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A SURVIVOR Jesse Wilder survived the horrors of Shiloh. He survived the hell of a Yankee prison camp and the shame of volunteering for the Union Army of the West-the only way to escape certain death in the camp. But when the war ended and he came home to Tennessee, word of his "treachery" preceded him, and Jesse found himself shunned by his neighbors and disinherited by his father. And so, like many survivors of the Confederacy, Jesse drifted west. In El Paso his drifting stopped. There he met Cullen Floyd, who ran weapons across the border to the Juaristas in Mexico. Cullen needed another gun against the marauding Apaches and the murderous banditos. Jesse needed a job. Before he knew it, Jesse was caught up in another desperate struggle, this time against the trained mercenaries of the Emperor Maximilian. But Jesse might have pushed his luck too far-this was one battle he might not survive.
The humble little cabin in the great Gila Wilderness of New Mexico Territory is more than a home to Evan Shelby. It's his last chance for life. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and his condition was considered hopeless until he moved out here. It's been six months now since he showed any symptoms, and he's come to love the land and people in this little ranching community. But he's not the only one who loves the land. A major Texas cow outfit just opened a land office, and they plan to start a huge cattle ranch. They're not offering much money for folks' land, but they have plenty of hardcases to help convince people to sell. His friends have asked Evan to help, but as the invaders clash with the locals and tensions keep mounting, Evan may have the toughest battle of his life in front of him.
Jesse Wilder was a man who had seen more than his share of violence. A former captain in the Army of Tennessee, he was inducted into the Union army as a "galvanized Yankee" after the battle of Shiloh. After the war he headed to Mexico to fight with the Juaristas against Emperor Maximilian. That cost him the life of his wife and his unborn child. All he wanted then was peace. But instead he was offered a position as a scout on a highly secret mission into Mexico, where bandits were holding the Sonora governor's daughter for ransom. The rescue attempt was virtually a suicide mission; the small group was vastly outnumbered and was made up of men serving time in the garrison jail. Jesse had every reason to walk away from the offerbut he couldn't. Not when one of his wife's murderers was second in command to the Sonoran bandits chief.
Certainly few writers can match him when it comes to Western excitement and sheer storytelling ability. Western Writers of America recognized this when they awarded Grove a total of five Spur Awards, two of which were for stories collected in this landmark volume. But "Comanche Woman" and "When the Caballos Came" are only the most story is a slice of Western history, peopled with characters that live and breathe. Allow yourself to be transported back to the Old West at the hands of a master wordsmith and brilliant storyteller.
Everyone knew there was no law below the Kansas line. There were bound to be ambushes, holdups and murders--it was just a way of life. Walt Durand didn't expect Red Cloud to be a safe town. But he also didn't figure on becoming target practice for a passel of ushwhackers. Who would want to kill him? And why has the man he's come to meet suddenly gone missing? One man must take on a hostile town in this thrilling, action-packed adventure from the winner of five Spur Awards, two Wrangler Awards and the Levi Strauss Golden Saddleman Award.
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