was ready to go. He had no fear of death. But he did say to me, ‘I don’t mind dying, but I would like to be remembered.’

“I told him he would be. He was a church-goer and was well known in the community for his number of good deeds. I told him folks would always remember his kindness. That is what we will take with us into eternity. Our good deeds. It was the poet William Wadsworth who said, ‘The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, often unremembered acts of kindness and of love.’ Yes, it’s a true and wonderful sentiment, but the poet got one thing wrong.

“Our Lord tells us that no act of kindness, no matter how small, will be unremembered. They will be laid up in heaven where you will receive rewards. Emma Allcott did many such acts of kindness and love in her life. I’m sure everyone here will write of Emma’s sweetness and kindness. She is gone from our presence, but we will never forget her. She will always be remembered, not only by her husband and son but by many, if not most, of the townspeople here. I certainly will never forget her. Nor will anyone in the church.

“Her sweetness and kindness touched us all. She was a fine wife and a fine mother, and she was an exemplary human being. In time, I feel sure we will discover what happened to her. But we will always recall her kindness and her love. We don’t know where her body is, but we know where she is—in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. She cannot come back to us, but we can go to her. So, let your grief be tinged with joy. We will see her again and she will see us. Let us carry that message in our hearts until we meet at the beautiful river that runs by the throne of God. God bless you.”

Several of the congregants said, “Amen.”

Allcott went to the front door and thanked people for coming on their way out, and then shook the pastor’s hand and told him how much he had enjoyed the benediction.

He and Charlie climbed in their buggy and headed back to their ranch.

“It’s gonna be lonely without mom,” Charlie said.

“Yes, it will, son. But we will just have to make out until, as Reverend Johnson said, we see her again.”


“The Rugged Trail of Vengeance” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

Hal Allcott has all he ever asked for in his life; a ranch in the small town of Lumberton, a caring wife, and his beloved young son. Suddenly his world turns upside down when one day he returns home to find his son unconscious and his wife disappeared. Soon, it is revealed to Hal by an alarming letter that his wife has been kidnapped by no other than his own flesh and blood, his outlaw cousin. Not wasting a second, Hal vows to find Emma and bring her back home no matter the cost.

A living hell that surpasses even his worst nightmares…

Luckily for Hal, he will not be alone in his mission, as Jane, Emma’s friend, convinces him to let her join this risky pursuit. In addition to her being a good teacher, Jane is good with a gun, leaving Hal impressed with her wit and talent. When their investigation leads them down a dark, treacherous path, they have to act quickly if they are to make it back to Lumberton alive.
A dangerous trail of violence, blood, and death…

Mystery and murder will ride with Hal and Jane in a twisting and turning road of revenge, secrets and betrayal. When it comes down to survival, there will only be one choice left; shoot or die. Will Hal and Jane complete the most dangerous mission of their lives? Will they manage to serve justice before they are gunned down in cold blood?

A pulse-pounding drama, which will make you turn the pages with bated breath until the very last word. A must-read for fans of Western action and romance.

“The Rugged Trail of Vengeance” is a historical adventure novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cliffhangers, only pure unadulterated action.

Get your copy from Amazon!

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