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 Category:  Western Fiction
  Posted: December 28, 2018      Views: 156
Prologue 1 2 3 4... 

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Catherin Elizabet Belle, also a pseudonym. She is retired. She enjoys living in Florida where there is plenty of sea, sun and sand.

Ms Belle enjoys her research and creating poetry, novels, and short stories.

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Prologue of the book Gun For Hire
"Gun for Hire" by Catherin Elizabet Belle

Sittin' in the saddle from sunrise to sunset each day Texas had plenty time to think. All he had ever done was sell his gun arm. He were fourteen year old when he left Texas with the 8th Texas Calvary, most often called Terry's Texas Rangers, to fight for the Confederacy. He'd been a deputy for a while; until a couple years ago he had marshaled out of Fort Stockton, Texas.

There was massacre of a rancher over around Fort Davis a few years back, owner of the Bar C a well-respected outfit, his wife, sister, and ranch hands murdered. The young daughter, Catherin, went missing. The drovers found her horse wondering the range, but no sign of that gal twer ever found. It weren't till later it were found out she'd been raised with the Apache, and could track as well as anyone of them and better than most white men.

Five years after the massacre I turned in my badge but continued the search for that missing gal. One as trail wise as everyone claims she is must be dead, don't make no sense otherwise. Nothing! I drifted up into Colorado hired on as a line rider for the Lazy Pine.

Riding line was a lonely existence that appealed to me. Up in the southern Colorado Mountains winter could be a real bastard; this was one of those times. With my hat pulled low over eyes collar turned up against the chill of the falling snow, I hunkered down in the saddle. I'd been on the range three, four days riding fence and looking forward to the warmth of the line shack.

On the icy breeze riding down from the north I caught a whiff of smoke. Being near the line shack I veer coming in downwind. Riding up to the lean-to the mustang standing against the back whinny's as I open the gate of the small corral and shelter. Dismounting, I lay my hand on the flank of the unknown horse. "Hum. Cooled, you be'en here awhile fellow."

Texas was tired, frozen, and weary as he tried the door to his cabin finding it bolted. The howl of the freezing wind kept him from hearing movement as the click of the latch echoed its release from inside the cabin. Pushing the door open gun in hand he felt icy steel touch the base of his skull. A young sounding voice bid him drop the six shooter and drift toward the fire. Doing as told he hears the door close and turns to face the hombre holding the pistol at his gut. Surprise glazed across his half frozen visage, staring at him in buckskins and bare feet was the most fetching redheaded woman he had ever laid eyes.

With the wind howling around the line shack over a hot cup of coffee and a blazing fire names swopped. The name Cal Calder, the comely gal gave, did not fit the image of the flaming haired lass facing him. It was well into the next day Texas found out the gal who claimed to be a drover looking to hire on was Catherin Cahill the missing heiress to the Bar C. He'd been hunting her. In his search he heerd tell of a white Apache called Flaming Arrow, which she confessed to be.

As the story unfolds Texas tells Cal, I served as Marshal out of Fort Stockton and the real name is Jeb Smith. When I hired on as a line rider for the Lazy Pine drovers called me Texas 'cause I hailed from the great state.

It was right then Cal remembered sharing a camp with him near Marfa way before he rode into the ranch to find Cahill's slaughtered.

With three and four feet of snow it was not smart to set out on the trail, Cal stayed riding fence with Texas for the rest of the winter. Come Spring thaw Texas drew his pay and the two ex-lawmen head south stopping in Santa Fe.

The book continues with Spring Arrives in the North. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.
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